Visage: It’s Called “Never Enough” For A Reason [part 2]

Visage Live in 2013 [L-R: Lauren Duvall, Steve Strange]

Visage Live in 2013 [L-R: Lauren Duvall, Steve Strange]

The next track on the “Never Enough” CD single was the Bottin Edit. It’s a spare, elegant electro mix with a significantly simpler palette than the first two mixes. It gives the song a sophisticated, melodic, music bed that gives great support to the vocals of Lauren Duvall and Steve Strange. It almost lends the song a carefree, jazzy air, transforming the vibe from the more impassioned other mixes. The stately, rolling bassline is a real winner.

The track became even further transformed with the Lasertom Version. This could be called an ecstatic dub mix with vocals limited to the chorus of the song and dubbed out over a long buildup of funk-disco ascending, circular riffs that plateau out to a synth-funk workout at the 3:28 mark. Then the vocal chorus enters the track for the middle eight and then the next circular, ascending rondo to take the energy up to the next plateau. then, at the climax of the second buildup, the track drops out all elements except for the synth bass for a pulsing coda. At 6:33 it creates a completely new environment that jettisons the track’s emotional thrust for something altogether more deliriously upbeat.

The B-side to this single is something altogether shocking, given the previous history of Visage. They were a studio collective previously, manned in the studio by members of existing bands who had lives of their own apart from Visage. Touring was out of the question on a practical level of prior commitment [impossible], in addition to the difficulty in replicating their dense, technological sound with the live gear of the day [very, very difficult]. The new Visage lineup has no such limitations, so they are playing fully live sets on their tours now. The four person core of Steve Strange, Lauren Duvall [vocals], Robin Simon [guitar], and Steve Barnacle [bass] have been abetted by Logan Sky [keyboards] and Johnny Marter [drums].

The smoking live version of “The Anvil” recorded at the band’s first gig in Hoxton last summer on offer here crackles with exciting rock energy and the spectacle of Robin Simon playing the Midge Ure guitar lines influenced by his own earlier work in Ultravox. The rhythm section anchor the tune with a brutal simplicity and Marter adding the distinctive metallic percussion of the track. Strange bites the tune viciously and Lauren Duvall effortlessly carries the great backing vocal line. This is a far cry from the occasional track dates that carried the Visage name 33 years ago!

Finally, the final track here was the John Bryan Orchapella Version. Rest assured that the string orchestration from the Bryan Widescreen Version is dense and melodic enough to stand on its own two feet as an isolated orchestral track as it does here. Why is it 10:22 long when the Widescreen Version is only 8:23? Well, you’ll have to hear it and find out.

This single is like a delicious seven course meal. It offers six mixes of the A-side, all of which have sufficient difference so that listening to the single is completely rewarding in a linear fashion. A wide variety of the musical food groups are present here with rock, disco, electro, and synthpop accounted for. The Orchapella track moves far beyond the purview of dance music to take Visage completely out of their comfort zone. This was absolutely my favorite single of last year, but this year, there’s more mixes under foot.

Blitz Club | UK | 12" | 2014 | BZCR015

Blitz Club | UK | 12″ | 2014 | BZCR015

Visage: Never Enough [Remixes] UK 12″ [2014]

Never Enough (Young Parisians Remix) – 5:19
Never Enough (Jon Pleased Wimmin Mix) – 6:59
Never Enough (B.G Baarreegaard + Space Coast Dub) – 7:00
Never Enough (Bottin Dub) – 6:04
Never Enough (Radio Edit) – 3:19

The next round of remixes are released to 12″ vinyl on March 3rd with the previously teased Jon Pleased Wimmen mix joined by three new remixes, including a Bottin Dub mix. This puppy is not for sale in the Visage webstore just yet, but if you do enough poking around, one can find copies for presale right now. If you’re part of the just-can’t-wait interweb generation, there’s good news. The download bundle of these remixes was released yesterday. The five cuts from the 12″ are all present and accounted for, with two more added to the mix. Just because they can.

Blitz Club | DL | 2014

Visage: Never Enough [Remixes] DL Bundle [2014]

  1. Never Enough (Young Parisians Remix) – 5:19
  2. Never Enough (Jon Pleased Wimmin Mix) – 6:59
  3. Never Enough (B.G Baarreegaard + Space Coast Dub) – 7:00
  4. Never Enough (Bottin Dub) – 6:04
  5. Never Enough (Radio Edit – 3:19
  6. Never Enough (John Bryan Widescreen Instrumental) – 8:21
  7. Never Enough (Bottin Extended Vocal) – 7:15

Of course, this package can be found at the usual digital retailers. The Bottin Extended Vocal mix, is reason enough to buy, if you ask me. Buy why not sample it yourself?

Special Organ Auction Live Event Sidebar

As if this weren’t enough, Visage are not sitting idle at this point. On March 15, 2014 the band will be playing live at the Ski Flying World Championships in the Addidas Arena in Harrochov, Czech Republic. But this is not just a gig in Eastern Europe at a world sports championship. This show is called a Synthosymphonica, and features the Prague Symphonic Orchestra who will be premiering with Visage a selection of ten of their songs in new arrangements whilst accompanied by a state of the art light and laser show. Take that, Pink Floyd!! If the results of John Bryan’s Widescreen Version of “Never Enough” are anything to judge by, this should be quite the brilliant gig. One hopes that it will reach the fans’ ears in one way or another.

Has that sated your Visage jones yet? No? Then be aware that the Twitter feed on the Visage home page has claimed that there will be two more singles from “Hearts + Knives” this year [!] before the band convene to write album number five later this year. So. Two more singles? “She’s Electric” and “Lost In Static” would be killa, but then again, so would “Hidden Sign” and “On We Go!” Thus far, Visage has accomplished everything that they said they were going to do and then some, so I have sufficient confidence that these plans will come to fruition as well. Personally, I can’t wait to hear the results though the bar was set so high on the last album, that I can’t imagine how they can top themselves the next time out.

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
This entry was posted in Core Collection, New Romantic, Organ Auction Live Event, Record Review and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Visage: It’s Called “Never Enough” For A Reason [part 2]

  1. Echorich says:

    Couldn’t wait, downloaded the bundle…gorgeous, magnificent, beyond trend!
    The Synthosymphonica show MUST be recorded!
    As for a next single…Lost In Static gets my vote as it is my favorite track on the album and one of my Top 10 favorite tracks of 2013. In that one song is the 30+ history of the band and the movement they so brilliantly helped to build.


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