Newcleus - Influences

    This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy.

    • Newcleus - Influences

      Hey Cozmo,

      Would you be willing to share some of your influences, like you mentioned in the Electro Funk thread? I'd be interested in learning which specific songs you used ore were inspired by for specific Newcleus tunes? Maybe we could do it track by track. :D

      As an example, you once revealed that the bass of Jam on it was borrowed from Yazoo's Situation.

      Any more you can think of? I hope there's plenty. :)
    • OK, that thread has me doing a lot of retrospective remembering anyway, so I guess now would be a good time. Let's start with "Jam-On's Revenge" (original title).

      The idea was born out of Funkadelic's "Let's Take It To The Stage", in which they snap on other groups and call them names. The idea to use munchkin voices came from Funkadelic as well, they did it on a few tracks.

      Since I had no intention of doing this track for eventual release, I was just fukkin around with it as a joke, I didn't bother trying to make an original track. I took a track that we had already done, "No More Runnin'", which was based on a 2 bar main groove and 2 bar change arrangement, and used the first bar of each, and that became the arrangement for "Jam On's Revenge". I replaced the guitar with a synth sequence. The inspiration for "No More Runnin'" was tracks like Secret Weapon's "Must Be The Music" and T.S. Monk's "Bon Bon Vie". At the time both tracks were 808 drums and 303 bass, and used the same first bar patterns.

      When we went to drop "Jam-On's Revenge" on 24 track we sped it up. Also, I had forgotten the 303 at home, so Chilly B played the bass on bass guitar. Plus, we had changed it to a space theme from a Western theme

      2 years later, when we were working on the album, when we went in to lay "No More Runnin'" I purposely had Chilly B play bass instead to give it a more conventional Funk/R&B feel. I also reprogrammed the drums on DMX instead of 808 for the same reason.

      So, "No More Runnin'" and "Jam On Revenge" first began as the same Funk/R&B inspired jam. 8-)

      Original "Jam-On's Revenge"

      Original studio arrangement of "No More Runnin'"
    • Oh man, "Must be the music" is such a great tune! never saw that connection. :o

      I really like Chilly B's bass playing on "No more running" ... that groove is so TIGHT! Were you guys also responsible for the music behind Dynamic Breakers - Dynamic? I love how you have both synth bass and real bass in there (the synth sounds more like a pro one than a 303 on that one though?). One more question ;D : When you say you were inspired by funk/R&B tunes, was the choice of the 303 due to low price and availabilty? I'm asking cause a lot of funk band at that time were probably using a Minimoog for bass and I was wondering if you deliberately chose not to.

      P.S.: Was that Sugarhill part on "Jam on revenge" meant as an homage or as mockery?
    • lj;65084 wrote:

      Oh man, "Must be the music" is such a great tune! never saw that connection. :o

      I didn't mean that those tracks specifically were inspirations but those kinds of tracks. "No More Runnin'" may actually have been written before those cuts came out. In fact, I believe that "Jam-On's Revenge" is probably earlier than them as well. I don't think that I was inspired by any specific track for "No More Runnin'", but I consider those to be in a somewhat similar vein.

      lj;65084 wrote:

      Were you guys also responsible for the music behind Dynamic Breakers - Dynamic? I love how you have both synth bass and real bass in there (the synth sounds more like a pro one than a 303 on that one though?).

      Yeah, that was us. Nah, that was a 303, the Pro One played the sequence.

      lj;65084 wrote:

      One more question ;D : When you say you were inspired by funk/R&B tunes, was the choice of the 303 due to low price and availabilty? I'm asking cause a lot of funk band at that time were probably using a Minimoog for bass and I was wondering if you deliberately chose not to.

      Yeah, the price had a LOT to do with it ($150), but much more important was the programability. Remember, there was no MIDI yet, so the 303 freed me up from relying on a bass player just like the 808 freed me up from relying on a drummer. Then I could program a sequence or 2 on the Pro One and be free to play keys on the RS-09. Couldn't do that on a minimoog (and I couldn't afford one if you could).

      lj;65084 wrote:

      P.S.: Was that Sugarhill part on "Jam on revenge" meant as an homage or as mockery?

      Mockery? LOL!!! Those were INSULTS man!!! :D
    • OK, I see the forum is finally stable again so I'll pick this back up. :)

      Wex is gonna LOVE this one! :D

      "I'm Not A Robot"

      When Wex was accusing me of using a Kraftwerk Rhythmic Structure for Newcleus I dismissed it right out of hand. Though I was quite impressed and inspired by Kraftwerk's sounds I was rarely impressed by their music... I mostly found them to be boring. However, when Wex said that, I remembered that I did out and out steal the Hi-Hat rhythm for "I'm Not A Robot" from Kraftwerk, though I didn't remember what track. I thought that it might have been TEE but a quick listen ruled that out immediately.

      Then I remembered. Though I loved "Numbers", it was basically just a beat. The SONG that impressed me most on that album was "Home Computer". That song has probably the only Kraftwerk bass line that could ever be considered halfway "funky". It came flooding back to me that not only did I cop the hi-hat pattern, I bit the whole damm song! I made the beat of "I'm Not A Robot" empty spaced and staccato like a KW beat and the bass line is an obvious bite of "Home Computer" restructured into 2 bars. I used a KW like spooky string line. Even more wild to me is the fact that I didn't use any chords. I used chords in all of my songs, it's obvious that I didn't for "Robot" in order to get more of the Kraftwerk feel. No solo either, every one of the other non-rap (and even some of the rap) Newcleus songs had them. The vocal style (also used in "Computer Age") was borrowed from Kraftwerk. Even the 1 bar 808 breaks were bitten from "Home Computer"

      So Wex, you're absolutely right, at least for that one song I used a Kraftwerk Rhythmic Structure. ;D
    • Cozmo D;65297 wrote:

      When Wex was accusing me of using a Kraftwerk Rhythmic Structure for Newcleus I dismissed it right out of hand.
      Oh man...
      I'm never said that!

