Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sailing on the Seven Seas

When founding Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark member Paul Humphreys decided to up and leave the synth-pop pioneers back in 1988, taking along multi-instrumentalist Martin Cooper and drummer Malcolm Holmes with him, it looked as though it meant the end of the road for the Liverpudlian collective, which had, up to that juncture in time, enjoyed almost a decade of critical and chart success in their native Britain. However, remaining co-founder Andy McCluskey did some serious bootstrapping, successfully retained the OMD name (although only after coming through a rather rancorous legal dispute), and launched a de facto solo career that utilised the OMD moniker for commercial familiarity's sake. The first album by the McCluskey OMD incarnation was 1991's 'Sugar Tax', a surprisingly effective blend that combined classic-style experimental sensibilities from the early 1980s, with an early-1990s sense of sleekly produced operatic-pop aesthetics. Maiden single 'Sailing on the Seven Seas' embodied this new-found methodology perfectly, with its poised, glam-rock-inspired rhythmic underpinning, neatly framed electric-piano chords, and a general, palpable air of artistic self-confidence. Check out the intentionally surreal video, shot somewhere in a desert in the Southwest United States, featuring an array of incongruous imagery, all juxtaposed together to form a dreamy, Dali-influenced panorama.


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