I have been thinking a lot about the sad demise of Steve Strange and the band Visage, who came beck with all guns blazing in 2013 in a way that few have managed to achieve. I knew that the band had been busy recording album number five following the “Orchestral” album, which I still need. But I had not seen any hard data on exactly how far that had come along before Strange’s death early this year. I would check the seemingly moribund Visage website every few months to no avail. That changed this morning, when commenter Gavin alerted me to the news that there was an unlikely but highly desirable sixth single being pulled from the “Hearts + Minds” album as I typed these words.
Visage: Lost In Static UK 12″ 
- Lost In Static [extended mix]
- Seven Deadly Sins [part 2]
Now that’s more like it! While I appreciated the appearance of “She’s Electric” and “Hidden Sign” from the album, I felt that “Lost In Static” was an even better potential single, and it’s failure to be remixed was a lost opportunity. That’s no longer the case. Control Room Records is a boutique label specializing in strictly analog records and for their third release, they have produced a “ten minute synthesizer epic” version of the gorgeous “Lost In Static.” The single will be vinyl only [no downloads or CD5], in limited numbers, but at affordable prices. It can be ordered from the Control Room Records store here. I have already ordered my copy and will report back with my findings. I have come to expect nothing but stellar Visage remixes in the last two years, though I still need to catch up with the previous three singles [“She’s Electric,” “Hidden Sign,” and “Fade To Gray [orchestral]”] that dropped while I was saving for my 2014 vacation.
Better still, the single will sport a non-LP B-side, “Seven Deadly Sins [part 2]” and the title suggests that it may be one of the new songs from the fifth and final Visage album, due in November. It’s reported that the track features heavy Roland hardward but with Mick MacNeil going Korg for his solo. Full disclosure at the new domain, The Steve Strange Collective, that just opened yesterday where Steve’s mother, sister, and PA Amanda Lloyd will keep the fires burning for the legacy of Steve and Visage. It’s reported that Steve’s associates and friends will also be contributing. The fifth and final Visage album is to be released in November of this year and will be called “Demons To Diamonds,” which is a fantastic title.
The new album had already leaked one song from the mooted followup to “Hearts + Knives” earlier when “The Silence” was released as a taster on the “Orchestral” album late last year. This last Visage album will be launched to coincide with the inaugural Steve Strange New Romantic music festival to be held in his native Porthcawl, Wales, with royalties from the album being directed towards a Steve Strange Statue fund to establish a permanent memorial to the style trailblazer.
I’m guessing that “Seven Deadly Sins” will also figure on the new album, albeit in a different form than on the 12” single. It’s been revealed that 15 songs were written after the band began writing in the Spring of 2014, with half of these recorded before Steve’s death in February of this year. This may mean that Steve did not get vocals down for some of these songs, but there’s plenty of precedent for instrumental Visage tracks, so we’ll see how this all plays out when news of the album gets more focused in a month or so. I’m guessing that a majority of the album will features vocals but there may be several instrumental LP cuts and B-sides going forward. As for the core band, I’m expecting no changes from the last album and Mick MacNeil is obviously on board as is French synthesist Didier Marouani. Perhaps Roman Romanelli was already committed. Visage fans would do well to pick up a copy of his 1982 album “Connecting Flight” which sported Rusty Egan and Stephen Stewart-Short involvement. The latter a Didier Marouani collaborator. You see, it’s all connected.
There will be at least one cover version on the “Demons To Diamonds” album and I’d love to hear this band sink their teeth into David Bowie’s “Loving The Alien,” but they have to make me forget the Icehouse version of the song, which is a tall order. Coming on the heels of the excellent “Hearts + Minds,” I think that they have more than a fighting chance of it. We’ll see in a few months. Until then, stay tuned for my review of the “Lost In Static” 12” single. I’m not going to let that one gather any dust once it makes its way across the Atlantic.
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