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Author Topic: 2010-2011: Recoil's Selected Release and Tour  (Read 90783 times)

Offline Angelinda

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2010-2011: Recoil's Selected Release and Tour
« on: 09 October 2011 - 23:13:44 »
This thread contains all news items regarding Recoil's Selected compilation and the following tour.

Please let me know if you have any news items that should be in here, but aren't.

There are a few items in here which are not directly related to the Selected release, but since they are about Recoil and come from the same time period, I saw no other place where to post it than here.

In this thread I keep track of all media files (low quality TV files, internet-only video files, radio files) concering Recoil's Selected project.

I got most of the links that you see here from forummember (and die-hard Recoil fan) Katiusha. Many thanks to her! I'm not a big Recoil fan, so I really appreciate that she helped me out.

The Shunt Staff did a very good job of keeping track of every Recoil news item, they mentioned this on Recoil's Twitter account:
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 2010-2011: Recoil's Selected Release and Tour
« Reply #1 on: 09 October 2011 - 23:14:05 »
2009-01-16 - HOME - another Recoil album is officially in the works!

Alan’s back at it: another Recoil album is officially in the works!
More great news… Alan Wilder is officially back in the studio, working on a follow-up to 2007?s “subHuman”. Still no word on… well… anything really. We don’t know when it will be released. We don’t know what direction it will take. We don’t even know if Alan knows these things yet. Doesn’t matter! New Recoil in the works!!!
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 2010-2011: Recoil's Selected Release and Tour
« Reply #2 on: 09 October 2011 - 23:14:24 »
2009-01-21 - Recoil - New Recoil Bash

New Recoil Bash
Our good friend Steve Fabian is organising another Recoil event to keep you die-hards happy.  This is the 9th in the series!  Hopefully, there will be all the usual fun and some prizes on the night.  Here's the information:
CHROME - Certified Recoil Site and Savaria Depeche Mode Fanclub presents:
Recoil Bash no. 9
The event takes place on March 14th, 2009, in Szombathely, Hungary (near the Austrian border).  Additional info coming soon...

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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 2010-2011: Recoil's Selected Release and Tour
« Reply #3 on: 09 October 2011 - 23:15:46 »
2009-02-12 - Recoil - Singles 81-85 Editorial

New - DM 'Singles 81-85' editorial now online
Now at Shunt - the official Recoil website, you can  read the revamped retrospective editorial dedicated to the Depeche Mode singles  released between 1981 and 1985.  In his own words, including a couple of  never-before-seen photographs from his personal collection, Alan Wilder shares  some interesting insight into the recording of DM's early singles and the  circumstances surrounding this period in the band's history.  Part two (86-95) coming soon...
The Shunt Staff

Depeche Mode first rose to prominence in 1980, comprising of four original members - Martin Gore, David Gahan, Vince Clarke and Andrew Fletcher. After his departure in 1981, Vince Clarke was replaced by Alan Wilder and the line-up that saw Depeche Mode grow into one of the most important British bands of the 80's and 90's remained unchanged until 1995 when Wilder too decided to leave. The remaining trio continue as Depeche Mode to this date.
A prominent figure in the studio between 1982 and 1994, for this editorial Alan draws on his considerable knowledge to detail the production side of each single and also to shed some light on the internal practices and circumstances surrounding the band during each of the different recording sessions.

When Alan Wilder joined Depeche Mode in 1981, he was initially hired for an American tour to promote the band's debut album 'Speak And Spell'. After a successful few months on the road, DM returned to England and prepared to record a new LP, 'A Broken Frame', but to prove they could prosper without the talents of departed member Vince Clarke, Alan would not be part of that process. However, in October 1982 he became a full member and made his studio debut with the single, 'Get The Balance Right'.
'Get The Balance Right' was recorded in January 1983 with Eric Radcliffe and John Fryer at Blackwing Studios, London.
"Interestingly, this was the first time we had concentrated on producing a dance 12". Although remixes had been made for previous releases, this one was very much geared towards the clubs. The video, confusingly, features myself lipsyncing Dave's voice over the first verse. This was because the director didn't actually know who the singer of the band was and for some reason made the assumption that it was me. As an indication of our naivety, we were too embarrassed to point out his mistake. Consequently, the final cut of the promo remains this way today."
Stumm 13
Formats: LP / CD
Release date: August 1983

Produced and mixed by: Depeche Mode, Daniel Miller and Gareth Jones
Recorded at: The Garden Studios, London and Hansa, Berlin
"The main thing about 'Construction...' was that it was the group's first album with Gareth Jones and the first recorded away from Blackwing. We worked at John Foxx's Garden Studios. It also marked the introduction of the sampler (Emulator and Synclavier) and I think it marked a turning point in DM's musical history."
Unlike any other Mode LP, the lyrical focus of 'Construction...' centred around popular political concerns of the day such as nuclear arms, global pollution and economic gluttony. The music was given a hardened, more 'industrial' treatment thanks to the new sampling craze and use of discarded junk from any source at hand, including the building sites of Shoreditch in East London. The new production team helped to ensure that 'Construction Time Again' was eclectic for its time, revealing a new and more thought-provoking Depeche Mode.
Everything Counts
Release date: 11th July 1983
UK 7 12 CD - Mute Records BONG 3
Produced and mixed by: Depeche Mode, Daniel Miller and Gareth Jones
Recorded at: The Garden Studios, London and Hansa, Berlin
Mixed at Hansa Studios in Berlin, 'Everything Counts' represented a significant step forward. Introducing the Emulator / Drumulator combination that would go on to dominate the rest of the album, its opening sound is very much a 'sample' and gave the masses who bought the record (resulting in DM's biggest hit of the time - No. 6 in England) a real sense that they were tuned in to the latest sound.
The video was shot by Clive Richardson in and around Berlin and was the first in a series that he would go on to direct for the band. "It was felt that after the Julian Temple years, we needed to harden up not only our sound but also our image. Clive had lots of new ideas which didn't involve stupid storyboards where we were required to act."
Love In Itself
Release date: 19th September 1983
UK 7 12 CD - Mute Records BONG 4
Produced and mixed by: Depeche Mode, Daniel Miller and Gareth Jones
Recorded at: The Garden Studios, London and Hansa, Berlin
"'Love In Itself' certainly wasn't our strongest single yet it still somehow managed to spawn a multitude of different remixes. I can't really remember how most of them, like the swing version, came about - probably a spin-off from the middle 8 of the original. All I can say is that listening to and actually liking some of them is sure to separate the men from the mice in terms of being a real devotee. Actually, it was a weird track all round, not least because from the moment we first heard it, a standing joke was born that the verses sounded just like a particular nursery rhyme - I can't quite put my finger on which one but I'm pretty sure it's 'Ugly Duckling'. When pushed, Martin admitted that he had in fact based the tune around the rhyme and I'm afraid I could never quite listen to the song seriously again."
Release date: September 1984
Stumm 19
Produced and mixed by: Depeche Mode, Daniel Miller and Gareth Jones
Recorded at: Music Works, London and Hansa, Berlin

"After the initial recording at Music Works, we returned to Hansa to mix the album but ended up getting horribly behind schedule. As a result, myself, Dan and Gareth completed the album alone because the other 3 band members had all booked their summer holidays and didn't want to cancel them. I foresaw the fact that we were going to go over deadline and held off arranging one myself because I didn't want to miss out on the whole mixing process. I remember that Killing Joke were also at Hansa at the same time, working on their 'Night Time' LP. When they arrived, they let off a metal dust fire extinguisher all over Studio 2's Neve console, much to Gareth's annoyance. When he voiced his concerns, his name was entered into Jaz Coleman's 'little black book'...."
People Are People
Release date: 12th March 1984
UK 7 12 CD - Mute Records BONG 5
Produced and mixed by: Depeche Mode, Daniel Miller and Gareth Jones
Recorded at: Hansa Studios, Berlin
'People Are People' was the first track to benefit from a period of pre-programming to save studio time - even if it was done in a dodgy rehearsal room in Dollis Hill, North London.
"We would have finished it sooner except that some of the work had to be redone after the infamous incident when a particular member of the band turned up, only to trip over the main power cable and pull the plug."
The record was the most successful to date, reaching the top of the charts in Germany, number 4 in the UK and sizeably denting the US top 40. Achieving a German Number 1 really tipped the scales in Europe and set the ball rolling for DM to become the single biggest-selling pop act in that territory. As luck would have it, the same week in England the single was sitting at number 4 and the Mode were due to appear on the hugely influential 'Top Of The Pops' TV programme. Had it not been for the show's cancellation due to industrial action, the single would almost certainly have ensured the group's first number 1 hit in their own country.
"Not bad for a song whose rhyming hook - "People are people so why should it be, you and I should get along so awfully" - is a candidate for 'worst lyric ever written' - almost on a par with Culture Club's - - "War is naughty, really really naughty, and people that start them should go to bed early....."
Adrian Sherwood remixed two versions of the single, the second entitled 'Are People People'. The group were surprised to hear that it contained vocals not generated by the band:
"Adrian used to 'capture' sounds in an AMS delay unit to create many of his effects, which was quite unusual for the time. I suspect this was how he created the additional voices. To be honest, I find Adrian's stuff a bit hit or miss. There tends to be some inspired moments but also some disasters - all within the same mix. I remember when he came to Hansa to do the above mixes and due to his 'mind altered state' he required a large box of fuses because he'd blow the speakers every 5 minutes."
The video was shot on HMS Belfast, moored in London's East End.

Master and Servant
Release date: 20th August 1984
UK 7 12 CD - Mute Records BONG 6
Produced and mixed by: Depeche Mode, Daniel Miller and Gareth Jones
Recorded at: Music Works, London and Hansa, Berlin
Though M+S proved another success for Depeche Mode, it is somewhat surprising considering the unfortunate incidents that dogged the recording. Released at the same time as Frankie Goes To Hollywood's massive hit, 'Relax', the aim was to emulate the same "fat, round bass sound". So desperate were the studio team to achieve this that "we went completely up our arses and ended up with exactly the opposite, topping it all off at the end of a 7 day mix by leaving out a small detail....the snare drum."
"The cost of this crucial omission was realised when Gareth and Dan hot-footed it down to a local Berlin club one night, armed with a test pressing and fully expecting to blow the local's minds. By the law of sod, the track came on straight after the pounding bass of 'Relax'. Not surprisingly, it cleared the dance floor, leaving both of them standing, red-faced in their raincoats, clutching their briefcases. Then again, it was quite a laugh recording it - if you listen very carefully, as well as the whip sounds, you can hear two Basildon girls singing 'Treat me like a dog'."
The promo, shot in Berlin, didn't escape it's share of turmoil either. Clive hired a French choreographer who put together the hilarious "Eetsa lot, eetsa lot" dance routine, remembered by Alan as "the most embarrassing video moment ever - and believe me, there were many."
More worrying however, was the cancellation of a days filming after 'fisticuffs' ensued between two band members. Brought about when one party berated the other for excessive drinking, the Depeche Mode camp was decidedly uncomfortable for an entire week thereafter until the status quo was eventually restored, a peace agreement reached and the happy couple reconciled over Hansa Studio's 'Space Invader' machine.
Blasphemous Rumours / Somebody
Release date: 29th October 1984
UK 7 12 CD - Mute Records BONG 7
Produced and mixed by: Depeche Mode, Daniel Miller and Gareth Jones
Recorded and mixed at: Music Works, London and Hansa, Berlin

