Tag: Paul Humphreys (Page 2 of 5)

OMD What Have We Done

In a strong year for albums, OMD have released one of the best of 2017 in ‘The Punishment Of Luxury’ and the campaign continues with a new single and video for one of its highlights ‘What Have We Done’.

With a Synthanorma sequence that retains the essence of their KRAFTWERK inspired roots, ‘What Have We Done’ features Paul Humphreys on lead vocals.

The life, love and loss lyrics for this waltzing lament came to him after having to put his dog Patsy to sleep.

However, this slice of passionate Modernen Industrielle Volksmusik could also act as symbolism for the end of any relationship, whether political or personal, and coupled to a beautifully sparkling melody recalling Ryuichi Sakamoto’s ‘Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence’, the song has deservedly become a live favourite on OMD’s current tour in support of ‘‘The Punishment Of Luxury’.

The observational video itself has a circle of life narrative that also recalls the ‘Powers Of Ten’ films directed by Charles and Ray Eames, where scenes are expanded out from the Earth.

Heading into their 40th anniversary as a performing unit when they played at Liverpool’s Eric’s in the Autumn of 1978 accompanied by Winston the tape recorder, the breadth of musicality, technological curiosity and lyrical wordplay of OMD is as strong as ever.

It’s a big lesson to those contemporaries of theirs, whose recent albums have not been particularly good, as to what spirit actually is…


‘What Have We Done’ is taken from ‘The Punishment Of Luxury’ released by 100% Records, ”The Punishment of Luxury: B Sides & Bonus Material’ featuring previously vinyl only tracks such as ‘Ha Ha Ha’ and ‘Lampe Licht’ plus extended mixes will be released as a CD on 15th December 2017

OMD’s ‘The Punishment Of Luxury’ 2017 UK tour with opening act TINY MAGNETIC PETS includes:

Bexhill Del La Warr Pavilion (15th November), Manchester Academy (17th November), York Barbican (18th November), Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (19th November), Birmingham Symphony Hall (21st November), Gateshead Sage (22nd November)

2017 European dates with opening act HOLYGRAM include:

Erfut Traum Hits Festival (25th November), Hamburg Grosse Freiheit (26th November), Berlin Huxleys (28th November), Leipzig Haus Auenesse (29th November), Munich Tonhalle (30th November), Offenbach Stadthalle (2nd December), Düsseldorf Mitsubishi Electric Hall (3rd December), Tilburg 013 (5th December), Antwerp De Roma (6th December), Lausanne Les Docks (8th December)

2018 two man shows featuring Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys only include:

Stockholm Vasateatern (5th February), Gothenburg Pustervik (6th February), Oslo Rockefeller (7th February), Copenhagen DR Studie 2 (9th February), Warsaw Progresja (11th February), Paris Bataclan (12th February), Barcelona Razzmatazz (14th February), Madrid La Riviera (15th February),
Lisbon Aula Magna (16th February), Isle of Man Douglas Villa Marina Hall (20th February)

http://www.omd.uk.com/

https://www.facebook.com/omdofficial/

https://twitter.com/OfficialOMD


Text and Photo by Chi Ming Lai
7th November 2017, updated 15th November 2017

BACK TO THE PHUTURE: QUESTION MARK at The Union Club

The Union Club in Soho was the location of ‘Question Mark’, a panel discussion hosted by Wall Of Sound and Back To the Phuture’s Mark Jones.

The four guests gathered for the fascinating and extremely good humoured chat about their experiences in the music business were OMD’s Paul Humphreys, HEAVEN 17’s Glenn Gregory, Steve Norman from SPANDAU BALLET and T’PAU vocalist Carol Decker.

A series that has been going for several years, Mark Jones announced this was to be the last free session to which Carol Decker amusingly quipped “Will I have to pay to talk about myself?”

To begin proceedings, Jones asked the quartet about their first record purchases; Carol Decker remembered it was Michael Jackson’s first solo album while for Paul Humphreys, it was ‘Make Me Smile (Come Up & See Me)’ by Steve Harley and Glenn Gregory had ‘Can The Can’ by Suzi Quatro. However, both Humphreys and Gregory agreed that the turning point for them was hearing ‘Autobahn’ by KRAFTWERK in 1975.

When asked about their first instruments, Humphreys confessed that as an “electronics geek”, he built his own sound making device because he initially could not afford to buy a synth. Gregory had an acoustic guitar which he promptly broke while Decker admitted that although she knew her chords and notes, she couldn’t really play the piano very well.

But it was Norman that had the most impressive CV; starting as a drummer before moving to guitar having been influenced listening to Hank Marvin, he then recorded the sax solo on ‘True’ just six months after first taking lessons. All four guests and the host also discussed their adventures in the murky world of synthesizers. When Jones told of how his mother bought him a Yamaha CS01 from the Grattans catalogue, Norman recalled how SPANDAU BALLET used a Yamaha CS10 on ‘To Cut A Long Story Short’ during the Islington quintet’s initial dalliances in synthpop.

Perhaps surprisingly, the more AOR inclined T’PAU did their demos using a synth and its built-in sequencer with Decker telling how she and writing partner Ron Rogers had written their breakthrough hit ‘Heart & Soul’ entirely around a bass synth sequence which ended up in the final mix.

Of course, Humphreys’ and Gregory’s histories with OMD and HEAVEN 17 respectively are well documented. But both found they had to constantly defend their art against those who didn’t consider the use of synthesizers as “real music”.

When questions were opened out to the audience, ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK took the opportunity to remind the pair that the Musicians Union tabled a motion in May 1982 to ban synthesizers from recording and live performance. Having already shared how in the pursuit of a more electronic dominated sound, his first serious band THE ID shrunk from eight members to two in order become OMD, Humphreys gleefully told the story of how the MU kept giving him and Andy McCluskey a hard time over using a tape recorder so mischievously, the Wirral duo “put ‘Keep Music Live’ stickers on the tape reels!”.

Meanwhile when HEAVEN 17 performed on ‘Top Of the Pops’ for the first time in 1981 with ‘Play To Win’, Gregory told of how the heavily unionised show, where MU membership was compulsory, refused to let Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh perform behind synths, insisting that they used a guitar and glockenspiel instead!!

