Adrienne Day

By Adrienne Day

on 03.12.12 in Reviews



The “VC” of VCMG is Vince Clarke, who brought sunshine in the form of “Just Can’t Get Enough” to Depeche Mode‘s first album, 1981′s Speak & Spell, before leaving to start two of the ’80s biggest synth-pop acts, Yaz and Erasure. The “MG” is Depeche Mode founder Martin Gore, who wrote some of the band’s biggest chart-toppers – among them, “Enjoy the Silence” and “Personal Jesus.” Ssss is Gore and Clarke’s first collaboration in more than three decades, and the results attest to both the genius and the enduring relevance of both artists.

Attesting to Vince Clarke and Martin Gore’s genius and enduring relevance

A satisfying Teutonic thwomp cuts through Ssss – you could set your watch to “Windup Robot,” a kickdrum and snare-driven track laced with synth stabs and rubbery acid-fed basslines. (It might come as no surprise that the record was mastered by the similarly stentorian Stefan Betke, aka Pole.) “Aftermaths” could slide comfortably into a set at Berlin’s (now sadly defunct) subterranean Tresor club, with its delicious slow-build dynamics and minimal 808 drum loops. The title of “Recycle” is a coy nod to how so much dance music is made in the first place. These guys should know – they’ve earned the right to follow trends. The only real shame is that it took them this long to reunite.