Astronata Pinguim has released a short interview, based on five questions, with synth maestro Vince Clarke:
ASTRONAUTA – Vince, I watched a video on youtube in which the interviewer asked you if you’re a “synthesizers hunter” and you told him that you’re not anymore but you was one in the past. When was your most obsessed period in the hunt for analog equipment? Is there any equipment of your dreams that you do not have yet? And what are your preferred instruments and/or the ones you use most nowadays?VINCE – I think I seriously started collecting synths in the early 90’s. And then, having run out of space, I stopped. I realized, the only keyboards worth owning were the one’s that would be useful to my music making process, and that is still true today. I try to incorporate as many different synths as possible into my music, rather than favor one particular keyboard over another.ASTRONAUTA – In the first albums recorded by you, especially on Depeche Mode’s “Speak & Spell” you used only analog synthesizers (not ONLY by your choice but also because the digital technology was just emerging in the music world). How was the recording process on that time, how did you synchonized your equipment, especially those that were made by different manufacturers?VINCE – The early Depeche stuff was recorded onto a 16 track Studer machine. Lot’s of tracks had to be bounced together, decisions had to be made there and then. The engineer, Eric Radcliffe, devised a way of recording a rudimentary click track onto track 16 which enabled us to run an Arp sequencer in sync.ASTRONAUTA – In some tours (especially on the Erasure’s 1991/1992 tour, in which you had a “tank” with multiple keyboards inside), you traveled with many analog keyboards. How was the maintenance of this analog equipment, did you traveled with an electronic technician specialized in analog instruments to repair your synths on the road or did you (or do you) know how to repair your own instruments?VINCE – All of the gear was serviced prior to the tour and required very little maintenance over the course of the tour..(just some TLC). My own knowledge of synth repair was, and still is limited. In the case of a breakdown we would usually find an engineer in whatever city we were performing.ASTRONAUTA – How is your method of composition, do you write a song on the guitar first and then go to synthesizers or do you already compose direct on the analog synths, sequencers and drum machines?VINCE – The songs are composed on either guitar or piano. That way, we can concentrate purely on the melody and lyrics, and not get distracted by the limitless world of sound sculpture.ASTRONAUTA – I suppose that you have a lot of solo stuff, demos of several songs that you wrote for your bands and projects. If you have, do you want to release this material someday? And how about a Vince Clarke solo album, can we expect that you release a complete solo album someday?
VINCE – I doubt I’ll ever release a solo record. I really get a kick out of ‘collaboration’.
OUT NOW. The short trailer featuring a young lady making a very unappetizing looking slice of toast is rumored to be the first in a series of short films sound tracked with music from the SSSS album.
Ssss is now available to buy (UK) from:
Very rare tape recording of Vince using the Fairlight Computer back in 1984.
This is an audio recording that was done for Electronic Soundmaker and Computer Music magazine. I found the original magazine and tape in my loft. I thought you’d like to here it so I’ve converted it into a digital format. Now go make a cup of tea or get a beer, sit back and enjoy this blast from the past.
VCMG are releasing one of 2012’s most anticipated musical collaborations with the album Ssss, out on Mute on March 13, 2012.
It marks the reunion of electronic pioneers Vince Clarke (Erasure, Yazoo & Depeche Mode) and Martin L. Gore (Depeche Mode). They have joined forces, for the first time in over thirty years, to craft a 10-track album which demonstrates their mutual love of electronic music. Full remix details for EP2/ Single Blip, the follow up to EP1/ Spock – out now on 12” / download and featuring remixes by Edit-Select, Regis, DVS1 and XOQ – will follow.
Ssss Track Listing:
- Windup Robot
- Bendy Bass
- Single Blip
- Skip This Track
There is also a fresh interview out with Vince and Gore, below is excerpt from it:
The Quietus spoke to both Clarke and Gore over the phone from America (they’re doing their interviews for the UK press separately) to untangle the story of what turns out to have seemed to a project where unfinished creative business reaped some great reward.
Martin, it was interesting to read in The Stool Pigeon that Vince, who first approached you about VCMG, had never listened to techno until recently, whereas obviously you’ve done more with DJing and so on.
Martin L Gore: I’ve been listening to techno for a long time now. I read The Stool Pigeon interview as well, and found out things about Vince I didn’t know! I never really knew Vince over the years, so that was a surprise to me that he only got into techno a couple of years ago. Mute even had a techno label for ages, NovaMute, and I remember being into the Tresor stuff, and Daniel [Miller, Mute boss] putting some of that out. Techno has been in my blood for ages.
Was it surprising how easily VCMG came about, if in fact it did?
Vince Clarke: I started working on the record on my own. I was working on about three or four tracks before I decided that I’d like to collaborate with somebody and contacted Martin. I think the surprise was how in tune Martin and I were about this kind of music. At the same time, it was really great because I’d send him something and have no idea of what he would be sending me back, but as it turned out it was something I really liked. I wasn’t just being nice! We just seemed to fall into the same mould.
Were you ever worried that he might say ‘no’?
VC: I didn’t know… I wasn’t sure… I know Martin’s always busy and I didn’t know what the Depeche Mode schedule was at the time. What I said in the email was that there’s no pressure, no deadline, no timeline, no release date scheduled, nothing, it’s something we can do and we can have a bit of fun with, and if you’re up for it then let’s do it.
Did he get back to you quite quickly?
VC: Fairly quickly – about a week and a half.
Martin, were you quite surprised that the idea was there? What was your initial response?
Martin L Gore: Of course I was really surprised, because I’d never in my wildest imagination thought that Vince might contact me and think we’d do a project together. So when I received that email it was a total shock. Once I’d got over that, it seemed like a really good idea because apart from the fact that it was nice to be doing something with Vince again after 30 years, I’ve been into techno music for a long time now.
