Despite drug excesses and various separation smells Depeche Mode celebrate their twenty-fifth band anniversary in front of sold-out concert halls
The 1980s are generally regarded as a decade of stagnation, inertia, and "Rien ne va plus". ecological crises, a failed and emptying revolution, the spectre of a nuclear degradation of the earth – all this causes an end-time mood to spread. "Posthistoire" is the catchy formula for this standstill of time and movement, in which, according to observers, nothing essentially new will happen anymore.
You’ll stumble in my footsteps If you try walking in my shoes
Walking in my Shoes
While a part of the youth on "No-Future" The first is that one person is the one who makes a lot of money, occupies houses, and plays cops and robbers, while another passes the time with a depressed look, coolness, or the excessive consumption of brand-name articles "kills", intellectuals are seized by self-doubt and deep skepticism. While some people are actually moved by a permanent apocalypse, others develop a strange love for fields of ruins, landscapes of grief or fallen angels. Far from it "open" or even "bright future" the present presents itself as empty and infinitely wide. History seems to be frozen into an iceberg, culture cast in crystalline forms.
The impression that the history of ideas has come to an end and the historical time has come to its end, is countered by the "Postmodern" soon their cheerful-ironic (for some also cynical-frivolous) "Anything goes" which quickly became a kind of parodic reflex to the world of the computer "As if" The world is being bent around, in which only cycles of reprises and samplings, of quoting and collaging, are taking turns.
In the danger grows the saving
What for the "philosophical discourse of modernity" does not apply, or applies only to a very limited extent, to rock Pop. Certainly, postmodernism becomes a style-setter here as well for some time, insofar as it becomes the carrier of a pop-cultural discourse to which traditional distinctions such as high and low, E and U, sacred and profane become equally valid, which mercilessly mixes divergent fashions, styles and ways of life and forces them onto the prints and screens of a fast-moving interface culture.
In retrospect, however, it must be said that these were also years of reorientation, innovation and new beginnings. This can be seen, among other things, in new music groups such as New Order and The Cure, Rapid Eye Movement and U2, who, despite or because of this emotionally chilled environment, release their best albums and gather growing fan bases around them. These bands not only soak up the gloomy mood of the times and immerse them in new rhythms, beats and sound forms, they are also increasingly proving to be trend-setters for a disoriented youth that is looking for new offers of meaning, patterns of identification and symbolic forms of expression in order to survive in the aging process of modernity.
Having helped to initiate fashions, movements and lifestyles, having transformed the avant-garde into pop and brought it to the center of society – this compliment must also, and above all, be paid Depeche Mode make. Five pale-faced boys lured from their office chairs by producer Daniel Miller in 1980, who have gone on to become one of the most important and influential formations in pop history. This is proven not only by various screamers and newcomer bands that are mushrooming and refer to their sound or are influenced by it, Marylin Manson, Linkin Park, Cypress Hill, Air etc.This is also evidenced by the wave of DJs, remixers and singers who cover, sample and remix their songs; and this is also evidenced by their current world tour, which is sold out within hours and whose tickets are being hawked on the black market at the highest prices.
Reinvention by self-quotation
The quintet from Basildon in central England demonstrates a sense of style and stylistic confidence as early as the naming of the band, which, at the suggestion of their singer Dave Gahan, was inspired by the French fashion magazine "The Gulen" "Fashion Depêche" inspired. Initially scorned by critics as synth-poppers for neo-romantic teenage souls, after Martin Lee Gore takes over songwriting from Vince Clark, the band soon matures into a glamour troupe concerned with style and appearance, mixing elements of soul and blues, gospel and rhythm’n’blues with disco beats, and later enriching them with electronic samples and rough guitar riffs. Unlike comparable electric poppers like the colleagues from Human League or Soft Cell, Spandau Ballet or Duran Duran, The following are some of the sites that disappeared, disbanded, or lived in the shadows after the synth wave died down Depeche Mode always open and receptive to musical innovations.
In retrospect, it may be said that without this tendency to permanent reinvention, their success story would hardly have been possible. Again and again, they show a flair for innovative producers who give their sound the latest touches, but who, and this is perhaps the secret of their success, at the same time pay strict attention to the maintenance of preserved styles and musical forms. It is a well-known principle of successful marketing to provide a new product with an association to old traditions. In this way, they succeed in what others often fail to do: the balancing act between the new and the tried and tested, the unheard-of and the familiar, the avant-garde and the mainstream.
