Category: Carry On Synthpop (Page 1 of 3)

Carry On Synthpop: ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK Reacts to DEPECHE MODE’s News Conference October 4th 2022

Unlike the 2013 Paris press event when the band didn’t even know the name of their new album, DEPECHE MODE’s recent news conference at Berliner Ensemble at least revealed that the as-yet-unfinished long player due out in Spring 2023 is to be called ‘Memento Mori’, a Latin phrase meaning “Remember That You Must Die!”

As with the lamentable ‘Spirit’ from 2017, it has been produced by James Ford, best known for his work with poshboy folkies and Dave Gahan’s favourite band MUMFORD & SONS.

In front of an invited audience, Martin Gore and Dave Gahan spoke to their UK publicist Barbara Charone about “boring boring” Arsenal and possibly paying tribute to their late departed bandmate Andy Fletcher by playing an old song that he liked on the upcoming concert tour; how The Drumhead Christian Eigner and The Noodler Peter Gordeno will ruin it has yet to be confirmed.

There then came a few inaudible questions from those present and replying to that almost insanely predictable question about performing “unplugged”, even the now-ungratefully synthpop-phobic Dave Gahan responded to confirm that DEPECHE MODE are “an electronic band”!

The news of fresh DEPECHE MODE activity with new sketched on a fag packet artwork by Anton Corbijn has polarised the electronic music community again; while some have been getting rather over-excited, others have taken to Photoshop to portray Gahan and Gore as successors to Laurel & Hardy.

Using a key bunker scene from the acclaimed film ‘Downfall’, Chris Mines has assembled this highly amusing and entertaining send-up of ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK – best known as the synthpop satirist SUDDEN CREATION who has never met Vince Clarke, his video focusses on numerous well-documented rants about DEPECHE MODE and Devotees over the years as a kind of greatest hits… please note, this video will probably be meaningless if your first language is German unless you turn the sound down!

The phrase “underwhelming arena show plonked into a stadium” of course makes an appearance and while ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK frequently likes to highlight Dave Gahan’s criminal past, it was during DEPECHE MODE’s acceptance speech into that dinosaur institution The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 2020 when Dave Gahan remarked to his bandmates that “I dunno what the hell I would have been doing if I didn’t find music to be quite honest…”, that Fletch retorted “YOU’D HAVE BEEN STILL STEALING CARS DAVE!”

The ‘Memento Mori’ world tour comes to London Twickenham Stadium on Saturday 17th June 2023 and among the many ticket options are a Gold Circle Early Entry Package at £275. While this has been the only UK date confirmed so far, many observers predict that further dates where DEPECHE MODE will be able to downscale and plonk an underwhelming theatre show into several arenas will be announced; although many Devotees pride themselves in following a band can play in stadiums and in the rain, it is so much better indoors…

Many London-based electronic music fans will be relieved that they will have already purchased tickets on that date for PET SHOP BOYS at Wembley Arena where Messrs Tennant and Lowe will perform the songs that made them famous and that their audience actually want to hear.

However, ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK predicts utter travel chaos in the capital as next door in Wembley Stadium, as occasional synthpop exponent Harry Styles will be presenting the fourth night of his ‘Love On Tour’ residency at the iconic Middlesex complex.

Unlike their beloved Arsenal, DEPECHE MODE have actually yet to play at Wembley Stadium…

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK gives its warmest thanks to Chris Mines aka SUDDEN CREATION

Cold War Night Life’s more comprehensive review of Dave & Martin’s Laugh-In at Berliner Ensemble can be read at

Official news and updates on the new DEPECHE MODE album ‘Memento Mori’ and the 2023 tour of underwhelming arena shows plonked into stadiums can be found at

The SUDDEN CREATION albums ‘One Man Party’ + ‘Synth Boys Don’t Smile’ are available as CDs or downloads from

Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photo by Anton Corbijn
8th October 2022

Carry On Synthpop: LIVE AT THE NECROPOLIS Lords Of Synth

“There is only one hope for humanity… the synthesizer!”

