Depeche Mode 101 at the IFC Theater

Depeche-Mode-101-VHS

Depeche Mode 101 at IFC Theater

Tonight I will be going to the IFC Theater (323 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10014) to see a screening of Depeche Mode 101. Any reader of this blog will know I was one of the lucky contest winners to go along on tour with DM in 1988 and be in this film. Jay Serken & Chris Hardwick will be coming with me and there will be a Q&A after the movie. Come and enter a time machine for a few hours tonight!

“Three weeks into the filming, the band’s producers suggested a dance contest where a busload of fans would win a trip across the country and meet up with Depeche Mode at the final Rose Bowl concert. New York radio station WDRE and DJ Malibu Sue hosted the event which drew thousands of fans. Somehow eight fantastic kids were chosen and we put two of our favorite filmmakers, Jeff Kreines and Joel DeMott, on the bus with them. Some people say that the bus kids were the first of the MTV Real Life series.” – DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus

For more info: ifccenter.com/films/depeche-mode-101

Waves 23 Suicide Tribute Mix

Waves 23 Suicide Tribute Mix

W?VES 23 – 12/10/2014 SPECIAL SUICIDE TRIBUTE TO NEW YORK ICONIC LEGENDS by W?ves on Mixcloud

Here is a DJ set and interview that covers the recent release of the “Special Suicide Tribute To New York Iconic Legends” album. I did one of the covers for the song Rocket USA. Enjoy the listen and you can hear my remix and order the album here: link

1. Suicide – Johnny – 1977
2. Novo – Cheere -2014
3. Simi Nah – Diamonds Fur coat, Champagne – 2014
4. Black Egg ft Hausfrau – Dream Baby Dream – 2014
5. L.A.A.G. – Rain of ruin -2014
6. Radical G – Ghostrider -2014
7. Adán & Ilse ft Gabi Delgado – Girl – 2014
8. David Caretta & Jürgen Engler – Wild in Blue – 2014
9. Position Parallèle – Je t’en prie – 2014
10. Nick Void – Rocket USA – 2014
11. Millimetric ft Dirk da Davo – Devastation – 2014
12. Agenda – by Felicie

“Broadcast on October 12th, 2014 at 20:00 on Radio Vibration (vibration.fm) in Brussels & Mons, Belgium. Special ‘Suicide Tribute to New York Iconic Legends’. Presented by Fernando Wax, with the help of Phil Blackmarquis and Pierre Sensurround. Agenda by Félicie.” – W?VES

For more info: facebook.com/wavelengthbroadcastingsystem

Front 242 at Irving Plaza

Front 242 Irving Plaza

Front 242 Irving Plaza 2

Front 242 Irving Plaza 3

Front 242 Irving Plaza 4

Last night I went to see Front 242 at Irving Plaza in Manhattan. The last time I saw them live was May 6, 1989 at the Palladium. Considering that they are one of my favorite bands of all time it’s strange to me that I have only seen them twice… 25 years apart. When I saw them two and a half decades years ago they were young, skinny, all in black and extremely aggressive. They used Emulator Samplers, analog delay pedals and electronic drums. At that point every single song that they had released I adored with a passion. After Tyranny for You their sound changed and techno took over the landscape. I still worshiped what they had done but wasn’t very interested in their “newer” material. Even though I shunned the new stuff I in fact have probably listened to Front 242’s early music every week of my life since I first heard them.

The love affair started in 1987. At that point in my life I was the worlds biggest Depeche Mode fan. Black Celebration was on heavy rotation. I was in a car with my then girlfriend and she put in a cassette. It was Official Version. As she drove something happened to me. I couldn’t really process what I was hearing but I was being overtaken. I clenched my teeth and squeezed my fists. I never heard anything so dark, mysterious and complicated. I knew what I was hearing was important. Right away I went to record stores trying to finding a 242 release here or there. I remember walking on St. Mark’s Place and seeing a guy wearing the now iconic helicopter 242 shirt. I was fairly shy as a teenager but I went right up to the guy and stopped him. I said, “Oh my god you know about this too!”. Front by Front was released soon after. Reviewing all their work I saw their music vision grow from Geography into this military music machine. I started making my own music and in doing so realized the incredible amount of work that went into each 242 song. I was obsessed with Jean Luc’s mannerisms. They were pure electronic power. They were also my very own. My parents and “normal” friends couldn’t even come close to understanding Front 242 and that was exactly perfect.

