S/D: John Foxx

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Sorry if its already been asked:

I love dry Roland drumbox beats surrounded by chirping, buzzing synths + New Romantic vocals. You know the deal: G Numan, Visage,,, i know two tracks by Foxx : 'The Plaza" + "A30" (sp?) but want more. Is it worth venturing into?

Jay Vee (Manon_70), Friday, 4 April 2003 16:59 (seventeen years ago) link

'metamatic' is one of those perfect records. is it even on CD, anywhere? it'd be incomprehensible if it wasn't.

'the garden' maybe a little overproduced but still a few great songs. 'golden section' has more than a few great songs. haven't heard any of the few later ones.

milton, Friday, 4 April 2003 17:05 (seventeen years ago) link

Early Ultravox is hard to go wrong with. I'm a HUGE fan of the Conny Plank-produced Systems of Romance, particularly the motorik of "I Can't Stay Long," "Dislocations'" dislocating production and the early Eno-isms of "Quiet Men."

Ha! Ha! Ha! is pretty fantastic, too, esp. the Clustery piano intro of "Distant Smile" before the Lydonesque rant busts in.

John Foxx: what a great phony.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Friday, 4 April 2003 17:26 (seventeen years ago) link

"metamatic"...perhaps the best album of the synthpop movement...certainly the most unapologetically modern...

it is available on CD...
you can order it from

geeg, Friday, 4 April 2003 22:49 (seventeen years ago) link

I still need to get that. I have The Garden and it's quite wonderful.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 4 April 2003 23:31 (seventeen years ago) link


Mike Taylor (mjt), Sunday, 6 April 2003 02:40 (seventeen years ago) link

There was someone don't remember on the misheard lyrics thread. he heard John Foxx sing Underpants everytime he sang Underpass.

I can not listen to it now without hearing him shout Underpants! Underpants!

Erik, Sunday, 6 April 2003 14:52 (seventeen years ago) link

ok amoeba had the metamatic CD. sprang for it. a pretty good transfer, almost no surface noise, which is key due to all those minimal arrangements. I'd forgotten what a silly album it is. But parts are magnificently silly. 'Plaza' and the singles are particularly good.

seven bonus tracks from the album's 7" singles... about three of which are just as good as the main album. the track '20th Century'... the band Adult. really cribbed quite a bit from him. it's the same roland drum machine, same crispy stabs with the attacks cut off, and the lyrics for the track consist merely of Foxx saying over and over again 'It's the 20th... Century!!!!'

I think the songwriting is better on 'golden section', but 'metamatic' is a lot more distinctive/influential. I'm not the hugest fan, but it's certainly fun to know about these records.

milton, Sunday, 13 April 2003 00:24 (seventeen years ago) link

three years pass...
Has anyone heard his latest album, Tiny Colour Movies?

Revivalist (Revivalist), Tuesday, 20 June 2006 08:54 (fourteen years ago) link

He has.

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Tuesday, 20 June 2006 09:08 (fourteen years ago) link

I was planning on ordering this today and now I'm really excited. I wish Foxx would come play in NYC sometime soon.

Jay Vee's Return (Manon_69), Tuesday, 20 June 2006 15:45 (fourteen years ago) link

the joakim remix of "mr no" from last year is great.

michael wells (michael w.), Tuesday, 20 June 2006 22:36 (fourteen years ago) link


jäxøñ (jaxon), Tuesday, 20 June 2006 22:43 (fourteen years ago) link

The album is pretty good, it's no Metamatic 2 though. I'm intrigued by this Arnold Weizcs Bryant character though who's films inspired the album. Does he have a website?

JohnFoxxsJuno (JohnFoxxsJuno), Wednesday, 21 June 2006 07:37 (fourteen years ago) link

one year passes...

does anyone know if this current tour (in glasgow tonight) is him performing the metamatic album in full? i seem to recall hearing it was but can't seem to find any evidence to support this. thanks.

stirmonster, Friday, 5 October 2007 14:05 (twelve years ago) link

Has anyone heard his latest album, Tiny Colour Movies?
-- Revivalist (Revivalist), Tuesday, 20 June 2006 09:54

yeah it's wicked.

max r, Friday, 5 October 2007 14:21 (twelve years ago) link

ok. it seems it is.

stirmonster, Friday, 5 October 2007 14:52 (twelve years ago) link

and it also seems it was last night. bugger!

stirmonster, Friday, 5 October 2007 14:57 (twelve years ago) link

_Metamatic_ just received a deluxe 2-CD reissue. Figures, I just bought it earlier this year!

Mr. Odd, Friday, 5 October 2007 15:11 (twelve years ago) link

five months pass...

I love Ultravox' Systems of Romance, but I'm listening to The Garden and having some trouble getting into it. What do you like about it? Standout songs?