But remembering how T’PAU had used a Fairlight for their orchestral arrangements, Decker expressed that “it did prick my conscience” that she might be putting musicians out of work, with the technology having advanced to such a degree that for the untrained ear, it was difficult to tell the difference. Steve Norman also had a vivid technology nightmare when while using Yamaha WX7 MIDI wind controller connected to a DX7 live, it suddenly changed settings in the middle of a moody solo under the heat of stage lights!

When asked about new music, Gregory admitted he listened to very little. However, recollecting his own experience of how GARY NUMAN looked after OMD when the young duo opened for the electronic pioneer in 1979, Humphreys said OMD tried to help young bands where possible with no buy-on fee for support slots, citing the much-missed pop noir combo MIRRORS as one of the best acts in recent years.

This drew the discussion onto how safe and unadventurous the major record labels had become in recent years with their lack of vision towards artist development, in their quest to protect their dwindling revenue streams.

On the subject of music formats, Humphreys said he still very much believed in the artistic statement of the album and how you could not skip tracks on vinyl, so the less immediate tracks had to be absorbed and accepted in order for the work to grow. Meanwhile, Norman felt the EP was the platform of the future, as a new artist could offer less but more frequently, in order to engage an audience.

While Humphreys still embraced vinyl and CD, he confirmed he was very much against using Spotify, not just due of the poor royalty rates paid to artists but as he also revealed, the major record companies hold shares in the Swedish based concern… so no conflicts of interest there!

Meanwhile Decker loved the convenience of listening to music digitally while expressing a slight, and not unshared, bemusement at the vinyl revival.

To end the evening, Mark Jones amusingly challenged his guests to sing a song without accompaniment. Carol Decker was first up, belting out ‘Little China Girl In Your Hand’, an improvised mash-up of her own hit tune and the Iggy / Bowie classic.

Not known as a vocalist, Steve Norman gamely launched into a rendition of ‘Gold’ to enthusiastic cheers while initially reluctant, Paul Humphreys sang ‘Enola Gay’ after being goaded by Jones, with some audience assistance. Finishing the impromptu sing-song, Glenn Gregory gave a timely and relevant acapella version of ‘(We Don’t Need) This Fascist Groove Thang’.

It was a fabulously entertaining two hours with Carol Decker perhaps stealing the show from the boys with a salt of the earth persona that was akin to your favourite auntie who enjoys a tipple or two at Christmas, like a cross between Julie Waters and Tracey Ullman.

Providing amusing and engaging group conversation that was also educational, the fact that all four guests continue to have successful careers today is testament to their longevity and cultural impact during a more open and therefore competitive musical era.

People are still interested in this music not because of “nostalgia” as one member of the audience suggested, but because of its quality, inventiveness and authenticity.

Now, that really doesn’t happen that much these days… and that’s why people go Back To The Phuture 😉


ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK gives its sincerest thanks to Mark Jones

http://www.backtothephuture.net/

https://www.facebook.com/Question-Mark-514817845328373/

http://www.omd.uk.com/

https://www.heaven17.com/

http://www.spandauballet.com/

http://www.tpau.co.uk/


Text and Photos by Chi Ming Lai
29th June 2017

A Beginner’s Guide To CLAUDIA BRÜCKEN

Photo by Patrick Lichfield

With her distinctive ice maiden delivery, Claudia Brücken is the undoubted queen of cinematic avant pop.

She first came to prominence with PROPAGANDA and the Trevor Horn produced film noir drama of ‘Dr Mabuse’. Together with Susanne Freytag, Michael Mertens and Ralf Dörper, the Düsseldorf based quartet released their acclaimed album ‘A Secret Wish’ on ZTT in 1985. But despite the album being a favourite of musical figures such as Quincy Jones, Martin Gore, John Taylor and Jim Kerr, PROPAGANDA split following business and creative tensions as a result of their deal with ZTT.

Remaining with ZTT, Brücken formed ACT with early electronic pioneer Thomas Leer and released an album ‘Laughter Tears & Rage’ in 1988 which featured an array of lush synthetic dynamics glossed with a touch of starlet glamour. Not one to rest on her laurels, her first solo album ‘Love: & A Million Other Things’ came in 1991 on Island Records before she took a career break.

There was a brief reunion of PROPAGANDA in 1998 with ‘Ignorance’, ‘No Return’, ‘To The Future’ and ‘Turn To The Sun’ among the songs demoed. Although a video for ‘No Return’ was produced, the title proved poignant so when that came to nought, Brücken spent much of the new millennium’s first decade working and touring with OMD’s Paul Humphreys in ONETWO, supporting ERASURE and THE HUMAN LEAGUE along the way.

Since then, she has released two further solo albums and more recently been spotted in the studio with Susanne Freytag and Stephen J Lipson, while a new collaborative project with Jerome Froese is also in progress.

Although her catalogue is wide and varied, Claudia Brücken is perhaps still very much regarded as a cult figure on the music scene. In 2011, she celebrated her career with a special show at The Scala in London with various friends and collaborators, all captured on the live DVD ‘This Happened’.

Certainly, she deserves greater recognition so with a restriction of one track per release of a very impressive collaborative portfolio, here is a 20 track Beginner’s Guide to her work…


TOPOLINOS Mustafa (1982)

TOPOLINOSBrücken and Freytag first met at Die Ratinger Straße; “There was this interaction between art and music happening and everyone kind of knew one another” she said. Together they formed TOPOLINOS, literally translated as ‘The Mickey Mouses’! Using a rhythm unit, electric organ lines and Middle Eastern flavoured vocal phrasing, ‘Mustafa’ appeared on ‘Partysnäks’, the soundtrack to ‘Die Tanzbeinsammler’.

Available on the compilation album Electri_City 2 (V/A) via Grönland Records


PROPAGANDA p: Machinery (1985)

Propaganda ‎– pMachineryAt the suggestion of Freytag, Brücken was recruited into PROPAGANDA and they were marketed as “ABBA in Hell”! ‘p: Machinery’ captured their Teutonic edge and the charm of state-of-the-art technology. Produced by Stephen J Lipson, the song also had an unexpected contributor as Brücken recalled: “It was amazing when David Sylvian came in. On ‘p: Machinery there is this line he wrote on a little keyboard…”

Available on the PROPAGANDA album ‘A Secret Wish’ via Union Square


GLENN GREGORY & CLAUDIA BRÜCKEN When Your Heart Runs Out Of Time (1985)

Glenn+Claudia When Your HeartBrücken and the HEAVEN 17 vocalist met during the video shoot for ‘Dr Mabuse’ as Gregory’s then-wife did the make-up. Written by Will Jennings, best known for ‘My Heart Will Go On’ from ‘Titanic’ and ‘Up Where We Belong’ from ‘An Officer & A Gentleman’, ‘When Your Heart Runs Out of Time’ was recorded for the film ‘Insignificance’ and produced by Midge Ure under the pseudonym of Otto Flake Junior.