Adult Swim is the night time wing of the Cartoon Network and frequently airs adult animation, mockumentaries and sketch comedy. Although ‘Live At The Necropolis: Lords Of Synth’ first aired in 2016, this little gem of a video is the gift that keeps giving for any fan of electronic music, especially the originators: Vangelis, Wendy Carlos and Giorgio Moroder.

For those that haven’t had the pleasure of seeing it, the skit adopts a wonderfully droll US sports commentary-style approach to a ‘synth-off’ (or as they word it, a “battle of fingoric dexterity”) between Xangelix, Carla Wendos and Morgio Zoroger. Each of the synth heroes are lovingly characterised with Zoroger being portrayed as a hard-drinking Italian (who harbours a long-running grudge against Xangelix and an ex-relationship with Wendos), Xangelis (a reclusive musician who is rarely seen in public) and Carlos Wendos (previously known as Carlton Wendos).

Also worthy of mention are the two US sports-style commentators, both named in homage to German electronic pioneers TANGERINE DREAM (Edgar Tangram and Zedd Centuari) who oversee the musical scoring of the return of Halley’s Comet to earth. The winner being subsequently crowned ‘Lord Of Synth’.

The parody was inspired by Greek-American musician Yanni’s extravagant 1993 ‘Live At The Acropolis’ concert which was seen in 65 countries and Public Broadcasting Service who originally promoted it. What adds to the overall enjoyment factor of ‘Live at the Necropolis’ is the attention to detail throughout, there are so many fantastic touches that it’s impossible to highlight all of them.

For a start, the synth equipment on stage is all appropriate to the individual ‘synth lords’ with Wendos having a Moog modular system, Moroger with a Jupiter 8 (fed through guitar pedals a la Johannes Schmoelling of TANGERINE DREAM) and a variety of other classic synths (including an Emulator I and a Prophet 5).

When it come apparent that Halley’s Comet is going to destroy earth and none of the Synth Lords (individually) will be able to halt its deadly trajectory, our trio combines forces and after sending a synth Morse Code to each other, metamorphosize into a streamlined all-white wearing synth ‘power trio’ with new keyboards to match.

With their collaborative performance, the “sheer coolness of the jam” cuts the heat from Halley’s Comet, a star constellation of Pegasus is summoned and a final triumphant chord sends a beam of light to the heavens and freezes the comet before it obliterates the Earth. Once it becomes apparent that humanity has been saved, former US President Gerald Ford returns (he had previously evacuated in a space pod) to bestow gold medals on our three Synth Lords.

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK can’t recommend ‘Live At The Necropolis: Lords Of Synth’ highly enough, it is a joy from start to finish and repeated viewings reveal many fantastic comedic touches that may get missed first time around.

The Adult Swim YouTube channel is at

Text by Paul Boddy
27th April 2021

Carry On Synthpop: How Drum ‘N’ Bass Is Made…

Founded in 1958 by Desmond Briscoe and Daphne Oram, THE RADIOPHONIC WORKSHOP at the BBC was set up to provide “special sound” for radio and TV programmes.

So to celebrate 60 years of THE RADIOPHONIC WORKSHOP in Autumn 2017, members of the pioneering collective held a panel discussion at The British Library prior to an impressive concert at the venue.

As well as using audio stems of the component parts to discuss how Delia Derbyshire constructed the original ‘Dr Who Theme’, Peter Howell (who was at the BBC between 1974–1997) mentioned how ‘The Music Arcade’, an old schools programme which he had made demonstrating the Fairlight CMI to children, had been re-edited by a prankster into a YouTube video entitled ‘How Drum ‘N’ Bass Is Made’.

With the combination of Howell’s well-spoken manner, the varied facial expressions of the children and ‘Lose Control’ by REDPILL painstakingly dropped in, the results are hilarious!