..."I don't want to start any blasphemous rumours, but I think that God has a sick sense of humour and when I die, I expect to find him laughing."...
'Blasphemous Rumours' can be very much seen as a product of the increasingly darker and deeper Depeche Mode. The track was one of the first to stray into religious territory and teetered dangerously close to the bounds of bad taste in some people's eyes. Though not banned by radio, it suffered from lack of exposure after attracting the attention of Christian groups who were displeased by it's reference to an uncaring and cynical God.
Musically too, it stood out from the crowd and once again proved that only a group like DM (with a track whose opening bars featured the unlikely combination of a backwards oboe against a hammer crashing onto concrete) could subvert the pop charts and still have a hit record on their hands.
Due to a heavy touring schedule, the promo was gleaned from a live performance and featured one of the more inventive percussive set-ups - the bicycle spokes and corrugated iron combination.
The single release also included 'Somebody' - a simple yet heartfelt ballad sung by Martin, and laid all the more bare considering he recorded it.......well, bare. The lone piano accompaniment was performed by Alan and together, their solo spot on subsequent tours guaranteed the song became a live favourite, pulling the heart strings of every girl in the audience who couldn't help but feel it was directed solely at them and who marked their appreciation with screams every time Martin paused for breath.
Shake The Disease
Release date: Release date: 29th April 1985
UK 7 12 CD - Mute Records BONG 8
Produced and mixed by: Depeche Mode, Daniel Miller and Gareth Jones
Recorded and mixed at: Hansa Studios, Berlin
Together with 'Get The Balance Right' and 'It's Called A Heart', 'Shake The Disease' perhaps more unfortunately than the others, was never included on a Depeche Mode studio album.
"This is still one of my favourite Martin songs but I don't think we really got the best out of it. I suspect everybody was trying too hard to make it sound extra special, not least Daniel who thought it would be worthwhile to spend days and days recording every sound he could get from his Synclavier onto 24 individual tracks, and then bounce them down to just 2. And the result? Something that sounded like a sine wave."

One of the most interesting aspects of the release was Peter Care's video, which included dockside footage utilising his affectionately termed 'upside down machine'.
"The promo uses 'free fall' sequences that make for a fairly simple optical illusion. The subject is strapped to a motorized pole that runs through the back of his jacket.
As the pole rotates taking you with it, the camera follows at the same angle giving the impression that the subject is remaining still and everything in the background is actually moving.
Peter also used another similar trick where the camera is attached to you on a kind of stiff harness (no cameraman). As you move around with the camera, you again appear still while the background moves around."
It's called a heart
Release date: 16th September 1984
UK 7 12 CD - Mute Records BONG 9
Produced and mixed by: Depeche Mode and Daniel Miller.
Recorded and mixed at: Genetic Studios, mixed at Livingston Studios.

"'It's Called A Heart' has to be my least favourite, dare I say most hated DM single ever, and I was anti even recording it, let alone releasing it. In fact I fought tooth-and-nail on behalf of the B-side 'Fly On The Windscreen' which was far superior. To me, the whole thing was a serious backward step. I felt we'd worked diligently to build up recognition for a harder sound, with more depth and maturity, and here was this ultra poppy number that did nothing for our reputation.
Sadly, I was out-voted by the others although they recognised that 'Fly....' was wasted as an additional track and agreed it should be promoted to the next album, 'Black Celebration'. Even now, I have trouble listening to 'It's Called A Heart' and in the case of the 'Slow Mix' which was reduced to half-speed (making the experience twice as long and twice the agony), you do need to be particularly devout to endure it."
The video was intended to depict a burning, Indonesian jungle and saw Martin in full Boy George make-up.
"You'll have to ask the director Peter Care quite how he equated 'calling something a heart' with twirling cameras around on the end of a string in an 'exotic' Reading cornfield, dressed in a skirt. I'll never be able to tell you.........but then the track was asking for it..... what's it all about, eh?"
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 2010-2011: Recoil's Selected Release and Tour
« Reply #4 on: 09 October 2011 - 23:16:59 »
2009-02-27 - Recoil - Singles 86-95 Editorial

[I split this editorial in 2 posts, since I could not put it all in one post.]

New - DM 'Singles 86-95' editorial now online
Now at Shunt - the official Recoil website, you can read the second and final chapter of the revamped retrospective editorials dedicated to the Wilder-era Depeche Mode singles - this time for the period 1986 -1995.  It is comprehensive and features more of Alan's unique perspective on the history of DM, along with some rare and previously unseen photographs from his own collection. Once again, huge thanks are due to our tireless webmaster Oliver Thiede for his compelling art direction.  Not to be missed...

The Shunt Staff

Depeche Mode first rose to prominence in 1980, comprising of four original members - Martin Gore, David Gahan, Vince Clarke and Andrew Fletcher. After his departure in 1981, Vince Clarke was replaced by Alan Wilder and the line-up that saw Depeche Mode grow into one of the most important British bands of the 80s and 90s remained unchanged until 1995, when Wilder too decided to leave. The remaining trio continue as Depeche Mode to this date.
A prominent figure in the studio between 1982 and 1994, Alan uses his considerable knowledge to detail the production side of each single and also to shed some light on the internal practices and circumstances surrounding the band during each of the different recording sessions.
The editorials run in chronological order, album by album, up to 1995. We suggest you read them in the correct order for the full effect.

Black Celebration 
Amongst a host of worthy attributes, 'Black Celebration' can also be significantly noted for its concluding role amongst Depeche Mode's 11 LPs, representing in many ways the end of a musical era and the conclusion of a tried and tested production liason.
In particular, it saw the consummation of an outwardly experimental and almost militant style, prompted some years before by a series of significant events - the departure of Vince Clarke, the adoption of songwriting duties by Martin Gore and the inauguration of classically-trained musician Alan Wilder into the band, and more importantly into the studio.
Since 1983s 'Construction Time Again', (DM's third album and the first with Wilder), Alan had been fairly obvious in his desire to steer the music away from its early 'teeny bopper' roots to embrace a darker more tenebrous world and, coupled with a voracious appetite for the possibilities offered by early sampling devices, the music had developed an element of the industrial, characterised by an ominous electro mood and the clanking of assorted metal.
'Black Celebration' was really the last Depeche LP to fully salute this 'sample anything and everything' approach and although the use of everyday objects as instruments would not be lost on future releases, it would be the last time the band were let loose in the studio kitchen.....
Catalogue Number : Stumm 26
Formats : LP CD
Release date : 17th March1986
Produced and mixed by : Depeche Mode, Daniel Miller and Gareth Jones
Recorded at : Westside studios, London and Hansa, Berlin

The making of the album also provoked changes on a more intimate level. Clearly defined roles or tasks were firmly established by the time the band settled into Westside Studios in London (November 1985). Martin had cultivated a distinct and eclectic songwriting style and was confident enough to offer up his demos to those who were more focused in realising the musical aspects of his songs.
In turn, the production relationship between Daniel Miller, Gareth Jones and Alan that had first been forged during the making of 'Construction Time Again' was firing on all cylinders. However, in spite of this, there were times when the studio atmosphere felt decidedly troubled and Daniel began to feel he had perhaps outstayed his welcome.
"Dan and I had grown as friends and musical associates as well as developing a mutual understanding of the territory we felt Depeche Mode should be exploring. For example, our affiliation had been enhanced by spending long hours finishing off the previous LP, 'Some Great Reward', when everyone else had cleared off on their holidays.
With 'Black Celebration', we also ran well over our deadline but it was perhaps when too many additional voices were brought into the equation that problems seemed to arise."
In a later interview, Martin further fuelled the myth that this had been an especially difficult project by saying that after its completion, he doubted whether Depeche Mode would ever make another record. Alan however explains: "It's quite normal, when coming towards the end of an album recording, for there to be a certain amount of tension in the air - too much time spent in proximity to the same people makes you stir crazy after a while. 'Black Celebration' was no different in this respect."
In spite of this diplomacy, whatever tensions did exist ensured that the album became the last accredited co-production project with the Daniel / Gareth Jones combination, although as we shall see, it was difficult for Daniel to break away from the monster he had helped create.

Catalogue Number : BONG 10
Formats : 7 12 CD
Release date : 10th February 1986
Produced and mixed by : Depeche Mode, Daniel Miller and Gareth Jones
Recorded at : Westside studios, London and Hansa, Berlin

The entire backbone of this track was based around an idling motorbike sound generated from the original Emulator - preset 1, and a bass drone that was eventually fed through a Leslie cabinet. Additional sounds such as the ignition of Dave's Porsche 911 and an array of fireworks (after all, it was Guy Fawkes Night) were recorded by Gareth in the studio car park using his assortment of unusual mics. The mics were placed at varying distances and heights with the fireworks being let off at the appropriate angle to create the full stereophonic effect. A hired drum kit was also set up in the large reception area of Westside and used to sample individual sounds, most notably the distinctive toms with their special ambience.
As is often the case, one song leads to the conception of another and consequently 'Stripped' spawned the extra track 'Breathing In Fumes' which was achieved by speeding up the backing track and adding a new bass line, new vocals and different musical parts. This was quite a radical re-working for its time and perhaps the forerunner to a remixing style that would become much more commonplace in the '90s. The B-side, 'But Not Tonight' (which also ended up as an extra track on the LP) became the focus of some attention:
"Its rightful position was as the B-side to 'Stripped' and I always felt that including extra tracks at the end of an album CD disrupted the flow of the LP. The reasoning was to give value for money but they should really have remained on their intended formats only."
Additionally, in what was already a common battle ground between band and US record company, 'Stripped' was completely overlooked by the Americans as a single release in favour of 'But Not Tonight' (for which a video was shot) - an incredible decision considering the chalk and cheese nature of the two tracks.
For a 12" version of 'Stripped' (and in a move almost unique to DM during this period), it was decided to experiment by commissioning an 'outside' remix (Highland mix) by a soon-to-be DM collaborator, Mark Ellis - better known as 'Flood'.
Alan explains: "Remixes were devised as a marketing strategy and instigated almost solely by ZTT and Frankie Goes To Hollywood's 'Relax' in the early   80s. DM's attitude was that we had to make remixes in order to compete, although Mode tracks were always recorded with the LP version in mind. From there we would either edit down for a 7" version or expand for a 12"."
"To make a 12" involved running off differently mixed sections onto 2-track tape until we had enough pieces to edit the new version together. The tape editing process was much more limiting and took longer than current digital methods. The mere fact that it was much harder to create a totally different and new version of a song probably contributed to the style of those earlier mixes and accounts for a lot of their charm. They were usually thrown together fairly quickly with time running out at the end of a mixing session.
Around this time, it became the thing to do, to farm remixes out to other people who might have a fresher approach to the job in hand. We were always very drained by the end of a record so it actually suited us. However, having witnessed the attempts of some of the remixers over the last 20 years, I'm now of the opinion that we were right the first time and it's probably better to do it yourself."
The promo was the last to be directed by Peter Care (who had previously directed 'Shake The Disease' and 'It's Called A Heart') and was shot in Berlin just around the corner from Hansa Studios where the album was being mixed.
A Question Of Lust
Catalogue Number : BONG 11
Formats : 7 12 CD
Release date : 14th April 1986
Produced and mixed by : Depeche Mode, Daniel Miller and Gareth Jones
Recorded at : Hansa, Berlin

