Gary Numan: Android in La La Land | Chicago Reader

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85 minutes · 2016

Documentary, Music documentary
Kraftwerk showed how synthesizers could make people dance, but Gary Numan showed how synths could make them rock out. By feeding the keyboard through a guitar amplifier, Numan crafted a clanging, zapping sound that undeniably influenced other synth-pop acts as well as hair metal and, especially, industrial. Many aspects of Numan's life story are worth investigating: he was diagnosed with Asperger's at an early age; he had a falling out, still unresolved, with his parents, who were his business managers; he married and fathered three children with a member of his fan club; and he suffers from severe depression. Instead, directors Steve Read and Rob Alexander center their documentary on the production of Numan's 2013 album Splinter; this approach allows for a fine introduction to Numan's music, but the other subjects are addressed too briefly to cohere as a narrative.

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