The band shows itself, if you will, to be the master of the well-known game of hare and hedgehog. While rabbits constantly set out for new shores and then return either deflowered, deflowered, or deflated, hedgehogs hurl the same thing at the victims after their arrival: "I am already here" contrary to. That their sound sounds as fresh and current in the new millennium as it did more than twenty years ago, technically simple synth numbers like "Everything Counts" or "Just Can’t Get Enough" The fact that the band is still able to function on stage is surely also due to their ability to adapt to changing times without seeming to be chumming up to the audience and critics.
to bring continuity to fractures
This talent can be seen in their different creative periods. After the departure of Vince Clark, the band is one of the first to introduce sample technology into pop history. The results of this experiment are "Construction Time Again" and, above all, the masterpiece "Some Great Reward" with the metallic sounding hit singles "People are People" and "Master and Servant" as well as, quasi in the perfect contrast to it, the emotionally composed "Somebody" and the highly ambitious orchestrated "Blasphemous Rumours", They are making a breakthrough in Europe, presenting themselves as pioneers, trailblazers or promoters of the sound of the 1990s, techno, house and ambient.
Depeche Mode are also already there as the remix becomes hoffahig and gains commercial significance. The most famous remixers of the scene, William Orbit, Timo Maas, Francois Kervorian or Goldfrapp later on take on most of their songs. Creating the best remix of the band became a sportive competition among DJs and mixing artists. Even when the remix has long since become an integral part of dance culture and has taken on an artistic life of its own, the band continues to cultivate the art of the remix. The relationship "Depeche Mode and the remix" was a story that probably needed to be told itself.
At the same time, following the spirit of the times and its fashion accessories (who doesn’t remember "The secret eye" from the bankruptcy book publisher Claudia Gehrke), to experiment on the stage with extravagant outfits. Gore, the brilliant songwriter, adopts an androgynous double, he paints his fingernails black and plays with homoeroticism and S/M symbols, while Gahan simulates the virile counterpart to it. The result of such antipole games is among others "Black Celebration", an altogether rather gloomy work, which invites the horer rather to organize black fairs than to rave unrestrainedly in clubs, and is mostly carried by dense, atmospheric sounds, which inspire and help to bring into being especially the gothic and gothie movement.
Again they vary their style. In order to get rid of the gloom and melancholy and not to give it too much space, they let guitar riffs speak from now on. On what are probably their two best longplayers, the allusive "Music for the Masses" from 1987 and "Violator" of 1990 delivers the band with "Never Let Me Down Again", "Personal Jesus" and "Enjoy the Silence" those hammer anthems, which from now on belong to the compulsory program of every live concert. They put the fans in oblivious ecstasies and let even the mabiest act end in cheers.
At the end of the 1980s Depeche Mode at the zenith of their career. Legendary is her appearance in the "Rose Bowl Stadium" of Pasadena in front of 60,000 people, the DA Pennebacker, who has already worked for Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon and made the concert film with Bob Dylan "Don’t look back" The first conversations between Nasa and the Nuremberg team were recorded on celluloid and later on DVD. The film, which lasts more than three hours, not only gives a lucid insight into the fragile inner life of the band, their nervousness before and emotional exhaustion after the concert, it also shows the intimate love affair that has developed between the band and the audience.
After that the band falls into a deep crisis. While Martin Gore strays into religious symbolic language, "Faith" and "Devotion" When the band members are forced to take drugs, Dave Gahan, a singer, becomes addicted to them. The soul trip that he "stripped down to the bone" the St. Vitus dance he does with devils, witches and damons, and the constant chanting of death and redemption, guilt and sin, betrayal and devotion that Martin Gore writes on his body, almost led to his death. In the fall of 1993, he collapses on the stage during a concert in New Orleans; two years later, a suicide attempt in Los Angeles fails; a year later, he falls into a coma after throwing in a speedball, a mixture of crack, heroin and cocaine. Only with effort can the doctors bring him back to life.
Alan Wilder leaves the band, which bravely continues as a trio, but delivers two rather average albums, which make use of familiar stylistic devices "Ultra", as well as the very spun, by digital click’n’cut elements determined "Exciter". Although the subsequent tour will be a success, rumors of separation are making the rounds. What is controversial is who Depeche Mode in the future and determines the direction, Gore or Gahan. Both record solo albums. While Gore digs up Kurt Weill and old blues classics, sets Brecht, Son House and Robert Johnson to new music, Gahan tries his hand at writing stucco. It seems as if the band has built its "silver wedding" will no longer experience.
But none of this comes true. With "Playing the Angel", With the release of their eleventh regular and youngest album, they return to analog music making and make a brilliant comeback. When the announcement becomes public, the press is at their feet. Celebrate in spite of all the rumors Depeche Mode but now their band anniversary with a world tour. A band that had already been declared dead, whose singer had sought life on a razor’s edge, has risen from the ashes like Phonix and topped its career once again.