Joe, Wednesday, 19 March 2008 14:34 (twelve years ago) link

eleven months pass...

Received via e-mail:


Artist: John Foxx & Robin Guthrie

Album: Mirrorball

Release date : May 4, 2009 Label: Metamatic Records

Like John Foxx's recent A Secret Life album with Steve Jansen (ex-Japan), his collaboration with Robin Guthrie was an idea that began when the pair performed at a Harold Budd concert in May 2005. Layers of echoes and reverberations are explored on Mirrorball, so that Guthrie's unique playing merges with abstract, often improvised vocals - a style which Foxx has explored on his own Cathedral Oceans albums.

Robin Guthrie has scored two movies in recent years – Greg Araki's Mysterious Skin and the Dany Saadia-directed 3:19. He has recorded instrumental albums Imperial and Continental and also several collaborations with pianist Harold Budd, the most recent being Before The Day Breaks and After The Night Falls in 2007. The former Cocteau Twins guitarist and producer has also performed extensively with his hour-long animated film Lumière, and recently premiered the follow up, Galerie, both films being created as backdrops for his atmospheric, hypnotic guitar-based instrumentals – a style that has been a massive influence on everyone from My Bloody Valentine through to Antony and the Johnsons.

John Foxx has been experimenting as a film-maker (including a pioneering video for L.F.O. and recent performances of his Super 8 project Tiny Colour Movies in Melbourne, London and Barcelona), artist (he has exhibitions this year in London and New York and his images have been used on the covers of books by Anthony Burgess and Salman Rushdie) and musician and he's now developing a growing international reputation as a writer – last year he headlined a major literature festival where he reads extracts from his as yet unfinished novel The Quiet Man.
He is currently working on new material with Paul Daley (Leftfield).



Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 11 March 2009 14:21 (eleven years ago) link

"Metamatic" is great. Better than any 70s Ultravox! album and also better than several 80s Ultravox albums.

Geir Hongro, Wednesday, 11 March 2009 15:00 (eleven years ago) link

Foxx / Guthrie track: Luminous on myspace

John Foxx

djmartian, Wednesday, 11 March 2009 16:23 (eleven years ago) link

three years pass...

Y'know what, The Pleasures of Electricity is his best song-based album after Metamatic. I have spoken.

QUOTE sampling at a higher rate UNQUOTE (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 25 September 2012 22:08 (seven years ago) link

New album, "Evidence", just out. It'll be his third in 18 months and some of his best work!

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Wednesday, 26 September 2012 04:22 (seven years ago) link

eight months pass...

Anyone heard all his Louis Gordon albums? I've only heard cuts from compilations which are great. How do the albums stand up?

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Tuesday, 25 June 2013 21:50 (seven years ago) link

See my last post. That's the only JF+LG one i know but i love it.

Thelema & Louise (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 25 June 2013 22:08 (seven years ago) link

one year passes...

hadn't seen this john foxx box set before:

john wahey (NickB), Friday, 7 November 2014 21:21 (five years ago) link

Neither have I, seems to be going quite cheap as well!

Welcome To (Turrican), Friday, 7 November 2014 21:54 (five years ago) link

two months pass...

Been digging back into Foxx for a month now – my latest obsession is Cathedral Oceans which is such an interesting concept, transmogrifying memories of singing in dilapidated Anglo churches as a choir boy into these epic ambient canticles. "Golden Green," the closing cut from volume II, is a particularly awesome, and vocoded, example.

Would love to get the box, or at least the DVDs with the surround mixes.

Naive Teen Idol, Tuesday, 3 February 2015 23:52 (five years ago) link

I really hope he does more with The Maths, those albums are jewels in his crown.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Wednesday, 4 February 2015 04:24 (five years ago) link

i'm convinced that John Foxx stole his look from Patricia Franklin in Carry on Girls


soref, Wednesday, 4 February 2015 06:24 (five years ago) link

that was meant to link to 45:17

soref, Wednesday, 4 February 2015 06:26 (five years ago) link

I really hope he does more with The Maths, those albums are jewels in his crown.

"The Maths" is really one guy, Benge, who pretty much owns every vintage synthesizer ever made. Over on Bandcamp, he's released a series of excellent albums (with fabulous liner notes) that explore various aspects of synthesis – most of them are performed on ancient Buchla 200 systems.


He's an excellent foil for Foxx on the Maths records.

I like the Guthrie and Budd collabs – the guy does textural ambient well. But I'm all about the Cathedral Oceans at present.

Naive Teen Idol, Wednesday, 4 February 2015 21:16 (five years ago) link

I really hope he does more with The Maths, those albums are jewels in his crown.

― Gerald McBoing-Boing, Wednesday, February 4, 2015 4:24 AM (5 days ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Me too. The more I listen to Interplay, the more I'm convinced it's one of the best albums he's ever made!

