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Old 17-04-2016, 09:46 AM   #1
decode reality
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Default Transhumanism themes in music

Just out of interest, this thread is to post songs and other links on the subject of transhumanism as it appears in popular music, past as well as present. I was listening to Gary Numan and that whole 'robot' persona was an integral aspect of his early work visually and sonically, such as 'Are Friends Electric?'. Numan was Bowie influenced, and Kraftwerk of course were pioneers in this area.

Wiki defines it as follows:

'Transhumanism (abbreviated as H+ or h+) is an international and intellectual movement that aims to transform the human condition by developing and creating widely available sophisticated technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.'

You may wish to add your own definition along with a music clip!

I'm not making a value judgement on the music itself; some of it I really like, but as this is quite a new area of research (thus far I think only Mark Devlin has covered it in his new book, Musical Truth), it would be interesting to see your various takes on it.
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Old 17-04-2016, 09:49 AM   #2
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I think Sun Ra, quite an underground but influential figure, was hinting towards it with much of his sci-fi/outer space themed work.

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Old 17-04-2016, 10:29 AM   #3
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Kraftwerk's Man-Machine:An old song in a new remix,but the message is clear enough:

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Old 17-04-2016, 10:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berten60 View Post
Kraftwerk's Man-Machine:An old song in a new remix,but the message is clear enough:
Good choice. There was initially quite a lot of resistance to purely electronic music in the music press. It's amazing how times change; that altered vocal effect has become the norm, whereas you'd only hear the occasional track with a vocoder in years gone by.
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Old 17-04-2016, 12:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by decode reality View Post
Good choice. There was initially quite a lot of resistance to purely electronic music in the music press. It's amazing how times change; that altered vocal effect has become the norm, whereas you'd only hear the occasional track with a vocoder in years gone by.
In years gone by a vocoder cost the same as a house so there weren't many of them around to be used.
Nowadays anybody with a laptop can (and does) do it.
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Old 17-04-2016, 04:34 PM   #6
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In years gone by a vocoder cost the same as a house so there weren't many of them around to be used.
Nowadays anybody with a laptop can (and does) do it.
And the early synthesisers were at least as big as somebody's bungalow.
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Old 17-04-2016, 04:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berten60 View Post
Kraftwerk's Man-Machine:An old song in a new remix,but the message is clear enough:

Actually all of Kraftwerk (except the very early stuff without the electronics) is what came to my mind too. Man-Machine, Computer Love, The Robots, etc.

I like Kraftwerk btw, they influenced the electronic genre a lot and are one of the most-sampled bands today. Furthermore one should always see their lyrics in relation to the time they were in when computers were on the rise and computers in music too. So it just mirrors the style they actually co-invented.
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Old 17-04-2016, 04:45 PM   #8
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Jake the peg???
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Old 17-04-2016, 04:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truthy View Post
Actually all of Kraftwerk (except the very early stuff without the electronics) is what came to my mind too. Man-Machine, Computer Love, The Robots, etc.

I like Kraftwerk btw, they influenced the electronic genre a lot and are one of the most-sampled bands today. Furthermore one should always see their lyrics in relation to the time they were in when computers were on the rise and computers in music too. So it just mirrors the style they actually co-invented.
I'm familiar with the handful of singles that got into the UK charts and a couple of tunes sampled by early hip hop artists. Hearing something like Autobahn really did sound futuristic. As you point out, they were embracing the technology that was on the cusp of becoming commonplace but at that point was underground, or used in TV studios such as the BBC Radiophonic Workshop (which coincidentally did the music for Dr Who and Blake's 7). That early electronica worked much better with the content of those shows than traditional sounding instruments would have.

This is the composer who wrote the Dr Who theme and worked in that workshop. 1969!


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Old 17-04-2016, 04:59 PM   #10
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Jake the peg???
Possibly so. Or Metal Mickey? People bounce back
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Old 17-04-2016, 05:30 PM   #11
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A lot of post-punk British synthesiser music has echoes of what would be later called 'transhumanism', as well as dystopian themes.

Have a look at 19.00 to about 22.00 from the documentary Synth Britannia.

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Old 17-04-2016, 05:58 PM   #12
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Now I remembered what I liked to listen to many years ago. It's a great conceptual album by the alternative rock band "Our Lady Peace" with direct reference to Kurtzweil and Transhumanism in their song "In Repair".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritual_Machines

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Rep..._Peace_song%29

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Old 17-04-2016, 08:48 PM   #13
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This thread is fun, might add some more.



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Old 13-08-2016, 05:12 PM   #14
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And of course this, from 2005.

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Old 13-08-2016, 05:24 PM   #15
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you are a why behind the curve







the hard sell is on ....
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Old 13-08-2016, 05:56 PM   #16
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All these were the pioneers of Electro in the early eighties. It was this kind of music, mostly derived from Kraftwerk's influence, that gave rise to much of the robotic dancing that became extremely popular, and its obvious influence on Hip Hop.

Herbie Hancock - Rockit
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHhD4PD75zY

Man Parrish - Hip Hop, Be Bop (Don't Stop) [HQ]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tsfJn8YdwQ

Hashim - Al Naafiysh (The Soul)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i46sF1PcqL8

Afrika Bambaataa & the Soul Sonic Force - Planet Rock
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGh_5lL4z1Q

Example of Robotic Dancing:

MR. ROBOT BREAKDANCE SENSATION 1984 Flash TOP
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUHgpFJBCw4
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Old 13-08-2016, 06:06 PM   #17
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There is also the Cyberpunk genre in science fiction, that made its way into popular culture, especially games, Anime and comics, and then into music.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyberpunk

Also don't forget the huge influence of movies like Blade Runner, Terminator, Robocop, Cyborg, aesthetically, musically and culturally. Also, TV-series like Star Trek The Next Generation with Data the android, and The Borg.

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Old 13-08-2016, 09:44 PM   #18
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Numan's "Cars" is one ( man and car becoming one) . "Down in The Park" is a dark one too.
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Old 13-08-2016, 09:54 PM   #19
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Robot bands Z-Machines & Compressorhead

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0DyYLLf3m8

.

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Old 13-08-2016, 10:04 PM   #20
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Fedde Le Grand - 'Put Your Hands Up For Detroit' (Official Video)


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