Peter Howell said at The British Library that “equipment can either be our servant or our partner”; he is best known for his 1980 reworking of the ‘Dr Who Theme’ using a Yamaha CS80, ARP Odyssey and vocoder, while he still uses a Yamaha DX7 as his master keyboard during THE RADIOPHONIC WORKSHOP’s various concerts around the world.

“Thank you Peter, that was fascinating…”

‘Doctor Who: The 50th Anniversary Collection’ is still available as a 4CD set or download via Silva Screen Records

Text by Chi Ming Lai
28th December 2017


ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK has recently been gaining much enjoyment from a video which brutally satirises TRENT REZNOR and NINE INCH NAILS.

‘This is a Trent Reznor Song’ by FREDDY SCOTT hits the proverbial nail (sorry couldn’t resist it) on the head in deconstructing the various elements that make up a NINE INCH NAILS song.

Based around ‘A Copy Of’ from the last NIN album ‘Hesitation Marks’, Scott’s rather hilarious track is structured in such a way that it wickedly pokes fun at many of the trademarks of Reznor’s act – including the “random percussion”, “weird guitar” and several knowing references to their lead singer’s vocal production techniques.

What makes the song so successful is the attention to detail, like the little delays in the verse and the use of the “Weird sound” FX pedal before the song’s bridge. The video itself contains what have now become recognisable tropes in certain NIN promos, the silhouette shot, the creepy sepia dead animal shot and the intercut band performances with Scott perfectly aping Reznor’s stage posture.

Comedian Scott had previously caused a bit of a stir with his RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS aping ‘Abracadabralifornia’, which although semi-fooling some into thinking it was a new Chili’s track, in places actually came across more like a MORRISSEY sound-a-like than lead vocalist Anthony Keidis.

This more recent parody is far more on the money and although there’s been no public reaction from Reznor to the track, what is certain is that you’ll find it hard to get the chorus out of your head…

Altogether now: “This is a Trent Reznor song / Yeah it’s still going on / Seriously it’s the same song / But it’s very awesome!”

‘This Is a Trent Reznor Song’ by FREDDY SCOTT is available from the usual digital outlets

Text by Paul Boddy
3rd March 2016

Carry On Synthpop: DAVID BOWIE, BRIAN ENO & TONY VISCONTI Record Warszawa

A hilarious animation satirising the Château d’Hérouville studio sessions for DAVID BOWIE’s legendary ‘Low’ album has been gaining traction on the internet.

bowie-low-animationProduced by The Brothers McLeod, the short film captures Bowie, Brian Eno and Tony Visconti recording the album’s lengthy doom laden instrumental ‘Warszawa’ using a witty script and authentic voice characterisations by comedian Adam Buxton, himself no stranger to sending up the music scene via ‘The Adam & Joe Show’.

At West Berlin’s Hansa Studios where the ‘Low’ sessions were being mixed in 1976, the guards in the watch towers in East Berlin could look into the windows of the building! Although named after the Polish capital, ‘Warszawa’ accurately captured the post-war tensions within the divided city without the need for overt lyricism. However, Buxton’s send-up reimagines what Bowie may have had in mind lyrically, insecure in the fact that Eno had totally composed and realised the track!

The animation also accurately highlights Tony Visconti’s often under appreciated role in co-producing ‘Low’ plus the subsequent ‘Berlin Trilogy’ albums ‘Heroes’ and ‘Lodger’; the frustrated New Yorker is seen to be ranting about “doing a lot of co-production, probably more than people think…”, a credit which has frequently been incorrectly attributed to Eno.

But what gives this animation the ultimate credible edge is Buxton’s spot-on Bowie impersonation and his affectionate references to fan trivia.

‘Warszawa’ is available on the album ‘Low’ via EMI Records

Text by Chi Ming Lai
1st November 2014

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