A rare single with Martin carrying the lead vocal, 'Lust' demonstrates the luxury of having access to more than one person who could sing. Alan explains:
"It was usually fairly easy to predict whose voice would suit particular songs. Generally speaking, Martin's voice tended to suit ballads and Dave's tended to suit more raucous tracks."
It was also typical of a period in DM's musical history when a large number of "combination sounds" were employed - vocals and metal-clanking for instance. As with the two previous albums, these would be mixed together and processed in Daniel's Synclavier.
A state of the art sampler / synthesizer that sounded great, the Synclavier was an overpriced beast which took 4 grown men to assemble because of all its additional boxes etc. Alan comments:
"Quite frankly, it was a bit of a bastard to use. It was so expensive that hardly anybody could afford one apart from one or two top producers - Dan Miller being one and also Trevor Horn I recall, who produced Frankie Goes To Hollywood."
With its main focus "a big Phil Spector beat", the current spirit of improvisation manifested itself clearly in this track and included a castanet sound created by dropping a Ping-Pong ball onto a table and a string 'twang' that originated from a traditional Hungarian instrument somewhat akin to a zither - a favourite source sound used on several songs around this time (including 'Master And Servant' and 'People Are People'), no-one knew its real name but it became commonly known as the 'Hung'!
While this sense of experimentation and informality is to be favoured in the studio, it's certainly not the case where the very serious job of marketing and promotion is concerned. When Flood eventually delivered his remix of 'A Question Of Lust', the band were surprised to hear that half of the sounds had been omitted. They were understandably annoyed therefore when it emerged that Mute Records hadn't actually sent him both the multitrack tapes.
Some months after its release, a rumour surfaced that 'A Question Of Lust' was a favourite of George Michael who, apparently, planned to cover it. His version never materialised but it could be said that it would have suited him very well.
The promo was directed by Clive Richardson during the 'Black Celebration' tour in Dublin, Ireland. Richardson had previously directed a number of promos from 'Everything Counts' through to 'Blasphemous Rumours'. In some respects he drew the short straw with this commission, having to film it while the band were on tour and deal with the restrictions that brings. It was the last before the long association between DM and Anton Corbijn began.

A Question Of Time
Catalogue Number : BONG 12
Formats : 7 12 CD
Release date : 11th August 1986
Produced and mixed by : Depeche Mode, Daniel Miller and Gareth Jones
Recorded at : Westside studios, London and Hansa, Berlin
After the initial recording session at Westside, Depeche Mode returned to the familiar territory of Hansa Studios in Berlin, with its unique ambience leaving its mark on tracks such as 'A Question Of Time'.
"It's difficult to say what effect the studio had on the end results but Hansa definitely had an atmosphere about it - not only because of its location in an almost derelict part of the city (right by the wall with East German guards looking on from their towers) but more because of the great building and studio 2 with it's very special big recording room and staircase.
Some of the most important albums of my generation were recorded there such as the major Bowie LPs, 'Low' and 'Heroes'. It's all changed now of course because that whole part of Berlin has been completely rebuilt."
Prominent at the time was the use of sampled individual notes from a live instrument such as the guitar which were then transferred, via the sampler, to the keyboards. No-one had really thought of sampling large sections of live performance and with no use of drum loops, rhythmic variation had to be achieved in different ways. A good example can be seen in the chugging guitar part that is generated by hitting a spring and part of the bass sound produced by hitting the end of a Hoover tube with the hand. These sounds would invariably be processed through guitar amps to add character and weight. Not the only form of enhancement, it seems...
"Even though we were predominantly working at the very top of the building in studio 4, we hired out the main recording room of Studio 2 and set up a 2K PA system to send individual sounds through - effectively to beef them up and get the atmosphere of the room. This was done much to the annoyance of the Hansa cafe owner I might add, who had to endure 4's on the floor pounding directly above his head for 3 days on the trot - something akin to a road drill placed six inches from your ear. God knows what he used to put in our food as retribution..."
'A Question Of Time' was the first promo to be directed by Anton Corbijn who immediately made clear his strange and surreal agenda by shooting the video in black and white, with the band holding babies and a strange man on a motorbike moving in and out of view.
Anton was an unusual choice perhaps, as the band had only ever encountered him once before in an early photo session for the NME. In true Corbijn style, he had shot Dave completely out of focus for the front cover feature, much to Dave's annoyance, leading the band to assume that he must have hated their music.
"As unbelievable as it may seem, all our respective image changes over the years have been of our own choosing and until Anton became involved, there was no continuity to the DM image. In fact, some of the earlier promos are embarrassing to the extreme. We allowed ourselves to be walked over by a series of not very good directors practising their trade - Julian Temple springs to mind. Anton's arrival was certainly a relief although our acting abilities have hardly improved with all the experience we've had!"

Music For The Masses
Just as 'Black Celebration' can be remembered for closing one chapter on Depeche Mode, 'Music For The Masses' can equally be seen as the catalyst for the many changes that were to come. In some ways it's a pivotal record. Firstly, this was the only album recorded by DM and Tears For Fears producer Dave Bascombe (whose role was more that of an engineer) and is perhaps the nearest to a self-produced LP than any before or indeed since. It also saw a more substantial period of pre-production at Alan's home studio in North London before moving to a commercial studio.
Daniel Miller was initially asked about the level of his contribution but declined to be involved in the production side of the record, citing his concerns over the tension that manifested itself during the previous two albums and, as he saw it, the need for some fresh input. Musically too, another day had dawned. The metal-bashing was toned down in favour of more musical experimentation - "I think we had used up our quota of metallic sounds by that stage. There are only so many ways you can hit a pipe with a hammer."

Catalogue Number : Stumm 47
Formats : LP CD
Release date : 28th September 1987
Produced and mixed by : Depeche Mode and Dave Bascombe
Recorded at : Guilliame Tell, Paris, Konk Studios, London and Puk, Denmark
Catalogue Number : Bong 13
Formats : UK 7 12 CD
Release date : 13th April 1987
Produced and mixed by : Depeche Mode, Daniel Miller and Gareth Jones
Recorded at : Hansa, Berlin
'Strangelove' was the exact opposite to a song like 'Stripped'. Difficult to piece together, consisting as it did of many little parts, it was hard to find one thing to pin the track down. The single was released before the final mixing of 'Music For The Masses' and it was during this late stage that Daniel visited the studio to assist with it - an act that demonstrated the still close production relationship he held with the band.
He contributed a 12" version (Blind mix) and by the time the band was ready to mix 'Strangelove' for the LP, it was decided that the album version should incorporate elements of this. Thus, the result was an amalgamation of the original and Dan's remix.
Anton shot the video in Paris using his girlfriend Naseem as an extra. It marked the first inclusion of a characteristic Anton ingredient - the female of the species! (in the form of models and actresses).
An alternative video for 'Strangelove' was made at the American record company's request and directed by Martyn Atkins who was also responsible for the 'Little 15' promo. Atkins had been involved in much of DM's artwork over the years and had recently branched into film-making.

Never Let Me Down Again
Catalogue Number : Bong 14
Formats : UK 7 12 CD
Release date : 24th August 1987
Produced and mixed by : Depeche Mode, Dave Bascombe and Daniel Miller
Recorded at : Konk Studios, London and Puk, Denmark

From his very first listen to Martin's demo, Alan was aware of of the potential of 'Never Let Me Down' as a Depeche Mode benchmark. "It also stood out as an obvious single and suggested a 'Stripped'-like feel."
The uplifting and enigmatic lyrics (which to some contained veiled narcotic references) were absolutely in tune with the current mood of the group and espoused an image that could only serve to excite the growing army of fans. Once combined with an equally energetic musical accompaniment, these ambiguities ensured that the track also became an instant anthem for disaffected youth, and since the first live performance on the 'Music For The Masses' tour, it's electric atmosphere has remained a concert favourite. Alan confirms this:
"It has a very definite anthemic quality which is especially demonstrated when the song is performed live and the whole audience wave their hands in unison at the end - a Depeche high-point I think."
Primarily programmed at Alan's house, the basic demo was restructured to emphasise the chorus in an attempt to improve the overall flow of the track. It displays a blend of distinctive musical components and devices - some old Mode and some making their debut. Most notably, 'Never Let Me Down' illustrated the inaugural use of sections of live performance as opposed to just single notes being sampled and manipulated - best demonstrated by the distinctive opening guitar riff, which was originally played by Martin then heavily processed using a number of effects. There was also significant use of real orchestral sounds such as strings and horns as well as Led Zeppelin drum samples to flesh out the backing.
Besides being a noteworthy accomplishment in Depeche Mode's repertoire, Anton's video is also remembered for its eye-catching images of a bubble car driving through fields of yellow rape seed.
"This is one of my favourite Anton films. It has a very definite feel and a mood that compliments the song perfectly." admits Alan. An extended 12" version was also shot for inclusion on the 'Strange' compilation.

Behind The Wheel
Catalogue Number : Bong 15
Formats : UK 7 12 CD
Release date : 28th December 1987
Produced and mixed by : Depeche Mode and Dave Bascombe
Recorded at : Guilliame Tell, Paris, Konk, London and Puk, Denmark

The entire concept for the single release of 'Behind The Wheel' is centered around the theme of motor travel, from the opening sample of a spinning saucepan lid designed to sound like a hub-cap, through to the B-side - a strange hybrid cover of the classic 'Route 66' which included the middle 8 from the A-side. Apart from its obvious vehicular connotations, Alan reveals that this cover was also chosen because Martin didn't have any original songs to use at the time.
Together with large parts of sampled live performance, the track displayed a commonly used but seldom remarked upon DM vocal device - an identical melodic line sung by Martin an octave above Dave, to provide depth to the main lyric without detracting from it. This approach was more likely to have been employed to 'flesh out' the chorus sections of a song but unusually in 'Behind The Wheel', it is present from the start and provides a unique sense of urgency to the first verse.
The single version was remixed, somewhat disappointingly, by Shep Pettibone and the promo was shot by Anton Corbijn in Italy.

Little 15
Catalogue Number : Bong 15
Formats : UK 7 12 CD
Release date : 16th May 1988
Produced and mixed by : Depeche Mode, Daniel Miller and Dave Bascombe
Recorded at : Guilliame Tell, Paris, Konk, London and Puk, Denmark

'Little 15' was never intended as a single - in fact from the outset, it was touch and go as to whether the track would even be recorded at all. However, encouraged by Dan Miller, an experimental approach in the studio gave rise to a simple ballad based around a Nyman-esque opening string arrangement. It was the French record company who later insisted the song was perfect for their market, resulting in a release geared towards this territory only. There is some confusion over which other European countries eventually released the single. Certainly, it was never officially released in England and yet, remarkably, still managed to chart on Import only - a perfect demonstration of the die-hard following that DM now enjoyed. In fact, so fanatical that perversely, it could work against the group.
"It was actually quite predictable - the pattern for DM releases has been the same for many years. The fans are so dedicated that they rush out and buy the records in the first week of release resulting in a very high chart position (usually higher if it's a single pre-release of the album). This position is difficult to maintain or improve upon in the second and third weeks and the record doesn't have time to cross over (if it's going to) before it is dropping down the chart. As soon as the single starts to drop, radio stops playing it and the cycle is complete. Everything is over within 3-4 weeks. Not necessarily a reflection of the music, just a syndrome which has become almost impossible to break away from. By contrast, 'Just Can't Get Enough' was in the charts for something like 18 weeks."
The promo for 'Little 15' was directed by Martyn Atkins in London.