Worldwide operating company
Langst is Depeche Mode no longer a band that, according to one critic, is an Anglo-Saxon "Response to the German Kraftwerk" but a globally operating company whose members fly in to the concert in private jets and meanwhile rent suites in luxury hotels. For example, when they presented their new album to the world public last summer, they booked the LTU Arena in Dusseldorf for it.
Speaking of Germany. The fact that they chose the country in the middle of Europe for this, and not London or, like the Stones, New York City, is of course justified. Nowhere else are the fans more in favor of the Brits than in Germany. Here are "DM parties" organizes or "DM Nights" passed on by word of mouth. When they discover the sample technology for themselves, begin to put loop over loop, they stay in West Berlin. They profit equally from the Techno sound, which is in the starting holes, the Larmkulissen of the Collapsing new buildings as well as from the gloomy mood spread by the Nato double decision.
When asked who the greatest German pop band of all time would be, the band’s discoverer and first producer Daniel Miller said "Depeche Mode". It is also not by chance that the band moves the start of their German tour to Dresden of all places. Especially in the former GDR they enjoyed quasi cult status. The mix of gloomy electro sound and metallic industrial sounds, of depresso look, dark clothes and stylish performance offers the youth there an asthetic counter design to the bland blue shirt culture, which the SED prescribes.
Conspired fan community
ou fans at all. They are also, like those of U2, The Cure or New Order, around a conspiratorial community, which loves its three darlings abgottisch, them cultisch worships and with it the rank of a sect dangerously close comes. Mostly dressed in black, they organize club and aftershow events, cure the best Gahan impersonator or travel after the band from concert to concert. On websites and forums you can read about this lively travel activity.
A real DM-fan has to accomplish the following: On the one hand he has to know the relevant texts by heart, on the other hand he has to be able to understand them by heart. After all, he has to and wants to sing along with them loudly in concert. He also expects his favorites to constantly quote their youth and unpack their old hits. On the other hand, this must not degenerate into complacency or self-sufficiency, as, in the opinion of the DM fan, for example, with U2, Coldplay or REM the case is.
Tourshirt: pain and suffering in various countries
Were Gahan or Gore, for example, like Bono, miming the do-gooder, and suddenly for "fair trade" or "Debt relief" publicly enter, the fans were never forgive them for that. On the contrary, the band has to cultivate and serve the image of inner self-dissatisfaction. DM fans are "Damaged People" with "disturbed souls", the "suffer and pain in various themes" suffer. Why the band must represent the tragic, constantly oscillating between pain and torment, humility and devotion, hell and paradise, and must perform these feelings with the coarsest possible gesture.
In Gahan, the band has a willing victim who revels in self-mortifications that "Man of Sorrows" stylized as a perfect style icon, representing his audience as a martyr with messianic poses. It gives the fan what should have long been (ab)clarified in forty-year-olds: the pubescent oscillation between "Sky-high" and "Being too deceived to die".
Lost in Maschines
It is difficult to explain why Depeche Mode, although they have arrived in the middle of the establishment and even made an appearance at "Bets that" still have a reputation among their fans of being a bunch of troublemakers and troublemakers. Presumably we are dealing with a clever "Policy of strict ambivalence" (D. Kamper), once again a clever form of marketing and public relations that combines attraction and repulsion, tradition and innovation, and works so perfectly precisely because it crashes, smokes, crunches and stinks in it.
Immediately, in answering the question of what makes the trio so successful, we have arrived at the wish machines that Deleuze Guattari describe. In contrast to its antipode Jacques Lacan, who derives desire from the experience of a lack and need, desire in D G carried by an obstinate quality. He lacks practically nothing, he is immediately real and wants what he wants. Regardless of all ideologies, myths and images (the imaginary), but also beyond all letters, formulas, numbers (the symbolic), it roams the body aimlessly, but pulsating non-stop, constantly in search of expenditure and excessive self-indulgence (G. Bataille).
Desire becomes a machine when capitalist production remembers its productivity, when modern capitalism unleashes all streams of goods, money and data, and when the machine takes possession of the psycho-physiology of the body. Only then the machine can penetrate so far into the interior of the body that it comes to the co-extension of man and nature, of biology and technology, and the desire henceforth can no longer be separated from the order of the machine.
