The air we breathe


Anyone wanting to dismiss Vince Clarke solely as a purveyor of synth-pop cheese during his brief reignas the chief songwriter for Depeche Mode should listen to Ice Machine first. The B-side tothe bands debut single Dreaming of Me (released in 1981), Ice Machine is a brooding slither of melodic, electronic minimalism a la Kraftwerk that manages to be hugely emotive despite Dave Gahansdeadpan, almost monotone delivery. Clarke left after the release of Modes debut album, Speak and Spell, to form Yazoo with Alison Moyet and it wasthe sombre, glacial Ice Machine rather than the bouncy, upbeatJust Cant Get Enough that would provide the blueprint for the musical direction of his new venture. In fact, its easy to imagine Moyet singing Ice Machine.Another quirk of the song is that, along with the A-side,it is available in two versions – a fading and a non-fading version. This is an odd phenomenon that Ive never really come across before. Im posting the non-fade version, where a single note is held for close to minute at the end. Ladytron, La Roux and the rest of the new school of synthpoppers can only dream of writing something as good as this.

Depeche Mode – Ice Machine

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Joe Clay

  • Re-posted from the superbly excellent Ecstasy In Slow Motion the new home for the mp3 blog formerly known as The White Noise Revisited. The tracks posted here are either available with the permission of the record label and/or artist, or from deleted or commercially unavailable releases. Failing this, if you are the copyright holder and want the track to be taken down, you only have to ask and I will oblige. Most downloads will be available for about a week, after which they will be deleted from the server.
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