Interview with Vince Clarke by MusicRadar

November 7, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

On line magazine MusicRadar has released an short interview with Vince Clarke, read it below:

Everyone reading this will know the name Vince Clarke, be it through his Depeche days, Yazoo years, The Assembly age or the ever ongoing Erasure era.

He is almost entirely responsible for a web of genres, still very much alive and well in 2011. Erasure havesold over 25 million records, and continue to be a household name 26 years after their formation.For the latest album, Clarke was working out of a synth paradise in Maine, New England and alongside Frankmusik in LA. Future Music spoke to Vince about changes in studio technology and the Erasure live show.

We love your Analogue Monologues at Was there ever a time you thought of taking all your kit on the road?

“Well, we used to but it was a nightmare. About six or seven years ago, I decided I would digitise the multi-tracks and record them into Logic to use live. We recorded individual tracks and I’d make my own stems from Logic.”

Is that what you’re using today?

“Yeah, Logic is running everything in real-time, all at the right tempos. For some stuff I’ve re-recorded the parts, just because I didn’t really like the original and there was timing discrepancies because it was the early days of sequencing. So I’ve corrected all that too. For Yazoo, because it was so early, I cut up every single sixteenth of a bar, of every sound, of every track and moved it back into time.”

Do you use Logic in the studio too?

“Yeah I use it in the studio – we’re making a new album at the moment and we demo everything in soft synths and then I convert all of the sounds to analogue with my synths.”

So what’s on the record will be 100% analogue?

“Well 50%. I’m working with Frankmusik at the moment, he’s a digital guy. Most of the drums are his samples and whether they’re digital or analogue I’ve no idea, but they sound great. I’m more interested in the music. I was using soft synths for a long time and was thinking they sounded pretty good but now that I’ve got my studio and can do an A-B comparison, it’s an incredible difference.”

Which soft synths are you into?

“I like all the soft synths that emulate old stuff, the Moogs, modular synths, [u-he] ACE is great but it’s still not as good. It’s the classic argument with CDs versus vinyl and I have a very good record player and if I listen to Dark Side of the Moon on vinyl and listen to it on CD, the vinyl is another level. It’s the same with analogue versus digital. Having said that, digital is so useful for writing and remixing. It’s immediate and it stays in tune. I use some of the Logic synths too, the ones that come built in. But at the end, for the fi nal recording, I’ll use my analogue synths and it’s the same on the new album.”

How did you end up working with Frankmusik on the new record?

“Well we were talking to a lot of people really, but he was just really enthusiastic and is a bit of a fan. We got on quite well, and I’m a fan of his work too. He’s so fast. It’s really nice to work with someone who’s young and that enthusiastic. Those are the best types of producers to work with – not the people that know everything, but the people that really love it. That’s an inspiration for me.”

More info here >>

Erasure – Beatport announces remix contest for I Lose Myself single

October 25, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

The monthly Beatport remix contests are a chance for producers out there to show their skills. This time Erasure and their song ‘I lose myself’ is ready to be remixed.

Here’s all the details from the Beatport website:

Ready to get lost in the music? Beatport is proud to announce Erasure’s “I Lose Myself” remix contest, featuring the pumping electro-disco single from the band’s new album for MUTE, “Tomorrow’s World.”

If you a resident of US, EU, Switzerland, Iceland, or Norway, this is your chance to collaborate with two of synth-pop’s veritable icons, Andy Bell and Vince Clarke (himself a founder of Depeche Mode and Yazoo), along with the pop producer Frankmusik; and the parts to the single lend themselves to a vast array of remix possibilities, from filthy dubstep to stadium-grade electro house.

The winning remix will rack up over $5000 in prizes including a TRAKTOR Scratch Pro 2, TRAKTOR S2, Novation Launchpad, Ableton Live 8, Elektron Octatrack, iZotope Stutter Edit, Sounds To Sample Elements Library and $200 in Beatport credits. The MUTE label team will narrow down their selections to 10 finalists; those 10, along with Beatportal’s top 10 community-voted remixes, will then move on to the final round, with Erasure themselves selecting the grand-prize winner.

The submissions process begins on October 25, and the window for entries closes on Monday, November 11 10.00PM MST. Download the remix parts to get started.

More information:

Erasure: Interview with Vince and Andy

September 8, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Find the videos here

Exclusive interview – Alan Wilder (ex-Depeche Mode/Recoil) talks on synths, music creation and his upcoming auction

August 12, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Steelberry Clones got a talk with none other than the synth legend Alan Wilder (ex-member of Depeche Mode and now front man of the electro/synth experimental act Recoil). Few can match the track record of Alan Wilder and few have had such an impact on the synth scene for the past 30 years, or so. Alan Wilder´s Recoil continues this tradition into the 21st century exploring the boundaries of electronic music, and since Alan now is in full preparation of delivering probably the world´s biggest Depeche Mode memorabilia auction at the Zion Arts Centre, we simply had to pose some questions to him regarding his music creation legacy, gear and plans moving forward.

