LEGO Robot Depeche Mode

LEGO, Robots and a Depeche Mode song. Obviously I love this. It amazes me all the work that went into recreating Everything Counts in such a way. I hope someone in NYC books the Toa Mata Band band because I would love to see it in person.

“Toa Mata Band is known as the World’s first LEGO robotic band controlled by Arduino Uno which is hooked up to a MIDI sequencer. In this video, the third episode, the robots are playing some unconventional drum-percussions made by some food packaging are captured by a contact microphone (piezo) and processed in real time in the D.A.W. Ableton Live. A brand new device appears for the first time, it’s a moving platform on x-axis, made of Lego bricks, gears and servo motors that permits to move with semitones-steps the tiny synth. The song is a cover of the famous synth-pop band Depeche Mode, it’s a personal tribute to the band who made my days in the 80′s. The performance was recorded live in July 2014.” – Opificio Sonico

For more info: facebook.com/ToaMataBand

The Boys on the Bus

The Boys on the Bus Interview

On July 1st I will be siting with my old friends Jay Serken & Chris Hardwick talking about our time going across country with Depeche Mode. We all won a contest to be in the movie Depeche Mode 101. The talk will be broadcast on a radio show called Black Door. It is hosted by DJ Andi. It’s live and drinks will be served so expect a few fun stories!

“The Boys on the Bus: DM 101 Revisited LIVE on WFKU RADIO – 8 PM. This special edition of BLACK DOOR will feature the stars from the infamous 101 documentary. OLIVER CHESLER, JAY SERKEN, and CHRISTOPHER HARDWICK will take you back to 1988 to the Music for the Masses tour! For two hours, they will answer your questions, reminisce about old times and play special Depeche Mode tracks!” – Black Door

For more info: facebook.com/events/1494001460833691/

It’s a lot like Life

Here is Peter Last’s latest acoustic Depeche Mode cover. This time he does Master & Servant. I think if we wait long enough he will cover every DM song. I really love these as they show how great the original songs. It shows how well the songs work in any format.

“Domination’s the name of the game. In bed or in life. They’re both just the same. Except in one you’re fulfilled. At the end of the day Let’s play master and servant. Let’s play master and servant.” – Depeche Mode

For more info: youtube.com/user/georgiarose16

The Last Martian – Sound of Science

About six months ago I was asked to take part in a then secret music project. Tom J Carpenter and Jason Subtractive of Analogue Solutions were planning an ambitious string of Synthpop/New Wave releases. They were going to work with different vocalists, create music videos and promised a high quality package. I knew Jason’s synth work from his synth demos so I didn’t hesitate in saying yes. To say he has the Depeche Mode sound down is an understatement. On the song I gave my voice to titled The Last Martian listen to filtering bassline, high pitched delaying notes and at 43 seconds in there is a panning mid range sound that I’ve only heard Alan Wilder himself create. I knew that Tom was friends with Alan helping him repair some synths and selling him a Telemark. In fact, I question if Jason is actually who he says he is. This was also the first time I recorded my own vocal to someone else’s lyrics. Vile Electrodes and Chad Glenn also remixed the track. Here he comes with his gun the last martian.

“Sound of Science is pleased to announce the availability of our 2nd EP, “The Last Martian”, featuring THE HORRORIST (Oliver Chesler). Included are remixes by Vile Electrodes, Chad Glenn (The Coil), and SOS!” – Sound of Science

Buy now: iTunes or CD Baby

Enjoy The Silence Choir

Want to hear a choir singing Depeche Mode’s Enjoy the Silence? Head over to composer Eric Whitacre’s genero.tv page to hear it (link). I really like it. He is asking for money to create a music video for the song.