Everything Counts (live)
Catalogue Number : Bong 16
Formats : UK 7 12 CD
Release date : 13th February 1989
Produced and mixed by : Depeche Mode
Recorded at : Pasadena Rose Bowl and Swanward Studio, London

After completion of the 'MFTM' album in 1988, Depeche Mode set out on tour with hopes high but sights realistically set. However, the success of this venture outstripped everyone's expectations worldwide, with the band  s massive popularity finally being felt in the formerly reluctant US, who demonstrated their craving in the form of an audience of 86,000 at the 'Concert For The Masses' in the Pasadena Rosebowl.
"The Rosebowl performance wasn't actually one of the best due to monitoring problems but it certainly gave us a lot of credibility back in Europe where nobody could quite believe our popularity in the States.
I always found being on stage a surreal experience - at times my mind would be somewhere completely different whilst my body was on automatic pilot. It's like driving a car; if you actually stop to think about what you're doing, it becomes difficult."
The exhilarating atmosphere of this mammoth event was caught on camera by famed   60s documentary director, D.A. Pennebaker, who had been invited to film the exploits of the band as the 'Music For The Masses' juggernaut swept across the American heartland laying siege to everything in its wake and leaving behind a newly enthused and ever growing legion of followers.
The '101' live album (mixed by Alan in London with Alan Moulder) along with the film (named after the 101 dates the tour encompassed) was released on 13th March 1989 and 'Everything Counts' was the track chosen to promote it.
"I can't remember who really pushed for 'Everything Counts' - I think it was fairly unanimous. It had been a very popular live track for a number of years."
Taken from DM's third and singularly most politically aware album 'Construction Time Again' (1983), 'Everything Counts' was a naive but heartfelt treatise on the budding financial gluttony that was to so characterise the decadent 80's. "The grabbing hands, grab all they can, all for themselves, after all it's a competitive world. Everything counts in large amounts" sang Dave to the masses. Though not deliberate, by this point in their career the song was an almost sardonic take on DM's own personal and financial status and it must not have been difficult for the band and fans alike to realise the irony of the grabbing hands on both sides of the microphone.

A riot in the streets of L.A. at the Wherehouse record store on La Cienega. The scene was set for the release of an album that was to become Depeche Mode's most commercially and financially successful to date. A record that was to prove its considerable significance to the music scene for many years to come.
Press statement - March 1990
"Yesterday in Los Angeles, British band Depeche Mode broke all previous records when they made an appearance at one of the biggest record stores in the world. Some 5000 fans had camped outside the store for 4 days with the queue extending for nearly 2 miles. By the time the band arrived, there were more than 17,000 screaming fans outside, with The Beverly Centre opposite invaded by fans trying to get a better view. The LAPD closed down the event after 90 minutes because they felt the band's lives were in danger. Two hundred Police units including helicopters and mounted officers in full riot gear tried to calm the fans down. Eventually, the Police moved the band out of their hotel under escort. The Police Chief told us 'this is our biggest Police operation since the Presidential visit.'"
Catalogue Number : Stumm 64
Formats : LP CD
Release date : 19th March 1990
Produced and mixed by : Depeche Mode and Flood
Mixed by : Francois Kervorkian and Depeche Mode
Recorded at : Logic Studios, Milan, Puk, Denmark and The Church, London

In many ways it was the crowning glory for a band who epitomised everything that rock and roll should be, elevating them to the official position of stadium act. The compelling quality of Martin's words was matched by the innovative and assured approach to the music, helping to set 'Violator' apart from other releases that year. While their once popular contemporaries (born from the explosion of early   80s synth rock) had fallen by the wayside, Mode had endured the rigours of the decade and developed to represent the only true sound of its kind.
The unique blend of dark sensual imagery and electro 'savoir-faire' ensured that the album was a welcome relief to the ears and stood out clearly amongst the melee of fledgling dance acts and washed-up soft rockers. This is not to say that 'Violator' was the pure analogue beast that it has long been revered as and without wishing to offend those austere devotees who would balk at the mere mention of the word 'guitar', Alan reminds us:
"There are plenty of live drums in the form of loops on 'Violator' and a whole range of different acoustic instruments as well as the electronics. I think this album demonstrated what a delicate balance between played and programmed sounds can achieve."
The bulk of 'Violator' was recorded at Puk Studios in Denmark and introduced a significant newcomer to the previously closed-rank world of Depeche Mode production. Former 'Stripped' remixer, Flood had already worked with fellow Mute acts Nitzer Ebb, Nick Cave and Erasure when Daniel Miller suggested a meeting at Martin's house.
"This scruffy, bespectacled, rather unlikely looking bloke rolled up, raided the 'fridge a couple of times, slouched down on the sofa, pontificated for a bit and thus - a new production team was born."
At the initial recording session in Milan, the new partnership set to work on Martin's demos which were beginning to have diminishing influence on the final results.
"There were no hard and fast rules - sometimes the songs drastically changed from the demo and sometimes they were pretty similar. Martin didn't like to explain his songs to anyone and, knowing that, the other group members would rarely ask him what they were about. It's clear to me that the ambiguity of his words and the subversive quality of some of them (with their possible dark meanings) is what makes them interesting. It is also probably right to say that from 'Violator' onwards, the final results bore less resemblance to the original demos than ever."
It would be fair to attribute this to Alan and Flood whose dominance of the studio was quick to develop and ultimately provided a lasting and fruitful liaison.
"Flood and I worked well together. Our styles complimented each other - my musical angle coupled with his technical prowess. He was undoubtedly an important factor in the development of the 'Violator' and 'S.O.F.A.D.' albums."
Personal Jesus
Catalogue Number : Bong 17
Formats : 7 12 CD
Release date : 29th August 1989
Produced and mixed by : Depeche Mode and Flood
Mixed by : Francois Kervorkian and Depeche Mode
Recorded at : Logic Studios, Milan
Thrown out there 6 months before the release of the album, the first single, 'Personal Jesus', oozed confidence with its blatantly messianic statement - "Your own personal Jesus, reach out and touch faith" - calling out with an almost naive arrogance. Like 'Blasphemous Rumours' 6 years earlier, it touched a nerve amongst the moral right and to further fuel Christian animosity, Anton Corbijn's art direction was suitably provocative.
The sleeve featured each band member in an embrace with a naked girl (remembered by Alan as "....all a bit embarrassing really") and the promo saw them arriving at a desert bordello only to disappear with various women of ill-repute. In a ludicrous attempt to exercise some kind of control over the corrupt and depraved Depeche Mode (and in typically puritanical fashion) the US censor ordered the removal of a section of film featuring a horse's rear-end, because it coincided with Martin's 'o-ooh ooh' backing vocal and could apparently be misconstrued as some vague reference to bestiality?!
This was a strange hit however that was certainly not ignored. It floated around the alternative airwaves picking up the odd play here and there on Top Forty radio but it wasn't until 6 months had passed that the single suddenly broke in the US and everyone was talking about Depeche Mode - again. Musically, 'Personal Jesus' was a strange hybrid. The track itself was a significant move forward for the group but still retained elements of DM's former experimental self. For example, the main 'stomp' was a recording of 2 or 3 people jumping up and down on flight cases working alongside Martin's John Lee Hooker guitar riff and the Kraftwerk-style synth parts.
By the time 'Personal Jesus' was complete, the new production partnership had settled in but during the Milan sessions, it was not always plain sailing. Elements that were incompatible with the compact surroundings of a studio conspired to upset the apple cart and disrupt the already delicate environment. Concentration levels were low, and in some ways the tensions were exacerbated by Alan and Flood's desire to spend more time constructing intricate sequences and involved sounds.
"Studios can be incredibly claustrophobic places - even more so for those who perhaps don't play a big part in the nuts and bolts of the process. Boredom is an especially powerful and destructive force. For example, one of the most annoying things is if I'm working on a complicated sample (which I want to cut up into many pieces and reconfigure into something new), the process is inevitably complex and until the procedure is complete, things will usually sound chaotic and meaningless to anyone listening in. If someone who doesn't fully understand this procedure interjects negatively at an unfinished stage, it can be really irritating."
Fortunately, a short break was scheduled and upon resuming recording at Puk Studios in Denmark (minus Fletch who returned to England for personal reasons) the team found things flowing again and the greater part of the album was completed with relative ease.
"The Puk period was much more prolific and although some tracks like 'Clean' and 'Policy Of Truth' went through many guises before the final versions were settled upon, we had the most productive and enjoyable time."
In keeping with prior albums, issues like which songs would make it onto the definitive cut and which tracks represented potential singles needed to be addressed.
"There was a song called 'Mother Me' which we also recorded during this period but never finished, and for a long time 'Happiest Girl' was going to be on the LP."
"As for singles, 'Halo' was on a short-list but was never really a major contender. We ended up using it in a roundabout way by making a video (as well as one for 'Clean') to fill out the 'Strange Too' compilation."
In London, at Dave Stewart's The Church Studios, American producer Francois Kervorkian (who had worked with Kraftwerk) was drafted in to mix the LP - a decision that carried a significant element of risk.
"Francois had mixed 'Personal Jesus' with us in Milan and brought with him an excitable and at times quite 'difficult to work with' personality. However, the tension that resulted from this was good for the record and provided the individual tracks with some extra touches, as well as a much-needed new angle."
2017-06-30: Photobucket has disabled external image hosting, all scans will have to be re-uploaded on another site.

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 2010-2011: Recoil's Selected Release and Tour
« Reply #5 on: 09 October 2011 - 23:17:50 »
[Part 2 of the previous post:]

Enjoy The Silence
Catalogue Number : Bong 18
Formats : 7 12 CD
Release date : 5th February 1990
Produced and mixed by : Depeche Mode and Flood
Mixed by : Francois Kervorkian and Depeche Mode
Recorded at : Puk Studios, Denmark, The Church and Master Rock, London

Probably Depeche Mode's most successful song ever, 'Enjoy The Silence' began its life as a slow organ and voice ballad before Alan's vision to develop it into an up-tempo dance track became a reality.
"Martin's demos always had a complete set of lyrics but musically they varied from sometimes being quite detailed to often very simplistic. I felt that to have taken the simple ballad approach for this song would have been to criminally pass on its massive commercial potential. It was a great tune crying out for the kind of treatment it eventually got. Flood and I worked on the backing track before calling Martin in to play the guitar riff. As the track came together, I think it dawned on everyone (even Martin, who had been the most reluctant about taking the up-tempo route) that we had a hit on our hands."
As with past projects, Daniel Miller mixed the 7" version which won the Brit award for 'Single Of The Year', as voted for by Radio 1 listeners - a bizarre achievement in itself considering DMs 'see-saw' relationship with the radio audiences in their own country. Consequently, in a proverbial two-fingered salute to the British music media, the band boycotted the presentation event.
"We were all pretty like-minded about avoiding industry-based award ceremonies. Best left to Sting and Elton."
In his own eccentric way, Anton complimented the track by sending Dave up a mountain in sub-zero temperatures dressed as a king and carrying a deck chair, thus ensuring that 'Enjoy The Silence' became the most prominent and well remembered Corbijn / Mode collaboration.

Policy Of Truth
Catalogue Number : Bong 19
Formats : 7 12 CD
Release date : 7th May 1990
Produced and mixed by : Depeche Mode and Flood
Mixed by : Francois Kervorkian
Recorded at : Puk Studios, Denmark, The Church, London and Axis, New York

Recorded initially during the Puk sessions, 'Policy' went through many changes before being almost completely re-recorded at The Church.
"Usually this would signify problems with a song although in this case we knew it was a strong track, not least a potential single. The main riff of the song proved such a problem to get a sound for and we must have tried 100 different variations before settling on what had become perhaps the sound of the album - slide guitar."
Different slide guitar sounds punctuate 'Violator' regularly. In particular on tracks like 'Clean' (pedal steel played by Nils Tuxen), 'Sweetest Perfection' and 'Personal Jesus'.
Anton's promo was shot in New York and along with another 'Violator' song 'Waiting For The Night', 'Policy' eventually featured on the soundtrack to the film 'The Confessional'.

