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Depeche Mode.


max renn
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12 minutes ago, StephenM said:

 

Haha did you (or anyone) actually watch the thing in full? A journo asked the Alan question and it was the most awkward thing I've seen in a while.

I didn't watch it all, I skipped through to the snippets and then instantly regretted listening to them. They may be a small part of great songs, hearing them out of context spoils things somewhat and makes me less excited for the final product.

 

I agree that there was absolutely no need for a press conference to announce something that's a long way off.

From a purely marketing and fan base interaction point of view one thing they haven't really done is move with the times.

 

Artists drop surprise singles or albums without notice these days. DM probably still think that journalists from Smash Hits, Sounds and Record Mirror are in the audience at their press conference, ready to send their stories back to head office via fax before the presses roll.

 

As one of the comments on the official DM forum said, it seemed like "another day at the office" for them.

 

It must be difficult for them to drum up enough hype to get new followers these days, they're basically in "maintenance mode" of the fan base.

I would imagine that 90% of people who'll buy the new album are fans like me who would buy it anyway even if it was an hour of them playing kazoos while Andy Fletcher beatboxes.

 

I shouldn't sound so negative, I'm actually really looking forward to it.

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Was in Tallinn a few weeks back, just off the old square they had a DM bar where they exclusively played DM songs and had them on repeat on all the TVs. Apparently they're massive over there. Loads of pictures on the walls of the band visiting the bar over the years. They mostly played all the old classic stuff though, Enjoy the Silence and all that. 

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  • 3 months later...

Well the new single is out and it's a bit shit on first listen. I was hoping the new producer would help bring back the sound that had been lacking since Alan left but it sounds like a b side from any of the last 3 albums. Lyrics are pretty trite too.

Maybe I need to give it a few goes before commenting properly but first impressions are not good. The last album really did grow on me so maybe this will.

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Anton's artwork is shockingly bad now. He's really phoning it in for DM these days.

It's not fair to expect people to remain consistent throughout their careers but it's not even remotely comparable to his iconic work of the violator era.

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Sounds a bit like Depeche Mode. 

 

Im a huge fan but this could have come from any of the previous Hillier albums and although there was a few gems among those this would not have been one of them. Certainly isn't a lead single. 

 

I think I'm just resigned now to the fact that this is what they sound like now and Martin Gore just likes distorted guitars over everything. 

 

As for Corbijn, yeah his stuff has been poop since Playing The Angel. Clearing out the garage recently, I found the Violator tour programme and the 'Strangers' book. It may be nostalgia but that stuff is so iconic and beautiful.  

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Wrong was a great lead single - It was quite original and fresh, and the video was great too (and without Anton).

 

After a few more listens this is growing on me a bit but it's still too reminiscent of the last 3 albums. The synths have that crunchy distortion that make them sound like a low bitrate mp3 that really defined the Hillier era. Same goes for Dave's voice. (Listening on a decent hi-fi via Spotify premium).

 

It's fairly catchy if unoriginal, but the "the train is coming, the engine's humming" bit is piss poor, even when compared to previous lyrics including rhyming houses with trousers.

 

There's still no news of physical versions, b-sides/remixes or an official video. It's pretty obvious that they rushed this out as a single to cash in on the whole "Revolution" angle but whilst tensions are still high they were about a week too late.

 

I can't get over that awful artwork either.

 

They've always been pretty bad at actually getting news out, even via their official site. It has links to buy the album but very little else in the way of info.

 

Sorry for the negativity - As a lifelong DM fan I always feel short-changed when they aren't at their best. I am looking forward to the album and it'll be a day one purchase for me. Fingers crossed that this is one of the weaker tracks.

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I've nothing against the Hillier style that they seem to be sticking with, but the new song is just good (not great). I won't be skipping it on the album, but won't be adding it to any playlists either.

 

It's funny -- so many DM fans had this attitude of 'They need to stop singing about the same things' but, now they're singing about something else, I just wish they hadn't bothered.

 

Bring on the souls and the angels and the shame and the guilt already.

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2 hours ago, englishbob said:

Time to burn your idols fellas

I'll give the album a few listens before giving up on them. I've spent most of my teenage years and all my adult life loving their work so can't just write them off completely.

 

One bad single should not be the end, even if it does have that cringeworthy "the train is coming" bit. Every time I hear the single I like it a little more, until it gets to that part.

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5 hours ago, StephenM said:

It's funny -- so many DM fans had this attitude of 'They need to stop singing about the same things' but, now they're singing about something else, I just wish they hadn't bothered.

I never had an issue with the content of the lyrics over the last few albums. OK, Martin does have a tendency to be a bit "rhyming dictionary" at times but the whole tortured soul bit suited them. My main issue is the samey samey sound and production.

