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4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
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After 30 years of working on their respective ongoing music projects, Vince Clarke (Erasure/Depeche Mode) and Martin L. Gore (Depeche Mode) have come together for the first time since 1981 as VCMG to release their brand new album, Ssss.

VCMG is the fruit of initially tentative discussions and subsequent enthused collaboration where Vince and Martin, both influential as pioneers in ... Read more in Amazon's VCMG Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (12 Mar 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Mute
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,299 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Lowly 5:27£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Zaat 6:28£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Spock 5:40£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Windup Robot 5:25£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Bendy Bass 6:04£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Single Blip 5:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Skip This Track 5:40£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Aftermaths 6:21£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Recycle 6:37£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Flux 5:17£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Vince Clarke and Martin L. Gore’s thirty-year relationship has been entwined in some of the most exciting and innovative moments in modern music. Founding members of legendary pop experimentalists Depeche Mode, the pair toured the world together until 1981 when Clarke left to explore pastures new. Gore stayed with Depeche Mode making a string of groundbreaking albums, while Clarke went on to form Yazoo, Erasure, The Assembly and collaborate with Martyn Ware. “We stayed in touch, of course,” remembers Clarke. “I don’t think we ever thought we’d work together again. But I suppose we’re kindred spirits, me and Martin. It was bound to happen.” It did indeed happen and the duo are now on the cusp of releasing a brand new album, Ssss – a fiercely inventive techno record full of snarling synths and pulsating rhythms, every bit as mesmerising as you’d expect from two of electronic music’s most pioneering performers.

BBC Review

VCMG is two men with a shared history. With 100-plus hit singles between them over the last 30 years, Vince Clarke and Martin Gore had barely been in contact since the former left Depeche Mode at the end of 1981, giving Martin the opportunity to become chief songwriter for the band (and chuck radiators down stairs while wearing perv-breeks). Vince went on to Yazoo, The Assembly and most notably Erasure, earning an Ivor Novello award for his song collection in 2009. It would be fair to say that Vince has always kept himself to himself – Alison Moyet has suggested that the pair never really got to know each other during the 18 months Yazoo had together in the early 80s – but VCMG has seen him reconnecting with his past. This is a good thing, for all concerned.

Clarke first approached Gore about doing a little something over email, and having piqued Gore’s interest work began at a leisurely pace. This album was assembled entirely via file swapping – the duo only actually properly met up at Mute’s Short Circuit celebrations at The Roundhouse in 2011 – but the results show that there’s an innate thinking and nous between the pair, which happily ties their shared experiences together.

Collecting 10 tracks of minimal yet meaty European techno, SSSS excels with the likes of first-taster Spock, which pounces along in an Orbital-like manner, and the giddy Situation-esque pulse of Windup Robot’s build up. Bendy Bass is another highlight, doing exactly as it says with elastic sounds weaving about, while Single Blip constructs an array of doofs and oomphs around a – yes – single blip. The elements are all here: Vince’s knack for slight but perfectly pop melodies and Martin’s strident anthemic blasts are easily noticeable. There really is no sign of a duff moment at all.

Reuniting a couple of friends on the one hand and exciting the fans on the other, there’s no doubt SSSS is a fine piece of work – and regardless of the back-story, it’s quite amazing in its own right: an instrumental technofest that you could quite easily enjoy down the rave-up or while engaging in some housework. And that makes it mission accomplished so far as anyone with ears should be concerned. Tremendous stuff.

--Ian Wade

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh, it's rather good 3 April 2012
Format:Audio CD
The novelty of VC and MG combining to produce a techno album was bound to get me to part with my money. The funny thing is, they didn't meet or even talk while making the album - which sounds rather like the recording of the second Yazoo album. Vince has always been a great collaborator - especially for someone who is notoriously prickly - think The Assembly, Yazoo, Erasure, that thing with Martyn Ware. But don't think about those examples too long, because this isn't like them at all. SSSS, named for the sound of hissy electronics favoured by Vince, is exactly what you want to hear at 2am in a club when you are wanting to feel the music as much as hear it. It is all 4/4 bass drums, sequencers set to stun, slow build-ups and heavy duty breaks. Martin doesn't sing. He doesn't wear a black dress (well, he might have, but it isn't on display here). It's as unlikely an album as you will buy this year, and one of the most likeable.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some Great Reward 30 April 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Improbably, this collaboration between half of Depeche Mode's 1981 lineup - the effortless popstrel Vince Clarke whose every release has been, incessant, almost oppressively cheerful and the latter, naunced king of mild bondage miserabilism Martin Gore - take a brief break from their day jobs in respectively Erasure and Depeche Mode, to explore a silent first love.

