NEWS: Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore announces new solo LP


As soon as Martin Gore wound up touring duties with Depeche Mode in March 2013 he set about working on his first solo album of instrumentals. Under the name MG (following his duo release VCMG with Vince Clarke) he will release MG on April 28th via Mute. Below you can stream the track ‘Europa Hymn’ which combines a cinematic mood with kosmiche synth vibes.

“I wanted to keep the music very electronic, very filmic, and give it an almost sci-fi like quality. Music is a necessity for me. I go into the studio at least five days a week, every week, so once I had the idea and the template, the process was quick and fun.”

Europa Hymn

Favourite Electronic Albums of 2013

DS 2013 elect favesIncreasingly electronic music is reasserting itself as a viable album length genre. Sure it still thrives on the single and the remix but more and more there are albums, primarily from the UK scene, that manage to straddle the headphone and dancefloor worlds or in some cases they work most effectively as immersive home listening experiences. Here are the albums that we found ourselves returning to most often in 2013.

Special mention to Burial’s Rival Trader EP which dropped late in the year and on first listens it sounds excellent. I decided to keep this list focused on albums but Rival Trader is no doubt one of the finest releases of the year and a great way to round out 2013.


1. The Haxan Cloak – Extinction


2. DJ Koze – Amygdala


3.  Zomby – With Love


4. Forest Swords – Engravings

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5. Fat Freddy’s Drop – Blackbird


6. Mark Kozelek & Jimmy LaValle – Perils From The Sea


7. Depeche Mode – Delta Machine


8. Special Request – Soul Music


9. Machinedrum – Vapor City


10. Atoms For Peace – Amok


11. Disclosure – Settle


12. Darkside – Psychic


13. The Field – Cupid’s Head


14. Holden – The Inheritors


15. Four Tet – Beautiful Rewind


16. Jon Hopkins – Immunity


17. Tim Hecker – Virgins


18. Daniel Avery – Drone Logic


19. Boards of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest


20. Logos – Cold Mission

DS Favourite Songs of 2013

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It’s always a mighty challenge to narrow down all the songs you’ve heard in one year and slot them into order on a nice tidy list of 20. I’m sure I’ve missed a handful of gems but these are all songs that have either captured my imagination, feet, ears or all of the above and made me think “damn that is a great song”.

1. Courtney Barnett – Avant Gardener

2. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Jubilee Street

3. Houndmouth – Penitentiary

4. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – So Good At Being In Trouble

5. Bad//Dreems – Caroline

6. Wooden Shjips – Everybody Knows

7. Kirin J Callinan – Victoria M

8. Ooga Boogas – Sex in the Chillzone

9. Ducktails – Under Cover

10. TV Colours – Beverly

11. Popstrangers – Heaven

12. Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys – Any Day Now

13. Eleanor Friedberger – When I Knew

14. Sharpie Crows – Thanks You Ladies For The Spread

15. Bill Callahan – Small Plane

16. Neko Case – Night Still Comes

17. Guy Clark – My Favorite Picture of You

18. Arcade Fire – We Exist

19. Suede – Barriers

20. Depeche Mode – Heaven

Courtney Barnett – Avant Gardener

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Jubilee Street

Houndmouth – Penitentiary

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – So Good At Being In Trouble

Bad//Dreems – Caroline

Wooden Shjips – Everybody Knows

Kirin J Callinan – Victoria M

Ooga Boogas – Sex in the Chillzone

Ducktails – Under Cover

TV Colours – Beverly

Popstrangers – Heaven

Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys – Any Day Now

Eleanor Friedberger – When I Knew

Suede – Barriers

Sharpie Crows – Thanks You Ladies For The Spread

Bill Callahan – Small Plane

Neko Case – Night Still Comes

Guy Clark – My Favorite Picture of You

Arcade Fire – We Exist

Depeche Mode – Heaven

EIGHT DAYS A WEEK: September 13th, 2013

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The big single released this week was Reflektor, the title track to the new Arcade Fire double LP due out on October 29th and it sees the band stretching out into a more rhythm based realm. James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) is all over the track with its indie disco vibe and its nod to bands like Talking Heads. I’ve got to say the first time I heard it I didn’t think much but it has really grown on me. Live it’ll be a monster of a track.

Other notable releases this week were Body/Head’s Coming Apart the new collaboration between Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth, Free Kitten) and guitarist Bill Nace, Wolf & Cub’s Heavy Weight, Willis Earl Beal’s Nobody knows, MGMT’s new self-titled LP, the final album from Ministry called From Beer To Eternity, Nightmares on Wax with Feelin’ Good, Sebadoh’s Defend Yourself, Manic Street Preachers’ Rewind The Film and Bill Callahan’s Dream River. 