Such "animistic machines", which are at the same time producer, tool and result of themselves, are diametrically different from conventional discrete machines. If they run free of interference, affect machines function only as a gestalt; if technical machines usually need someone to flip the switch, to make them run or stop, those make their stop on their own. Thus, animistic machines behave completely contrary to the Turing machine, which is known to be the model for all future calculating machines. If the latter follows a calculus that determines it in all its possible states, affective machines operate in the undrawn void and intermediate space that precedes the clip-clop of the binary and first of all opens up and constitutes this calculating space.
The terms that circulate for this are many and varied. What romance "Nature" The term "information theory" is used in information theory to describe the "Noise" and in the physics to the "Chaos". And as for the philosophers "Its", the sociologists "Environment" and the demoscopes "Coffee-table talk" calls the music theory simply "Sound".
In the engine room of life
If we ame that Depeche Mode in its most ingenious moments, succeeds in what animistic machines promise, but pop has repeatedly failed to deliver over the last quarter century: a "right life in the wrong", i.e.: the rewarding of man with the inhuman world of machines (Jens Balzer), then we come very close to the feelings of home, comfort and delight that DM fans feel at the music or concerts of the band.
The British give what electronic artists, composers and engineers like Stockhausen, Einsturzende Neubauten or Kraftwerk constantly fail at: to pack passion, longing and pain into beats and loops, riffs or grooves. They know how to submerge strong and fierce emotions in engineering and interconnect them with the machines. It is precisely these auras and inner flushes that Friedrich Kittler felt and enjoyed while listening to Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd, while his comrades built barricades and sought out the trench warfare, that make the Depeche Mode bring to life.
Follow the matter stream
And this feeling is also why they are so gothicized. Depeche Mode follow the path that D G in "Mille Plateaux", their work of age, have taken. You set a "Matter stream", which is at the same time medium and message. On it they form milieus and rhythms (samples, grooves), which they solidify into joints, layers and orders (loops) and enrich or underline with metallic clattering, later digitally calculated noises. Afterwards they cut up (de-territorialize) this stream again, establish affiliations, connections and exclusions, thus setting chains in motion and marking out (re-territorializing) new territories.
By opening territories for others or others, for the molecular as well as for the cosmic, they create interfaces to the audience, to listeners and fans, who climb n+1 plateaus while enjoying the beats and grooves, and thus gain new spheres (P. Sloterdijk) and sound experiences were made possible.
A concert of Depeche Mode thus always gets the character of a holy mass. Even though their fans have long been "black clothes" The people who come to the camp are mixed and diversified by age and social class, and they enjoy pizza, caipirinha and fried sausages "Time to wait" (W. Benjamin) for the coming of the Messiah, everything runs according to a strict ritual half an hour to a quarter of an hour before the concert begins.
The hall is at this time already occupied up to the last place. Individual whistles are heard, followed by light, rhythmic clapping. House, techno sound and disco beats are gradually getting louder. The front of stage begins to "LaOla" Wave, which after a short time reaches the Range as planned and sweeps around the hall several times with loud hellos, clapping and cheers. In Munich, the manover on Valentine’s Day is a bit rough and bumpy. Five years earlier, at the "Exciter tour", more perfectly and atmospherically. Perhaps a late tribute to age. After that the techno sound picks up speed and intensity. The audience begins to dance, stomping their feet, clapping demandingly and shrieking wildly. When the mood is finally at the boiling point, Georges Bataille comes to mind, and the beats threaten, the lights go out at nine o’clock on the dot.
Didn’t they play in Munich: the SM anthem
After that the hall knows no more stop, it becomes a raving Ungetum. The basslines boom, the sound hammers, the tweeters clang. The cry of the masses for their favorites will not end, until at last fanfare begins, the trumpets of Jericho. There is still nothing of the "holy three kings" to see. Plotzlich takes, which one can hardly believe, the phonstarke once more to. First movements are to be recognized on the stage. The staff, Andy Fletcher and, at last, Martin Gore also comes on the stage. The hall suffocates in one hysterical scream. It won’t end even when the grating and chain-saying of "Playing The Angel" and the deep rumbling of the basses "A Paint That I’m Used to" announces. The cry for redemption, unbelievable but true, rises once again when Dave Gahan lets his sonorous voice sound and steps into the spotlight.
The first songs are almost completely lost in the screaming and shrieking. When the audience and the band finally agree on a form of communication, one notices that the sound is crystal clear, the bass sometimes seems a bit overdriven, and Gahan’s voice is already a bit affected due to the many appointments. When after the first part the mood threatens to drop a bit, the band, as it should be for professional musicians, unpacks its popular hits. Now dominate the classics that have so far pulled every concert out of the fire.
