The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'depeche mode'
When Johnny Cash passed away, I noticed how he had virtually been claimed by the industriogothic scene as One Of Their Own, because of his dress sense and melancholy themes. (Though his covering Nine Inch Nails and Bad Seeds songs probably helped too.) It's funny, as I'm fairly sure that when Siouxsie Sioux and Andrew Eldritch were inventing what was to become 'Goth", they weren't heavily influenced by Johnny Cash, or indeed much country music at all; I doubt that Throbbing Gristle and their ilk were either.
It appears to be a rule that any vaguely dark, ethereal or otherworldly eventually gets lumped into the "Goth" genre, even if it starts life a million miles from goth's tightly circumscribed perimeter. It happened to Depeche Mode (in the 1980s they weren't goth, but now they're Goth As Fuck), and in the U.S. it seems to have partly happened to the shoegazer genre. (In Commonwealth countries, shoegazer is firmly ensconced in the indie-rock tradition, however.)
To wit, a list of artists and genres who might be filed in the "Goth" sections of record shops in 10 years' time:
- Sigur Rós
- Godspeed You Black Emperor, and related outfits; in fact, all gloomy post-rock
- all Norwegian Black Metal
- various German/Austrian laptop glitch techno
And some things you probably won't find filed under "Goth":
- Architecture In Helsinki
- the Dixie Chicks
- The Vines/The Datsuns/Jet
- Kid 606's Missy Elliott mash-ups
I picked up the new Depeche Mode album, Exciter, a few days ago. It's pretty good; all in all, more inspired than Ultra. It's produced by Mark Bell, the Warp artist who also produced Björk's material, and this is evident in the trademark skittering glitch beats on some of the tracks, merging with the usual synths, guitars and some lush orchestration. There's perhaps a slight Radiohead influence in places (or perhaps that's just the zeitgeist), as well as touches of some fellow Mute artists (Barry Adamson and Goldfrapp come to mind in places). As most albums, it has its stronger and weaker points (some of the songwriting has that antidepressant-tinged blandness that crept into DM lyrics in the 90s), though the overall quality is pretty good. It makes good background music, with echoes of the doomed romanticism that characterised DM's best albums (i.e., Some Great Reward through to Violator).