Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Strange Hours

Shortly after master keyboardist and producer extraordinaire Alan Wilder stormed out of synth-pop pioneers Depeche Mode in a hissy fit in 1995, citing the usual creative differences and "increasing dissatisfaction with the internal relations and working practices of the group", he commenced to intensify his involvement in Recoil, his forward-thinking techno-ambient electronica-slanted project. Recoil’s music was a decidedly different kettle of fish from Depeche Mode’s chart-bound stuff, opting for a more leftfield, unconventional approach that emphasises dark-hued soundscapes, dub-inflected pulses, enigmatic neo-classicisms and complex, unsettling sonic patterns. A prime example of Recoil's distinctively purposeful and avant-garde electronica is the smouldering electro-gospel number 'Strange Hours', taken off 2000's acclaimed 'Liquid' album. Combining the disturbingly eerie, forcefully ominous glossolalia wailing of notorious performance artist Diamanda Galás with Wilder's detailed industrial-techno shadings, 'Strange Hours' abounds with just the right quantities of evocative ambience and atmospheric electronics, making for an astonishing track that speaks in equal amounts to both the head and heart. Check out the appropriately surreal, intensely cinematic video clip that goes with this jaw-dropping tour de force.


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