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New London show announced at the RED GALLERY on May 15!

We’re excited to announce that Blancmange will be playing a very special new show in a London Art Gallery on Friday 15 May. This will be the world premiere for songs from their critically acclaimed new album Semi Detached and they’ll also be performing rare, early material as well as a selection of their pioneering electronic classics. This unique event will take place at the Red Gallery in Shoreditch, London with support from experimental artist Bernholz (www.facebook.com/bernholzmusic).

Tickets are priced at £22.50 and are available to purchase here

Fans will also be able to upgrade their standard show tickets for a VIP experience by purchasing additional VIP tickets direct from the official Blancmange webstore here, which include meet and greet with Blancmange and access to soundcheck (please note that for access to the main show a ticket must also be bought from venue at the link above).

Due out on 23 March 2015, Blancmange bring their bitter-sweet electronic songs to Cherry Red Records with their new album, Semi Detached which will be available on four formats – CD, Ltd Edition Deluxe Double CD, Vinyl LP and digital download. The tracks are shot through with lyrics inspired by Neil Arthur’s instinct for surreal juxtapositions and abstract wordplay.

The eight minute opener ’The Fall’ sets the tone with its imaginative mix of the London tube map, The Fall (the band), Heaven and Hell, suicide, ghostly (inner) reflection and rain-soaked romantic imagery. The synthesizer melody is lightly done but the narrative is one of broken hearts, tragedy. . . . and The Fall: ‘I went to see them many times,’ says Arthur. ‘I sent Mark E Smith our first EP and we exchanged a few letters, his being ones of humorous encouragement.’

 ‘I Want More’ is a cover of Can’s only ‘pop hit’ from their 1976 album Flow Motion. The repetitive refrain of the title initially comes across as joyous, the soaring melody and rousing chorus of voices conveying a celebratory hedonism, but the song takes on a more foreboding edge against the backdrop of 21st century excess and its darker implications: ‘Don’t care if I break the law/I want more and more and more . . . ‘ 

‘Paddington’, which is scheduled to be the first single off the album on 9 March 2015,  celebrates London through a blur of evocative, fragmented images – a random memory recall of life in the city. Meanwhile, the coiled, moody electronica of ‘It Didn’t Take Long’ with the ice-in-veins kiss-off of ‘I’m not sorry I hurt you’, is followed by the gleeful artificial power of the synthesizers on the instrumental, ‘MKS Lover’.

 ‘Like I Do’ is gripped by a propulsive rhythm and staccato phrasing, mapping out a cross-roads moment in someone’s life. Will they recognise it? Can they tell up from down; real from fake?  ‘Deep In The Mine’ is at the core of the album. ‘I imagined a cavernous and yet claustrophobic space with endless passages running off it,’ says Arthur. The soul-mining lyric is delivered with a roughened-up, husky richness by the singer that reveals new depths to his voice.

The tart ‘Acid’ is what happens when wit turns to bitterness, while the playful ‘Useless’ is the most openly ‘pop’ song on the album – a whirling, giddy four minutes built around the sweet and pithy lyric, ‘everybody loves you/useless as you are.’

The album, which is mixed by Adam Fuest, closes with one of the best – and darkest – songs Arthur has written so far, ‘Bloody Hell Fire’. Featuring some wonderfully atmospheric guitars, his own playing is layered with that of David Rhodes (Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel), who adds inventive guitar to many of the tracks on the album. ‘Bloody Hell Fire’ conveys a sense of world-weary detachment (‘I don’t know if I exist’) through another striking vocal by Neil Arthur.  For all its bruised, existential self-pity, this track is sung with haunted passion and arguably creates a moment of raw beauty which has been rare so far in the nervy energy of Blancmange’s catalogue.

Semi Detached is Blancmange’s 5th album to date, but the first without the involvement of Stephen Luscombe, Neil’s long term collaborator. While retaining Blancmange’s characteristic humour, with this new album Arthur has moved on from some of the old tics and mannerisms to create an edgy, pared down and deeply personal record, getting the balance absolutely right between grit and light, the domestic and the cosmic, despair and joy.

www.blancmange.co.uk

www.facebook.com/BlancmangeMusic

Blancmange Release ‘Happy Families Too’ April 7 – Pre-order Now Available

BLANCMANGE

‘Happy Families Too’

CDBRED613

Released April 7, 2014

“Withering, witty and clever” – The Guardian
“Fresh and arresting” – Mojo

RE-IMAGINED AND RE-RECORDED DELUXE EDITION FEATURING REMIXES FROM VINCE CLARKE, KOMPUTER, GREG WILSON & DEREK KAYE, ALONG WITH EXTRA TRACK ‘RUNNING THIN’

Eccentric musical pioneers, Blancmange melded a unique sound, bringing together electronic and eastern influences with a distinct dance floor sensibility. The resulting album, ‘Happy Families’, with its mixture of theatricality and sincerity won them a legion of fans.