World in my Eyes
Catalogue Number : Bong 20
Formats : 7 12 CD
Release date : 17th September 1990
Produced and mixed by : Depeche Mode and Flood
Mixed by : Francois Kervorkian
Recorded at : Logic Studios, Milan, Puk Studios, Denmark and The Church, London

'World In My Eyes' had in fact been recorded very early on during the Milan session and, perhaps for this reason, displayed familiar Depeche elements linking it with previous albums. It was completed in London and with its 'drop' third verse and use of vocal double-tracking to fill out and build the later choruses, was probably the most 'electro' sounding track on the LP - something of an homage to Kraftwerk, in a rhythmical sense at least. Laughing in the face of criticism that electronic music was 'soulless' and would only appeal to a small eclectic audience, its success exhibited one of Depeche Mode's most fundamental philosophies.
"The interesting thing is that over the years, DM just carried on producing music in our usual way and the band has moved in and out of fashion, depending on what's trendy at the time. It's always preferable to remain true to your ideals and try to maintain one's integrity rather than jump on the latest bandwagon."
As was so often the case, promos for the third and fourth singles of an album were inevitably shot while the band were on tour. Anton's film for 'World In My Eyes' featured DM on stage and benefited from a backdrop of his live films made to accompany the 'World Violation' tour.

Songs Of Faith And Devotion
If 'Violator' had been drenched with the assurance and bravado of a band on top of the world and unphased by any internal differences, 'Songs Of Faith And Devotion' exuded an altogether more aggressive energy and potency that was not so jovial. This was evident from what appeared to be a greater sense of cynicism that preoccupied Martin's characteristically autobiographical songs ('Walking In My Shoes', 'Judas' and 'Condemnation' in particular) and aspects of Depeche Mode's pleasure-seeking existence that was reflected in tracks like 'Rush'.
Also significant was the shift in location and lifestyle for Dave who was now, both musically and chemically, feeding off the 'grungers' of LA and arrived at the first recording session with them very much in his mind. Coupled with Alan's desire to break free from the rigid confines of programmed music and embrace a more organic, groove-based style, 'SOFAD' was destined to reflect a new Depeche Mode agenda.
"With all DM albums, we tried to move forward from the previous one and after some discussion between myself, Flood and the others, we agreed that our approach should be more towards performance whilst trying to push ourselves into areas we hadn't explored. Some of the songs like 'I Feel You', 'In Your Room' and 'Rush' suggested a looser, more 'live' feel and it's probably fair to say that myself, Flood and Dave were the main instigators of this open and fluid sound."
Catalogue Number : Stumm 106
Formats : LP CD
Release date : 22nd March 1993
Produced and mixed by : Depeche Mode and Flood
Mixed by : Mark Stent, Depeche Mode and Flood
Recorded at : Madrid, Chateau Du Pape Studios, Hamburg and Olympic, London

Displaying some of Depeche Mode's most stimulating and emotive music, the album blossomed into a sleazy romp through the world of a supposedly invincible Mode but in reality one that was already reeling from the weight of internal personal problems - a not unsurprising paradox and certainly one worthy of a band of such extremes.
Counteracting the suggestion by some that the difficulties of certain band members made the LP one of the Mode's darkest, Alan contradicts:
"I don't agree at all that SOFAD is a dark album - it's the only DM album that leaves you feeling really uplifted. 'I Feel You' for example, or 'Higher Love', 'Rush' etc. all have an overriding sense of optimism."
"Naturally the complex atmosphere of an album reflects the state of the individuals involved at the time, and in this case, Dave's drug use was a factor during the making of the record. It was obviously disappointing - not for any moral reasons but because it adversely affected his personality and more specifically his greatest asset, his sense of humour..."
"There was an increase in general apathy and a distance which was sad considering what an enthusiastic and vital person he really is. It's also true that he was 'out of it' for much of the time so his active role was somewhat limited - he'd stay in his room but surface every now and then to enthuse about the music and offer words of encouragement."
The obstacles that did hinder the progress of the LP were not unfamiliar after 7 albums and numerous recording sessions although "this more performance-based style of working threw its own spanner in the works which some of us found hard to come to terms with."
Frustrations were further compounded by 2 recording sessions at a rented villa-cum-studio in Madrid where the band came away with only 2 tracks.
"There were some extremely difficult moments during the Madrid sessions" admits Alan. "I have a very strong work ethic - when I'm working, I'm working - which is the only way I can complete a project and know I've given my absolute best. Flood and I found it increasingly difficult to concentrate with some of the distractions we encountered in the villa."
After these sessions, Andy Fletcher returned home for personal reasons and with the number present in the studio slimmed down (to a core group consisting of Alan, Flood and whoever else was required) the third and easily the most productive session at Chateau Du Pape Studios in Hamburg saw the album turn around with 8 further tracks recorded.

I Feel You
Catalogue Number : Bong 21
Formats : 7 12 CD
Release date : 15th February 1993
Produced and mixed by : Depeche Mode and Flood
Mixed by : Mark Stent, Depeche Mode and Flood
Recorded at : Chateau Du Pape Studios, Hamburg and Olympic, London

After the more minimal and electro-based feel of the hugely successful 'Violator' album, it is perhaps understandable that the release of 'I Feel You' - the first offering from SOFAD - was accompanied by some sense of bewilderment.
Greeted with skepticism by a small number of synth purists who couldn't deal with what the press termed a 'rocked-out Mode', it was nevertheless the perfect introduction to an LP that saw the band reinvent themselves to reflect not only the musical climate of the early nineties but also the inner workings of the entire organisation at that time.
This opening single featured a relentless bluesy guitar riff, a heavy rhythm accompaniment and an urgent vocal that, upon first listen, seemed more akin to Deep Purple than Depeche Mode.
It was still marked as 'Mode' by an underlying electronic pulse but the restrictive qualities of heavily programmed drums had been tempered in favour of a looser and less precise feel, reminiscent of a combination of hip hop and blues. This was achieved in part by the addition of Alan's performed drum parts which were often sampled and layered to create more complex loops.
Anton Corbijn's video was shot at one of his favourite haunts in the desert outside L.A. and centred on a long-haired and heavily tattooed Dave eventually stripping in front of English actress Lysette Anthony.
As is often the case, completion of the album had taken those concerned right up to their Xmas deadline - "I think I actually ended up cutting the thing on New Years Eve." remembers Alan and during January and February, while   I Feel You' stormed the charts, he was joined by Steve Lyon (in Olympic Studios and later in his own studio in West Sussex) to compile the music for a world tour.
'Compile' is perhaps not an altogether appropriate word for it belies the real truth of the task at hand. As with previous tours, it was necessary to literally re-record the current album and much of the DM back catalogue as each of the tracks was modified and, in some cases, rejuvenated to make them more applicable to the live arena. In addition to reflecting the size and fervour of Depeche Mode's huge audiences, this outing was to be the grandest the band had ever undertaken in terms of stage production and sheer number of days on the road. It was vital therefore, that the music itself rose to the occasion.
Equipped with his experience and affinity with what makes a crowd of 15,000 Mode fans tick, the latest in digital technology from Roland and the engineering skills of Steve Lyon, Alan set to work...
"It's easy to forget that putting together a live show is a complicated and time-consuming activity. It isn't just about revamping the songs, which of course can be very exciting. There are a million other jobs to be tackled like deciding what will be on the backing tapes and what will be live, or who will play what parts and how that will effect the way I program the keyboards (which is a logistical nightmare in itself!)."
"There are also questions about the track running order and the different set lists themselves - this was to be a long haul and to play exactly the same songs night after night for 15 months would have been agony. You also have to consider each different country because every audience reacts differently, preferring favourite songs that have been particular to their territory. Consequently, we had 4 set lists - red, green, yellow, blue - with a similar overall structure but some variation in terms of which ballads and encores we'd perform."
"Then there are incidentals such as the time you'll be going on stage. For example, with the European and 1st leg of the American tour, in spring and autumn respectively, we knew it would be twilight when the show kicked off so it seemed a good idea to capitalise on this. I think the resulting opening sequence of thunder and lightening preceding 'Higher Love' and accompanied by the huge curtains, appropriate light show and the magic hour itself, was one of the most dramatic moments of the whole tour. Of course, the ROW and 2nd US leg coincided with lighter months so this kind of introduction wouldn't have been as effective."
"Unfortunately, putting the 'Devotional' live show together proved to be more of a handful than either myself or Steve had bargined for. We knew when we started that we didn't have a lot of time on our hands and it didn't help that the Roland sequencer was giving us continual problems. However, we persevered and had nearly completed the work when disaster struck. The machine couldn't handle the sheer volume of traffic we were demanding from it and one day the whole system just crashed - we lost everything. Three and a half months of work. Luckily we had had the foresight to back up all the music onto multitrack but the edits had gone."
"With the new single 'Walking In My Shoes' due for release and rehearsals beckoning, we found ourselves with the mammoth task of re-editing everything in about 2 weeks. We worked night and day and then sued Roland. Actually that experience taught me a very valuable lesson about cutting edge technology - don't touch it with a barge pole. It's not fun being the guinea pig for a piece of gear that hasn't been tested in the field by professionals, only to find it's full of design flaws."

Walking In My Shoes
Catalogue Number : Bong 22
Formats : 7 12 CD
Release date : 26th April 1993
Produced and mixed by : Depeche Mode and Flood
Mixed by : Mark Stent, Depeche Mode and Flood
Recorded at : Madrid and Olympic, London