Available on the compilation album ‘The Art Of The 12 Inch’ (V/A) via Union Square


ACT Absolutely Immune (1988)

ACT Absolutely ImmuneAfter PROPAGANDA fragmented, Brücken formed ACT with Thomas Leer in 1987. Working again with Stephen J Lipson, there came a more playful, decadent glamour with some political flirtations. ‘Absolutely Immune’ was a commentary on the “I’m alright Jack” selfishness of the nation. The sentiment lost unfortunately on a British public still drowned in blue emotion…

Available on the ACT album ‘Love & Hate’ via Union Square


JIMMY SOMERVILLE Run From Love (1990)

jimmy_somerville-the_singles_collection_1984-1990The acclaim and respect that ‘A Secret Wish’ attained led to Brücken being offered many opportunities to collaborate. One of the first came from Jimmy Somerville. ‘Run From Love’ was a lesser known BRONSKI BEAT number reworked in a more house fashion by S’EXPRESS producer Pascal Gabriel for the diminutive Glaswegian’s greatest hits collection and Ms Brücken provided backing vocals in the chorus.

Available on the JIMMY SOMMERVILLE album ‘The Singles Collection 1984/1990’ via London Records


CLAUDIA BRÜCKEN Absolut[e] (1991)

Claudia Brucken Absolut(E)Brücken signed a deal with Island Records for her debut solo album produced by Pascal Gabriel. ‘Absolut[e]’ was very much dominated by Gabriel’s dancefloor instincts. But all was not well within. “The MD from Island suddenly left and all the people who worked on my album left as well” she remembered, “A new guy came in and already I could sense what would happen, so Pascal and I decided to get really experimental”.

Available on the CLAUDIA BRÜCKEN album ‘Love: & A Million Other Things’ via Cherry Red Records


CHROME SEDUCTION Light The Way (1993)

Claudia+SusanneBrücken took a career break to bring up her daughter Maddy, emerging only occasionally to record the odd guest vocal. ‘Light The Way’ with CHROME SEDUCTION was a percussively frantic club number that also saw a reunion with former partner-in-crime Susanne Freytag. The project of Magnus Fiennes, brother of actors Joseph and Ralph, it was independently released by Mother Alpha Delta.

Available on the CLAUDIA BRÜCKEN album ‘ComBined’ via Union Square


THE BRAIN I’ll Find A Way (1996)

THE BRAIN I'll Find A WayThe project of Düsseldorf based DJ Dietmar Andreas Maier, ‘I’ll Find A Way’ was typical of the frantically paced Euro-Trance of the period. Co-written with Michael Mertens, the seed of a PROPAGANDA reunion began with a number of songs demoed but Brücken later announced: “The reunion was worth a try, but did not work out.”

Available on THE BRAIN single ‘I’ll Find A Way’ via BMG


OCEANHEAD Eyemotion (1997)

OCEANHEAD EyemotionContinuing to contribute the occasional guest vocal, ‘Eyemotion’ was a co-write with John Etkin-Bell which coupled a shuffling drum loop with some beautifully chilled out atmospheres. Brücken’s breathy whispers and a muted synthetic brass motif à la PET SHOP BOYS provided the colourful sonics on an elegant piece of downtempo electronica.

Available on the OCEANHEAD single ‘Eyemotion’ via Land Speed Records


CLAUDIA BRÜCKEN & PAUL RUTHERFORD This Is Not America (2000 – not released until 2011)

Joining Paul Humphreys on his solo tour of the US, one of the first recorded fruits of their partnership was a cover of ‘This Is Not America’ featuring a duet with FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD’s Paul Rutherford  A beautifully crafted synthesized tribute to David Bowie & Pat Metheny, it had been intended for a film soundtrack but shelved.

Available on the CLAUDIA BRÜCKEN album ‘ComBined’ via Union Square


APOPTYGMA BERZERK Unicorn – Duet Version (2002)

APOPTYGMA BERZERK HarmonizerA collaboration with Norway’s cult electronic body merchants APOPTYGMA BERZERK, Brücken returned to the more Teutonic overtones that had been evident in PROPAGANDA. In an electronic rework of the heavier guitar focussed original, the combo provided a suitably aggressive but accessible backing track for her to duet with frontman Stephan Groth on ‘Unicorn’.

Available on the APOPTYGMA BERZERK album ‘Harmonizer’ via WEA


ONETWO Cloud 9ine (2004)

ONETWO ItemBrücken formalised her musical partnership with Paul Humphreys and together they named themselves ONETWO. They dusted off a track that had been demoed during the aborted PROPAGANDA reunion. The song in question was ‘Cloud 9ine’, a co-write with Martin Gore which also featured the guitar of DEPECHE MODE’s main songwriter.

Available on the ONETWO EP ‘Item’ via https://theremusic.bandcamp.com/


ANDY BELL with CLAUDIA BRÜCKEN Delicious (2005)

ANDY BELL Electric BlueBrücken joined ERASURE’s Andy Bell to sing on two tracks for his debut solo album ‘Electric Blue’. More club oriented than ERASURE, the long player was produced by THE MANHATTAN CLIQUE who were also part of the ONETWO live band. The call-and-response Hi-NRG stomp of ‘Delicious’ saw Brücken in her most playful mood since ACT despite the bittersweet reflective lyrical nature of the song.

Available on the ANDY BELL album ‘Electric Blue’ via Sanctuary Records


CLAUDIA BRÜCKEN & ANDREW POPPY Libertango (2005)

ANOTHER LANGUAGEBrücken teamed up with former ZTT label mate Andrew Poppy to record a number of stripped back cover versions for her first long form release since 1991. The songs came from bands such as RADIOHEAD and ASSOCIATES, as well as divas like Marianne Faithfull and Kate Bush. One highlight was a suitably dramatic take on ‘Libertango’, better known as ‘I’ve Seen That Face Before’ made famous by Grace Jones.