You’ve said how when you were first together in Depeche Mode you didn’t actually know each other that well. Listening to VCMG it sounds very fresh and sparky, do you think that gap or cutting short of a relationship that still had a way to go creatively helped that? It means your partnership hasn’t become staid at all?
VC: Oh definitely. When I left Depeche, obviously Martin took over the writing, and his writing style is completely different to mine. Over the years we’ve developed completely different styles, and I think that’s why the record sounds so different. I don’t think people would have expected the record to sound as it does if we’d been working together for 25 years in the same band.
VCMG’ second release from ‘Ssss’
VCMG release one of 2012’s most anticipated musical collaborations with the album ‘Ssss’, out on 12 March 2012.
It marks the long awaited reunion of electronic pioneers Vince Clarke (Erasure/ Yazoo/ Depeche Mode) and Martin L. Gore (Depeche Mode)
Skip This Track
The arrival of Vince Clarke and Martin L Gore’s VCMG project in the form of belting single ‘Spock’ was a highlight of the end of 2011, a sturdy techno edifice that came remixed by the likes of Regis, DVS1 and XOQ.
Now comes information on VCMG’s debut album. Ssss is released via Mute on March 12th, and will be preceded by a second EP called ‘Single Blip’. Say Mute “Clarke and Gore worked alone in their respective studios, communicating only via email and exchanging files until the album was ready.” Stay tuned to the Quietus for more on VCMG, and in the meantime check out the Ssss tracklist below:
- Windup Robot
- Bendy Bass
- Single Blip
- Skip This Track
Paul Quinn and Vince Clarke – One Day
Theme music to 1983 police series “The Chinese Detective” performed by Yazoo. Written and performed by Vince Clarke who had founded Depeche Mode and later The Assembly and Erasure. Mixed and edited by electrobronze in 2007
Amazing mix from synth wizard Vince Clarke (Erasure, Depeche Mode, Yazoo) for The Presets new single: If I Know You. Image compose: www.mandalamandala.net
Robert Marlow: Rare TV appearance.
This song is produced by Vince Clarke (aka ex-Depeche Mode, Yazoo and Erasure).
Robert Marlow was his old friend.
Billie Ray Martin- Sweet suburban disco (vince clarke remix)
After 30 years working on their respective ongoing music projects, Vince Clarke (Erasure / Yazoo / Depeche Mode) and Martin L. Gore (Depeche Mode) come together for the first time since 1981 as VCMG to release a brand new album preceded by a series of EPs.
VCMG is the fruit of initially tentative discussion and subsequent enthused collaboration where Vince and Martin, both influential as pioneers in electronic music, get to exercise their lifelong love of the genre as the techno inspired VCMG.
The first release is an EP entitled Spock. EP1 / SPOCK will feature remixes from Edit-Select, aka Tony Scott, the UK DJ / producer and founder of EditSelect Records whose previous remix credits include Speedy J, Death In Vegas and Gary Beck; Regis, British techno musician Karl O’Connor, member of the Sandwell District collective and co-founder of Downwards Records); DVS1, Brooklyn based producer Derek VanScoten (Radiohead / Sleigh Bells / Emancipator); plus XOQ, the alter ego of Californian Überzone / Q, who mixed the VCMG album.
2011-11-29 – RTVE (Spain) – Siglo 21
Siglo 21 – VCMG – 29/11/11 29 nov 2011 VCMG son Vince Clarke (Erasure) y Martin Gore (Depeche Mode). Se han reencontrado para este proyecto que presentamos ya en Siglo 21. También la música del Professor Angel Sound, RM Humbert y Kludge, entre otras novedades. En Contenedores de Arte, Display Canarias.
VCMG’s Spock premiered in full on the Spanish radio station RTVE: http://www.rtve.es/alacarta/audios/siglo-21/siglo-21-vcmg-29-11-11/1260920/
In the middle of the podcast you can listen to the track.
NEWS ON THE STREET:
Both Depeche mode and OMD has announced that new albums are on their way. OMD has already confirmed that they have begun work on their next release, to be called “English Electric”. Depeche Mode, on the other hand, is scheduled to meet in January to discuss the next album, with recording provisionally set to start in March.
Vince Clarke (Erasure, Yazoo, Depeche Mode) and Martin L. Gore (Depeche Mode) have announced that they are releasing an album as VCMG. It’s the duo’s first collaboration in 30 years.
According to Clarke and Gore, VCMG is an opportunity for the duo to “exercise their lifelong love of the genre as the techno-inspired VCMG.”
“I’ve been getting into and listening to a lot of minimal dance music,” says Clarke. “I got really intrigued by all the sounds.”
“I realized I needed a collaborator,” he adds, “so it occurred to me to talk to Martin.”
“Out of the blue, I got an e-mail from Vince just saying, ‘I’m interested in making a techno album. Are you interested in collaborating?’” says Gore. “This was maybe a year ago. He said, ‘No pressure, no deadlines,’ so I said, ‘OK’.”
What do you think of the idea of Vince Clarke & Martin Gore collaborating again, after 30 years? And is VCMG the world’s first electronic music supergroup?
VCMG – Spock
Clarke and Gore plan to release several EP’s, as VCMG, followed by an album.
The first release is an EP entitled Spock. EP1 / SPOCK will feature remixes from Edit-Select, aka Tony Scott, the UK DJ / producer; Regis, British techno musician Karl O’Connor; Zak aka DVS1, founder of Hush Records plus XOQ, the alter ego of Überzone / Q, who mixed the VCMG album.
EP1/SPOCK will be available starting Nov 30th on Beatport, and in wider distribution on Dec 12. 12″ vinyl hits Dec 19th.