It’s been three decades since the big guns of electronica, Depeche Mode released their first album Speak & Spell in 1981. As precursors to techno, the quartet comprising of Andy Fletcher, Martin Gore, Dave Gahan and Vince Clarke — started remixing when hip-hop was rap and disco was still contemporary. Twelve studio albums and a change in lineup later (Clarke left the band after their debut album), Depeche Mode have gone back to their turntables, quite literally. Ending their long-standing alliance with their record label EMI, the outfit has released what they call their last mashup, Remix 2: 81-11.
“The remix has been an integral part of our fabric from day one. It’s second nature. The only single we ever put out that didn’t have any kind of remix was our first, ‘Dreaming of me…’. This last full-length remix album is a salute in many ways to what has kept us going for thirty long years,” says Gore, the chief songwriter of the group. Remix 2: 81 - 11 is a compilation album, which has re-produced tracks ranging from their earlier songs, Behind the wheel… and In chains… to even Strangelove…. There’s even a remix of their hugely popular track Personal Jesus 2011… by Stargate, besides featuring collaborations with the likes of Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran, Clark and more.
But what Depeche Mode is really excited about is a reunion. Two of the founding members, Gore and Clarke, are now working on a full-length techno album, their first since their 1981 debut. “Even though it will be finished quite soon, it might not see the light of day for a while,” says Gore.