Mask, make-up, mimicry
On the stage Gahan plays the prophet, priest and messiah as usual. He invokes the masses, arouses a messianic mood in the hall and suffers torture, agony and happiness at the same time on behalf of all those present. At "I Feel you" he finally gets rid of the top, too, to the howls of the female faction. He shows his tattoos, swings the hooves sexy, but lacks muscles and wireiness that distinguish Iggy Pop or Billy Idol. Is it a coincidence that Gahan in appearance, poses or vocal part seems like the ever adored Freddy Mercury??
Andy Fletscher and the second keyboardist were packed into small round space pulpits by Anton Corbijn, who draws for the stage picture. They look like giant floating hoops and, along with the drums, unfold a peculiar kind of comedy. Opposite is placed a space capsule on which the themes of the band are faded in again and again: regret, voe, sex, deteriorate, absolution, control etc. What motivated the SZ colleague to a true celebration on the stage picture, probably remains his secret (pain and suffering at different pace). The images projected on the video walls, on the other hand, are okay. The catwalk, which leads into the middle of the arena, is used far too little. Just as the band sometimes acts snobbish and communicates with its audience too seldom.
Martin Gore is responsible, appropriately enough, for the CD and tour, "to play the angel". He is dressed in a black rooster costume with a cock’s comb attached to his back with two wings mounted on it. With these black feathers he seems in times of H5N1 rather like a damonian, no longer suitable for the cooking pot silly soup chicken. Five years ago he was still wearing a blood-white outfit, but this time he is wearing black, which reminds us of a defiant child who constantly does the opposite of what is expected of him. Although he is allowed to act freely on the stage, only occasionally pressing the keys behind the white floaty hoop, we already begin to pity him violently. Obviously, he is on the tour of the real "Man of pain", which is to be ertrankt in silence.
But apparently it is not so bad. Soon he takes off his cap and shows us his blond and toupeed head of hair. On the face, especially below the eye areas, we discover traces of angel gold. Or are they trances of self-pity?? Gore, the fallen angel? Have Depeche Mode lost their sense of style security? The SZ gossip reporter will write the other day that Martin Gore was at the "Andechs at the cathedral" is involved in a heated dispute about aesthetics with Eckart Nickel.
Gore’s stage life also apparently has nothing to do with his real life. Instead of hanging out in trendy clubs in the city, he prefers to gouge with Andy Fletcher "Bavarian lifestyle" and enjoys shoegazing, while Dave Gahan prefers the hotel bed. This is by no means a singular phenomenon, as we can see from the interview with Roger Daltrey about the Who’s guitar-trembling excesses, the whiskey-abuser Keith Richards or the good, golf-playing dad Alice Cooper (We probably prevented a world war).
However, the hype, bland gamesmanship, and aesthetic disagreements do not change the fact that Depeche Mode gave us great pop songs, songs that are destined for eternity. On the one hand such rude stomping songs like "Halo", "Nothing", "Pleasure, Little Treasure" or the already mentioned "Enjoy the Silence"; on the other hand, ballads so sensitively orchestrated and lulled into dark mourning as "Little 15", "Waiting for the Night", "Sometimes", "Home" or the ingenious, kitsch-flattering "Somebody". "All desire wants eternity" – this saying of Nietzsche’s inscribed in the memorial stone of Sils-Maria, there where the "Eternal recurrence of the same" once hit him like a hammer blow. Never truer than here.
Botho Strauss (The Conflict), who most recently praises the spirituality of mullahs and imams, laments the loss of the sacred in saturated societies, and this "weak time" should go to a meeting with Frank Schirrmacher, his friendly accomplice and supporter (preparatory company) Depeche Mode Concert come. There both were discovered a sacredness that makes them tremble with awe and fall silent. Even if these are rituals (isn’t the rage of the Islamist iconoclasts, the burning of Western symbols and codes, we ask, also long since congealed into a ritual?), religiously indifferent they are not. If we follow Walter Benjamin (capitalism is cult), then things and phanomena only become religion through their ritualization.
Good for bellicose purposes Depeche Mode-Trade fairs, on the other hand, do not. For that the band and its audience are also too unheroic. The soft power they emit and the messages they spread should not be underestimated by our two culture warriors. A text like "Never Let Me Down Again" may also inspire suicide bombers. "We’re flying high/we’re watching the world pass us by/never want to come down/never want to put my feet back down on the ground." Here, too, it depends on "Differentiation Manifestations" and "Demand for gentleness" to. Even Muslims, assimilated or professing, listen to MTV and help themselves at exchange borses "like all soul sisters and soul brothers", as it is called in "Goodnight Lovers", the bouncer of the tour lovingly heibt. That makes us brave and happy.