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Music by VICE

Time Travel: The O.G. Electronic Android

Gary Numan's live show made triangles cool way before Tumblr.

by Ariana Paoletti
Aug 7 2013, 7:02pm

Every week, Time Travel conjures the ghosts of techno-futures past with selections from the dustiest corners of the WWW.

Gary Numan - "Down in the Park" (live)

The year was 1979, and Gary Numan's sci-fi synth-punk sound was way ahead of the curve. Deeply influenced by British pre-punk visionaries Ultravox, Gary Numan had made "Down in the Park" a mainstay in his live shows. The song tells a dystopian tale of flesh-skinned androids who rape and kill humans for the entertainment of club-going spectators.

Numan's odd, robot-like demeanor, his powdered face and undeniably snappy attire led to rumors that the 21-year-old budding star might be gay—a dangerous allegation at the time that led to violent threats against him. Gary went on that year to play a sold-out tour, where this video was recorded, and gained massive popularity in the UK despite vitriolic reviews in the press that described his music as "pseudo-intellectual" and "unmanly." In the end, Numan beat everybody else to the whole "triangle-lights-and-fog-enveloped-spinning-pyramid" thing, pioneering a minimal, technoid lighting aesthetic that would still drop your jaw today.

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