Eric Whitacre, one of the most popular and performed composers of our time, wants you to make the official music video for Enjoy The Silence, from his new EP album. Eric Whitacre is one of the most popular and performed composers of our time, a distinguished conductor, broadcaster and public speaker. His first album as both composer and conductor on Decca/Universal, Light & Gold, won a Grammy® in 2012, reaped unanimous five star reviews and became the no. 1 classical album in the US and UK charts within a week of release. His second album, Water Night, was released on Decca in April 2012 and debuted at no. 1 in the iTunes and Billboard classical chart on the day of release. It features seven world premiere recordings and includes performances from his professional choir, the Eric Whitacre Singers, the London Symphony Orchestra, Julian Lloyd Webber and Hila Plitmann. His compositions also feature on multiple other recordings made in Europe, North America and Australasia.” – genero.tv/ericwhitacre

For more info: genero.tv/ericwhitacre

When The Body Speaks

Martin Gore performed a reworked version of the Depeche Mode song When The Body Speaks at Jones Beach last night. This live version makes my heart explode. If anyone knows of a full length recording of this specific concert and song please let me know.

“To the soul’s desires. The body listens. What the flesh requires. Keeps the heart imprisoned. What the spirit seeks. The mind will follow. When the body speaks. All else is hollow. I’m just an angel. Driving blindly. Through this world. I’m just a slave here. At the mercy of a girl” – Depeche Mode

For more info: depechemode.com

Halo Harp

Last night I went to a birthday party in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. When it was over I went out with some friends and was surprised to find out that Michal Matejcík was performing at the Sullivan Room. I raced over there to him. I’ve mentioned him on this blog before. He plays covers of Depeche Mode songs on the harp. Check out the video I recorded of Michal performing Halo.

“The night will kick off at 10pm with a unique performance by the renowned Slovakian harpist Michal Matej?ík who presents Depeche Mode songs rearranged for the harp combined with audio mixes as well as visuals on screen. Michal performed as an opening act for Depeche Mode in two shows this year…” – DJ Shred

For more info: michalmatejcik.com

25 Years A Concert for the Masses

25 years ago today Depeche Mode stood in front of 70,000 people and performed their most important concert. This is when music mattered. This is when underground synthesizer music took over. Depeche Mode showed the world that they were no niche. I was in the front row and backstage. I never heard a crowd so loud. I doubt a crowd ever loved a band as much as on that night in California.

“The largest but also the most prestigious concert we’ve ever played as a headline act.” – Alan Wilder (Depeche Mode)

For more info: archives.depechemode.com

Television Set

Here we have the story of the song Television Set. It was a song Depeche Mode performed live at the beginning of their career. Interestingly, no one in the band wrote the song which is probably why it never appeared on an album. I love that the song was recorded on the cassette above over a Cure track.

“Probably the most famous un-released Depeche Mode track is ‘Television Set’. Television Set was a song played by the band at virtually every gig during 1981, usually as their opening number in the first 6 months of that year. It was a firm favourite amongst fans at live gigs during that period. At the time many considered it DM’s best song. When asked why it wasn’t being released as an obvious choice for a single, the whispered reply was “Vince didn’t write it”. The origins of this classic song remained shrouded in mystery for years but the songs existence has always been well known to Depeche Mode fans through live bootlegs from this period. ‘Television Set’ was written by Basildon musician Jason Knott. Jason was in a local band called ‘The Neatelllls’ (spelt with 4 L’s) which also included well know Basildon drummer Peter Hobbs. Although they never actually formed a band together, Jason, Peter and Vince Clarke did rehearse together a number of times and this how Vince got to hear the song. Vince took the song through a number of incarnations, firstly a recording with friend Sue Paget ( his bandmate in “No Romance in China”) with Vince on guitar & vocals and Sue on Bass. The second version was a solo demo track made by Vince, sounding completley different, made with a synthesiser, drum machine and Vinces vocals. Finally, Vince introduced the song into his new band Depeche Mode. The photo shows the original cassette by ‘No Romance in China’ that contains their recording of T.V.Set. As you can see its has been recorded over a copy of ‘The Cure’s Three Imaginary Boys’, Vince’s favourite band at the time. Many thank’s to Sue for providing the photo.” – Basildon: New Town – New Life

For more info: depechemode.com