Available on the CLAUDIA BRÜCKEN & ANDREW POPPY album ‘Another Language’ via http://theremusic.bandcamp.com/


ONETWO Anonymous (2007)

Humphreys and Brücken finally released an album as ONETWO in 2007 and from it was ‘Anonymous’, a song that began life as a demo from the aborted PROPAGANDA reunion co-written with Andy McCluskey. The pretty ringing melodies and elegiac atmospheres were reminiscent of OMD. The collaboration had been unusual as at the time of conception as Humphreys had not yet rejoined his old band.

Available on the ONETWO album ‘Instead’ via https://theremusic.bandcamp.com/


BLANK & JONES Don’t Stop (2008)

BLANK & JONES The Logic of PleasureIn between the aborted PROPAGANDA reunion and ONETWO, Ms Brücken guested with the popular German dance duo on ‘Unknown Treasure’, a most gorgeously shuffled electrobeat ballad. While ‘Unknown Treasure’ was in Brücken’s words, “a real collaboration”, “’Don’t Stop’ was in reverse, they gave me all the music and then I did the words and sent it back to them”.

Available on the BLANK & JONES album ‘The Logic Of Pleasure’ via Soundcolours


CLAUDIA BRÜCKEN & THE REAL TUESDAY WELD The Things I Love (2011)

=LA NoireRockstar Games wanted a German singer for a new game called ‘LA Noire’ soundtracked by THE REAL TUESDAY WELD’s Stephen Coates who in a jazzy cabaret-style music with subtle electronica dubbed Antique Beat. “I thought: why not?” said Brücken, “I found it a really good challenge doing something I hadn’t done before”. ‘The Things I Love’ was the alluring highlight of three songs recorded.

Available on the soundtrack album ‘L.A. Noire’ (V/A) via Rockstar Games


CLAUDIA BRÜCKEN One Summer Dream (2012)

Claudia Brucken One Summer DreamThe B-side to ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA’s ‘Mr Blue Sky’, ‘One Summer Dream’ was the first song to emerge from Brücken’s reinterpretations project with producer Stephen Hague which also included songs by Julee Cruise and David Bowie. It built to a dreamy John Barry influenced ‘Felt Mountain’-era GOLDFRAPP string arrangement.

Available on the CLAUDIA BRÜCKEN album ‘The Lost Are Found’ via There (there)


OMD Kissing The Machine (2013)

OMD-English-ElectricAlthough this co-write by Andy McCluskey and Karl Bartos first appeared in 1993 on the ELEKTRIC MUSIC album ‘Esperanto’, Paul Humphreys completely reworked ‘Kissing The Machine’ from scratch for OMD. “Paul had the idea of asking Claudia to do the vocal in the middle eight” remembered McCluskey… the result was electronic magic.

Available on the OMD album ‘English Electric’ via BMG


CLAUDIA BRÜCKEN Time To Make Changes (2014)

CLAUDIA BRUCKEN Where ElseThe biggest surprise musically on Brücken’s third solo album was her adoption of the acoustic guitar. Working with producer John Owen Williams, the songs dealt with “emotion, beginnings, endings, past life and future hopes”. Like ABBA meeting THE SMITHS in a lush organic backdrop, ‘Time To Make Changes’ very much reflected her personal mindset following the end of her relationship with Paul Humphreys.

Available on the CLAUDIA BRÜCKEN album ‘Where Else…’ via Cherry Red Records


For further information on the upcoming projects of Claudia Brücken, please visit her official website and Facebook page

http://www.claudiabrucken.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/ClaudiaBruckenMusic

https://twitter.com/ClaudiaBrucken1

https://www.instagram.com/claudiabrucken/


Text by Chi Ming Lai
30th July 2016

5 Years of ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK – WHILE MY SYNTH GENTLY BLEEPS

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK celebrates its fifth anniversary and it has been a glorious journey.

The site came into being on 15th March 2010 after the founding team discussed having an online platform to feature the best in new and classic electronic pop music. After weeks of deliberation, the decision to finally launch the site came at the HEAVEN 17 aftershow party for their triumphant gig at The Magna Science Park on 6th March 2010.

That evening, ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK met and chatted with HEAVEN 17’s Glenn Gregory and Martyn Ware, OMD’s Paul Humphreys and Claudia Brücken, best known as the singer of PROPAGANDA… by the end of the year, all four had given insightful interviews to the site.

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK received a major boost in profile in May 2010 when its interview with Paul Humphreys was quoted by The Guardian as part of a news item announcing the release of OMD’s comeback album ‘History Of Modern’.

Key interviews with DUBSTAR and CLIENT’s Sarah Blackwood, LANDSCAPE’s Richard James Burgess, THE ART OF NOISE’s Gary Langan and ULTRAVOX’s Warren Cann also followed. Later in the year, ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK featured promising new act VILE ELECTRODES for the very first time; they were soon to become a stalwart of the UK independent electronic scene.

But the first act to formally be reviewed was MARINA & THE DIAMONDS, reflecting the kooky female fronted keyboard based pop like LA ROUX, LITTLE BOOTS, LADYHAWKE and LADY GAGA that was prevalent at the time. However, there was a changing of the guard on the horizon as new astute male fronted electronic based acts such as HURTS, VILLA NAH and MIRRORS appeared which the site took a keen interest in.

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK has always prided itself in asking the questions that have never usually been asked, but which fans want to know the answers to. And it was with this reputation for intelligent and well researched interviewing that the site was granted its biggest coup yet when it spoke to NEW ORDER’s Stephen Morris. In the ensuing chat, Morris cryptically hinted that Manchester’s finest would return… and that is exactly what happened in Autumn of that year when concerts in aid of the band’s late friend Michael Shamberg were announced.

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK was on a roll in 2011 as OMD’s Andy McCluskey, RECOIL mainman Alan Wilder, BLANCMANGE’s Neil Arthur, Mira Aroyo of LADYTRON, HOWARD JONES, THOMAS DOLBY and DRAMATIS’ Chris Payne all gave interviews. And in rather bizarre throwback to 1981, DURAN DURAN, THE HUMAN LEAGUE and JOHN FOXX released new albums on the same day in March. Meanwhile, up-and-coming acts such as AUSTRA, SOFT METALS, ELEVEN: ELEVEN and QUEEN OF HEARTS made a good first impression.

