Alan Wilder to rejoin Depeche Mode?

Side-Line has posted an interesting story (link). As you can see in the above screenshot Depeche Mode has posted on their official Facebook page a photo of Alan Wilder sitting in front of The Policy of Truth video. The text reads, “Never again is what you swore”. Fans are interpreting this as a possible return of Alan to the band. Honestly as such a lover of DM I really would love to see that. Pair that with Martin’s new obsession with Eurorack synth modules and some ingredients are in the pot that could produce a real DM album again! Let’s hope!

“Following the departure of Vince Clarke, Depeche Mode placed an advertisement in the music magazine Melody Maker: “Keyboard player needed for established band – no timewasters.” Even though the ad was looking for someone under 21 (Wilder was 22) he lied about his age to get the job, and got away with it. He joined Depeche Mode in January 1982, initially as a tour keyboardist, and soon thereafter as a full member of the recording band… On 1 June 1995 (his 36th birthday), Alan announced his departure from Depeche Mode: “Due to increasing dissatisfaction with the internal relations and working practices of the group, it is with some sadness that I have decided to part company from Depeche Mode. My decision to leave the group was not an easy one particularly as our last few albums were an indication of the full potential that Depeche Mode was realising.” – Wikpedia

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One Morning in Golden Gate

Music. It’s everything to me. It’s very complicated and simple at the same time. Some songs have lyrics and the few minutes they play their story shows itself. Often I relate or even think the story was written specifically for me. Techno however relies on the experience. It’s why some people can’t understand the obsession. Last week in Berlin a few close friends and I went to Golden Gate. It’s a very small club that gets going usually in the morning hours. Although I played four live shows on my recent trip; like after a long day at the beach it’s the sounds from Golden Gate they have me still swaying, pining, wanting to be there on the dance floor again. If you were to hear any single song the DJ played that night on it’s own, say at work at your desk, or driving to the convient store you may appreciate the production or like it but unless you can reference it to a night out like I had your missing the point completely. I stood there somewhat knowing I’m at the peak of my existence. Successful, skinny and with no guilt I watched terrifically beautiful people from Italy, Spain and Germany dance. Like a movement chameleon I picked up the Berlin sashay and joined in. Song after song just got me. Each one clearer than the last. Each one a better bass than the last, a better hook than the last… it just kept on going. When I left in the early afternoon those sweet Berlin birds were singing and the taxi driver told me his story as his smooth Mercedes took me to my rental apartment. Berlin is so beautiful. The trees make incredible shadows on the streets.

“Nestled beneath the Jannowitzbrücke train stop, Golden Gate is one of Berlin’s grittiest clubs. The interior is small, dark and mostly free of decoration. It’s known for having exceptionally long operating hours, even for Berlin—most weeks there’s one party on Thursday night that finishes on Friday afternoon, then a second one that starts on Friday at midnight and lasts until Monday morning. The club consists of one main dance floor, a small sitting area, a bathroom section upstairs and a small garden in the summer.” – RA

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German Freelancer Tax

The Merkel government has proposed a plan called “Rewarding Life’s Work” which is essentially a 350 Euro per month social security contribution that would be required by all the self employed. Add the new tax to required health insurance, rising energy and food costs and Berlin may loose some of it’s appeal for musicians. My personal opinion is my generation is now seeing it’s first real economic challenge. There are bridge tolls in the NY area that are $15. $10 is more like $1 used to be. We can complain but the world’s resources are being fought for and there are smart people on the other side of the world working all day for pennies. I would like a Utopia where artists could just concentrate on art but I don’t forsee that happening. My advice is work hard and use technology to your advantage. Use it to create pockets of time to paint and sing your masterpieces world be dammed.