“Collected” is the name of Alan’s big auction on Saturday 3rd September, for detailed information on how to join please follow this link:

So in just a few weeks time, over 400 lots will go under the hammer as Alan Wilder sells a large selection of musical / studio equipment and memorabilia at auction. Many items are very collectable and hold special value having been used extensively in the recording sessions for classic Depeche Mode and Recoil albums, as well as live performances on the ‘Black Celebration’, ‘Music For The Masses’, ‘World Violation’ and ‘Devotional’ tours.

But for most synth/electro fans this is truly not just any ordinary auction, but a clear reason why we needed to pose some questions to Alan about the auction in general and about his music making legacy in particular.

Why are you running this auction? is it for charity, or something else?

It’s for the charity of Alan Wilder unfortunately. Let’s be honest, divorce is an ugly thing and the record business has been in crisis for some time now. I’m not over sentimental about retaining every little detail of my musical history. In fact I still have a large collection of essential items, all the releases I have played on, many photographs and unique personal things. But really, I need more space (and peace) in my life and this goes part of the way to achieving that. Indeed I found it an evocative and cathartic experience to sift through all the collectables – the actual sorting and cataloging process brought back great memories and I was able to re-live some key moments which I had inevitably forgotten about, reminding me of how lucky I have been to have enjoyed such a career, doing something I’m passionate about.

Will it not be hard to let go of many of these unique items – any particular items that are special to you, that we should keep an extra eye on at the auction?

Yes – many do hold wonderful memories of course but I don’t find myself actually using most of the equipment for example. One of my new year’s resolutions for 2011 was to start streamlining my set-up at The Thin Line Studios. My needs have altered since laptops, soft synths and plug-ins have come to the fore, and therefore passing on some vintage gear and historical items seemed like a good way to start. The Steinway grand piano and the ‘Devotional’ drum kit are two things I’m letting go with a heavy heart. Thankfully I have a second piano, and can’t really justify having two at the moment. And if I feel like picking up drumming again, I guess I can easily find myself another (cheaper) kit. As for something to keep an eye on in the auction, I think the unreleased box set known as DMBS 1-4 is likely to spark major interest. Known as the ‘Holy Grail’, these are the 4 extremely rare white labels from the Depeche Mode boxset that was never released. It was recalled at the last minute for unknown reasons. The Emulators with my own sound samples, the guitar used by Martin Gore for the ‘Devotional’ tour, and my touring wardrobe & stage clothing should all prove very popular. We have art proofs and one-off posters, and already we can see that album acetates are extremely desirable, being so rare. Only one or two are ever produced for a record release and I have quite a few of these iconic records. A few selected teaser items are currently on sale via eBay, and more will be added as we approach the auction. (

Will you be joined at the event by any of your old band mates (DM)?

Not a chance:)

How can you part with your first synthesizer, the Minimoog?

I guess you could say that the mini-moog does hold particular value as it’s been with me for such a long time, throughout my career. It was the first synthesiser I bought around 1977, pre-Mode, when I was a member of Dafne & The Tenderspots. It was a big deal for us at the time as it was quite expensive and we couldn’t really afford it until we secured our record deal. It is still probably my all-time favourite synthesiser due to the famous fat 3-oscillator sound, and of course it’s an absolute classic. I continued to use it for many years on early Mode recordings such as ‘Construction Time Again’ and ‘Some Great Reward’ and even had a midi update added during the eighties. However, I also own a ‘midi’-moog, which is the rack-mount version of the original mini-moog. It pretty much sounds the same and serves my purpose in the studio. I found that I wasn’t using the original moog any more, and like many of these items, it has been sitting around gathering dust. Much better then that all these old synths should be cleaned, restored, repaired and passed on, to people who will dote on them, use them again – individuals who will fully appreciate their history and the symbolic (as well as practical) value they hold. And, the moog will no doubt increase in value, like most vintage gear. These synths are like old cars that need to be driven. The way I feel about most items in the auction is how I feel about the gold discs for instance – I never wanted to display them on my walls in some ostentatious way, and I think often the musicians themselves are not too bothered about those things. Gold discs mean a lot more to those who are more peripheral or outside of the original experience, but who are very passionate about what they represent.

Regarding the patch discs for the Emulator’s and Akai’s – have you made some backup of those sounds somehow?

Yes, of course, I have a copy of the sounds for myself.

