❚ ESSEX BOYS DEPECHE MODE TODAY offer an audio stream exclusively at Facebook as a taster for the release of their newest compilation album titled Remixes 2: 81–11, through Mute Records on June 6. Both of the early members of the band have contributed tracks to the album which covers three decades of music. Songwriter and synth pioneer Vince Clarke, who established DM’s identity in 1981 as the first techno-pop clubbers to break the UK charts, has remixed Behind The Wheel; and Alan Wilder has remixed In Chains. He took Vince’s place in the lineup from 1982, but in 1995 regretfully departed to pursue production and his solo project Recoil.
The mainstays of today’s band remain Dave Gahan (vocalist, who not long ago told Interview magazine “Depeche Mode music somehow appeals to the oddball”), Martin Gore (keyboards, here telling BBC 6Music about the places in the world that were crucial to Depeche Mode’s history — and the problem with the UK), plus Andrew Fletcher (keyboards and on-off manager). Depeche Mode are without doubt one of the greatest of British alternative bands, whose sound and image have grown darker and more provocative with the years. They boast 48 UK hit singles and international album sales said to total 100 million, among which 12 titles were studio recordings and four live.
The new release (left) comes in various formats: a three-disc version holds 37 remixed tracks, while a one-disc version has 13, spanning the decades from the 1981 debut Speak and Spell, through to 2009’s Sounds Of The Universe. Purists will welcome the 6 x 12-inch vinyl LP box set.
See the tracklistings at Depeche Mode’s news page.
❏ Today at Facebook all 3,456,660 fans of the band’s page must have been attempting hear the free stream simultaneously because for a long while it became impossible to join up and listen to the Alex Metric Remix of Martin Gore’s 1989 song Personal Jesus. To ease the pain for DM fans who don’t belong to Facebook, here’s a quick clip:
❏ Update April 4 — Since last Monday 56,290 people have sampled the Alex Metric Remix just mentioned. Today, another track is being streamed free at Facebook from DM’s upcoming album, with more to follow on future Mondays. Here’s a taste of Martin Gore’s 1987 number Never Let Me Down Again in its Eric Prydz Remix:
❏ On May 14 Martin Gore and Andrew Fletcher will be playing DJ sets at Short Circuit which is a two-day celebration at London’s Roundhouse of Mute’s influence as a label, featuring performances, workshops, screenings and installations by its artists who include Erasure and Alison Moyet on the Saturday. Friday May 13 has Mute founder Daniel Miller deejaying as well as Moby, plus Richie Hawtin, Recoil, Nitzer Ebb and other acts.
➢ Visit Ballad of a Thin Man in The New York Times T Magazine, March 11 — more skinny looks on Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Bryan Ferry, David Johansen and other godfathers of glam