Both of them have, in their ways, explored the power of technology over the past three decades : Vince drawn always to the brighter, sunshine of analog synths, easily creating delicate structures of jauty, fast paced, and melodic pop where it always April 1984. Gore, on the other hand, gave the world such feelgood tunes as "Shake The Disease", "It's No Good", and "Enjoy The Silence", melding an immaculate production with a fetish for minor keys and chords, and vocals that try to make a disco out of an existential crisis. So... what you might expect with VCMG is an almost of literate, retro-futurist, morbid pop? No such luck.

Immaculately produced, VCMG is a dense hour of electronic exploration : the material - 10 or so pieces of instrumental motifs - created by email and from thousands of miles apart, sounds like a determined single entity. The undulating tones and rhythms could be a particularly fond return to form from a mid-range electronic outfit that makes a small living.

The pounding, slightly threatening "Lowly" begins the album : like all of this, made on old-fashioned, customised synthsets, tweaked and bent, with longstanding, elegant melody lines and immaculate rhythms, it sounds like the unholy, lovely union of two very different minds, with jaunty drums and melancholy strings, and a joy through repetition that only repeated exposure can bring.

"Spock" is utter Depeche Mode.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Repetitive...but in a good way 29 Mar 2012
Format:Audio CD
I agree with one of the reviewers who said they yearned for some vocals on first listen (Although, I'm not sure Dave Gahan's voice would go with the music). It does initially come across as a bit samey but after a few listens, it almost blends into a continuous piece of music, like a really uptempo Tangerine Dream remixed by Underworld. Although I bought the album because it was Vince and Martin, I've not let their baggage affect my view - it doesn't sound much like anything either of them has done before and good on them for stepping out of their safety zone. It's a fun album, great to listen to and very danceable.

I'm guessing you'd call it "techno" and other reviewers have complained about it being samey and like other "techno" artists but so what? I've listen to a lot of techno over the years and find a lot of it very identikit and lacking in any real personality. Listen to some compilation mix albums and it's hard to tell where ends and begins.

So, ignore the fact it doesn't sound like DM or Erasure and enjoy it on its own merits, it's worth it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Peak hour techno from synth pop stalwarts 21 Mar 2013
Format:Audio CD
I've been to a lot of clubs. I know what works on a floor. This is head down four am techno. Yes, it's repetitive, but that's the point, it's so you can get in the zone. This sort of music is all about texture and deepening levels of consciousness - getting bugged out on a freaky sound effect. This is quality throughout. Well produced from start to finish - you can tell they have some good equipment. I'd love to hear it on a thunder ridge sound system. It reminds me in places of Richie Hawtin. Yes, some of the sounds are a little retro, but it feels self referrential, like a nod to their haydays. Hawtin often throws in such sounds into his sets. On the flipside, some of the other grooves are bang up to date. Damn good going for some old boys! It would be even better if it was mixed. Stand out tracks are 'Bendy Bass' and the ironically titled 'Skip this track'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Electro-genius ! 7 April 2012
By Mel
Format:Audio CD
The collaboration of Martin gore and Vince Clarke is stunning. The evolution of the depth of electronic music makes me wonder what these two would have done together for the last 30 years after Speak & Spell.
Get this cd, you won't be disappointed ;)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complex sound 7 Feb 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I love Depeche Mode and found this album to be a major departure from them. However, there is a real texture to the sound and is worth persevering with as it gets better with more listens. Sophisticated, unusual and layered. Like a fine wine, not to be rushed but worth savouring.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars techno mode
Just amazing - I occasionally listen to techno and house and wouldn't call myself a expert and think the tunes are ten a penny - I souly bought this on the fact it had the depeche... Read more
Published 7 days ago by andoni graham
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than you think.
Did not have massive expectations however I expected to be intrigued.
Published 1 month ago by Maz
3.0 out of 5 stars Arguable
That arguably the two most influential musicians from the last fourty years can only come up with this is, to say the least, disappointing. Read more
Published 17 months ago by DBT
1.0 out of 5 stars Not good at all
I think Depeche mode and electronic music is great but this is a really poor effort from the Basildon boys. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Paul H
5.0 out of 5 stars techno nirvana
im 41 years old have not been to techno club for over 11 years.but i always have and always will enjoy my love for electronic music.of course im a big depeche mode fan. Read more
Published 18 months ago by theorbit48
5.0 out of 5 stars Vince and martin collaboration
Vince Clark and Martin Gore collaborate for the first time since the first Depeche mode album speak and spell in 1981. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Rpj Mullin
1.0 out of 5 stars a real let down, sorry lads!
as an avid fan of Depeche Mode and old school Yazoo, i was really looking forward this teaming up of these two clever heads! Read more
Published 21 months ago by simon
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect minimal techno!
I love it! I listen to that every time I travel somewhere, the music is master art. :)
Quick delivery, product was 100% ok.
Published on 13 Aug 2012 by Tomas
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! But probably not for Erasure fans
Let me be clear on this for you: I am a dance music fan and like what people refer to as "repetitive techno". Read more
Published on 13 April 2012 by Mr. Mark R. Nolan
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