Events like ‘Return To The Blitz Club’, ‘Short Circuit Presents Mute’, ‘Back To The Phuture – Tomorrow Is Today’, ‘The Electronic Phuture Revue’ and the BEF Weekender reinforced the new found profile for music seeded from the Synth Britannia era and kept the team busy. ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK even found time to curate its own live event featuring VILE ELECTRODES.

2012 paled in comparison after such a fruitful year and several acts who were featured probably would not have gained as much coverage in more competitive periods.

But the year did unearth talents such as CHVRCHES, GAZELLE TWIN, GRIMES, KARIN PARK, TRUST, METROLAND and IAMAMIWHOAMI who were eventually make a lasting impact. During this time though, MIRRORS sadly lost momentum and appeared to wind down after the departure of founder member Ally Young while VILLA NAH mutated into SIN COS TAN.

Ahead of ULTRAVOX’s recorded return with ‘Brilliant’, Billy Currie spoke to ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK and MARSHEAUX headlined a sold out second event with The Blitz Club’s legendary DJ Rusty Egan as its special guest. EDM was also becoming big news internationally. But ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK stood its ground and showed little interest in this largely repetitive sub-genre as parties within the industry desperately tried to centralise synthpop and dance music with misguided promotional campaigns such as ‘Electrospective’. It was quite obvious the industry was struggling to come to terms with a changing marketplace, as well as failing to distinguish between dance music and electronic pop.

Contrary to general perception that music using synthesizers was 80s, ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK maintained a stance that electronic pop music didn’t start in that decade and certainly didn’t end there either. In fact, there was even an editorial diktat that banned its writers from using that horrific and lazy term of reference.

80s is neither an instrumentation style or a genre of music… tellingly, several PR representatives told ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK that one of the site’s main appeals was that it avoided the whole nostalgia bent as represented by events such as ‘Here & Now’ and other media, both virtual and physical.

What ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK did in 2013 would take up a whole article in itself… 2013 turned out to be one of the best years for electronic pop since 1981.  Interviews with ALISON MOYET, GARY NUMAN, KARL BARTOS, MARNIE, ADULT. and MISS KITTIN confirmed the site’s impact. There was even a radio show with Rusty Egan which ran for 25 programmes on dance station Mi-Soul.

Meanwhile new releases from OMD, NINE INCH NAILS, BEF, PET SHOP BOYS, GOLDFRAPP, MESH, MARSHEAUX, SIN COS TAN, POLLY SCATTERGOOD and VISAGE reflected the vibrancy of the modern electronic scene.

But the biggest recognition of how influential the site had become was when VILE ELECTRODES were chosen to support OMD after being spotted by Andy McCluskey while he was perusing the site’s webpages.

Over the years, ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK has written about a number of talents whose promise was never fully realised despite producing great music… THE SOUND OF ARROWS, SUNDAY GIRL, KATJA VON KASSEL and THE VANITY CLAUSE all featured several times, but timing and in the cases of the first three, record company interference stifled potential. Whether signed or independent, nothing can be guaranteed in the today’s music world.

Although the year started tremendously with an invitation to ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK to meet KARL BARTOS and WOLFGANG FLÜR in Cologne, 2014 suffered next to quality of 2013.

But  more key figures from the Synth Britannia era were  interviewed including MIDGE URE, ex-CABARET VOLTAIRE frontman Stephen Mallinder and the often forgotten man of the period JO CALLIS, who was a key member of THE HUMAN LEAGUE during their imperial phase.

For the 25th Anniversary of DEPECHE MODE’s ‘101’, Alan Wilder spoke exclusively to ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK about how that live document became a major game changer for the band. And at his autobiography launch in London, Bernard Sumner revealed that NEW ORDER’s next album would be more electronic than the band’s last couple of offerings. Meanwhile, SUSANNE SUNDFØR’s various collaborations with RÖYKSOPP and KLEERUP enhanced her profile in readiness for ‘Ten Love Songs’, her most accomplished work yet. Also riding high were Glasgow’s ANALOG ANGEL with their third album ‘Trinity’ and a support tour with Swedish veterans COVENANT in 2015 was their reward.

The live circuit was vibrant and there was a third event which had a DEPECHE MODE flavour thanks to tribute band SPEAK & SPELL playing ‘Speak & Spell’ and ‘101’ sets. There was also a DJ set by Sarah Blackwood plus a special memorabilia exhibition curated by Deb Danahay, co-founder of the first official DM Information Service. At the same event VILE ELECTRODES celebrated the first anniversary of their debut album ‘The future through a lens’ having snapped up two Schallwelle awards in Germany for ‘Best International Album’ and ‘Best International Artist’.

As 2015 settles in, highly regarded acts within the electronic community continue to engage with The Electricity Club. German trio CAMOUFLAGE used an edit of ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK’s career retrospective on the band as liner notes for their CD ‘The Singles’. Meanwhile studio legend John Fryer, who worked with FAD GADGET, DEPECHE MODE, COCTEAU TWINS and NINE INCH NAILS, also stopped by for a chat as did BLANCMANGE’s Neil Arthur, securing a site record with his fourth interview for the site.

Newer artists over the last few years as varied as FEATHERS, KID MOXIE, HANNAH PEEL, I AM SNOW ANGEL, TWINS NATALIA, NIGHT CLUB, PAWWS, MACHINISTA, QUIETER THAN SPIDERS, PRIEST and TRAIN TO SPAIN have proved that electronic music is still very much alive. ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK appears to have reflected the interests of people who love the Synth Britannia era and have a desire to hear new music rooted in that ilk. 🙂

While things cannot carry on for ever, there is a belief that there is much more excellent music still to be created and discovered.

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK gives its warmest thanks to all who have contributed over the last five years, be they writers, musicians, commentators, photographers, artists or models And a big thank you to everyone who has taken the time read an article on the site


Text by Chi Ming Lai
14th March 2015

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK’s 30 SONGS OF 2014

wasp TECWith a less intense release schedule than last year, it was a bit more straightforward to choose the songs of 2014.

Whereas 2013 had a short list of 45 songs, 2014 was closer to 35 although not the struggle to find 30 as was the case in 2012.

So just missing out are CLIENT, KLEERUP and TODD TERJE featuring Bryan Ferry, although not by much.

As usual, they are listed in alphabetical order and all have been released either in physical formats, or digitally as purchasable or free downloads during the calendar year. Thus although the excellent video for LIEBE’s ‘I Believe In You’ gained traction on MTV Europe in 2014, the song was actually released in 2013.

