Archive for History of Modern

Review: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – History of Modern

Posted in Review with tags , on September 28, 2010 by softsynth

Perhaps we built up expectations a little too much. When word came down that the heyday lineup of O.M.D. were reuniting for their first album together in 24 years our little hearts went a-pitter. Few bands influenced us more. While many who grew up during the golden age of electronic music point to the Human League as their main influence we were all about the O.M.D. (while both paled as compared to the Mode…). Our excitement was unbending and the teasers, so beautifully ladled out, so perfectly calibrated in an exercise of perfect instinctual promotion, made us that much more twitterpated.

No matter what the band delivered it could never have lived up to the anticipation. And History of Modern doesn’t. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t work on some level, just that the O.M.D. album we pictured in our heads couldn’t have been made in 2010, and we should have realized that. See, the basic conundrum for the band is they were always – at least at their most relevant – innovators. they experimented with sound, using lo-fi techniques if that was the best instrument needed to create the sound they imagined and through 1985 produced compelling, cutting-edge electronic albums that moved the pieces on the electronic game board ever forward. In 2010, to be true to that mission would have meant pushing forward into new realms, something no one was all that jazzed to hear. We wanted a band that revisited its roots. But looking back rarely pays real dividends. Continue reading


Another new O.M.D. track

Posted in News with tags , on August 20, 2010 by softsynth

Okay, we’re not going to obsess over the forthcoming release by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (seriously. Shut up.), however we feel like we’ve been pretty hard on the bits and pieces we’ve heard to date so it’s only fair to share a track that’s gotten us excited about History of Modern again. Spin magazine provides not only a neat new song from the album (“New Babies, New Toys”) but an illuminating interview with Andy McCluskey. Check out the track and see why the album could end up being better than the sum of it’s parts after all…

O.M.D. release first video from History of Modern

Posted in News with tags , , on August 16, 2010 by softsynth
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark have released their first video from History of Modern. And maybe it’s a case of too much anticipation, too much lionizing, too much pedestaling, but we’re not really feeling it yet. It’s a fine, serviceable track with some vintage O.M.D. sounds and one definitely feels the influence of Paul Humphries’ return but we’re missing something. Maybe it’s the experimental side of the band we’re yearning for (and we remain hopeful that the album will reveal some of this once again), and this is more like latter-day O.M.D. than we’d like in an ideal world though this remains our most anticipated release of 2010.
The video itself is nice. Pretty people doing pretty things with each other whilst doing pretty interpretive dance with less pretty Humphries and McCluskey rather creepily watching them from on high.
Watch: If You Want It

O.M.D. set release date, track list for History of Modern

Posted in News with tags , , on June 27, 2010 by softsynth

Boy, if this album turns out to be a dud, not sure how Softsynth is going to handle it. The most anticipated album on our calendar in many years is the first new album from Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark in their full original line-up in more than 20 years, and the noise we’ve heard has been very positive (with teaser track “Sister Marie Says” a perfectly serviceable, if not exceptional taste), so our excitement has been on the rise. Better be good for all that waiting. A release date has finally been set – September 20; and a track listing has been revealed (and the song titles take us back to a very early period O.M.D., so they are, at a minimum, taking great care with the window dressing):

1.New Babies: New Toys

2. If You Want It

3.History Of Modern (part I)

4. History Of Modern (part II)

5. Sometimes


7. New Holy Ground

8. The Future, The Past, and Forever After

9. Sister Mary Says

10. Pulse

11. Green

12. Bondage Of Fate

13. The Right Side?

There were few, more influential bands on the musical identity of this blogger so stakes are high. Make it a good one boys…

Hear new OMD track

Posted in News with tags , on May 28, 2010 by softsynth

For British fans of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, the band will be appearing as guests on the Back to the Phuture show on BBC6 with Mark Jones on Monday May 31st.

They say they will be discussing “their major influences” and at 9pm they will be showcasing a brand new track from their long awaited new album History of Modern.