Send me your track



This is possibly the most pointless record I’ve heard in probably just over a year. When one heard that Vince Clarke and Martin Gore were working together again, it is difficult to escape the fancy notion that we would heard two of Britain’s most successful synthpop musicians putting their talents together in an alchemic fashion for some technopop nuggets, revisiting the glory of their early times or perhaps trying to put together some new ideas for a new generation of listeners. Clarke’s not been active in popular music for some time and Depeche Mode haven’t made a decent record in over a decade), so perhaps the form was actually a good guide here.


What we get is an unusually flaccid attempt at falling in with the Cadenza/Berlin/M_nus sound. This is the sort of thing I get sent by someone on soundcloud sharing their attempt at the latest sound in house music privately to 5965 people having just obtained a cracked version of Fruity Loops. Put simply it’s bollocks. Or perhaps I should rephrase that - it’s really quite spectacular bollocks considering the talents of the people who are making it. 

So what’s wrong with it?  Put simply, it sounds like it’s been made by people who had a great night at a techno club for the first time in their life and then decided to make some of it themselves. You can imagine the two of them staggering out of Berghain together arm-in-arm at around 1pm on a Sunday afternoon saying “Yeah Vince that was amazing - Andre Galluzzi was so great wasn’t he! Hell, let’s get back together and make some music. Like that!”  

It’s aimed square at the dancefloor, which in itself is not something to critcise whatsoever, but there’s absolutely no subtlety or nuance which is surprising given the potential calibre. One might expect with the delicate melodic shifts that Gore had with Depeche Mode to hear a bit of deviation from what is a one-way trip down a rather obvious spectrum of dystopian noises. To my mind, this is like David Guetta but just reshaped with darker, less exciting undertones. It takes pretty much every single dancefloor dynamic for minimal house that you’ve heard from Hawtin et al in the last 5 years, layered a few arpeggiated riffs over the top of it and then, bish bash bosh, a few mini-climaxes, some stompy bits and the faint hint of melody and there you have it.  The album equivalent of reading up about something on Wikipedia or listening to a few tunes on youtube  and then bashing it out in about a week, helped by some major studio assistance.

There are faint scintillas of the classic Gore/Clarke melodies of yore - “Bendy Bass” for the most part is an atrocious techno by numbers without any of the fun of Kompakt, yet contains just a small whiff of a melody. It’s not enough though. “Recycle” is perhaps the only one of the 10 tracks here that rises above the clunky morass that makes up this tepid shitfest, and even then it’s not worth more than one listen.  The major problem with “SSSSS” is that it just sounds like two middle-aged men turning up to a party, taking their tops off, getting all excited and playing shit music 10 years out of date.

Toby Frith


Reader Comments (3)

Enjoyed reading this. A slating is always more fun to read than a positive review. Despite being the biggest DM fan since the age of 8, I'm tempted to agree based on what I've heard of this project.

March 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterErik

spot on slating, comparison with hawtin is actually flattering for this proggy "shitfest"

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterschrauff

he he...I love the image of them emerging from the club "inspired" by yoof..

March 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJean Michel Genre

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