Tracks which are exclusive to streams, videos or DJ only promos are also not included; so QUIETER THAN SPIDERS ‘The Land Of Lost Content’ is not eligible. Limited to one song per artist moniker, here are the 30 Songs of 2014…


ANALOG ANGEL The Last Time

Analog Angel trinityThe transformation of Glaswegians ANALOG ANGEL in the last 18 months has been startling. From their third album ‘Trinity’, its closer ‘The Last Time’ was a big surprise, featuring a cinematic arrangement involving an orchestra cascading into an epic Pan-European journey heading eastwards. Recalling THE SISTERS OF MERCY’s ‘This Corrosion’, the virtual symphonic strings and gothic choirs gave an indication as to what OMD might have sounded like if Jim Steinman had been producing!

Available on the download album ‘Trinity’ via http://analog-angel.bandcamp.com/

http://www.analog-angel.com/


MARGARET BERGER Scream

Margaret-Berget-Scream‘Scream’ launched MARGARET BERGER’s first album ‘New Religion’ since 2006’s ‘Pretty Scary Silver Fairy’ although as yet, the new opus has yet to emerge. The Norwegian Idol finalist effectively revived her career with ‘I Feed You My Love’ which came fourth in Eurovision 2013. ‘Scream’ saw her continuing the ROBYN meets DEPECHE MODE template of her Eurovision smash and possessed an inherent industrialised darkness in an approach to quality pop that set itself apart.

Available as a download single via iTunes Norway through Macho Records

http://www.margaretberger.com/


CLAUDIA BRÜCKEN Nevermind

CLAUDIA BRUCKEN-NevermindThe original first lady of cinematic electronic pop surprised everyone when she appeared on the cover of her third album ‘Where Else…’ with a guitar strapped to her back. But while the record had a folk and blues influence, the synthesized textures that Ms Brücken has been best known for were still very much part of the package. The launch single ‘Nevermind’ could be seen as a musical reply to OMD’s ‘Stay With Me’. A lovely mix of electronics and acoustic, she appears to be driven by a new artistic zest.

Available on the album ‘Where Else…’ via Cherry Red Records

http://www.claudiabrucken.co.uk


DAVIDGE featuring EMI GREEN Sleepwalking

DAVIDGE SleepwalkingDAVIDGE is best known for his work with MASSIVE ATTACK and has been involved in game and film soundtracks for many years. His first solo album ‘Slo Light’ was an impressive debut, containing many of the elements that marked his work with the Bristolian triphoppers. ‘Sleepwalking’ was a haunting number beautifully voiced by EMI GREEN which recalled the ethereal quality of COCTEAU TWINS’ Elizabeth Fraser and the electronically assisted Weimer Cabaret of ‘Felt Mountain’ era GOLDFRAPP.

Available on the album ‘Slo Light’ via 7Hz Recordings

http://www.neildavidge.com/


ERASURE Be The One (Paul Humphreys Remix)

ERASURE VioletFlameFollowing the disappointment of 2011’s FRANKMUSIK driven ‘Tomorrow’s World’, ‘The Violet Flame’ produced by Richard X saw ERASURE express an infectious zest for the future. The songs began with pre-recorded dance grooves from Vince Clarke as represented by the euphoric opening track ‘Dead Of Night’. The best number from the package turned out to be a ballad remixed by Paul Humphreys who added some of the beautiful Synth-Werk magic that characterised OMD’s ‘English Electric’ to ‘Be The One’.

Available on the boxed set edition of ‘The Violet Flame’ via Mute Artists / Pledge Music

http://www.erasureinfo.com


FEATHERS Wild Love

Released in time for their DEPECHE MODE support tour in Europe, ‘Wild Love’ was far more dance-oriented than anything FEATHERS attempted on their debut album ‘If All Now Here’. While a heavy beat dominated, the essential component of a song remained, building to a suitably epic chorus providing that euphoric lift. The gated trance elements in the second chorus were a particular highlight, especially when backed by a screeching falsetto counterpoint. But just as it got going, it faded out!

Available on the download EP ‘Only One’ via http://feathers.bandcamp.com/album/only-one

http://www.feathers.fm/


GAZELLE TWIN Exorcise

GAZELLE TWIN Unflesh artThe moniker of Elizabeth Bernholz, GAZELLE TWIN has acquired an impressive host of admirers including JOHN FOXX, GARY NUMAN and CLINT MANSELL. Her second album ‘Unflesh’ has allowed the Brighton based songstress to extract her demons with some artistic violence. One of the highlights ‘Exorcise’ was an impressively aggressive cross between PINK FLOYD’s ‘One The Run’ and KRAFTWERK’s ‘Home Computer’. Its uneasy resonance was aided by Bernholz’s harsh, deadpan commentary.

Available on the album ‘Unflesh’ via Anti-Ghost Moon Ray

http://www.gazelletwin.com/


GIRL ONE & THE GREASE GUNS No Longer Spellbound

GIRLONE-no-longer-spellboundThis mysterious combo with their lo-fi noise and motorik beats have revealed a series of energetic singles over the past two years including ‘Jessica 6’, a frantic salvo sounding like THE PIPETTES fronting an OMD assisted JOY DIVISION. But GIRL ONE & THE GREASE GUNS revealed a much softer side with ‘No Longer Spellbound’. With its beautiful atmospheric quality smothered in icy synth strings and grainy vox samples, if ‘Twins Peaks’ had been set in The Lake District, then the theme tune might sound a like this.

Available on the download EP ‘No Longer Spellbound’ via Squirrel Records

http://www.squirrelrecords.co.uk/girl-one-and-the-grease-guns/


HERCULES & LOVE AFFAIR feat JOHN GRANT I Try To Talk To You

Imagine Jim Morrison getting it on down at The Danceteria circa 1982! ‘I Try To Talk To You’ featuring the expansive baritone vocals of JOHN GRANT combined the best of classic New York electro disco and grand piano theatrics with an emotively soulful vocal. The courageous lyrics found Grant recalling when he discovered he was HIV positive. “I asked John to dig deep with his lyrical contribution” recalls HERCULES & LOVE AFFAIR mainman Andy Butler, “I had no idea he would dig so deep”.