The big news on the Australian live scene is the likelihood that this years Harvest Festival is going to be cancelled based on slow ticket sales. AJ Maddah has attributed this in part to the big hitting lineup announced for the 2014 Big Day Out with Pearl Jam, Arcade Fire and Blur leading the charge. It’s a shame really as the first Harvest boasted an incredible lineup that included Mogwai, Portishead, Flaming Lips, Phosphorescent, The Walkmen, Mercury Rev, The National and more. Last year’s was pretty great too. It does feel though like the left of centre musical audience is pretty well catered for with Laneway Festival, Sydney Festival, elements of the BDO and indeed some of the acts that booked on the Future Music Festival. Maddah is probably best served sticking to what he has built his name on – Soundwave Festival.

Next Tuesday at 4pm the lineup for next year’s Future Music Festival will be announced and I’m getting pretty excited about the rumoured inclusion of Depeche Mode on the bill. If it happens it’ll be their first visit here in twenty years and the final box to be ticked on my ‘must see’ list after being a fan for thirty years.

If you are in the Enmore/Newtown area of Sydney tomorrow night I’ll be playing some records at The Green Room Lounge from 11-1am. Vinyl only and i’m aiming for a 80s indie and pop feel with everything from Teardrop Explodes to Nik Kershaw, New Order to Altered Images going under the needle.


ALBUM REVIEW: Depeche Mode | Delta Machine

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by Chris Familton

square-600-7Rating7Depeche Mode have had a wonderful evolution and trajectory from their early lightweight disposable pop through the departure of Vince Clarke and Martin Gore’s rapid mastery of the fast changing technology in 80s music, to their peak as masters of psycho-sexual electronic pop music that finely balanced raw emotion and a self-constructed paradigm of art pop and futuristic rock n roll.

Post Songs of Faith and Devotion in 1993 the band settled into a rut of trying to make sense of their music as we all hurtled toward the end of the century. Their conundrum was whether to reinvent themselves or stick to the tried and true. They opted for the latter with minor tweaks but the resulting four albums were the band sounding lost and with only brief flashes of brilliance. Each was hailed in some quarters as a potential return to form but but upon review none of them hit the mark as full-length albums in the league of Black Celebration, Music For The Masses or Violator.

Fast forward to 2013 and the trio appear to be completely resigned to the fact that their ongoing success is down to the template they created on that run of albums and their phenomenal success of their live shows. Hence Delta Machine offers zero surprises in terms of new musical advances or lyrical diversions into new territories. They employ the same balanced mix of retro futurism built on Gore’s masterful songwriting and programming skills and Gahan’s voice that sees him often touted as one of the finest vocalists of the last thirty years, especially his ability to straddle the worlds of electronic, pop and rock music.

Across the album Gahan’s singing is as strong as ever and on Should Be Higher he even makes a bold attempt at pushing his vocal cords high into his range with the notes straining to their limit and peaking into a wonderful brief falsetto. It is his finest moment on the album, almost making up for the album’s average lyrics. The sound of Depeche Mode and its presentation have always been the preeminent keys to the appeal of the band. For the most part their songs never feel like intimate glimpses into the hearts and minds of Gore or Gahan and nothing changes that impression on Delta Machine. The familiar themes of sexuality, sin, guilt and redemption abound with religious metaphors coming thick and fast. Anyone coming to Depeche Mode with fresh ears will probably cringe at many of the lyrics but for those who have a history with the band it will be familiar territory.

Gore almost always gets a solo run on Depeche Mode albums and here he gets that chance in the vocal spotlight with The Child Inside that sounds like a sequel to Little 15 or I Want You Now on a billowing, faintly ominous bed of keys that acts as an an oasis of sorts amid Gahan’s masculine singing.

The first two songs that appeared online are the strongest on the album. Angel is a caustic and dirty minimal industrial groove with Gahan doing his sleazy Dave to great effect. The song kicks and bites yet Gore’s falsetto backing vocals balance it out before the beat doubles mid-song and it takes off. Heaven is almost the antithesis in that it is a slow and stately ballad with a glorious aching quality to the vocals amid some stuttering drum programming and Gore’s guitar phrasing reminiscent of the band Earth.

The most adventurous and contemporary song on Delta Machine is My Little Universe with its use of space and minimal electronics that embrace modern musical trends with retro components. It builds and holds tension without the need for a grandiose chorus and finds them at the most restrained and understated, a quality that is reinforced when they do go for the big glam chorus on songs like Soft Touch/Raw Nerve which comes off as cheap and lacking substance.

Depeche Mode leave us with the obviously titled Goodbye that ends Delta Machine on a high note with its bluesy stomp and twinkling synths. The subdued rhythms strongly recall Behind The Wheel and Personal Jesus but the song possesses quite a different Depeche Mode sounding chorus of uplifting grandeur that will no doubt sound huge live. For an album that highlights the band’s undeniable strengths – and glaring weaknesses, this is ultimately a very good album. It doesn’t get close to their career highlights but it does show that Gore and Gahan still have gas left in their songwriting tank and a reason to keep writing and recording together after thirty three years.

this review was first published on


NEWS: Depeche Mode reveal details of new album Delta Machine


Those stalwarts of electronica, Depeche Mode, are set to release their 13th album and celebrate their 33rd year together. Delta Machine (Columbia) will be out on March 26th, preceeded by the single Heaven which will be premiered on Vevo next February 1st. Heaven will also include remixes by Matthew Dear, Owlle, Steps to Heaven and Blawan.


