Thursday, 28 October 2010

How to make a synthpop classic in ten easy steps

    1. Minimalism. Minimalism. Minimalism.

    2. Every sound must be strong enough to carry its function alone.

    3. No more than eight tracks on any song.

    4. As few as possible sonic elements playing at any one time - to preserve maximum power and fidelity.

    5. All mixes dubbed ruthlessly, to see how much they can be stripped further - to ensure getting rid of anything unnecessary, then exposing hidden instruments.

    6. Use the instruments I have, with as few additions as absolutely necessary.

    7. Subject matter - a man, a woman and a city.

    8. Attitude - detached urban romance, without sentimentality.

    9. Write only songs you would want to hear - without compromise.

    10. Once you are sure of the direction and content, don’t alter them for anything - no matter what the reaction is.

The ten rules John Foxx used in the recording of Metamatic. From an enthralling interview which includes discussion of early synthesizers, Conny Plank, Eno, London in the 70s...


  1. Thank you for this.
    I even named one of my daughters after Conny Plank.

  2. If there were a 'like' button on here i'd use it. Metamatic is by far one of my favourite albums of all time.. It influenced my song writing no end.

  3. Weeell, thanks, I think I'll try to use some of the steps.++

  4. A real insight into the talent of an incredible songwriter and synthesist. Thanks Mark.

    And KO - I agree!

    - Jb.

  5. wicked cheers. before i got online i always assumed i was the only person in the world who loved this album. but the evidence seems to be overwhelmingly to the contrary...

  6. A fantastic and truly great album. I also loved The Garden which sounded very much like Systems of Romance. In fact it even had Robin Simon on Guitar and had a track on it called Systems of Romance.