Available on the album ‘The Feast Of The Broken Heart’ via Moshi Moshi

http://herculesandloveaffair.net/

http://johngrantmusic.com/


HUGH I Can’t Figure You Out

‘I Can’t Figure You Out’ sounds like another product of Scandinavia but in fact, HUGH hail from South London. The captivating, naive lead vocal from Izzy Brooks states “you know just how I feel” as she makes handle with care pleas like “don’t toy with me” and “careful with my heart” while the intensity builds like a pressure cooker. And this is all before a time signature change and some frustrating despair is released with her spirited jazzy refrain of “No, I can’t figure you out!” Now, who hasn’t been here before?

Available on the download EP ‘I Can’t Figure You Out’ via Hughlovehugh

http://hughmusic.co.uk/


IAMAMIWHOAMI Hunting For Pearls

IAMAMIWHOAMI, the electronic multimedia project fronted by Jonna Lee and produced by Claes Björklund returned with their second opus ‘Blue’. ‘Hunting For Pearls’ featured wonderfully pulsing sequences and trancey atmospheres, coupled with a beautifully rich vocal from Lee. With a mysterious falsetto reach, the air may be cold outside but inside, things are warm. If KATE BUSH made a modern electronic dance record at ABBA’s Polar Studios, it would probably sound like this.

Available on the album ‘Blue’ via towhomitmayconcern

http://www.towhomitmayconcern.cc/


I AM SNOW ANGEL Let Me Go

Deep from within the Adirondack Mountains comes the beautifully gentle electronica of I AM SNOW ANGEL. The self-produced vehicle of singer / songwriter Julie Kathryn, the music evokes images of icy landscapes and crystalline hydro basins. The best track from her debut EP, ‘Let Me Go’ is rich in understatement and a Nordic styled tour de force swathed in melancholy, full of dreamy escapism. The full length album ‘Crocodile’ released in the Autumn did not disappoint either with its quietly subversive nature.

Available on the download EP ‘I Am Snow Angel’ via Amazon

http://iamsnowangel.com/


KID MOXIE Lacuna

Kid-Moxie-1888With a breathier, more continental direction towards cinematic pop, The Kid effectively grew up with her second album ‘1888’. KID MOXIE’s widescreen soundscapes and dreamy demeanour saw a much more focussed work. ‘Lacuna’ means “an empty space” yet this song is filled with an enigmatic mystery as Elena Charbila applied some of the je nais se quoi first piloted on 2008’s ‘La Romance D’Hiver’ to the drifting, almost abstract electronic soundscape… and then there’s the pretty isolated piano ending!

Available on the download album ‘1888’ via Undo Records

http://www.facebook.com/kidmoxie


KLEERUP featuring SUSANNE SUNDFØR Let Me In

Having delivered one of the best synth based debut albums in recent years, any new KLEERUP recording now lives with a high degree of expectation. ‘Let Me In’ featuring SUSANNE SUNDFØR, who voiced several tracks on RÖYKSOPP’s ‘The Inevitable End’ album, came over like KARIN PARK if she had joined latter day ROXY MUSIC. Retaining the original appeal of KLEERUP’s debut, ‘Let Me In’ was brilliantly classic and yet modern with its more organic template and even funky template.

Available on the download EP ‘As If We Never Won’ via Warner Music

http://kleerup.net/


MACHINISTA Pushing The Angels Astray

MACHINISTA’s pairing of John Lindqwister and Richard Flow specialise in synthpop with a rock’n’roll edge. Their best offering from their debut album ‘Xenoglossy’ was the schaffel propelled ‘Pushing The Angels Astray’. Despite discussing the spectre of immortality, the sombre aura was balanced with a marvellous melodic line and fabulous chorus like ALPHAVILLE in their prime. The Nordic region continually shows how electronic music is done and many could do a lot worse than to observe how MACHINISTA go about their craft.

Available on the download album ‘Xenoglossy’ via Juggernaut Music Group

http://www.machinistamusic.com/


MARNIE Wolves

marnie_wolves_rsReleased in the week of the Scottish Independence Referendum, MARNIE’s ‘Wolves’ was an appropriately soaring anthem “for anyone that doesn’t believe in sticking with the status quo, for anyone who has the heart to try and make a difference”. Certainly, the positive response she received for her debut long player ‘Crystal World’ and a return to her homeland has no doubt inspired her own independence. But with MARNIE due to release a second solo album in 2015, what does this all mean for LADYTRON?

Available as a download single via Les Disques du Crépuscule

http://www.helenmarnie.com


METROLAND Thalys

thalys‘Trans Europe Express’ 21st Century style as Belgium’s favourite passengers METROLAND embarked on a maroon coloured rail journey through France and Germany via the Benelux basin on ‘Thalys’. The full length 11 minute version rhythmitised metal on metal while there were also London, Paris and Düsseldorf edits in this musical tie-in with the Thalys high speed train operator.

Available on the download EP ‘Thalys (London)’ via Alfa Matrix

http://www.metrolandmusic.com/


NIGHT CLUB She Wants To Play With Fire

Frisky vocalist Emily Kavanaugh and moody producer Mark Brooks began writing songs as NIGHT CLUB with the goal of creating dark – yet commercially accessible – synthpop. Developing on the Britney gone electro goth sound of their glorious 2013 single ‘Poisonous’, ‘She Wants To Play With Fire’ treaded on the darker, sleazy side of life and dysfunctional relationships with Kavanaugh out to take on her demented love rival.

Available on the download EP ‘Black Leather Heart’ via Gato Blanco

http://www.nightclubband.com


KARIN PARK Look What You’ve Done

KARIN PARK Look What You've DoneIssued as a trailer for her new album ‘Apocalypse Pop’, ‘Look What You’ve Done’ is a feisty development of ‘Restless’ from KARIN PARK’s previous album ‘Highwire Poetry’. Wrestling within a fiery glam schaffel and a catchy chorus like an angry GOLDFRAPP, with THE KNIFE venturing into more uncompromising climes, the ‘other’ Karin ably fills the void now left vacant by the Drejers in avant pop. ‘Look What You’ve Done’ is a fine example of the Swede’s ambition to fit into both pop and experimental worlds.

Available as a download single via State Of The Eye Recordings

http://www.karinpark.com/


PAWWS Give You Love

pawws-sugarWith LITTLE BOOTS having gone dance and LA ROUX veering away from synthpop, there is now a vacancy for a new kooky homegrown female synth talent. One of the possible candidates is PAWWS, otherwise known on her passport as Lucy Taylor. She has labelled her music “upsetting disco” and ‘Give You Love’ lives up to that description. Certainly those who prefer their music with rough edges and are averse to female fronted synthpop will have their touch paper lit even further with this exquisite pop number.