From their origins making experimental synth wave, to the chart-topping yet cool and credible hits, Blancmange were at the very heart of 1980s club culture, from support slots with Grace Jones, to killer 12” remixes by the likes of John Luongo. Their tracks were on regular rotation in sweaty nightclubs from New York, to Berlin to London, forming part of sets reflecting the open minded “as long as it moves the floor” policy of the time, that would see their records blended seamlessly with disco, post punk, EBM, new beat and early house. Their music also sat with equal comfort alongside both the synth pop of piers OMD or Human League and leftfield cult figures like Cabaret Voltaire or XTC and was undoubtedly popular with many of the leading electronic music pioneers worldwide. Predating the acid house explosion and the many subsequent sub genres, Blancmange’s music is a key cornerstone in the musical landscape that shaped both the original electronic music boom and its huge lasting legacy.

Happy Families Too’ features the exclusive ‘Running Thin,’ with several brand new remixes by Vince Clarke, Greg Wilson & Derek Kaye and London based electronic band Komputer. These five special tracks emphasis Arthur’s desire to continually move Blancmange’s music forward in new and interesting directions.

Their influence on the past few years’ slew of electro revivalists like La Roux, Hot Chip and Metronomy has been well documented, but of equal note is the likelihood that anyone partying from Dalston, Peckham, Brixton and beyond in recent times is likely to have heard Blancmange tracks fitting perfectly into sets by hip party selectors proffering cold wave, Balearic, electronic oddities, cosmic disco, house and even techno.

For the first time ever, the November 2013 tour saw Blancmange take the album to the stage in its entirety. And, never one to stand still, Neil Arthur has given the songs that won such popular acclaim three decades ago a thoroughly 21st century spin, with a fresh look at an album that influenced so many.

Neil refers to the new versions, which include fan favourites ‘I Can’t Explain’, ‘Waves’ ‘Feel Me’ and the Top 10 hit ‘Living On The Ceiling’ – as an “interpretation”. “I just wanted to approach the songs using today’s technology,” he says. “Every time we perform it’s a different interpretation. So rather than just dust off the old songs, I wanted to bring something fresh to the project and make it a contemporary reworking rather than an exact imitation.”

Due to continuing health issues, Stephen Luscombe was unable to join Neil on the tour. However, Neil was joined for the entire list of dates by guitarist David Rhodes, who performed on the original album, and sound engineer Adam Fuest, a long-time collaborator who will be manipulating the live sound and visuals.

The intention is to do something a bit like Roxy Music did with Brian Eno processing sounds live during a performance,” says Neil. “It might be less predictable, it might even be a bit chaotic! But I like the excitement of that, the chance element – the feeling I’m moving forward creatively.”

With a brand new album slated for released later in 2014 the time is ripe for yet more Blancmange action.

Preview ‘Feel Me’ from the album here on Soundcloud:

Pre-order the album from the following links:

Cherry Red Records Store

iTunes

• This CD is released 7th April and will not be shipped prior to this date.

Track Listing:

1. I CAN’T EXPLAIN.
2. FEEL ME.
3. I’VE SEEN THE WORD.
4. WASTED.
5. LIVING ON THE CEILING.
6. WAVES.
7. KIND
8. SAD DAY
9. CRUEL.
10. GOD’S KITCHEN.
11. RUNNING THIN.
12. FEEL ME (GREG WILSON & DEREK KAYE MIX)
13. LIVING ON THE CEILING (VINCE CLARKE MIX)
14. CRUEL (KOMPUTER MIX)
15. GOD’S KITCHEN (KOMPUTER MIX)

Tracks That Impacted Our Lives

We’ve put together a playlist of ten tracks that impacted our lives and which inspired us to first pick up electronic instruments. Have a listen now on Spotify or we7.

Blancmange: Tracks that impacted our lives! playlist

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