If you consider Ultravox it's own thing, I'd rate "Interplay" behind only "Metamatic" and ahead of "The Garden". The thing about the Maths trilogy is they're so consistent which I find his work with Louis Gordon isn't (as good as some of that material is). Something about working with Benge and those vintage sounds brings out the best Foxx.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Tuesday, 10 February 2015 02:40 (five years ago) link

one year passes...

New compilation, "21st Century: A Man, A Woman And A City" is out. About half the material is new or otherwise non-LP, including his first collaboration with Gary Numan. What an amazing third act he's having.
I got the version with the DVD.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Wednesday, 1 June 2016 22:51 (four years ago) link

Geek question: is the DVD in 5.1?

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 2 June 2016 16:52 (four years ago) link

I don't think so, there's no mention of it.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Thursday, 2 June 2016 17:05 (four years ago) link

three months pass...

I continue to be amazed at how prolific this guy is ... and at a high quality. There's the pop-ish albums w the Maths and the mini album w the Belbury Circle (which is excellent), which harken back to his older records/persona. There's his ambient/ambient-ish collaborations with Guthrie and Budd. There are instrumental records like B-Movie and a few others which blend the Metamatic sound with a bit of Ballard-esque imagery.

Now, I'm just discovering London Overgrown, which is Cathedral Oceans-esque ambient without the chanting -- and Tiny Colour Movies. I haven't even heard the collab with Steve Jansen yet. And that's not even everything. Wow.

Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 2 September 2016 13:56 (three years ago) link

Yeah the quality of his music continues to remain very high. Love "B-Movies" but had no idea he'd recorded with Jansen! Must seek that one out.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 2 September 2016 20:09 (three years ago) link

Pretty mesmerizing video he made for B-Movies:


Naive Teen Idol, Tuesday, 6 September 2016 02:02 (three years ago) link

three years pass...

Been listening to his ambient collaborations. I really like them.


brownie, Saturday, 11 April 2020 23:21 (three months ago) link

yeah they're lovely

walking around near-empty city recently have often found myself thinking about Cathedral Oceans

umsworth (emsworth), Sunday, 12 April 2020 00:03 (three months ago) link

three months pass...

New record Howl out w The Maths today:


Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 24 July 2020 13:06 (two weeks ago) link

Just dropped in to say that the aforementioned album Howl is literally perfection. There is not a song on the album I dislike. Every single song on it is amazing and I love every single bit of it. I know that won't mean much to anyone but I really, highly encourage each of you to at least give it a try.

We Live as We Dee, Alone (deethelurker), Thursday, 30 July 2020 15:06 (one week ago) link

Also, speaking of John Foxx in general, his song "Running Across Thin Ice with Tigers" is on my personal funeral playlist along with his former band Ultravox's "Alles Klar".

We Live as We Dee, Alone (deethelurker), Thursday, 30 July 2020 15:07 (one week ago) link

I'm still digging into this but man, not too many 72-year-old guys are making music with this much vitality. It's like he literally hasn't lost a thing in 40 years.

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 30 July 2020 15:46 (one week ago) link

It's true! He's not exactly in Scott Walker territory but great, relevant releases at his age are rare.

I found "Howl" a bit of a grower, but once I went through it a couple of times it started to reveal itself. Robin Simon is such a perfect addition! Still not quite sold on the closing ballad but give me a few more spins.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Thursday, 30 July 2020 15:58 (one week ago) link

I'm liking what I'm hearing of this. There's a lot of guitar but I can probably overlook that

imago, Thursday, 30 July 2020 21:45 (one week ago) link

I'm liking what I'm hearing of this. There's a lot of guitar but I can probably overlook that

B-b-but that's ROBIN SIMON!! You know, the only other element of Ultravox that was no longer present once they came back with Midge Ure?

We Live as We Dee, Alone (deethelurker), Saturday, 1 August 2020 01:12 (one week ago) link

Also, I fell in love with this album IMMEDIATELY. There was no "oh, maybe if I listen to this a couple more times I'll get into it" with me. Upon my first listen I was all, "Holy shit, this could end up tying for my favorite album of all time." Like, right now I have the title track playing through my head. It is insanely good.

We Live as We Dee, Alone (deethelurker), Saturday, 1 August 2020 01:14 (one week ago) link

Oh shit ok! Will probably grab hold and see how I get on with the whole album

imago, Saturday, 1 August 2020 01:41 (one week ago) link

Oh shit ok! Will probably grab hold and see how I get on with the whole album

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. PLEASE DO. You will not regret it, mark my words.

BTW, this is making me feel like listening to Foxx's back catalogue as well, e.g. The Golden Section and Metamatic. But first, another spin of Howl.

We Live as We Dee, Alone (deethelurker), Sunday, 2 August 2020 00:03 (one week ago) link

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