Friday, August 6, 2010

ANDROID: In Tune With Tomorrow LP

Do you remember those 50s movies that took place in the future, with pod cars, cylindrical buildings, and jet packs everywhere? In retrospect, those films seem quaint and silly, but at the time I'm sure their directors thought they were visionary. Well, Android is the muscial equivalent of that sci-fi glimpse of the not-too-distant future. With shaved heads, surrounded by synthesizers and knobs and keys and pads, with vocoders galore, this band looks and sounds like they want to be Kraftwerk circa 2125. There are songs about the future, songs about space, and even songs about the comfort that a synthesizer provides.
The record was pressed on clear blue vinyl, with a blue silkscreened poster insert and blue, white, and silver artwork. the entire presentation is an amazing and beautifully made homage to a stripped-down, monochromatic, otherworldly, robotic future. They self-released this in 1982 on their Alternative Music Productions label.
Judging by the photos on the back and on the insert, it appears that they set up a custom-made room somewhere (Los Angeles, presumably) to play their shows. I also wager to guess that this record was only sold at those shows. Of course, I could be wrong, and would love to hear from anyone in the bend or who saw the band!
The music, of course, is key on any blog dedicateed to old obscure records. Yes, it gets cheesy. VERY cheesy, in a lo-fi vocodered Tangerine Dream-meets coldwave sort of style that has not aged particularly well. But when the band gets it right, they create some beautiful 100% synthetic masterpieces, such as the beautiful, dreamlike My Love Is Like a Shooting Star, the tinny electro of Standing in the Line of Fire, or the cold futurist bliss of my personal favorite, Perpetual Motion. I uploaded this many years ago to a new wave bulletin board and it still seems to be completely unknown... Hopefully this post will rectify that.

Click here to download this record!

Android: In Tune With Tomorrow LP
1982, AMP Records
A1 Luminary
A2 Images
A3 Sometimes My Love is Like a Shooting Star
A4 Standing in the Line of Fire
A5 ThemeSong
B1 Ahead of Your Time
B2 Listen to the Sky
B3 Perpetual motion
B4 exerpt from Tentative Conclusion
B5 ElectroSynphonia


BCR said...

very cool, thanx for sharing!

BCR said...

this is interesting:

Anonymous said...

You are right, there are some true gems here. What makes it sound old-fashioned, as you say, are the muffled and not too interestingly programmed drums, I think. Just imagine Standing In The Line Of Fire with cool modern house drums. One reference you forgot to mention is Newcleus. Thank you very much!!

Anonymous said...

Great blog indeed. Keep the obscure music alive. By the way do you have Doo Blan Tant's rhythm Method EP? if you do it would be awesome if you post it.

Unknown said...

Ah yes, you reminded me of when I purchased this record many years back..I was initially drawn to the front cover artwork...and then pleased with what was inside...nice post! I need to break it out and listen to it again..

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Any chance you could share with us the Fifth Column 'To Sir With Hate LP?, that would be marvelous. Thanks for the amazing blog.

Anonymous said...

The commercial isn't viable if it is no-longer running. Please come back...:)

Anonymous said...

This band has had a 45 as well prior to the release of their LP:

Noble Gas said...

I am in the band Noble Gas. We started in Los Angeles in 1981, and lived with John Brock, in his studio in Sun Valley. At that time, John was a solo act, and was composing some really heady stuff, with pedals, two handed synths, and singing with vocoders. It was IMO, better than the trio Android. Noble Gas and Android shared shows at the Alternative Music Productions original studio in North Hollywood, near the airport. Noble Gas is till together, but we have seen nor heard nothing of John Brock in nearly 30 years. He went through some tough times the last we saw him.

VEKdigital said...

The only fact I find more amazing than John, Chris and Gary being remembered still on the internet (something that wasn't around when "Android" was trying to launch themselves into the LA music scene) is that I'm not the only commenter on this blog that actually KNEW the band members personally. To the members of Noble Gas, I'll be contacting you directly via email shortly.

I vaguely remember saying, even while watching one of their shows in their little AMP studio/stage in North Hollywood, that they were SO far ahead of their time that they were facing nearly impossible odds to garner any sort of recognition or fame within the local (regional or even national) music scene at that time (early 80's).

But, as a student and avid listener of bands and acts the likes of Tangerine Dream, Isao Tomita, Hot Butter, Stardrive, etc., I was entranced with John's music and his conceptual presentation.

One anecdotal quip that I just remembered hearing John say after one of his shows (referring to the difficulties they had getting the rhythm unit to sync up all the other electronics gear) was "the drummer did it". I also seem to remember that John was the only member of the trio that had actually shaved his head to assume his onstage persona. Both Chris and Gary had short hair and wore prosthetic skull caps to appear bald like John (I could be wrong - these memories are over 3 decades old).

So incredibly cool that the legacy of ANDROID has not been lost to the mists of time. Even cooler that I was able to acquire their music after having lost it during a move long ago. John, you were truly "Ahead of Your Time". I carry on the creative seed you planted in me so long ago and continue to create and produce electronic music as a hobby to this day.

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Z CAR M said...

Hi, this is Berny. I met John in personal in L.A. 1991 and we had a great time together - I stayed there 2 month but then I had to go back to Germany. We lost contact. After 16 years, actually yesterday 04. April 2012 I got in contact with him again and I hope we are still good friends and keeping in touch. He told me the last time he was performing was last year under his Artistname "Jno". Check his website at" I was searching the net for Android as he told me about the story from these times in the 80th. I wished I could have seen them in L.A. - At these times (80th) I was performing live on stage many times as well in Germany with the 3 head band Z CAR M (Punk, new wave band with Synth, Drums and vocals, original records still availabel). Its amazing that some people now are catching attention after such a long time. But yes, their music definitely was ahead for this time, totally agree. From my heart I wish that he will gain success an the near future again and wishing him all the best. Berny from Ireland (Artistname: Z CAR M - If you like check the video clips of Z CAR M)

Anonymous said...

I met John and Gary in 1976 whaen they had their first studio on Venice Blvd in Culver City, it was the old Nadine music store. The band was called Just Born then and some of this music was written and produced then. After this building was condemned the band moved to an indoor loading dock in the back of a prop shop on Santa Monica Blvd, just off Vine where Android was born. We stayed there for about a year, sweating away in the heat because there was no air-conditioning until we were offed the opportunity of moving to the now vacated KFWB studios/offices on Hollywood at Cuenga-now demolished.
FOr nearly a year we worked to convert the broadcast studios into the Haunted Studios theater where we performed on Friday nights, complete with lasers and indoor pyrotechnics, the band now consisted of four of us. John, Gary and myself on keyboards and a drummer we imported from Texas, Jessie. This lasted for about 6 months until the band had a major breakdown and Jessie and I left.
I reunited with John, Gary had moved on, in about 1982 having seen a fyer promoting a concert in Santa Monica. He was still doing basically the same thing, but as another poster mentioned, was now based in Sun Valley right at the end of the runway to the Hollywood airport. I used Johns studio to rehearse and hold open auditions but eventually moved on myself.
He's a great guy with a big heart and a vision like nobody else I've ever met. I wish him the best.

Anonymous said...

I got some news !!
John Brock is alive and still composing !!
His Artistname today is "Jno". Check his website for further information and his track releases at 3xw the music ministry dot com (no spaces between) !

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Unknown said...

Just broke my copy out after 7-8 years and this is quite a gem. What an immersion into synthetic bliss. My copy didn't come with the poster, so I start the hunt...cheers and Happy New Year Phil!