 

I think a lot of fans (myself included) were expecting the new producer to get away from the Hillier sound and do something new. Maybe the sound of the last few albums isn't Hillier, maybe it's just how DM themselves want it to sound and Hillier just helped them to turn it into a record. If this new album has the same monotone feel to it then that could well be the case.

 

Oh well, only a few weeks to wait before we find out.

 

 

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1 hour ago, cubik said:

 Maybe the sound of the last few albums isn't Hillier, maybe it's just how DM themselves want it to sound and Hillier just helped them to turn it into a record.

 

 

I think it's this. And I love Playing The Angel, I think that's very solid.

 

Production-wise the single sounds a fraction cleaner and they've done those Violator-style background guitars on verse two.

 

But for a real change of pace I'd love to hear what a production as clean as Exciter - but with stronger songs - sounds like. I don't think we'll ever know. 

 

Still: Depeche Mode, will buy on release and go to at least one gig on the run. 

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25 minutes ago, StephenM said:

Still: Depeche Mode, will buy on release and go to at least one gig on the run. 

This sums up most fans, we'll buy anything that's released. I know I will, whether it's good bad or indifferent.

New fans will be few and far between but you could say that about any band that's been around that long.

 

I suppose even a half hearted DM release is still something to look forward to. I can't expect them to be banging out work as good as Violator after all this time.

6 weeks to go!

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  • 4 weeks later...

I much prefer the chorus in this remix:

 

 

There used to be a site called DMRemix.be (the guy behind it still has a YouTube channel, but with far less content), and it was an amazing resource for fan remixes. Dominatrix is the most well-known, but I loved a lot of the stuff from Island and Great Grey Owl. Looking at my folder now, I've 76 original songs, with 74 covers, instrumentals and remixes. I think I prefer at least one remix to all of those originals save a handful (Enjoy the Silence, Little 15, Black Celebration, Halo, See You...).

 

It's an odd situation where they've tried to move on and we — as fans — can't get away from their days of symphonic dystopian warmth. When that's reinjected, as above, it seems familiar. And I'm not one of those anti-guitar weirdos, 'cause I love this:

 

 

Precious, Damaged People and Lilian all had the synths back out on Playing the Angel, but it's like they're scared of 'em now.

 

Just finally, I found this video of Alan really quite sad. He's obviously wealthy and had the luxury of effectively retiring young, but so much of his talent was wasted. I'm not a great fan of Recoil, but as a once-over guy I suspect he was — as the relative outsider — the closest thing to an official remixer in music. And then this.

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19 hours ago, Escaped said:

Just finally, I found this video of Alan really quite sad. He's obviously wealthy and had the luxury of effectively retiring young, but so much of his talent was wasted. I'm not a great fan of Recoil, but as a once-over guy I suspect he was — as the relative outsider — the closest thing to an official remixer in music. And then this.

 

Recoil were always a bit "technically great but difficult to enjoy a full album". A few moments of quality but too many "art school" guest vocalists and not something you'd listen to over and over again that would make you smile.

 

It's a shame really, Alan is hugely talented, but wasn't necessarily the utter creative force behind DM that some think he was. Where he shone though was attention to detail - along with producers like Flood he had a knack of helping to take Martin's demos and polish them within an inch of their life into something amazing. He's also the guy who turned Enjoy the Silence from a ballad to the greatest pop song ever made. He is still missed, massively.

 

They pretty much fell out due to Alan feeling that he had not being given the credit he deserved for his input over the years.

Rather than stropping off to live a hermit style existence, I wish he'd taken a full time producer role which would have given him the credit he so obviously craved, and still allowed him to work his magic.

 

Regarding the Revolution remixes, as with most DM mixes over the last four albums, they're initially a bit meh. What's weird was I found the timing a bit off on most of them, like the vocals of the chorus were one beat behind (or ahead of) the drums if that makes sense.

It doesn't help that my hi-fi is currently packed away due to decorating so I've only heard them through a small bluetooth speaker. I'll give them a proper listen next weekend and hopefully they'll shine through.

 

I'll still buy the 9 track vinyl remix package though.

 

Edit - Should add that as soon as I posted this I listened again to the Algiers remix linked above by @Escaped and it's pretty bloody good.

 

Edit 2 - And the Ewan Pearson remix is a "homage" (rip off) of the Personal Jesus Pump Mix. And not bad either.

 

I really should stop judging my favourite band by first impressions through a shitty speaker. I guess I expect everything to sound as good as Violator on first listen but that's an unfeasible standard to live up to. Looking back at from when Delta Machine came out, I did a "first listen" post and some of those comments were unfair as it really did grow on me.