“The German government’s plan to force freelancers to pay a compulsory retirement ‘contribution’ will kill off entrepreneurship and destroy millions of independent careers. That’s the opinion of Tim Wessels, an IT specialist from Hamburg who has launched a petition against the so-called “Rewarding Life’s Work” law. Freelancers will be forced to pay €350+ a month to support the broken pension system, on top of the €300-€600 they must already pay for health insurance (plus other taxes). Demanding that entrepreneurs fork out at least €650 a month in contributions before they earn a single cent will end innovation in Germany.” –

For more info on Rewarding Life’s Work: Skrufff, Exberliner and Deskmag

photo credit: lampenlee

Bleecker Bob’s Closing Down

Another absolutely legendary store is closing down in NYC. I’ve been to Bleeker Bobs countless times. A good chunk of my record collection comes from Bobs. I supposed it’s inevitable but the news saddens me. After my parents divorce my mother had a new boyfriend (now her husband Doug). To get my brother and I out of their hair on the weekends they would give us $100 to go record shopping. There were about 10 stores on our village walk including St. Marks Sounds, Vinylmania, Discorama, Rebel Rebel, Tower, Second Coming and Bleeker Bobs. As the 80s ended and I went to college, EBM/Industrial records started to dry up and I started making my own music. These factors ended my vinyl shopping spree. I think fondly of spending time with my brother and finding the music gems which I still cherish today. Be sure to read the article in The Stool Pigeon (link) for Bob’s history.

“Landmark Greenwich Village record shop Bleecker Bob’s is closing down after more than 40 years in business, and the only person in new york who doesn’t know is Bleecker Bob… A long CD rack, installed in the nineties, runs down one side of the store. It looks out of place now, like an arcade game in a library. Art deco clocks hang at the top of the walls in rows. Many of them have stopped. And there are crates and crates and crates of hand-labelled, meticulously catalogued records. But forget about the records for a minute….” – The Stool Pigeon

via The Stool Pigeon and Kevin W Fitzgerald

photo credits: bytegirl24, J Blough and nyperson

April Fools

So far none of the April Fools jokes are all that good so I’m posting a Cat Playing a Theremin video. Google tried way too hard with Google Maps 8-bit for NES, Gmail Tap and the Google Fiber Bar. Moog released a sound pack for Animoog “based” on a certain bodily function. Side-Line magazine let us know Justin Beiber covered a VNV Nation track (link). Let me know if you’ve been tricked by anything good today.

“In France and Italy children (and adults, when appropriate) traditionally tack paper fish on each other’s back as a trick and shout “april fish!”” –

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The Fastest Adopted Gadget

What is the fastest adopted gadget of the past 50 years? It must have an Apple logo on it right? Nope. The boombox entered our lives quicker than the iPhone, Wii or Walkman. I had several including a massive Conion with an alarm system. Be sure to check out the Ghettoblaster flickr Group: click here. If you’re looking for the best modern take on a portable radio check out the Jambox or TDK Three Speaker Boombox. I always liked the idea of people blasting their music and forcing their loved art onto others. Oh well… back to my white earbuds.

“It’s the boombox. The boombox. This startling revelation was brought to light in a paper in the Journal of Management and Marketing Research. The conclusion is the result of checking the overall level of adoption of a variety of new technologies by the 7th year of their existence. The numbers show that the boombox was number one. For a little context, not only did it beat out the cellphone and the desktop computer but also every other variety of mobile music devices, of which I think we can all agree, the boombox is by far the least efficient and the most annoying.” –

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Dazzle Dancin

I’m not sure what to say here. This is from 1984. There was probably cocaine involved. Imagine we build a time machine and the first place we shoot back to is this precious moment. If you know me you know I’m not being sarcastic. I love this. I’m on eBay looking for a turquoise shirt like the hosts right now.

“I scored this “big box” VHS at a video store liquidation sale for a dollar. Quite possibly the best dollar I’ve ever spent.” – smashism

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What does music look like?

German photographer Martin Klimas has a photo series where he shows you what he thinks music looks like. As someone with Synesthesia I see bass and kicks drums as darker colors, hi-hats as white and juno/mentasm sounds as purple. It’s maybe all fantasy my mind creates but it may also help me create songs. How do you see it?

“For this series, Klimas spent six months and about 1,000 shots to produce the final images from his studio in Düsseldorf, Germany….The resulting images are Klimas’s attempt to answer the question ‘What does music look like?”

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