Gary Numan has spent decades cultivating a unique sound and persona. I could possibly compare him to David Bowie, but Numan’s music is special because it was elaborately electronic and popular at a time where it was hard to make elaborate electronic music, harder still to make it popular!
It isn’t that the New Wave movement that brought him to fame was short on popular electronic songs. But he deserves some recognition for being something of a pioneer.
1982’s I, Assassin adds a funkier edge to the sound he was known for. Accordingly, although “Music For Chameleons” still has the trademark retro-futuristic synth sounds and ‘android’ singing, there’s an incredibly danceable rhythm section.
The drums canter along with a distinctive 3-step pattern, switching down for the chorus.
The song has lengthy breakdown sections dominated by the classic neo-noir Numan synths, building up to the next space age groove. The sound is very 80s, but still seems ahead of its time in its sheer coolness!