I saw a few video clips of late 90s and early 2000s 242 live shows. I saw them gain a few pounds and wearing dayglow yellow. Richard 23 lost the mohawk, sunglasses and even ran for political office in Belgium. I craved an new “old style” 242 track badly. I probably had a dream or two where I even heard one. This concert at Irving Plaza wasn’t put together by a concert promoter in the traditional sense. A small group of DJs who have been keeping the EBM candle alive through the dark years got together to make this happen. They paid for this themselves. That fact and because the band has giving me a large part of the soundtrack for my life made me buy a ticket. So off to Irving Plaza I went. I honestly was expecting to be very disappointed.

I got a lump in my throat when I saw the sign over the Plaza’s entrance. “Front 242 Live”. I did the math. 25 years since I have seen them. You could almost see the Palladium (now a Trader Joe’s) from Irving Plaza. The line was around the block. I joked to my friends that they were asking for ID if people wanted to drink because clearly there was no one under the age of 30 on the line.

Cocksure was the opening band. I went to the Wax Trax popup store in Chicago this summer. Cocksure performed and really blew me away. They had that classic 80s Wax Trax sound. I told people leading up to this that they were going to possibly blow 242 away. They didn’t. Being an opening band is painful. On one hand who would say no to a trip to NYC and open for 242? On the other hand you get less than half the sound of the main act and no one is really there to see you. I still think they are a band to watch but just not last night.

The DJs who brought 242 to NYC played some music. I couldn’t see the DJ booth so I’m not sure who was on but it was a good mix of new and old stuff and a low enough volume that the audience could talk and make some predictions about what they were a few minutes away from seeing. Then a few seconds of quiet, cheers and Patrick Codenys took the stage. He played a minute of beatless music and then Jean Luc DeMeyer and Richard23 ran on stage. What happened next thrilled me. It was Front 242. Electronic Body Music. The two men moved in action just like they did 25 years ago. Massive strobes flashed shadows behind them making them look like giants. It was very clear they were excited to be there and we were in for something really good. Every classic they played blew me away. Surprisingly the newer songs I didn’t know were also great live. The highlight was No Shuffle. As the song played I felt like I was dreaming about how they would do the song far in the future. They crossed each other back and forth on stage without looking at each other. They each took turns as front man. Richard23 traded his small belt held analog delay pedal for some almost psychedelic sounding rack of lush delays. Funk Gaddafi was an experience like watching the “Sprach Zarathustra” time warp scene in Kubrick’s 2001. A funny moment happened during the song Welcome to Paradise when a young person said, “They are singing the samples how cool!”.

I had a great time. Was it as good as seeing them the first time? Of course not. In 89 they were pure, angry and the technology was raw. It was also something completely new. Even the New York Times covered them back then. But one thing is clear in both shows. In 1989 they had something to prove and they did so. In 2014 they had something to prove again and they did it again. They are still Front 242 and I am still in love.

“FRONT 242 < > !!First NYC concert in almost 10 YEARS!!” – Krieg Koncerts/MediaDent/Defcon/Qxts/Nobody?/Dr. Avi/EMP

For more info: front242.com

Yaz Only You Patches

YAZOO-1

YAZOO-2

As a huge Yaz fan I have always wanted a Sequential Circuits Pro-One. The wonderful Noyzelab blog has posted some scans showing the patches that made up one of my favorite songs Only You. Looking from a window above It’s like a story of love…

“Five sets of panel layouts for the SCI Pro One synth by Vince Clarke, for the track Only You by Yazoo. Scanned from my copy of music technology magazine One.. Two.. Testing Issue No1 1982.” – noyzelab

To see the scans in full resolution: noyzelab.blogspot.com/2014/09/how-vince-clarke-made-yazoos-only-you

New Order Signs to Mute

New Order Sign A New Record Deal With Mute Records

I hope to see some collaborations between DM and New Order. Mute really is such a great label.

“This is an exciting new chapter for both Mute and New Order and I feel privileged to be working with artists with such a long, creative and successful history. When the possibility of us working together first came up, I was invited to hear some of the new material and immediately had no doubts whatsoever that Mute would be the right home for New Order. We’ve already had a number of creative conversations, and I am looking towards an exciting future” – Daniel Miller

For more info: mute.com/new-order/announce-they-have-signed-to-mute

Suicide Tribute To Iconic New York Legends

Suicide Tribute To Iconic New York Legends

I mentioned through social media a very exciting music project that is going to be released in November. It is a 500 copy tribute CD Digipack containing cover versions of songs from the iconic band Suicide. Artists doing covers include Gabi Delgado (DAF), Radical G, Absolute Body Control, members of Front 242, Alan Vega himself and many others including myself (The Horrorist). You can hear my full cover version of Rocket USA now! It took me about a full week to redo the track.

