British electronic band Blancmange return with a new album and extensive UK Tour. Mindset is the 3rd album to be written and co-produced by Neil Arthur with Benge (Wrangler/John Foxx And The Maths) at his Memetune studios in Cornwall, following the critically acclaimed Unfurnished Rooms in 2017 and Wanderlust a year later. “Growing up in Chicago British synth pop was hugely influential in the burgeoning house music scene and Blancmange was a big part of that. To remix a song that was a big part of that soundtrack is a true honour.” Honey Dijon (recently remixed ‘Blind Vision’) Opening with the free-flowing, wistful Neu! uplift of the title track, the album’s themes of truth and misinformation are immediately explored in the emotional wordplay of the chorus. ‘Warm Reception’ comes in with powerful vocals and a propulsive drum machine, its icy electro-pop exterior worn like a blank mask. The cut-up vocals and Bossa nova beats of 'This Is Bliss' are a real joy, one of many moments on the album where there’s a refreshed dance-pop swing to Blancmange in the 2020s! ‘Antisocial Media’ stomps in gleefully, like Human League’s ‘Being Boiled’ but with a contemporary bass thrust, ‘Clean Your House’ is a break-up song which whizzes along with a lightness of touch revealing Arthur’s pop instincts and slightly disguising the lyrical twists (at least on first hearing), while ‘Insomniacs Tonight’ is about surrendering to a lack of sleep which leads to a half dream state becoming the norm.
‘Sleep With Mannequin’ is like a dead-eyed twin to ‘Warm Reception’, ‘Diagram is the most beat-driven track on an album which keeps the tempo of a runner, as does ‘Not Really (Virtual Reality)’ which riffs on all the album’s themes while adding some edgy guitar, by Arthur himself, to the mix. ‘When’ slows to a heartbeat and asks the question, ‘when is anything about what it’s about?’ . We’ve all been there - the emotional outbursts that seem to come from nowhere because they’re actually rooted in something else completely, but it’s also a question that hovers in the air throughout the album. Blancmange - originally a duo with Stephen Luscombe - first broke through in the early 80s with their mix of synthesizers and surrealism, fused in ground breaking singles such as 'Feel Me’, Living On The Ceiling' and 'Blind Vision’. The epic synth pop of 'Waves' and a cover of Abba's 'The Day Before You Came' illustrated a band who were always willing to change and adopt new styles within their electronic framework.“They were one of my favourite Bands when I grew up as a teenager in the 80’s. Listening to their music walking around with my Walkman back then was adventurous. Mainly because I was already in love with the aesthetics of synthesisers and drum machines. But also because it was unusual pop music with an extraordinary energy that made it in the charts.
Remixing a favourite band is challenging but I’ve tried to keep the free spirits and playfulness in my mix that makes Blancmange still so special after all these years.” Roman Flügel (recently remixed ‘Living On The Ceiling’) Since Stephen Luscombe was forced by illness to stop touring or recording after 2011’s Blanc Burn, the band’s evolution has continued at a rapid pace through a new album almost every year with Arthur at the helm. These days you can hear Blancmange’s influence in everything from La Roux to LCD Sound System to Hot Chip and they’ve have also been reaching new audiences within the dance music scene via collaborations with Kincaid, John Grant, Disco Halal and this year’s remixes from Honey Dijon and Roman Flügel on London Records.
More Items From BlancmangeSee all
- 2.Warm Reception
- 3.This Is Bliss
- 4.Antisocial Media
- 5.Clean Your House
- 6.Insomniacs Tonight
- 7.Sleep With Mannequin
- 9.Not Really (Virtual Reality)
Item code: BCR020CD
Label: Blanc Check Records
Info correct on: 10/3/2020