Sunday Suggestion – John Foxx – Underpass

John Foxx was one of the pioneers and forerunners of electronic music. A true innovator. First with Ultravox and then as John Foxx. An inspiration and huge influence to none other than Gary Numan. Another great innovator. I played ‘Underpass’ from 1980’s Metamatic on Newcastle Student Radio this Wednesday and it really took people aback. Mainly in a positive fashion. It still sounds very late 70’s and early 80’s in terms of the instrumentation, but it is the vitality and tune that is being churned out in this track that makes it sound light-years ahead of most electronic acts prior to him. It is so immediate and razor sharp in it’s quality that it instantly grabs your attention. It then pulls you into the dark and murky depths of his offset vocal and the falling tones of the synths combined with heavy distortion of the synths. He then pulls you back into the immediacy of the chorus with slick and effortless fashion with his spoken vocal ‘Nobody I know’. It is so cold and obstructive but so immersing and mesmerising at the same time. A fantastic track from a fantastic musician.

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