The sequencer EDP Spider, was that your first sequencer? And does it work? It’s not clear on the web page – they are prone not to work.

I believe it does work but I didn’t have the unusual connecting cable to actually try it out. I guess it was my first and only non-computerised sequencer! Not that I used it much – although it was used to create the bass sequencer part for the Aggro mix of DM’s ‘Never Let Me Down Again’.

Conclusively, if you are Depeche Mode fan or collector of vintage synth gear this is the one event not to miss out on. Now moving on to the music creation side of things we wanted to ask Alan all those questions about his gear, music creation and plans for the future, that comes when having the opportunity to talk a guy that has been a part of shaping the modern synth scene.

Recoil has been on quite an extensive tour recently, can you let us know how it was received and what your forthcoming plans are?

The European shows went really well at the start of the tour, particularly in eastern parts and Germany, Hungary, Poland, France etc. The US shows were a bit up and down, but generally quite successful I would say. I do think USA is the most difficult territory to tour, and it was a bit of a relief to follow that down to South America where the fans are so passionate and the crowds always wild, excitable. It was quite an experience there.

Read the full story here >>

Vince Clarke on the RSF Kobol

July 29, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Vince Clarke has added another episode of his Analogue Monologues. This time he cover the french little synth Kobol by RSF.

The Assembly re-united at the Mute festival (Clarke’s post-Yazoo project)

May 19, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

The Assembly were a synthpop project formed in 1983 in Basildon shortly after Clarke disbanded Yazoo. The members were Vince Clarke (songwriting, keyboards, backing vocals) and sound engineer Eric Radcliffe (songwriting, production). Feargal Sharkey was hired as a guest vocalist for the A-side of the group’s only single, “Never Never”. Clarke and Radcliffe had planned to use a different singer on each track the group recorded, but the group disbanded after the release of “Never Never”, and no other vocalists were employed by the duo.

The Assembly ‘reunited’ for one song in-between the Erasure set which itself was preceded by 3 songs by Yazoo. It was Andy Bell who introduced Sharkey, saying that Vince Clarke had an impeccable taste for excellent singers.

Vince Clarke pays musical tribute to Bob Moog

March 25, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

Vince Clarke is among the line-up of synth artists, remixers and sound designers who have contributed sounds to a new Bob Moog Tribute library of sounds for Omnisphere. The massive library consists of 2,4 GB of new sounds and 739 patches and is onsale now for $100 right here, with all proceeds going to benefit the Bob Moog Foundation including their MoogLab student outreach program, the creation of the future ‘Moogseum’, and their efforts to preserve and share Dr. Moog’s extensive and historic archives.

Some of the contributors so far:

Here’s a list of the best known contributors: Hans Zimmer, Vince Clarke, Jean Michel Jarre, The Crystal Method, Jordan Rudess, Money Mark (Beastie Boys/Beck), Bernie Worrell (P-Funk/Talking Heads), Larry Fast (Peter Gabriel/Synergy), Roger Joseph Manning Jr. (Air/Fiona Apple), Ryuichi Sakamoto (YMO), Morgan Page (Madonna/Katy Perry), Keith Shocklee (Bomb Squad/Public Enemy), Steve Porcaro (Toto), Fredwreck (Snoop Dogg/50 Cent), Jan Hammer (Jeff Beck/Mahavishnu Orchestra), Danny Elfman, Michael Boddicker (Michael Jackson), Richard Devine (Schematic/Warp), Patrick Moraz (Yes/Moody Blues), Eddie Jobson (UK/Roxy Music), Diego Stocco, The Moog Cookbook, …and many more.

The new soundsources were developed using highly creative processing techniques with exotic gear like rare Buchla Modulars, Jean Michel Jarre’s EMS Synthi AKS, Hans Zimmer’s massive Modular Moog (including 1027 round robin Moog Drum samples!) and even Eric Persing’s one-of-a-kind OMG-1.

Depeche Mode will release “Remixes 2: 81-11” on Mute Records on 6 June

March 23, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

From Mute comes the news that Depeche Mode will release “Remixes 2: 81-11” on Mute Records on 6 June 2011. This new compilation includes classic mixes from M83, UNKLE, Trentemøller, François Kervorkian and Dan The Automator, alongside all-new mixes from Stargate, Eric Prydz, Karlsson & Winnberg (Miike Snow) and Röyksopp. The expanded editions will furthermore include exclusive remixes by former band members Vince Clarke and Alan Wilder. it’s the first time either artist has remixed tracks for their former colleagues.

“Remixes 2: 81-11″ will be available in two different CD formats: a single and triple disc version, as well as a download and as a 6 x 12” vinyl LP box set.