One of the first 'SOFAD' tracks to be recorded and one that went through many incarnations, together with 'In Your Room', 'Walking' is probably the best example of the new multi-layered DM sound. The more organic feel was created with the use of live bass and guitar plus a dynamic string arrangement and a series of different drum loops, blended with both new and old Mode techniques. The E-bow guitar (playing the end melody) endowed the track with a haunting quality which was also evident in Dave's voice mirroring the distorted piano and harpsichord riff. Electro elements were still present but their role had shifted and they were used more in the form of bubbling synth parts to provide atmospherics rather than to carry lead melodies. The result was a unique emotional experience.
The accompanying B-side was a remix of 'My Joy', a track recorded in Hamburg that had once been earmarked for the LP but failed to make it onto the final track list. "It was going to be on SOFAD at one point but we didn't think it was strong enough in the end. It was mixed by Steve Lyon and myself. I reconfigured the track for the 12" version, with Steve engineering."
Following on from Brian Eno's reworking of 'I Feel You' (The Swamp mix), Johnny Dollar contributed a version of 'Walking' (Grungy Gonads mix) with additional scratches supplied by Geoff Barrow from Portishead, thus providing two of the most innovative remixes Depeche Mode has ever seen.
When he heard 'Walking In My Shoes', Anton Corbijn's foremost remark was "I see nuns, with beaks, skating". He's the only one who did. Together with this bizarre image, his film saw Dave set in the foreground of an erupting volcano as a red bird-woman stalked across the scene. The promo also incorporated elements of the Hieronymous Bosch painting 'The Garden Of Earthly Delights' and extras with exaggerated or misshapen body parts were recruited whilst Alan, Martin and Fletch were filmed with their faces pressed against glass to twist and manipulate their own features. Alan commented...
"It was certainly one of Anton's more surreal promos and the actual filming was quite a different experience for us. I remember how odd it was being surrounded by all these people with every manner of deformity - especially at meal times. It brought a smile to my face standing next to a hunch-back, dressed like a gothic nightmare and hearing him ask the catering girls 'have you got any ketchup love?'"
With Alan and Steve having completed the live tapes by the skin of their teeth and after a month of intensive rehearsals, 4 band members, an entourage of 18, a crew numbering close to 80 and 1 spiritual adviser set sail on a tour that was to become as notorious as it was successful. 'Devotional' kicked off to a crowd of hungry fans in Lille on May 19th and never looked back.
The set design and back-screen projections by Anton were stunning and the show featured a new-look Dave, a guitar-playing Martin and a drumming Alan.
"I only started playing drums more seriously for the 'Devotional' tour but I'm really glad I did because it was very enjoyable. It was prompted by a desire to challenge myself on stage and to try to make the DM live show a bit more varied. I initially had the idea to learn to drum during the making of 'SOFAD' and mentioned it to Dave who was very enthusiastic."
Accompanied by the best of everything - hotels, private planes, cars and a host of staff ready to procure anything at the drop of a hat - Depeche Mode were in their element and took every opportunity to soak up the ambience created by each new town they rolled into.
The European leg concluded with a sell out show to 30,000 at London's Crystal Palace stadium in July and the tour paused for breath. Not Alan however, who found himself back in the saddle, this time at U2's Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin to produce the planned live album 'Songs Of Faith And Devotion Live' and prepare the sound for a video compilation of the 'Devotional' tour.
In September, the first US leg kicked off in conjunction with 'SOFAD's third single, 'Condemnation', although as Alan reveals:
"In typical fashion, the US record company wanted a different release to 'Condemnation' so they insisted that we stand outside all day in the freezing cold and make a video for 'One Caress' which in the end they decided not to release at all."
Directed by Kevin Kerslake, it was shot just outside Chicago and included an unusual cast of animals and insects.
"The only amusing part of the whole event was when half of these creatures escaped into the trees and the crew had to spend the rest of the night coaxing them down - pretty hard when you're talking about a cockroach..."

Catalogue Number : Bong 23
Formats : 7 12 CD
Release date : 13th September 1993
Produced and mixed by : Depeche Mode and Flood
Additional production and remix : Alan Wilder and Steve Lyon
Recorded at : Madrid and Guilliame Tell, Paris
With experimentation still prevalent, the elementary sounds for the third single, 'Condemnation' were recorded in the basement of the Madrid villa with one person banging a flight case, another clapping and a third scraping the wall with a tambourine.
The vocals - which were to have a 'barbershop choir meets gospel Elvis Presley' flavour - proved that Depeche Mode had not abandoned their desire to find different and exciting ways of producing music. Built up track by track, individual takes were sung by (mainly) Martin and (sometimes) Alan and then manipulated using vari-speed to produce very low and very high pitches. Once added to Dave's lead vocal, the resulting close harmonies provided the barbershop body of the track.
The actual single version was remixed during a stop off in Paris during the tour. While the band took a few days to see their families, Alan and Steve Lyon ducked into Guilliame Tell Studios. This remix was no mean task incorporating extra hip-hop drum loops and, to further compliment this impressive sound, the use of additional female gospel vocals - provided by Hildia Cambell and Samantha Smith.
Hildia and Sam had already made an appearance on the LP, an addition that since its release, has been remarked upon with a sense of reservation from certain quarters and wrongly attributed as being at Flood's insistence. This is somewhat ill-founded considering the richness of Martins's writing which at the time certainly seemed to draw from the charisma of blues and black spirituals.
"I'm not aware that there was any great resistance to the use of gospel singers or any other additional musicians" corrects Alan. "At the time, everybody was into the idea and there was certainly no Flood verses Band debate - I don't even think the gospel singers were Flood's suggestion."
'Condemnation's video was shot in the countryside surrounding Budapest, Hungary. In the cold and rain, Dave was dragged across a field in a messiah-like pose by Sam and Hildia while Anton dressed the remaining band members as monks and well, let's just say, it wasn't the high point of the DM visual experience.
Following the hectic American dates, Alan enjoyed a brief Xmas break before flying out to a studio in Milan for 3 weeks with Steve Lyon to prepare a new version of the show for the ROW (South Africa, Australia, Asia and South America) and second US leg.
Gone was the meteorological 'Higher Love' intro, replaced by a dynamic version of 'Rush' that started with a frenetic techno sequence.
He also completely reworked a 'trip-hop' version of 'I Want You Now' which proved a favourite amongst American fans who were lucky enough to hear it and a source of much annoyance to those in Europe who missed out. From Italy, he travelled directly to South Africa where the tour was due to restart, a few weeks after the release of the fourth and final single from 'SOFAD'.
In Your Room
Catalogue Number : Bong 24
Formats : 7 12 CD
Release date : 10th January 1994
Produced and mixed by : Depeche Mode and Flood
Additional production : Butch Vig
Recorded at : Madrid and Chateau du Pape Studios, Hamburg
It has been the consensus of many Depeche Mode admirers, from fans to fellow musicians, that 'In Your Room', the fourth and final single, is one of the highlights of the 'Songs Of Faith And Devotion' album (and perhaps their best track ever) epitomising just what Depeche Mode had developed into musically after their many years at the top. Full of seductively ambiguous meaning and infused with an underlying energy waiting to burst forth, when transferred to the live arena it's awesome power was enhanced by Alan's drumming, Dave's heartfelt live performance and Anton Corbijn's breathtaking film show ensuring it was also a high point of the tour.
The track's particular strength lay in the subtle layering of instrumentation - a bubbling synth part, hypnotic groove and rousing strings - and from start to finish it was characterised by an ever-building tension that kept the listener on the edge of their seat. This sense of anticipation is dynamically realised in the impassioned lyrics of the third verse - "In your room, your burning eyes, cause flames to arise" and in perfect sync, the music steps up a gear, led by the intensity of the drums and spills over into the final chorus.
Described by Alan as "another very difficult track to complete", 'In Your Room' ended up being an amalgamation of 3 versions - e.g. first verse from one version, the second from another and the third from yet another and this was contributory to its sense of dynamics.
Convinced of the song's potential as a single, he campaigned rigorously on behalf of the album version to the point where various different edits were tried, but was eventually out-voted in favour of a remix by Nirvana producer and 'grunge' dahling of the press, Butch Vig. Unfortunately, as is often the case with outside remixers, Vig's interpretation did not relate to many of the aspects of the original and the track lost much of its Depeche Mode character, falling short of it's intended sensuality and intensity.
"We would usually reach a consensus to form a short-list of potential singles. For example, 'Higher Love' was on this list for the 'SOFAD' singles but never made it and there were differences of opinion about in which order they should appear. Dave felt very strongly that 'Condemnation' should have been the first single but he was out-voted. I wanted 'Walking In My Shoes' as a second single and got my way but I really wanted the original version of 'In Your Room'. This is all a good example of the problems of democracy - somebody usually ends up disappointed."
In an attempt to conclude a long and successful period of art direction, Anton's collage-like promo incorporated elements of many of the previous videos from both 'Violator' and 'SOFAD'. Its S&M slant, with each band member strapped into a chair (and the subsequent moral stance taken by the US censor), meant that unfortunately some of his best work saw little air play with many fans still never having seen the film to date.
It was during this period that cracks began to appear on the polished surface that was the Mode machine. And they were affecting everyone. Dave's drug dependency was making him more introverted than ever (except on stage) and it was rare to see him venture from his dressing room after a show or out on the town. "Of course, everybody was concerned about his welfare but addicts are notoriously difficult to dissuade from their cause unless they themselves really want to change." explains Alan, "At the time Dave wasn't in that frame of mind and therefore any advice given to him fell on deaf ears." It certainly didn't help matters when Primal Scream joined as support for the American leg in April.
Martin too was in full flow until a series of seizures - one viewed first-hand by Alan - forced him to slow down and eventually stop partying altogether. Fletch's mental instability that had been an issue on and off since the making of 'Violator', eventually proved incompatible with touring life altogether and following the Asian dates, he returned to England.
After a week of intensive coaching by Alan in a hotel room in Hawaii, his replacement, Daryl Bamonte - lifelong DM friend and coordinator - took over for the South American dates and final US leg. In Alan's case, besides the excruciating pain and inconvenience of a kidney stone that hospitalised him in South Africa, he remained physically unscathed if not somewhat disillusioned.
"What people have heard about that tour is all pretty much true. Everyone was indulging in their own thing, sometimes with destructive results but it's all part of the private way you deal with such a bizarre and unreal world. Halfway through, an on-the-road psychiatrist was drafted in to provide some kind of support for those people who wanted it - ironically I think everybody went to see him at one stage apart from Dave.
Aside from the well documented stories there were also some other incidents like bad flights and fights which caused tensions. For example, Martin and I were on a flight from Dallas to the Caribbean when after 20 minutes or so, there was a loud bang and I think all the oxygen masks came down. It was some kind of pressurisation problem. There was a fair amount of panic and the air-hostesses tearfully embracing one another didn't exactly inspire confidence...
"...The pilot had to turn around and we sat through a hair-raising 20 minutes as the plane tried to make it back to Dallas. Later on, we were reliably informed that had we been at our proper cruising altitude, this would have been a major incident. We ended up getting blind drunk in the airport, eventually hiring a private plane at great expense and woke up in the sunshine of the West Indies with a headache."
"In spite of all these things, there were loads of good moments too. Not only was it the most successful tour with some of the best shows we'd ever played, but personally, I can't see what all the fuss is about - I had a great time."
Fifteen months of 'Devotional' was celebrated by an end of tour party at St. Andrew's Hall in Detroit that was pretty much on a par with the reputation the band had acquired (at least all the standard Depeche Mode requirements were met - scantily-glad girls, erotic dancers, Martin dressed as a woman), finally coming to an end in Indianapolis on July 8th 1994.
On June 1st 1995, Alan made the difficult but inevitable decision to leave Depeche Mode and announced his departure:
"The overriding reason for my departure, above all else, was that since '93 I hadn't really been enjoying life in the group enough to warrant sticking with it, especially given that I didn't feel there was anything more I could personally achieve within its boundaries. I have to say that I never had any doubts that it was the right thing to do at the right time for me. My involvement with Depeche has been good to me and I am grateful for the wonderful memories and the enviable position it has left me in. I'm proud of my involvement with 'The Singles 86-98' which effectively represents 10 years of hard but satisfying work. There were one or two bleak moments but at the end of the day it was all worth it - and who could ask for anything more?"
After a 2 year break, characterised by the seriousness of Dave's heroin dependency (which resulted in a suicide attempt followed by a period of rehabilitation), Depeche Mode tentatively returned to the studio without Alan. To replace him, they recruited 'Bomb The Bass' DJ Tim Simenon and his team of programmers, keyboardists and engineers. The resulting album 'Ultra' was released on 14th April 1997, the singles from which complete this compilation.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 2010-2011: Recoil's Selected Release and Tour
« Reply #6 on: 09 October 2011 - 23:18:40 »
2009-03-20 - RecoilBoss on Twitter!/Recoilboss/status/1359387318

Recoil is quite busy working on new material
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 2010-2011: Recoil's Selected Release and Tour
« Reply #7 on: 09 October 2011 - 23:18:53 »
2009-06-17 - Recoil - The Thin Line

[Click on the link to see more features and images.]

