Gary Numan-Berserker (1984)
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|Year Of Production||1984|
|Running Time||57:20 (Case: 60)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Derek Burbidge|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, the credits roll over the final images.|
Now that we have that disclaimer out of the way, it should be said that this is a fairly good example of the electronica genre. Numan often blends electronic music with more traditional instruments, including violas and a saxophone, in addition to guitars and drums. This fusion of electronic and more "normal" sounds give the music an interesting appeal. There are a few tracks that do not work quite as well, such as the very '80s Music For Chameleons, but for the most part this is a musical journey that is as interesting as it is reminiscent of a musical age past. Tracks such as The Iceman Comes, and My Dying Machine are almost hypnotic in nature, and are totally drenched with atmosphere.
The staging of the show is also quite '80s, with lots of flashing lights, and generous use of the smoke machine, but overall it is quite effective. The presentation of the video version is quite restrained, and at times seems a little uninspired, but it is infinitely preferable to the music-video style of fast jump cuts that many music presentations find necessary. It would not be possible to review a concert such as this and not mention the hair-cuts. While Numan himself is quite restrained (even taking the blue-streaked hair into account), and would easily fit in today with little notice, the remainder of the band are a somewhat more flamboyant lot. This video contains an extremely good cross-section of the mullet, displaying almost all varieties.
It would be hard to recommend this disc to anyone who does not know anything about electronica, and those who dislike it should stay well away. For those who have fond memories of electronica, this is a very worthy investment, even taking the short running time into account.
|1. We Are Glass|
3. Remind Me To Smile
4. Sister Surprise
5. Music For Chameleons
6. The Icemand Ocmes
|7. Cold Warning|
8. The Prison Moon
9. My Dying Machine
10. We Take Mystery (To Bed)
11. The Is New Love
Presented at 1.33:1, this transfer is not 16x9 enhanced. As this was produced for video in 1984, that would almost certainly be the correct aspect ratio.
The transfer is relatively sharp. Obviously the combination of age, poor lighting and source material are not exactly optimal, but within those bounds it is quite impressive how sharp the transfer really is. There are quite a few instances of noticeable video noise, such as from 11:08 to 11:11, but these are never really severe, and are much better than some far more recent concert recordings. The shadow detail is good, although it does come up little wanting in some circumstances. During The Iceman Comes the stage is lit using U.V. light, and this really shows up the shortcomings of the shadow detail.
Colours are a little muted, but again for a concert that is 18 years old, these are quite good. The white costumes and predominantly white light does not help either. Where there are splashes of colour to show, they come up sufficiently to not warrant complaint. There are a few instances of colour blooming when the spotlights hit the white costumes, such as at 35:40, but these are few and far between.
The only compression artefacts present in this transfer are deliberately created macro-blocking at the start and end of the concert. There are numerous instances of minor aliasing, but only a very few instances of extremely noticeable aliasing, such as on the bass guitar strings from 48:48 to 48:51. There are no film artefacts present, as this concert was presumably shot on video. However, there are a few instances of what appear to be minor tape dropouts, creating a band of static noise across the screen, such as at 35:25, and 48:12.
There are no subtitles present on this disc (although there is a subtitle stream used for pop-up selection focus buttons - see the extras section).
This is a single layered disc, and as such does not contain a layer change.
This disc contains two soundtracks, being the original English soundtrack in both Dolby Digital 5.1 (at 448 Kbps), and Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo (at 224 Kbps).
The sound mix is generally good. On occasion, the music seems to be a little high for the vocals, but it is only ever a temporary problem. Crowd noise is mixed in at an acceptable level, being a little quieter than on many music DVDs. This is not a mix where the crowd will actually cheer louder than the band was playing. A small problem is some minor crackling during the first full track Berserker (such as from 7:24 to 7:29), and then again at 41:05. Whether or not this is intentional is difficult to tell, but it is a little distracting. Audio sync is not a problem for this transfer, and is spot-on throughout.
The surround channels gain little use in this soundtrack, apart from adding a little ambience to the crowd applause. During songs, they are only mixed in at a very quiet level. This gives the overall soundtrack a very front-heavy feel, and it really is more like a stereo soundtrack, as the centre gets relatively little to do when compared with the front main channels. The stereo soundtrack is very good, giving good instrument separation, and presenting a soundfield almost as wide as that on offer from the 5.1 track.
The subwoofer is used to good effect, and is certainly not overdone. It is really only used to back up the music, and never provides a driving force, which suits the style of music well.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
Given the source, the video quality is extremely good, showing only a small amount of noise and almost no artefacts.
The audio is very stereo in nature, even for the 5.1 soundtrack, and there is a small amount of crackle on occasion, but otherwise it is more than serviceable.
The solitary extra borders on useless, and really only gets in the way.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-535, using Component output|
|Display||Loewe Xelos 5381ZW. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Onkyo TX-DS787, THX Select|
|Speakers||All matching Vifa Drivers: centre 2x6.5" + 1" tweeter (d'appolito); fronts and rears 6.5" + 1" tweeter; centre rear 5" + 1" tweeter; sub 10" (150WRMS)|