1-Disc version:

  1. Dream On – Bushwacka Tough Guy Mix Edit (2001)
  2. Personal Jesus – The Stargate Mix (2011)
  3. Suffer Well – M83 Remix (2006)
  4. John The Revelator – UNKLE Reconstruction (2006)
  5. In Chains – Tigerskin’s No Sleep Remix Edit (2011)
  6. Peace – SixToes Remix (2009)
  7. Tora! Tora! Tora! – Karlsson And Winnberg (from Miike Snow) Remix (2011)
  8. Never Let Me Down Again – Eric Prydz Remix (2011)
  9. I Want It All – Roland M.Dill Remix (2011)
  10. Wrong – Trentemøller Remix (2009)
  11. Puppets – Röyksopp Remix (2011)
  12. Everything Counts – Oliver Huntemann And Stephan Bodzin Dub (2006)
  13. A Pain That I’m Used To – Jacques Lu Cont Remix (2005)

3-Disc version

    Disc 1:

  1. Dream On – Bushwacka Tough Guy Mix (2001)
  2. Suffer Well – M83 Remix (2006)
  3. John The Revelator – UNKLE Reconstruction (2006)
  4. In Chains – Tigerskin’s No Sleep Remix (2009)
  5. Peace – SixToes Remix (2009)
  6. Lilian – Chab Vocal Remix Edit (2006)
  7. Never Let Me Down Again – Digitalism Remix (2006)
  8. Corrupt – Efdemin Remix (2009)
  9. Everything Counts – Oliver Huntemann And Stephan Bodzin Dub (2006)
  10. Happiest Girl – The Pulsating Orbital Vocal Mix (1990)
  11. Walking In My Shoes – Anandamidic Mix (1993)
  12. Personal Jesus – The Stargate Mix (2011)
  13. Slowblow – Darren Price Mix (1993)

    Disc 2:

  14. Wrong – Trentemøller Club Remix (2009)
  15. World In My Eyes – Dub In My Eyes (1990)
  16. Fragile Tension – Peter Bjorn and John Remix (2009)
  17. Strangelove – Tim Simenon/Mark Saunders Remix (1998)
  18. A Pain That I’m Used To – Jacques Lu Cont Remix (2005)
  19. The Darkest Star – Monolake Remix (2006)
  20. I Feel You – Helmet At The Helm Mix (1993)
  21. Higher Love – Adrenaline Mix Edit (2004)
  22. Fly On The Windscreen – Death Mix (1985)
  23. Barrel Of A Gun – United Mix (1997)
  24. Only When I Lose Myself – Dan The Automator Mix (1998)
  25. Ghost – Le Weekend Remix (2009)

    Disc 3:

  26. Personal Jesus – Alex Metric Remix Edit (2011)
  27. Never Let Me Down Again – Eric Prydz Remix (2011)
  28. Behind The Wheel – Vince Clarke Remix (2011)
  29. Leave In Silence – Claro Intelecto ‘The Last Time’ Remix (2011)
  30. In Chains – Alan Wilder Remix (2011)
  31. When The Body Speaks – Karlsson And Winnberg Remix (2011)
  32. Puppets – Röyksopp Remix (2011)
  33. Tora! Tora! Tora! – Karlsson And Winnberg (from Miike Snow) Remix (2011)
  34. Freestate – Clark Remix (2011)
  35. I Want It All – Roland M. Dill Remix (2011)
  36. A Question Of Time – Joebot Presents ‘Radio Face’ Remix (2011)
  37. Personal Jesus – Sie Medway-Smith Remix (2011)

New Depeche Mode remix album in April

February 28, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

The new Depeche Mode remix album will be released early April 2011.

For those who didn’t know yet; remix duties have been executed by Alan Wilder (Recoil and ex-Depeche Mode – “In chains”), Vince Clarke (Yazoo, Erasure, ex-Depeche Mode – “Behind the wheel”), Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes, New Order’s Bernard Sumner, Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt of Miike Snow. Other unconfirmed names which have popped up include Aphex Twin, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs!, Brandon Flowers of The Killers and Arcade Fire.

More news will follow :-)

New Erasure album to be released in Autumn

February 14, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized · Comment 

In a tweet Vince Clarke announced that the new Erasure album is going be released in the Autumn and not in Summer like previously announced. Clarke got the news from ‘the record company’, Mute that is. But before that the Erasure camp needs to sort out which producer they are going to work with and that seems to be a hurdle at the moment so it seems. Says Vince Clarke in a tweet: “Erasure producer negotiations are stalled. The ‘manager’ is having hemorrhoid issues…I really need to get to the bottom of this!”. We reached out to Vince Clarke for more info.

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