Shunt’s diligent and talented webmaster Oliver paid a visit to The Thin Line in Sussex last April, and the photos he took inspired an improved extensive feature about Alan’s studio - from its history and construction to the equipment and general design, including a 360 degree panoramic view, close-ups of the gear and audio clips. Head for the ‘evidence/the thinline’ section of Shunt to see for yourself. We hope you enjoy it.
The Shunt Staff

The Thin Line - Alan Wilder's studio is set deep in the Sussex countryside and offers an atmosphere conducive to his unique style of music production. Conceived as a self-contained, purpose-built programming and recording environment, it is housed within a large, open-plan building and contains an assortment of classic analogue and cutting-edge digital recording equipment.
The original property which dates back to the mid. 19th century had suffered from years of ill-conceived alteration, all but draining the building of its very life force. Alan was moved to resuscitate it, re-creating what he describes as:
"a living, breathing space designed not necessarily for controlled sound but with the feel of a workshop, with plenty of light."
During 1991, under the watchful eye of Wilder, a team of expert builders, electricians and steel workers spent 6 months gutting, reinforcing and rewiring the site before a spiral staircase and mezzanine bedroom area was constructed...
Whilst converting the cellar to house necessary amplification equipment, the team discovered a disused underground water tank and ingeniously transformed it into a drum booth. A specialist lighting company (Box Products) was commissioned to add the unique atmospheric details.
Finally, Alan called in Kevin Van Green, a professional studio designer, to run all the necessary cabling for the equipment, incorporating a Soundtracs mixing console (later replaced by a Neve console) and Dynaudio monitors somewhat unusually suspended by chains from the building's steel structure.
Alan's arsenal of equipment was rack-mounted within Kevin's unique scaffolding system - a combination of metal frames, sliding work surfaces and extractable pods, customised to contain a range of samplers, synthesizers, tape machines, computers and effects.
The studio decor, which echoes Alan's interest in architecture and interior design, includes carefully thought out details such as nickel-chrome bench radiators, a burnished steel fireplace and a 3-piece suite constructed from the seats of his first car, a 1974 Citroen DS.
He consciously avoids the usual studio accoutrements such as gold discs and photographs with Elton John, but there are personal touches like a framed print of the 'A Broken Frame' album cover and an assortment of thirties and forties telephones.
Wilder's characteristic attention to detail in all aspects of his life ensures that The Thin Line not only lends itself to a minimalist, industrial style but also exudes a unique ambience and personality, preventing it from ever feeling like merely a workplace.
"It was always my intention to design this studio so you could simply remove all the gear and be left with a really interesting open-plan building. I particularly like the way the bedroom gallery overlooks the whole room and the floor to ceiling shuttered windows provide fantastic views. The only problem I have is that in the winter, the place is so bloody cold!"
The Thin Line has proven particularly conducive to its owner's unique working methods and the results can be seen in Recoil's 1997 offering, 'Unsound Methods', which was programmed and recorded there. Unfortunately, the 'workshop' feel and uncontrolled sound made the close listening and scrutiny necessary for mixing almost impossible, thus necessitating the upheaval of most of the equipment to a commercial studio. In the case of 'Unsound Methods', this irritation was compounded by a frustrating experience at one particular studio and ultimately led Alan to question his entire set-up.
Having come to the conclusion that the only way to avoid these problems in future was to customize his studio to enable the completion of an entire project there - from conception to the final mix - he once again consulted Kevin Van Green to discuss the problem of the wayward acoustics.
Kevin's recommendation was the construction of a 'room within a room' that could be brought temporarily into play specifically for mixing and then easily removed again afterwards.
He proposed a 'floating' ceiling supported by the steel beams that span the building and a series of screens to deaden the sound. In addition, he started work on re-designing and structuring the unique racking system to accommodate a selection of new equipment.
The new gear was ordered through The Audio Net, whose representative Mark Lusardi engaged in in-depth discussions with Alan to ascertain exactly what his requirements were. To accomplish the mixing process at The Thin Line, the final decision was made to run a Digidesign 24 bit ProTools system - a high end digital multitrack and recording / editing facility - along with E-magic Logic Audio software in place of Steinberg Cubase VST - as used for the previous record. This would, in essence, enable Alan to 'mix' as he worked using a virtual mixing desk (ProTools allows as many audio tracks as your memory will allow) and by applying software-based effects (plug-ins) through ProTools.
He had experienced some of its awesome capabilities remixing both 'Drifting' and 'Stalker' with Paul Kendall. Still able to use some choice pieces of outboard equipment such as valve compressors and special effects modules, the bulk of this 'detailing' was to become computer-based. One advantage of such a set-up is that it negates the need for an automated mixing console and a huge collection of individual units. This new sequencing software also has an impressive array of features, including excellent audio facilities for recording vocals directly to the computer's hard-disk - thus removing tape machines from the equation.
To run this system, Alan's Power Macintosh 7600/132 computer was upgraded to the powerful 9600 /240 meg. Finally, 2 large 21'' monitors and a pair of Dynaudio BM15A near-field audio monitors completed the set-up.
With the gear eventually in place, Alan started familiarising himself with Logic and exploring some of the technicalities of ProTools. The set-up was configured with Logic as the front-end software, visible on one screen with ProTools running behind it on another.
The computer's mouse can be dragged from monitor to monitor so adjustments can be made instantly. Vocals and other musical parts are recorded directly to the hard disk and are then displayed as a wave form for editing. It was Alan's intention to run all of his music 'live' without ever committing anything to tape. The advantage of this is total flexibility with instant access to the recordings as well as the opportunity to restructure the music with ease at any stage of the process.
Following the discussions concerning the problem of the wayward acoustics, work finally began in November 1998. It was decided that there were two main areas to tackle - the exposed bare plaster walls and the soaring 20ft high ceilings.
Three separate wall areas were fitted with mounted absorbers in the form of foam-filled, wooden-framed panels (sprayed in metallic copper paint) and covered in perforated aluminium.
In addition to providing the necessary acoustic qualities, one of these panelled areas that covers a large corner of the studio, was converted into an impressive vocal booth.
Overhead, Kevin and Mark constructed 3 x 10ft long metal frames, each containing 8 triangles of specialist acoustic foam, before suspending them at varying heights from the existing steel girders using industrial wires and fixings.
Again, these frames were sprayed with metallic paint - copper and steel - and finished with chrome dome-headed bolts, adding to the already stylised industrial look of the studio.
Two free-standing bass trap towers were also developed and built containing foam and covered with aluminium mesh. These were placed directly opposite the speakers for maximum effect. Two floating silver and metallic green screens provide further baffling at the back (or to the sides) of the main working area. To assist with the problem of sound reflection behind the speakers, heavy blood red velvet curtains were hung from steel poles to cover the studio windows with their 11ft. wooden shutters.
One or two other audio changes were implemented to optimise Alan's ProTools system. The 36 channels of his L3632 Soundtracs desk were deemed redundant and replaced by a smaller digital mixing console, a Yamaha 03D. However, a few dedicated analogue channels are always desirable to provide that special 'warmth' that digital cannot offer, so Alan decided to add in some highly-favoured Neve equipment in the form of an ex-BBC broadcast desk. Manufactured in the 1970's, and still regarded as the ultimate in analogue design, 20 channels with differing eq/mic modules were sought and found to complete the final piece of the jigsaw.
With the Soundtracs desk now removed from the equation, Alan's main working space was relocated into the centre of the room and Kevin set to work reconfiguring his exclusive scaffolding system to house the new gear. To keep the layout as ergonomic and as aesthetically pleasing as possible, he constructed a main rack mounting unit with the equipment angled at approximately 50 degrees.
This somewhat resembles the cockpit of an aircraft and ensures that the most frequently used equipment - samplers, midimoog, obei rack, computer keyboard and mixing console - is within easy and comfortable reach. The two 21" computer screens were placed centrally within the stereo image and flanked on either side by Dynaudio BM15A near field monitors, 'spiked' and placed at the optimum acoustic position.
Not to be ignored from the new improvements, the 'office' section of the studio was moved to a larger corner and an unusual desk (that had been languishing in the main house) replaced the bureau that had been home to the computer for some time. Designed and manufactured exclusively for Alan byRussell Bagley at Box Products, its unique bullet shape and oak, copper and steel materials make it a compatible addition to the studio.
For more insight into Alan's studio and further information about the equipment he uses, go to bulletin/press-promo/features and read the 'Future Music' and 'Sound On Sound' features.

Console / Monitoring
Neve 20 input, 4 x bus console
14 x 33114 mic / eq modules
6 x 33115 mic / eq modules
Yamaha 03D Digital Mixing Console
Yamaha CD8-AE Digital I/F card
Dynaudio M2 monitors
Dynaudio BX30 sub monitor units
Manley designer ref. series amplifiers
Dynaudio BM15A nearfield monitors
2 x Telefunken V72 valve line amps
1 x Telefunken V76 valve mic amp
Tascam MH-40B headphone amp

Tape Machines
Sony DTC 1000ES Dat machine
Rotel RCD 965BX CD Player
Yamaha CD Burner + Masterlist software

Computer Hardware
Apple Mac Power 9600 / 350 / 240 meg
2 x 21" Radius 2150 monitors
ProTools 192 24 Core System
888 / 24 Interface Unit
DSP Farm - PC I Powerpack
Digidesign Audiomedia III PCI

Computer Software
Logic Audio Platinum 8.02
ProTools 8.0
Ableton Live 7.0
Native Instruments package
Garitan Orchestral package
Waves plug ins
Various other plug-ins
Logitech Cordless Trackman

Akai S3000XL 32 meg
Akai S1100 16 meg
Akai S1000
Akai S-612
Akai MD-280 Disk drive
Emulator Ultra
Emulator III
Emulator II
Emax Turbo II

Disk Drives
4 x 500 Gig Lacie Back up drives

Keyboards / Synths
Korg O1 / W PRO X Workstation
Korg DVP-1 Vocoder
Rackmount midi moog
Minimoog Model D
Obei rack
Arp Odyssey
Wasp / Spider
Wurlitzer electric piano

Outboard FX / Reverbs / Delays
Manley stereo compressor
Zoom 9010 FX processor
Yamaha SPX 9011
Lexicon PCM 70 Digital Reverb / delay
Roland R880 Reverb / delay
GC8 controller for R880
Roland 501 space echo
6 x Drawmer gates
2 x Drawmer compressors

B+K 4006
B+K 4011
C - Ducer Audio trigger
3 x C - Ducer Mics

Yamaha drum kit + FC / Zildjian Cymbals
Noble & Cooley 7 inch snare drum
Noble & Cooley piccalo snare
Percussion pads
Akai MX1000 (for above)
Drumulator 7000

Midi Synchronisers
Mark / Unicorn MTPAV midi interface

Steinway 6ft grand piano
Bosendorfer 6ft grand piano
Knight Gretch anniversary gtr
Avon Bass Gtr
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 2010-2011: Recoil's Selected Release and Tour
« Reply #8 on: 09 October 2011 - 23:19:14 »
2009-11-25 - Recoil - "The Posters Came from the Walls" screening on December 1st

"The Posters Came from the Walls" screening on December 1st
"The Posters Came from the Walls" is a recently released film about Depeche Mode fans which will be showing simultaneously in several cinemas throughout the UK on Tuesday Dec 1st.
For those of you in the London area, the film will be showing at Clapham Picturehouse where Alan will be attending the screening and taking part in a q & a session afterwards, along with directors Jeremy Deller and Nick Abrahams. "The Posters Came from the Walls" (or How Basildon ended the Cold War and other stories..) features interviews with some highly devoted fans worldwide - from Mexico to Romania, from East Germany to Iran - and shows us the impact DM has had on their lives. Described as "sweet, warm and moving" in Alan's own words, we highly recommend seeing it.
For more info about the film, and for details on the various screenings, please check
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 2010-2011: Recoil's Selected Release and Tour
« Reply #9 on: 09 October 2011 - 23:19:34 »
2009-12-04 - nicktrash - 'The Posters Came from the Walls' Q & A with Alan Wilder