Available on the download EP ‘Sugar’ via Best Fit Recordings

https://www.pawwsmusic.co.uk


HANNAH PEEL Fabricstate

Since playing with JOHN FOXX, HANNAH PEEL’s own music has used more electronics alongside her beloved violin, musicbox, piano and trombone. ‘Fabricstate’ starts as a beautiful understated number before being bolstered by an unexpected but amazing whirring synth solo around a series of percussive clusters. When the warmth of the synthesizer is exploited and coupled with a classically trained background, the hybrid can result in a quietly subversive organic and technological fusion.

Available on the download EP ‘Fabricstate’ via My Own Pleasure

http://www.hannahpeel.com


FIFI RONG Next Pursuit

One musician taking electronic music into some intriguing fusions is Beijing born FIFI RONG. ‘Next Pursuit’ crosses the vocal mystery of KELLI ALI and the quirkiness of MOLOKO while throwing in a touch of LANA DEL REY and MAZZY STAR too. Crucially, the intriguingly soulful ‘Next Pursuit’ also adds in rhythmical variation as the rhythms click into action during the higher register vocal refrains while the verses are held together with a smokey allure.

Available on the download EP ‘Next Pursuit’ via Ditto Music

http://www.fifirong.com


ROBYN & RÖYKSOPP Monument (The Inevitable End Version)

ROYKSOPP ROBYNEdited and rethought for ‘The Inevitable End’ album, ‘Monument’ was originally a spacey 10 minute epic now tightened to a more bite size and dare one say it, more enjoyable format sans saxophone over a hypnotic two chord structure. As usual, ROBYN’s vocals are edgy and nonchalant while RÖYKSOPP’s electronic soundtrack ably hit the spot with its energized octave-jumping bassline.

Available on the album ‘The Inevitable End’ via Dog Triumph / Cooking Vinyl

http://royksopp.com/

http://robyn.com/


SIN COS TAN Love Sees No Colour

SIN COS TAN Love SeeWith their third album in as many years, Finnish duo SIN COS TAN went the concept album route for ‘Blown Away’, a midlife crisis story of a man who becomes a drug courier and goes on a journey of excess, fast money and hedonism. First single ‘Love Sees No Colour’ dressed NEW ORDER’s love technique in an OMD stylee with the result being a kaleidoscopic tune that managed to mix sunshine with melancholy.

Available on the album ‘Blown Away’ via Solina Records

http://sincostan.net/


SUSANNE SUNDFØR Fade Away

Susanne Sundfør - fade awayThe Nordic vocalist of the moment has to be SUSANNE SUNDFØR who has worked with M83 and KLEERUP. But she is probably best known for her work with fellow Norwegians RÖYKSOPP. Propelled by a pulsing electronic backbone, ‘Fade Away’ from Sundfør’s forthcoming album ‘Ten Love Songs’ sees her in rousing form with a tune that at times sounds almost like Scandinavian gospel. Meanwhile, a fabulous synth solo gets thrown into the bargain too.

Available as a download single via Sonnet Sound / Kobalt

http://susannesundfor.com/


TRUST Peer Pressure

One act establishing themselves in 2014 were TRUST from Toronto. Led by the polarising “Eeyore gone goth” moodiness of Robert Alfons, the ironically titled ‘Joyland’ was a excellent second album that captured the sleazy nature of a 21st Century SOFT CELL and attached it to the grumpiness of LEONARD COHEN. ‘Peer Pressure’ was a frantic but funky uptempo number featuring Alfon’s trademark vocal pitch shift technique that proved misery and dancing could actually go together.

Available on the album ‘Joyland’ via Arts & Crafts

http://ttrustt.com/


TWINS NATALIA Set Love Free

Touchingly melancholic with classic Weimar Cabaret melodies and vibrant Kling Klang interplay, TWINS NATALIA conjured up memories of holiday romances with pretty German frauleins and flirty French mademoiselles. Debut long player ‘The Destiny Room’ was many years in the making and did not disappoint. With the PET SHOP BOYS styled neo-orchestrated statement of ‘Set Love Free’, the song theatrically climaxed like a pomped up ‘Rent’ as a wonderful slice of joie de vivre to finish the main act.

Available on the album ‘The Destiny Room’ via Anna Logue Records

http://twinsnatalia.blogspot.de/


MIDGE URE Dark, Dark Night

MIDGE URE fragileWhile the romantically uptempo ‘Become’ was inevitably the focal point of MIDGE URE’s ‘Fragile’ album, there were other songs that were easily its equal. The most notable of these was ‘Dark, Dark Night’, an online collaboration with MOBY. Though derived from ‘Rockets’ on MOBY’s ‘Destroyed’ opus, Ure exploited the original’s rich symphonic string sounds and chilled vibes. Building to an amazing climax with melodic screeches and a tremendous guitar solo from Ure, this was a partnership made in heaven.

Available on the album ‘Fragile’ via Hypertension Music

http://www.midgeure.co.uk/


VILE ELECTRODES Pandora’s Box

VILE ELECTRODES Pandoras BoxVILE ELECTRODES capitalised on their profile from supporting OMD’s German tour in 2013 by snaring prestigious Schallwelle Awards for Best International Act and Best International Album for their debut ‘The future through a lens’. ‘Pandora’s Box’ was an excellent previously unreleased song full of wobbling analogue vigour that initially came with the lavish ‘Pack Of Wolves’ three CD package and set the scene for a much anticipated follow-up long player.

Available on the download EP ‘Empire Of Wolves’ via http://vileelectrodes.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/vileelectrodes


WRANGLER Lava Land

WRANGLER’s manifesto is to harness “lost technology to make new themes for the modern world”. And their signature track is ‘Lava Land’, a superb cross between CABARET VOLTAIRE and prime ‘Metamatic’ era JOHN FOXX but with a modern twist. Stephen Mallinder’s voice manipulations range from demonic gargoyle to stern drowning robot. The frantic pace is strangely danceable, but the mood is distinctly unsettling and dystopian when the screeching steam powered Logan string machine kicks in.

Available on the album ‘LA Spark’ via MemeTune

https://www.facebook.com/mallinderbengewinter


Text by Chi Ming Lai
Wasp photo by Chi Ming Lai
15th December 2014

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