Record Review: Visage – Lost In Static

Control Room Recordings | UK | 12

Control Room Recordings | UK | 12″ | 2015 | CRRR003

Visage: Lost In Static UK 12″ [2015]

  1. Lost In Static [extended mix]
  2. Seven Deadly Sins [part 2]

When I had my mail held while on my recent vacation, I knew that this delight would be waiting for me upon my return. The label had emailed me upon its shipment and on Tuesday, it arrived. Only 27 hours later, it had been duly digitized for listening! I might add that this was with my new AKG headphones my wife thoughtfully bought as a birthday present. The return of the AKG full spectrum of sound after over a dozen years of inferior headphone usage nearly brought tears to these eyes. But what of the record itself?

Well, we knew we would be in for a treat with the lavish A-side being one of the high points of the “Hearts + Minds” album. We also knew that the house style for the new Visage allowed for a very “old school” 12″ remix of the A-side and we were not disappointed. In this case, the traditional slow buildup to “air out” the arrangement so that every nook and cranny could get its moment in the sun. The Frippy harmonic guitars began the buildup as they layered like a phalanx of violin/seagulls adding their plaintive atmospheres. Then the gently strummed guitars added detail that was not apparent in the original mix. Then the throbbing beat began to gently amass weight in the mix with subtly added synth details added to the arrangement for extra 12″ goodness.

I love an old school remix in that it gives plenty of time to appreciate the details inherent in a song even as it enables the mixer to create new ones as well. With the buildup, Steve doesn’t make his appearance until four minutes into the 10:30 opus. I especially enjoy the throb of the synth bass here. The rest is aired out with an extended instrumental coda for the last several minutes of the song for the classic dignity that it fully deserves. Remember: luxury should not be moderated in this harsh world.

As for the B-side, it is a taster from the final Visage album, which is said to be appearing in two months. After this I can hardly wait! “Seven Deadly Sins [part 2]” was presumed to be a dub mix of a track with the similar name on the upcoming “Demons To Diamonds” album, but to these ears, it plays like a full on extended version since Steve Strange has his vocal stamped all over the propulsive eurotrack. The CR78 rhythm that kicks this one off is sweetened with some whomping reverse percussion before the taut, muscular flanged guitar riffs of Robin Simon give the song a backbone to begin building on. The cascades of synths and the dynamic rhythms mark this one as a spiritual brother to the great “Theme For Great Cities” which makes sense since this was another track co-written and played on by Mr. Mick MacNeil. This one has its hooks deep in my brain and I’ve thought of little else in the last 24 hours!

Steve’s deadpan delivery mark this one as a powerful rock disco monster to take it’s rightful place next to a track like “Visage.” Yeah, it’s that good. The Moroderspace the track enters on the slipstreaming middle eight is a wonderful thing to hear as it marks the point where even perfection can be streamlined and further refined. This is one throbbing electro-thrash anthem that takes no prisoners as it reminds us that this band were making all of the right moves in their final flowering. Visage are right up there for me with the work that John Foxx + The Maths have made in recent years. Lots of my favorites are pulling their fat out of the fire and refining their late period achievements to varying degrees, but this really is best of breed work for any Visage fan to soak up. And do it now. Supplies are limited. “Lost In Static” can be ordered from the Control Room Records store here. But… for… how… long?

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

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5 Responses to Record Review: Visage – Lost In Static

  1. Echorich says:

    Lost In Static became my favorite Visage track from Hearts + Knives the moment I heard it. This extended mix does nothing but reinforce my belief that it is one of the most beautiful and special musical moment in career of Visage and Steve Strange.
    The song is treated with love and respect and expanded upon in a way that completely makes sense. There is nothing overdone or extraneous here. Lost In Static Extended Mix certainly deserves a place in my playlist of Epic Remixes.
    I’m in total agreement with you Monk on your comparison of Seven Deadly Sins Pt. 2 to Theme For Great Cities by our beloved Simple Minds. For all the ups and downs of Steve Strange’s soap operatic career, he somehow found a way to get himself together and gather together a group of brilliant, and under appreciated musicians to make Hearts + Knives and the upcoming Demons To Diamonds. Mick McNeil and the woefully underrated Robin Simon anchored Hearts + Knives and by the sound of things bring some of that same dependable magic to it’s follow up.
    For all the sadness and irony surrounding the loss of Steve Strange, I’m pleased that he managed to go out on top, master of his own career, making music he knew he could with the help of artists who believed in his vision.

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  2. Gavin says:

    I am so glad you like the single Monk,as I was so thrilled by it myself-as usual you have delivered a stunning review,thanks.The single is also now available as a download (pah!) for those who inexplicably don’t own a turntable.
    I wasn’t able to attend Steves memorial at Cafe Royal,London,last weekend,but many friends who were there,some performing,all said it was a night that would have made Steve proud.I am counting the minutes till the new album comes out as this taster we have been given with ‘Seven deadly Sins’ is such a tease.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Gavin – That’s surprising in that I thought that this single was to be vinyl-only. I see that the Visage DL catalog is present and accounted for in the iTunes store. It’s just gratifying that it’s more widely available for all though we know that the vinyl is far more sacred. My only downer is that I just went to the Visage web store yesterday and saw that the 2xCD version of “Orchestral” with the bonus remix EP is no longer there… meaning that by saving for my vacation last year instead of buying it in pre-release my Visage collection will be sadly lacking.

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      • Echorich says:

        Have to agree Monk, I had to own a physical version of Lost In Static and am happy to contribute a few extra dollars for digital versions – saving me time and effort and honestly fine for listening to in the car or on a flight.
        One thing that I meant to mention before is that it really is satisfying that Steve/the band didn’t decide to make just another orchestral epic from Lost In Static. It loses none of it’s electronic gorgeousness – in fact it in beautifully enhanced here.
        Lost In Static stands up with the Visage’s early classics and Seven Deadly Sins Pt.2 certainly retains a good deal of that DNA as well. I stumbled on Rusty Eagan’s Electricity Club rant again last night and re-read it. I found it to be even more mean spirited and childish than I did in 2013. He can moan all he likes about how he was pushed out or disagreed with what he saw as producing on the cheap, but 30 yrs on, to say Steve Strange didn’t have a legitimate right to record as Visage is just ridiculous.

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