 

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For anyone interested in DM and who has a turntable, Amazon currently have the double vinyl, 9 track WTR remix EP up for pre-order at a bargain price of £6.70

 

Whether they'll actually follow through and supply it at that price or it'll be cancelled as an error is another matter, but it's worth a try:

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wheres-Revolution-Remixes-VINYL-Depeche/dp/B06WW6MJLP/?tag=sdepcw-21

 

 

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Just did the unthinkable and listened to a crummy stream leaked version. I know I know but it was right there on Soundcloud and curiosity got the better of me. I've been so disappointed with the last few albums that building it up for a full  headphones on CD in a dark room grand first listen debut is just setting me up for disappointment. I'll still do that but safe in the knowledge this time that.....

 

Spoiler

....it sounds pretty fucking great. Finally think we've got a modern version of the Depeche of old without the parody the last couple of efforts seemed to be.  

 

Won't try and review it from a shitty rip but looking forward to it now more than I was before. 

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Glad to hear it's sounding promising. I've avoided any leaks, snippets etc (other than the single).

 

The first listen will be after work on Friday via my hi-fi. I'll probably post my initial thoughts (I did that with Delta Machine) and hopefully it'll be a better first impression.

My opinion of Delta Machine did improve over time though I must admit.

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I really never got on with Delta Machine. A couple of good tracks as usual but overall I just found it plodding and a bit tedious. Don't think I listened to it more than 5 or 6 times. I did really love the live studio version of Broken though. Great song completely overproduced on the album. 

 

 

'Come Back' from SoTU is another one that was far superior in alternative version to the one on the album. When I heard this leaked, presumably demo, version before release, I loved it and was really disappointed when the version on the album was another overblown 'let's stick some guitars on it!' production

 

 

The biggest Hillier fuck-up is 'Oh Well', one of the bonus cd tracks from SoTU. I remember reading Hillier say it just didn't really fit in with the rest of the album. For me, it should have been the glistening, throbbing disco centrepiece of the album. That's what it is on my own 'directors cut' of the album which includes all the good tracks that they omitted and removes the shite like Peace and In Sympathy. (Annoyingly can't find the right version on YT but you probably know the one I mean)

 

Anyway, I stumbled across this earlier. Really nice little retrospective chat and they are clearly still really good mates. Also, 36 years.....fuck!!! :blah: 

 

 

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On 06/03/2017 at 02:39, Escaped said:

Just finally, I found this video of Alan really quite sad. He's obviously wealthy and had the luxury of effectively retiring young, but so much of his talent was wasted. I'm not a great fan of Recoil, but as a once-over guy I suspect he was — as the relative outsider — the closest thing to an official remixer in music. And then this.

I love Recoil but Alan seems to have eschewed even that in favour of settling into the home life and raising his kids. Can't blame him really but seeing him effortlessly playing through "Life On Mars?" in that clip just makes me want to hear more from him. He's too talented to spend the rest of his life in seclusion, even if he's earned it.

Before the last Recoil album I recall reading something to the effect of him having to relearn how to use the equipment in his home studio to get up and running again. Seems like such a shame because he left DM at the peak of his ability and I really enjoyed Unsound Methods and Liquid.

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Got the CD coming later but pulled it down off Apple Music first thing

 

WIsh I hadn't - its horrible. Obviously can't form a proper view and only listened to the first 5 tracks but I'm left with words like 'lumpen' 'leaden' 'stodgy' 'lifeless' to describe it, thats before I even get on to the lyrics, which come straight from the politics thread here with a touch of Rik from the Young Ones thrown in. I hope its a grower or gets better.

 

Production seems so uninteresting and there is some effect on Dave's voice most of the time, which I don't know why its there. Another initial view is it feels like Construction Time Again

 

So disappointed, feel I need to qualify my view with the fact I'm a lifelong fan, have bought everything of theirs on several formats, seen them live several times and find their back catalogue of work a constant companion, they've never been out of fashion or listening for me on whatever device I have had over the years (they've always been in my car CD player, minidisc, iPod original, phone  etc). I've even got the same birthday as Dave Gahan !

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Interesting, I'm the same, I too was one of those dressed in black hanging off their every word from about 86 to 96 and I still have a vault of NME clippings, flexidiscs and Japanese 3" CDs, an original vinyl copy of Violator hangs framed in my hallway and I once went on a day trip to Basildon with about 20 other fans in 1990.....just because. Their work has left me cold in recent years though, I particularly hated Delta Machine for the same reasons you hate this. However, I do quite like this album. 

 

It's not flawless by any means, I agree there's still too much processing going on in the production of Daves voice and yeah, the lyrics are a tad trite but since when did a dodgy lyric ever stop DM. It's pretty much all mid tempo stuff and would have liked less of the torch song nonsense that Dave seems to come up. 

 

I haven't given it the full headphones treatment yet but I've liked most of what I heard. I really like Construction Time Again though. 

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