I used a lot of hardware on this. The drums are from a vintage Kawai R-100. The main bassline is a Noise Engineering Basimiuls Iteritas Eurorack module through a Synthesis Technology E440 Filter. Both the filter and bassline are sequenced using a Make Noise Pressure Points quantized by a Flame Tame Machine. There is a high pitched resonant sort of high hat and that is a Korg Monotron which is also clocked with the Eurorack. Some of the more moody effects were created using a Make Noise Echophon. The pads and second bassline are from a Roland JV-2080. The vocals were recorded using a Shure SM58 into a TC Helicon Voicelive Play. A few of the vocals in the breakdown were manipulated using Fabfilter’s Timeless. Some reverb was used from a ValhallaVintageVerb and Audio Damage ADVerb. Everything was recording using Ableton Live.

“These days music has become a disposable consumer product or a functional and virtual background to dancing masses on ecstasy. The strength and durability of SUICIDE was to take them beyond the punk movement they had initiated playing their legendary concerts at CBGB’s in the 70?s. The sound of SUICIDE has never been as relevant as today, it’s a primal scream ! We tried to perpetuate it and keep the flame alive.” – Unknown Pleasures Records

To pre-order and see the full tracklist: bandcamp.com/suicide-tribute

Industrial Soundtrack For The Urban Decay

Industrial Soundtrack For The Urban Decay

Industrial Soundtrack For The Urban Decay // Official Trailer from Amélie Ravalec on Vimeo.

I am very much looking forward to the release of a film called Industrial Soundtrack For The Urban Decay coming out later this year. It is a documentary on how early Industrial music came to be. Check out the trailer above and the great Test Dept DJ set!

“Industrial Soundtrack For The Urban Decay traces the origins of Industrial music, taking you on a journey through the crumbling industrial cities of Europe to America’s thriving avant-garde scene.” – industrialsoundtrack.com

For more info: industrialsoundtrack.com and facebook.com/industrialsoundtrackfortheurbandecay

Einstürzende Neubauten – Z.N.S.

Einstürzende Neubauten Halber Mensch

I’ve been told Einstürzende Neubauten means “New Buildings Falling Down”. If it does I think that’s one great band name. My favorite Neubauten album is Halber Mensch. The remix of Yu-Gung is one of the all time best Industrial songs ever recorded. Another wicked track from Halber Mensch is Z.N.S. Let’s dance the…

“Black before my eyes. Fingers wickedly cold. What am I supposed to do when I wake up shivering?” – Einstürzende Neubauten

For more info: discogs.com/Einst%C3%BCrzende-Neubauten-Halber-Mensch

Aphex Twin Syro

aphex-twin

There is a new Aphex Twin album coming soon called Syro. I loved Come to Daddy and his Mescalinum United remix. Overall however I think a lot of his work fits into the “interesting because it was first” category. That said such a long time has past since his last album (2001) that it’s going to be really interesting to hear something new. I hope it blows us all away.

“It was Aphex Twin’s first tweet in over two years, but Richard D. James turned 140 characters into the news fans have been pining for since 2001’s Drukqs: A new Aphex Twin LP is on the way. Days after a strange Aphex-affiliated blimp hovered above London and James’ trademark logo was seen stenciled outside New York’s Radio City Music Hall, the long-dormant IDM wizard revealed that his new album will be dubbed SYRO. The always-technologically advanced James posted the album’s press release on the Deep Web, meaning only those with TOR proxy access can see the LP’s alleged cryptic track list. As Stereogum notes, Monday also marks James’ 43rd birthday.” – Rolling Stone

For more info: warp.net/records/aphex-twin

Take One

Front 242 Take One

You can bet I am going to try and buy one of these new red 7-inch Front 242 records when they play live in NYC this September. What I want even more is for the band to go back to their old sound. They know people love the older material. They can pick up where they left off after Tyranny for you. Ok guys? Please?

“Pressed on red vinyl and limited to 500 copies, the 7-inch is the second release from the relaunched Wax Trax! and the first Front 242 release on the label in 25 years. It will be sold only at Front 242?s three U.S. dates — in Tampa, New York and Chicago — this September, according to the label. The single will include a remastered recording of “Take One” performed on Sept. 28, 1984, at Medusas’s in Chicago — the group’s debut American performance — and a version of “Im Rhythmus Bleiben” recorded at the Wax Trax! Retrospectacle concert in 2011.” – slicingupeyeballs.com

For more info: waxtraxchicago.bigcartel.com