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SOFT CELL & 80S NIGHT
Saturday September 29th, Greenwich
Looking for some memories of the night before Soft Cell @ O2 in London?
An informal FREE ENTRY meet-up in Greenwich.
Have a drink with other fans at a 'Pink Flamingo' themed cocktail bar. Click on the link below to bookmark this event and stay in touch for updates.. See you there!
Steven Jones & Logan Sky announce the release of a new album, 'Hans und Lieselotte'. This new collection of shimmering electronics is the result of a dynamic musical experiment, an honoring of the random creative impulse.
A group of people sit around a table in a restaurant in Tallinn, Estonia. Wine is poured and conversation flows. The mood is both intuitively connected and hilarious. Ideas are as free-flowing as jokes. Someone spontaneous speaks a line that seems to hang meaningfully in the air for a moment. Someone else responds 'That sounds like the title of a song!'.. A subtle game begins.
Across this winter evening, a track-list of mythical song titles emerges, each one randomly selected for its awkward syntax or strange portentousness. Arbitrary and incidental, these are ideas arising directly from the unconscious. A surreal album title appears to crown the Dali-esque vibe, Hans und Lieselotte, invoking half-remembered German lessons and a dream of dark romance. At this early stage, these 'songs' are just part of light-hearted repartee, as insubstantial as air.
But add some vodka to the mix and a new motivation crystallises: Why not actually record this album? Why not allow these 'songs' to come into being? So, in keeping with this spirit of chaotic creative channeling, Steven Jones & Logan Sky decide to record all of songs in one week, after their return from Estonia. Ten new songs, ten enigmatic stories, off-kilter and atmospheric. An album that sought its own path to sonic reality.
Hans und Lieselotte also includes bonus perverse new remixes by the Godfather of Electro, Man Parrish.
Cover art by Simon Casson.
I've always been mesmerised by the romance of travel. The surge of inspiration that can arise from the glamour of the unknown. And nothing can rival India for intensity, colour and confrontation with the unadorned strangeness of human potential. This year I've undertaken two journeys to India. My first took me to the chaotic backstreets of Dehli, to Agra and the sublimely beautiful Taj Mahal, to the arid fortress of Jaipur before heading to Rishikesh in the foothills of the Himalayas. Rishikesh is on the banks of the sacred Ganges, a centre for yoga and meditation. The Beatles were there in the 60s and were inspired to write The White Album there. It certainly brought me closer to some essential aspects of my hidden self. Breathing deeply and reflecting as the sacred river flows by, musing on the ephemeral nature of all things, sipping Chai as the sun sets and feeling words rise up from the subconscious. Here I was able to escape the bell-jar of ideas we live in the UK, to step into a older archetypal rhythm. It was Monsoon time and rain was heavier than I've ever seen…
The currents of life are strong in India. Primordial forces are palpable. The pulse of life, the proximity of death, the fragrance of incense blending with exhaust fumes and cigarette smoke. This is a landscape of temples, of traffic, of sanskrit chanting, of radios blasting Hindi dance music, of the Karmic energy of a million human incarnations.
December. I've just returned from my second visit to Rishikesh. This time I thought of this small town on the Ganges as a base camp for exploration into the high HImalayas. A 9 hour journey on a motorbike up towards the snowy peaks. Hundreds of miles of hair-raising cliff-top roads winding ways up through pine forests and glacial air. Yes, it gets cold in the mountains. Snow glitters, rivers rush down into the valleys. Again, moved by a desire to push boundaries and move beyond the confines of my day-to-day routine, I found myself sleeping in a tent at sub-zero temperatures. Moonlight there is almost as bright as daylight. A vivid star-scape reflected in the still surface of a high altitude lake serves to emphasise the inscrutable mystery of the cosmos. At dawn, we started walking, trekking all day across a mountainous terrain aware of the prana that moves in all living things. It's arduous and challenges body and mind, provoking complex thoughts, dark and light. A sense of vulnerability mixed with the determination to overcome. The tapes that play everyday in my mind were suddenly loud and shrill. The quietness between them, profound. There's nothing fake in wild nature. In places like this, I could really feel the unity of things, the great inhalation and exhalation of oneness.
