Newcleus - Influences

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    • OK, sorry this took me a minnit, but I've been mad busy and this topic is not easy for me. You see, by the time we had gotten to the Positive Messenger tracks that would later be used for Newcleus we had already developed our own styles and methodologies. I would start with a bass line, then a beat, then either chords or a sequence. At this time Chilly was playing in a Reggae band (that I had been fired from... again) so most of the tracks I either wrote and completed myself or I saved an element for him to contribute. So, whereas "Jam On It" years later would be a conscious bite of another record ("Situation" by Yazoo) just to make a quick track to satisfy the record company, the Positive Messenger tracks were almost completely original. However, almost all music has it's influences.

      So, anyway, I have been thinking about "Computer Age". Now, I remembered that the break was definitely inspired by "Numbers". The vocoder and vocals as well were Kraftwerk inspired. The "Push The Button" came directly from a song by the same name from an old Broadway play "Jamaica" that my mother loved and would play the album constantly when I was little.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZBj8U0Z0eE
      at the 5:11 mark

      The bass line to "Computer Age" was definitely mine, but the entire groove itself had been such a step forward for me when I did the track in '81 that I felt that there had to be some underlying influence for it somewhere. I knew that it wasn't Kraftwerk or Giorgio, because outside of "Numbers" Kraftwerk never appealed to me as a dance influence and though Giorgio did, all of his bass lines were arpeggiated. I was just beginning to think that maybe I had just drawn on some mystic inner voice or something (LOL) when I asked myself what was my favorite electronic dance record of the time (and perhaps all time). BINGO!!!

      The influence for the electronic rhythmic noises, vocoder and vocals was Kraftwerk. The "Push The Button" line was Lena Horne. But everything else was influenced by Don Ray's "Standing In The Rain" :)


      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJcllQAwmzk


      The beat is all mine though. :D
    • It's crazy that you feel "Jam on it" was just a quick track to satisfy the record company … for me (and I guess for many others), that track still stands to be one of the greatest Hip Hop tunes of all time!

      Re: Computer Age:
      I always thought the drums were a bit like Trans Europe Express .. in that you had a lot of 16th kicks, with a slightly less syncopated / more straight feel (compared to numbers).

      Btw, do you have any rights to the phrase "Push the button"? I noticed that the Chemical Brothers used it in "Galvanize" .. and the way they used it sounds quite similar to Computer Age:

      jdDwxdqLyGg
    • lj;65789 wrote:

      It's crazy that you feel "Jam on it" was just a quick track to satisfy the record company … for me (and I guess for many others), that track still stands to be one of the greatest Hip Hop tunes of all time!

      Oh, don't get me wrong, I am VERY proud of it! I knew right when I made it that it was dope and the only track I ever made that I fully expected to be huge. BUT, the only reason I made it was because the record company wanted us to do a rap record... I wanted to put out "Computer Age"... and I put the track together in about 45 minutes. So, it WAS in fact a quick track to satisfy the record company. ;D

      lj;65789 wrote:

      Re: Computer Age:
      I always thought the drums were a bit like Trans Europe Express .. in that you had a lot of 16th kicks, with a slightly less syncopated / more straight feel (compared to numbers).
      I guess that you mean the break in the middle because there is only 1 16th kick in the main beat. Not sure where I got the idea for that beat change, and I never really cared but so much for that beat. In the new version I took it out. I don't think that either beat sounds very much like TEE though.

      lj;65789 wrote:

      Btw, do you have any rights to the phrase "Push the button"? I noticed that the Chemical Brothers used it in "Galvanize" .. and the way they used it sounds quite similar to Computer Age:

      jdDwxdqLyGg
      Nah man, if anybody should have those rights it should be whoever wrote the soundtrack for Jamaica. I flat out stole it from them. :D
    • Just re-read everything; this is one of my favorite threads on here. :D

      Cozmo D;65756 wrote:


      lJcllQAwmzk



      I didn't know Don Ray before, but in the meantime I came across him again on a Cerrone mix … turned out this song (like the rest of that album) was even written and produced by Cerrone! I can really recommend this album (Don Ray - Garden of Love), but "Standing in the Rain" is the standout track of it - wonderful!