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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 2010-2011: Recoil's Selected Release and Tour
« Reply #10 on: 09 October 2011 - 23:19:51 »
2009-12-04 - Release Magazine (Sweden) - News

Alan Wilder + Depeche Mode = true?
By Johan Carlsson

Well, take a huuuuuge pinch of salt with that, but recently I went to a screening of the Depeche Mode documentary "The Posters Came from the Walls" in London. It's about the hardcore fans of the band, and the film crew went to Los Angeles, Mexico, Iran and other countries to find fans whose lives are heavily influenced by the band.
Present in the audience was Alan Wilder, and in a q+a session afterwards, he soon got a question about working with Depeche Mode again. To which he answered that he wouldn't mind working with the band! How's that for brighting up your day? He also jokingly said "Everyone has their price", and that the band probably still hadn't forgiven Vince for leaving. Of course, there are no current plans for this to happen, but it seemingly signifies a change in Alan's point of view.
Prodded about his opinions about the band's recent output, he said he likes the songs "Home" and "Barrel of a Gun", and that "Ultra" is the best album they have made without him. His own favourite Depeche Mode album is "Songs of Faith and Devotion".
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Re: 2010-2011: Recoil's Selected Release and Tour
« Reply #11 on: 09 October 2011 - 23:20:05 »
2010-01-01 - (Germany) - Neujahrsgrüße von Alan Wilder

[Alan announcing that he is indeed working on something new.]

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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 2010-2011: Recoil's Selected Release and Tour
« Reply #12 on: 09 October 2011 - 23:20:20 »
2010-01-05 - Recoil - New Recoil album & Event tour!

New Recoil album & Event tour!
Recoil is set to release an album in the Spring of 2010 entitled 'Selected'. The exact date is still to be confirmed but it will most likely be in April or May. This release is a selection of classic Recoil tracks chosen by Alan Wilder who says: "The collection is made up of my personal favourites, remastered and edited together into what I consider a cohesive and total listening experience."
So far, the 'Selected' formats have been confirmed as a single CD version as well as a double pack CD. The double CD will feature a second disc including many new remixes and alternative versions, again chosen and edited together by Alan and Paul Kendall.
In support of the album, we are also very excited to announce a Recoil Events tour which will take place across Europe and in the US between March & May. Dates will be announced shortly and you can expect some interesting developments as each city is confirmed.
More soon...
The Shunt Staff
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Re: 2010-2011: Recoil's Selected Release and Tour
« Reply #13 on: 09 October 2011 - 23:20:36 »
2010-01-07 - Neuwerk-music (Germany) - Recoil @ Neuwerk

Recoil @ Neuwerk
We are very happy to start 2010 with a great new partnership: the former member of  Depeche Mode, Alan Wilder has decided to work with neuwerk on all matters concerning the booking matters of his project Recoil.
Among with his new release, which is called "Selected", we will shortly announce some special events to introduce the new material to the fans. Below the official news:

Recoil is set to release an album in the Spring of 2010 entitled 'Selected'.  The exact date is still to be confirmed but it will most likely be in April or May.  This release is a selection of classic Recoil tracks chosen by Alan Wilder who says: "The collection is made up of my personal favourites, remastered and edited together into what I consider a cohesive and total listening experience."
So far, the 'Selected' formats have been confirmed in a single CD version as well as a double pack CD format.  The double CD will feature a second disc which will include many new remixes and alternative versions, again chosen and edited together by Alan and Paul Kendall.
In support of the album, we are also very excited to announce a Recoil Events tour which will take place across Europe and in the US between March and May.  Dates will be announced shortly and you can expect some interesting developments as each city is confirmed.

We are working on those dates and will announce them shortly. Two of them are already confirmed: the fans in Spain can already look forward to 2 RECOIL special events together with NITZER EBB !
The dates are:
March 12th, 2010, Barcelona, Sala Apolo
March 13th, 2010, Madrid, Sala Macumba
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 2010-2011: Recoil's Selected Release and Tour
« Reply #14 on: 09 October 2011 - 23:21:28 »
2010-01-07 - sala-apolo (Spain) - NITZER EBB + RECOIL

DIVENDRES 12 DE MARÇ 2010 A LES 20:30 h.
Puertas - 19:45 | Recoil - 20:30 | Nitzer Ebb - 22:05
Anticipada: 25€ | Taquilla: 28€
Otros puntos de venta: Revolver, CD Drome, Bibian Blue, Fnac, Carrefour, (902.15.00.25)
Nitzer Ebb:

Nitzer Ebb nació en la periférica ciudad londinense de Essex en 1982. Tres amigos del instituto por tres amigos del colegio, Douglas McCarthy , Bon Harris, David Gooday. En plena decadencia del Punk, la fiebre de los nuevos románticos y los sintetizadores, Nitzer Ebb creó su propio estilo, apostando por un sonido crudo y directo, fuertemente influenciado por los alemanes D.A.F. Así pues, sin pretenderlo, fueron uno de los pioneros de la Electronic Body Music, en su vertiente más radical, junto a los belgas Front 242. Pequeñas actuaciones en salas locales, con una imagen militar algo ambigua y una contundencia inusual en su directo, hacen que pronto empiecen a tener un legión importante de fans. En enero de 1985 autoeditan su primer single "Isn't It Funny How Your Body Works", que se convierte en pieza imprescindible el los clubs underground de la capital británica. Le siguió ese mismo año el single "Warsaw Ghetto"/"So Bright So Strong". En 1986 editan sus éxitos "Let Your Body Learn"/"Get Clean" y "Murderous" en Power of Voice Communitactions. La creciente popularidad de Nitzer Ebb hace que Daniel Miller, cazatalentos y fundador de Mute Records (Depeche Mode, Nick Cave, Fad Gadget, Einstürzende Neubauten...), ponga sus ojos en ellos y les fiche para su discográfica. En mayo de 1987 lanzaron su álbum debut That Total Age, con la unánime aclamación por parte de la prensa musical. El segundo álbum, Belief (1989), supone un paso adelante en el sonido de Nitzer Ebb. Una producción más científica, con un claro enfoque marcadamente electrónico, dejando un poco de lado la crudeza del primer disco. En Showtime (1990) la banda se acerca a composiciones con estructuras próximas al Rock, eso sí, siempre con una instrumentación electrónica. Dicho álbum consagra a Nitzer Ebb entre los grandes y les permite girar por EE.UU. con Depeche Mode en el World Violation Tour. banda se acerca a estructura más próximas al rock, siempre con una instrumentación electrónica. As Is E.P. y Ebbhead (1991) refuerza esos ramalazos Rock mostrados en Showtime, entrando en juego un sin fin de nuevas influencias como el Jazz. Ambos trabajos cuentan con la colaboración de reputados productores y artista, como Flood, Jaz Coleman de Killing Joke, Alan Wilder de Depeche Mode y Barry Adamson. Big Hit (1995) es un punto y aparte en la carrera de Nitzer Ebb. Influenciados por bandas como Janne's Addiction, Faith No More y otras contemporáneas. Es decir, un álbum que podría ser definido bajo la etiqueta de Rock Alternativo. Tras la gira extensa gira de Big Hit, Bon Harris y Douglas McCarthy deciden darse un tiempo y dejar en suspenso las actividades de Nitzer Ebb de manera indefinida. Bon Harris estuvo envuelto en producciones musicales, trabajando en Adore (1998) de Smashing Pumpkins y Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death) (2000) de Marilyn Manson, entre otros. Por su parte, Douglas McCarthy terminó sus estudios de diseño gráfico en Cambridge y colaboró con diversas bandas (Recoil, Empirion, Kloq...) prestando su voz. En 2004 inició un proyecto musical llamado Fixmer & McCarthy con el DJ y productor de Techno Terence Fixmer, con el que ha editado dos álbums hasta la fecha. Tras un largísimo paréntesis de casi once años, Bon Harris y Douglas McCarthy deciden reunirse de nuevo. Apoyados por el lanzamiento del recopilatorio de éxitos Body of Work (2006), se embarcan en una gira mundial, centrándose en la etapa más electrónica de su carrera. Industrial Complex (2010) representa el regreso discográfico, tras 14 años de silencio, de Nitzer Ebb. Estilísticamente se encuentran en un punto medio entre That Total Age y Showtime. Es decir, este temas claramente destinados a la pista de baile, con una producción actual, y su faceta más próxima al rock. La banda se encuentra en estos momentos girando con Depeche Mode por Europa en el Tour of the Universe. Los reyes de la Electronic Body Music han vuelto.

Recoil es el proyecto de Alan Wilder, reputado músico y compositor contemporáneo, y ex-componente de Depeche Mode. Recoil nació en 1986 tras la edición de Black Celebration de Depeche Mode. Hidrology, un EP con dos tracks de electrónica experimental, fue el primer trabajo de Wilder en solitario. Pronto en 1988 vio la luz el primer álbum con el mismo nombre, donde las influencias de Phillip Glass eran evidentes. En ambos trabajos la pericia de Wilder con el sampler, un instrumento en plena evolución en aquella época, le reveló como uno de las artistas más vanguardistas en el terreno de la música electrónica. Después de grabar Violator con Depeche Mode, volvió al proyecto Recoil. Bloodline (1991) fue un giro en el sonido, dejando un poco de lado la experimentación, para acercarse un poco a estructuras más pop. Douglas McCarthy (Nitzer Ebb) o Toni Halliday, son algunos de los vocalistas invitados, y Moby colaboró en la producción del mismo. Entre 1992 y 1993 Wilder estaba centrado en la producción y grabación de Songs Of Faith And Devotion. El álbum fue el más aclamado de la historia de Depeche Mode y alcanzó los puestos más altos de ventas en Reino Unido, EE.UU., Alemania, España y muchos otros paises. En junio de 1995, tras 14 años formado parte de Depeche Mode, Wilder toma la difícil y dolorosa decisión de dejar la banda. Libre de las ataduras de grupo, en 1996 vuelve al estudio centrado únicamente en Recoil. Así empieza a tomar forma Unsound Methods. Los vocalistas invitados en esta ocasión son Maggie Estep, Siobhan Lynch, de nuevo Douglas McCarthy y Hildia Cambell. El álbum es tremendamente rico en estilos e influencias. Desde Trip-Hop a Gospel con una producción majestuosa. En 2000 Recoil nos trae Liquid, que cuenta con la colaboración de la única e irrepetible cantante Diamanda Galas, además de los crooners Gospel de los 40's The Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet. El álbum es aclamado por la prensa internacional y es galardonado con el premio Charles Cros Grand Prix 2000. Recoil regresa en 2007 con su quinto álbum de estudio. SubHuman cuenta con la colaboración de cantante de Blues nacido en Luisiana Joe Richardson, que con su peculiar voz, dota a la canciones de una fuerte personalidad y espiritualidad. 2010 nos trae la primera gira de Recoil, que comparte cartel con Nitzer Ebb en lo que será una experiencia única, de dos de las formaciones más reputadas de la música electrónica en todos los estilos. Alan Wilder, acompañado de Paul Kendall, otro legendario pionero, presentarán Selected, el nuevo trabajo de Recoil, que verá la luz en marzo de este mismo año.
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