Steven Jones & Logan Sky played to a packed house in Tallinn, Estonia on 11th Nov.
The vibe was hot and electric, subverting the winter chill with original material, a selection of Depeche Mode covers and a hint of Visage. A big thankyou to everyone at Sinilind and the DM Baar for such a warm welcome and for the inspiration for "Hans und Lieselotte"
Steve Strange & Steven Jones - 'CORRUPT STATE'
RELEASE DATE: Friday 29th September
The last track that Steve Strange (VISAGE) wrote before his untimely death in 2015 features on the latest release from Steven Jones & Logan Sky
The CD contains 8 tracks plus 2 extended versions and can be ordered HERE
Chris Cordani in New York recently invited Jones & Sky to be interviewed in some transatlantic interviews: JULY INTERVIEW / SEPTEMBER INTERVIEW. The POST PUNK MONK has a glowing REVIEW and Steven Jones is also interviewed on Andrew Maley's show (Artefaktor)
Across a fruitful period of song-writing and recording, a cluster of demos began to take on an identity of their own, thematically linked and seeming to speak directly to the current unstable and disturbing political landscape. These songs seemed to reflect the mood of unease expressed everywhere in response to the shadowy socio-political environment we find ourselves inhabiting. Unease with modernity, unease with the untrustworthy media, unease with government. We live in dystopian times. Information travels across the world at light-speed. The corporate-funded media dominate the thinking of the majority. Government routinely abuses its power. We live in a condition of barely contained fearfulness, mutely tolerating the banal fact of constant state surveillance, the shared knowledge that our leaders are liars. The new songs crystallised shadowy and ambivalent emotions. This music is a reflection of the shifting nuances of feeling engendered by living in a world of media propaganda and misinformation, where money is the only god and where lies are the foundation of accepted reality.
As work continued on these song, a demo emerged recorded by Steve Strange with Logan Sky in the summer of 2014. Entitled 'Corrupt State', the song resonated perfectly with the other tracks and became the flagship song of a collection whose themes circled around dystopian ideas and Owellian nightmares. It specifically refers to states of corruption politically, psychologically, spiritually and even digitally. The song also reveals an aspect of Steve Strange few have seen before. He speaks from an unexpected perspective embodying defiant melancholy and a revolutionary tone. This angry and questioning statement is made more intriguing by the fact that is spoken by a pop and fashion icon, someone more usually associated with club life and the ephemeral flash of a camera. 'Corrupt State' feels like an elegy. We're playing a game and we're losing. Cinematic synths and a haunting female vocal provided by musician and muse Daphne Guinness create a sonic environment in which the harsh truths of the corrupted state in which we live can be invoked. Sublime sadness surfaces in the chorus.
Are we ready to trip the switch?
Three of the tracks on the new EP contain performances from Visage vocalist, Lauren Duvall. 'For Europe' obliquely addresses the theme of European identity and the confusion provoked in the UK by Brexit. What does it really mean to be European?
'Siberian Eyes' seems initially romantic but closer examination reveals a cold darker heart and a sense of being lost in world. Who is watching? Who is being watched? The track was inspired by landing in Tallinn in a blizzard; the coldness, the darkness, being amongst strangeness, contrasting feelings of loneliness and connectivity.
'Moscow Descent' is an existential duet sung by Jones and Duvall, a collage of airports, night flights and the unforgiving winter in a foreign city. Recorded conversations and irrevocable separation speak again of dystopian shadows.
Travel and dislocation are explored in this glacial instrumental written by Sky on the VISAGE tour bus at sunrise en route from Stockholm to Gothenburg.
Our society's morbid obsession with consumerism and market mentality is expressed in 'Supply Chains'.. human interaction is underpinned by market forces and the primitive dynamic of supply and demand.
Star is the new album from the godfather of electro, Man Parrish, his first dance album in two decades. Steven Jones is a featured vocalist on this collection of retro dance anthems. It also features performances by Klaus Nomi, Steve Bronski, Visage and a host of others. Out now!
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