With OMD kaput as of 1998 with only catalog projects to fulfill their Virgin contract, there was also the prospect of the Claudia Brücken/Paul Humphreys project that perpetually flew under the radar for long years. It took years before the project even had a name. I haunted Ms. Brücken’s website for info and it was several years after anticipating something…anything, that the name finally was revealed in 2004, along with talk of an upcoming EP. The pair were then called Onetwo and they were the first band to get distribution from a strange eBay division called Übersonik, that distributed music on the eBay platform. Anything goes in the 21st century music business, I guess! It was probably common knowledge that Brücken and Humphreys were a couple from the late 90s through this period, but I’m so clueless, that this salient fact only registered with me years later.
The first fruits of their collaboration appeared in 2004 with an EP called “Item” which was surprisingly tepid. It was a little too mid-tempo for my tastes. It evidenced a polite reserve that gave it a whiff of The Listening Pool more than any previous Brücken project. The presumable big thing on offer here was the song “Cloud Nine” which DM mainman Martin Gore had written with Brücken for the ill-starred third Propaganda album announced in the very late 90s and subsequently abandoned [and for good reason, judging my what leaked out, that even I heard]. I can’t say it was anything I would have written home about. For what it was worth, Gore played guitar on this recording of the song. It would be another three years before any actual album appeared for sale, this time with no eBay involvement. As I recall, I did not immediately purchase a copy owing to the non-thrilling “Item” EP; the least interesting Claudia Brücken release in my Record Cell.
Next: …They took the time to get it right