Steven Jones + Logan Sky Crack The Subscription Puzzle With Annual VIP Membership

Jones + Sky offer a subscription that will work for this Monk | collage ©2019 Lena Nisula

One of the more pleasant aftermaths of the end of Visage, following the death of Steve Strange, was that it became very interesting to follow the path of keyboardist Logan Sky following the culmination of Visage with their last recorded works. Sky linked up with singer Steven Jones [who performed at the last Visage concert held following Strange’s demise] and they interleaved their previously separate efforts into a fruitful partnership.

Since 2015, they have ramped up their output to the point where they released three of their albums within a twelve month period, and began to cover an ever wider swath of neo-technopop real estate. That Sky was a dedicated user of analog synth tech meant that their work dug deeply into the ’81-’84 stylistic period that got quickly thrown under the bus when digital synths moved in on the musical turf. Their work is normally sold via a Bandcamp store where buyers may DL their catalog in everything from VBR MP3 to various flavors of CD quality files at modest prices. [hint: pay more than the asking rate] After discovering the Logan Sky career path following Visage, I have been buying their CDs from the store since that’s just the way I roll. But I always think about buying their earlier DL only works that were once cassette tapes as well as DLs; issued and OOP long before I took notice.

I recently got an email from Etrangers Musique, the duo’s imprint, touting their new VIP Membership concept. Other acts I enjoy have attempted a subscription model but I could never wrap my head around paying a monthly fee for what might be a small amount of music per year. If I had more money to throw around, it would be less of a stretch for me. But I don’t. In fact, I’m always trying to reduce the amount of money I spend on music [believe it or not]. What do Jones + Sky do differently from the pack that prick up my ears?

Steven Jones + Logan Sky – VIP Membership

  • Six albums on DL from their library [as shown above]
    • Steven Jones + Donna Destri: Strange Magic
    • Steve Jones + Logan Sky: Desire Lines
    • Steve Jones + Logan Sky: Polaroids
    • Steve Jones + Logan Sky: Corrupt State
    • Steve Jones + Logan Sky: Hans Und Liselotte
    • Steve Jones + Logan Sky: The Electric Eye
  • Everything the duo releases for a year going forward in DL
  • a 20% discount on any physical merch bought in their store
  • And an exclusive cassette compilation of various loose tracks: Rare Vol. 1
The physical goods included with the VIP membership

I feel good about giving these two £1.60/a month because they are not resting on their laurels! Their productivity began at a respectable clip and has only increased with time! I’m happy to subsidize that! Some people say £5/month to support a favored artist is a good thing – the price of a latte. But I buy a chai latte annually. The buy-in here is modest and I have full confidence in the artistic vigor of Jones + Sky. They would have been favorites in 1982 for me and that says a lot. The band used to drop little “12” singles” [1-3 tracks every few months between bigger projects] as DLs throughout the year to the mailing list. I’m guessing that these will now be for the VIP club. But what about that cassette?

Etrangers Musique | UK | Cassette | 2019

Steven Jones + Logan Sky: Rare Vol. 1 UK Cassette [2019]

  1. Deluxe Tourist (prologue)
  2. Desire Lines (BAmbrose mix)
  3. Transform This Space (extended)
  4. Paper Thin (demo)
  5. 3am (demo)
  6. Atmospheric Disturbances
  7. Supply Data (Russian intervention)
  8. Time Paths (kinological version)
  9. Past & Future Lives (demo)
  10. The Language Of Intrigues (Satanicpornocult remix)
  11. Lieselotte Is Not An Object (Daygun remix)
  12. Electric Eye (Mathey B remix)

I need to work all the way back to the band’s origins and the first two releases. “Desire Lines [BAmbrose mix] was an example of superb, roiling technopop; instro heaven.  I had previously heard “Transform This Space [ext]” when it was part of a loose EP dropped in 2016 with Lauren Duvall singing BVs as Sky’s synths prowled like a tomcat with all of the portamento he slathered on. The rhythmic explosions of white noise interjected to destabilize the rhythm contributed to the song’s lurching, biological energy.”

3am [demo]” was another brief wintry ballad with just two synth patches and a drumbox competing with Jones’ terse, haiku-like vocal. “Supply Data [Russian intervention]” was obviously a left over track from the politically focused “Corrupt State” album! The curdled mood piece was more concerned with pointing insinuating fingers that with laying down a memorable melody, but when the mood was set this capably, I’m more than up for some of that. One of the delights of watching this band move is the balance between bangers, ballads, and soundtrack mood pieces that they juggle most capably.

Speaking of soundtrack mood pieces, “Atmospheric Disturbances” was  a brief stab at a briskly paced juddering instro that began rhythmically before allowing the “red alert loop” to shut the song down in its tracks. This seemed to be a likely margin sketch from the “Electric Eye” project. “Time Paths [kinological version]” was an alternate dub mix of the same cut from “Electric Eye.”  There was only a hint of Steven Jones’ vocals and lyrics at the end of this one. 

“Past & Future Lives [demo]” was a bleak ballad with piano/synth bed under Jones’ yearning vocal shows him venturing into Karmic themes he’s not one to shy away from. His background as a yoga instructor delightfully informs some of his musical work even though it’s the least likely coupling one could imagine.

I said last year that I’d love to hear what a bass guitar could add to their mix and viola – here we are [albeit in sampled form] with “Language Of Intrigues [satanicpornocult remix]!” The Japanese sampleadelic project lent a wonderfully glitchy, dissonant jazz-funk coat of shatterpaint to this piece that sounded radically shifted from the usual technopop milieu of Jones + Sky. This was the most adventurous remix I’d ever heard of this duo’s music. There’s another mix of this song coming out in eleven days with Digital Mike vs Steven Jones + Logan Sky with a radically different sound but this tape is the only place where the Satanicpornocult remix manifests.

The tape closes with the band getting some heavier remixes. “Liselotte Is Not An Object [daygun remix],” sustains the tension for quite a few bars in the intro before the down pitched vocals of Jones were dubbed in, reeking of Cab Volt vocal samples over the sequencer loops. “Electric Eye [mathey b edit]” also traveled down the Cab Volt road before veering off surprisingly into italohouse territory. 

Jones + Sky are a pair of restless gents who generate a lot of eddies and currents away from their main tributaries. A project like this one that builds an eclectic mood while weaving a tapestry of these small, quick projects that are too good to leave on the editing room floor makes “rave Vol. 1” a treat for fans and an ideal perk to kick off their VIP program with. And if it pays homage to Ultravox in the title, so much the better! If £20/year for this sounds like a good price to invest in this partnership, then click here and join the in-crowd. I’m there as soon as I can get past my trips this spring.

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About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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1 Response to Steven Jones + Logan Sky Crack The Subscription Puzzle With Annual VIP Membership

  1. A certain band you and I like that gained notoriety in the 90s for their witty comedic songs has a “fan club” that is a bit pricier per annum, but they are almost equally prodigious in output and their quality is still rather high. They don’t offer a permanent discount on their merch, but members get sale notices routinely, and other bonuses like streaming concert videos and some otherwise not-released to the corporate media omniglomerate stuff. Worth it to me, anyway, but I’m under a double-secret oath to deflect any questions about their might-be identity. :)


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