Standard Edition:
1. Welcome To My World
2. Angel
3. Heaven
4. Secret To The End
5. My Little Universe
6. Slow
7. Broken
8. The Child Inside
9. Soft Touch/Raw Nerve
10. Should Be Higher
11. Alone
12. Soothe My Soul
13. Goodbye

Deluxe Editon:

Disc 1
1. Welcome To My World
2. Angel
3. Heaven
4. Secret To The End
5. My Little Universe
6. Slow
7. Broken
8. The Child Inside
9. Soft Touch/Raw Nerve
10. Should Be Higher
11. Alone
12. Soothe My Soul
13. Goodbye

Disc 2
1. Long Time Lie
2. Happens All The Time
3. Always
4. All That’s Mine

NEWS: Depeche Mode release new remix album…

On June 6th Depeche Mode will release their 2nd collection of remixes spanning their entire career. Remixes 2: 81-11 also marks the return (kind of, not really) to the band of orginal member Vince Clarke and long time member Alan Wilder. Both contribute remixes and have had increased contact with DM with Clarke working on a dance record with Martin Gore and Alan accompanying Gore onstage at the Royal Albert Hall last year.

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

3-Disc version
Disc 1:
1. Dream On – Bushwacka Tough Guy Mix (2001)
2. Suffer Well – M83 Remix (2006)
3. John The Revelator – UNKLE Reconstruction (2006)
4. In Chains – Tigerskin’s No Sleep Remix (2009)
5. Peace – SixToes Remix (2009)
6. Lilian – Chab Vocal Remix Edit (2006)
7. Never Let Me Down Again – Digitalism Remix (2006)
8. Corrupt – Efdemin Remix (2009)
9. Everything Counts – Oliver Huntemann And Stephan Bodzin Dub (2006)
10. Happiest Girl – The Pulsating Orbital Vocal Mix (1990)
11. Walking In My Shoes – Anandamidic Mix (1993)
12. Personal Jesus – The Stargate Mix (2011)
13. Slowblow – Darren Price Mix (1997)

Disc 2:
1. Wrong – Trentemøller Club Remix (2009)
2. World In My Eyes – Dub In My Eyes (1990)
3. Fragile Tension – Peter Bjorn and John Remix (2009)
4. Strangelove – Tim Simenon/Mark Saunders Remix (1998)
5. A Pain That I’m Used To – Jacques Lu Cont Remix (2005)
6. The Darkest Star – Monolake Remix (2006)
7. I Feel You – Helmet At The Helm Mix (1993)
8. Higher Love – Adrenaline Mix Edit (2004)
9. Fly On The Windscreen – Death Mix (1985)
10. Barrel Of A Gun – United Mix (1997)
11. Only When I Lose Myself – Dan The Automator Mix (1998)
12. Ghost – Le Weekend Remix (2009)

Disc 3:
1. Personal Jesus – Alex Metric Remix Edit (2011)
2. Never Let Me Down Again – Eric Prydz Remix (2011)
3. Behind The Wheel – Vince Clarke Remix (2011)
4. Leave In Silence – Claro Intelecto ‘The Last Time’ Remix (2011)
5. In Chains – Alan Wilder Remix (2011)
6. When The Body Speaks – Karlsson And Winnberg Remix (2011)
7. Puppets – Röyksopp Remix (2011)
8. Tora! Tora! Tora! – Karlsson And Winnberg (from Miike Snow) Remix (2011)
9. Freestate – Clark Remix (2011)
10. I Want It All – Roland M. Dill Remix (2011)
11. A Question Of Time – Joebot Presents ‘Radio Face’ Remix (2011)
12. Personal Jesus – Sie Medway-Smith Remix (2011)

NEWS: DEPECHE MODE TOUR set to resume…

News DS


It looks like Dave Gahan’s medical drama was justified as it now turns out he had to have a malignant tumour removed! Good to hear all went well and the doctor is happy for him to start strutting and gyrating across Europe again.

Official Word:

Depeche Mode are pleased to announce they will restart their interrupted Tour Of The Universe in Leipzig, Germany on June 8th. On May 12th, lead singer Dave Gahan suffered a severe bout of gastroenteritis, leading to his hospitalization and the cancellation of the Athens concert. While in hospital, further medical tests revealed a low-grade malignant tumour in Dave’s bladder, which has since been successfully removed. At doctors’ orders Dave Gahan must take a break until June 8th, to ensure that he makes a full recovery. The Leipzig show on June 8th will be the first concert following Dave’s recovery.

Dave Gahan sincerely thanks his fans for their support, understanding and patience. Depeche Mode deeply regret any problems or inconveniences the cancellations and postponements may have caused. has the details of the affected shows and the updated schedule…