      I just said what you've just confirmed

      Cozmo D;65297 wrote:

      Though I was quite impressed and inspired by Kraftwerk's sounds I was rarely impressed by their music...D
      :)
    • wex;65306 wrote:

      Oh man...
      I'm never said that!

      I just said what you've just confirmed :)



      ???

      Well, basically what was said was...


      wex;65024 wrote:

      You mostly used electro rhythmic structure, that different from funk rhythmic structure.


      Cozmo D;65028 wrote:

      NO! I was using a Brooklyn street rockin' structure. The beats were straight from funky breaks that I played as a DJ. The Bass lines were ALL Funk inspired. Only the arpeggios and sequences came from Electronic Music, and they were MUCH more from Moroder and Jarre than Kraftwerk, so there was no Electro Rhytmic Structure (since you guys don't consider Moroder and Jarre Electro)... unless I invented it. ;D

      I found Kraftwerk to be boring for the most part, though I was impressed by the ideas used in TEE, and I loved "Numbers". However, I don't think that I ever used any of the ideas of TEE, except I bit the hi-hat pattern for "I'm Not A Robot". I bit the rhythmic noises ideas of "Numbers" for "Computer Age", and maybe the vocoder a bit, but that's it. My usage of pads is straight from Gary Numan, and he wasn't Electro either. :)


      wex;65030 wrote:

      Ok :) what's the first track with the Brooklyn street rockin' structure?


      Cozmo D;65033 wrote:

      Newcleus, Featuring Cozmo & The Jam-On Production Crew. - "Jam-On Revenge". 1983

      That's when MY structure was born to the public! Show me ANY other track that followed a formula similar to mine! 8-)


      wex;65035 wrote:

      If it's first in history, then KW was first.


      So, you didn't say that I used a Kraftwerk rhythmic structure, you said that I used an electro rhythmic structure that was started by Kraftwerk. Which I STILL deny! 8-)

      Except for "I'm Not A Robot". I straight-up channeled Kraftwerk for that one! ;D
    • Wow, I would have never guessed.
      For the Hi-Hat part, you are talking about the "break" in "Home Computer", right?
      I wouldn't have recognized the bass, either … "I'm not a robot" just has a completely different vibe. If you didn't tell, you totally would have gotten away stealing it without anyone ever noticing. :D

      BTW, I always thought those 808 breaks were inspired by Warp 9's "Light years away" .. they used those A LOT.
    • Yeah, the hi-hat pattern is from the break part. Yep, just like you wouldn't know that the "Jam On It" bass line was a bite of "Situation". The key to biting something properly is breaking down the essence of what makes it dope or funky, and then applying that to something of your own creation. That's the difference between a steal and a bite. I stole the hi-hat pattern, but I bit the bass line and other elements. So, I didn't "get away" with anything, biting is how most music is made. :)

      "Light Years Away" came out in '83, I wrote and first laid down "I'm Not A Robot" in '81. ;)
    • Cozmo D;65332 wrote:

      BTW, here is the original studio recording before Jonathan Fearing got his grubby hands on it and changed the pitch (and key of course) and made me relay the vocal.

      jamonproductions.com/audio/New…obot%20(24TRK%20Ruff).mp3

      nice!
      i have to admit i prefer the lushness and big production of the album version, but the smoooooooooth vocals of the original recording are way cool. :D
      the lower key seems to suit the song better.
    • 'Im Not A Robot' is possibly my favourite Newcleus recording, in fact it is one of my favourite songs ever, any group, any genre. So this dicussion is good stuff, very interesting.

      I am not familiar with much Kraftwerk material though (imagine that on an electro forum!!), so I will have to check out those tracks to see if I can hear the similarities.

      Funny enough I always made that connection with the Warp 9 track, didn't really think about who was first they just reminded me of each other.

      I was always dissapointed that 'Im Not a Robot' didn't get released on a 12" single, I would have loved to have heard a dub version, in fact I reckon a great dub version could have been made it's a perfect track for it, a nice remix would have been good as well. It's never too late Cozmo!!
    • lj;65336 wrote:

      nice!
      i have to admit i prefer the lushness and big production of the album version, but the smoooooooooth vocals of the original recording are way cool. :D
      the lower key seems to suit the song better.



      That IS the album version. It was a rough mix taken right after we recorded it. I guess that it just wasn't fast enough for Fearing so he pitched it up. He could have done the exact same lushness and big production (translation: effects and reverb) without pitching it and you would have the exact same album version you have now, except slower and in a true, lower key with a MUCH better vocal. ;D
    • Simmo;65349 wrote:

      'Im Not A Robot' is possibly my favourite Newcleus recording, in fact it is one of my favourite songs ever, any group, any genre. So this dicussion is good stuff, very interesting.

      I am not familiar with much Kraftwerk material though (imagine that on an electro forum!!), so I will have to check out those tracks to see if I can hear the similarities.

      Funny enough I always made that connection with the Warp 9 track, didn't really think about who was first they just reminded me of each other.

      I was always dissapointed that 'Im Not a Robot' didn't get released on a 12" single, I would have loved to have heard a dub version, in fact I reckon a great dub version could have been made it's a perfect track for it, a nice remix would have been good as well. It's never too late Cozmo!!

      It's too late when you don't have the master. ;D

      I wonder if the master turns up will the original vocal be on it. Probably so, there aren't many instruments on the track so there should have been tracks open on the master, so no need to record over the original.