The face & singer of Visage died February 12th in Egypt, aged 55. He lived a colorful live like few others – from being a Punk in Wales, working with McLaren in London and starting a new futuristic scene with Rusty Egan at the famous Bliz Club. Visage started as a in hindsight post punk supergroup featuring members of Ultravox and Magazine and are still best known for their classic “Fade To Grey”. Steve Strange was never short in trying different outfits and living out his version of fashion which got him more recognizion than any of his musical projects …and overshadowed them in a way. David Bowie early saw the importance of the New Romantics and invited him to appear in his iconic 1980 Video “Ashes To Ashes”, in itself a very New Wave influenced and great Single.
In 1982 Helmut Newton photographed him for the artwork of the 2nd darker and underrated Album “The Anvil” and accompanying singles and it looked like nothing could stop Visage …..
….but commercial success (and the members of Ultravox Ure & Currie) drifted away with the 3rd and disappointing slick “Beat Boy” – an insightful interview with Steve aobut this era can be found over at Electric Club. The remaining members called it quits soon after and a row of best of collections and Remixes was all to come until the 2000’s.
Steve Strange surfaced 1986 with a more rock-orientated but short-lived outfit Strange Cruise before turning his back on Music Production and returning to Club Business more or less succesfull. In his 2002 published Autobiography “Blitzed!” (Orion, UK) he revealed his struggle with Heroin Addiction and his long way back to a performing artist which he started slowly but surely with different line-up’s of Visage culminating finally in the rightly praised comeback Album “Hearts & Knives” in 2013 and a resurrection of his alliance with Rusty Egan in Blitz Club Records. After touring and releasing different singles from the Album in 2014 the new line-up issued another Album “Visage Orchestral” including a newly recorded take of “Fade To Grey” which now became his last single.
It is save to say that the 80’s music world would have been different without him – The Human League’s Dare, Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet to name but a few owe him and the Blitz Club a lot. He brought back the colour into the post Punk Pop world – daring, searching and believing into different forms of expression and individuality.
1. Lyndon Scarfe – Music For A Lost Film
2. John Harle & Marc Almond – The Tyburn Tree (Dark London)
3. Savage Republic – Aegean
4. Dieter Meier – Out Of Chaos
5. Blondie – Ghosts Of Download
6. Plastikman – EX
7. ClockDVA – Clock 2
8. Daniel Ash – Stripped
9. Boris Blank – Electrified
10. Gary Clail Sound System – Nail It To The Mast
This is just one of many fine EP’s he published throughout the year (albeit a personal favourite)……..
The musical range as described by him is “from the 80´s inspired Synth Pop / Electro / Funk tunes to Space / Cosmic / Chill Out soundscapes, with incursion in other sound territories like Smooth Jazz / Elevator Music.”
For an overview of his busy networking activity schedule check this for a start.
For the Resurrected legendary Atonal Festival, Richard H. Kirk resurrected Cabaret Voltaire for the first time as sole live performer; see an excerpt and drop me a note if the full show appears .. a full review of the Festival can be found at Electronic Beats.
After the recent Reunion Tour and Rarites Collections issues & Reissue of “We Are Time” The Pop Group (i.e. Mark Stewart, Gareth Sager, Dan Catsis, Bruce Smith) announced a new Album for February 2015 recorded during the last two years and a batch of live dates in Japan, Australia and the States for the coming spring.
Recently and suddenly gone is the semi-legendary Dub Syndicate mainforce & long-time On-U Collaborator Style Scott. October 11th the news reached me that these gentle percussive force which actually played on 41 releases I own and 27 I want (according to discogs stats) among countless others died.
Style Scott was maybe best know for playing with The Dub Syndicate but he was also an integral part of nearly all early On-U Bands and projects i.e. Creation Rebel, Singers & Players, New Age Steppers and Playgroup and worked with nearly everyone centred around Adrian Sherwood’s Label one way or another in a supportive and non-egocentric way which shows due to the only Album actually featuring his name upfront is a collaborative one with Bill Laswell from 1997. Needless to say I gave it another spin while realizing what a untimely loss his death means.