Recoil, "Grain"

After years of both largely avoiding them and reducing them to a one-trick pony, I dove headfirst into the Depeche Mode chasm last week, and to the surprise of no one, least of all me, I found myself captivated. I won't expand upon that point further as it's a somewhat embarrassing one to make in the first place and I want to keep this post brief.

When I got to the end of the Mode road, I found myself itching for more and immediately pulled up each of the members' side projects, arbitrarily starting with Alan Wilder, the longest-serving non-founder, whom I think I was drawn to because "People Are People," which he seems to have had a significant hand in writing, is fantastic, as is its B-side, "In Your Memory." Sparky and perky yet nuancedly unbalanced industrial pop.

Before he joined Gahan, Gore, and Fletcher (attorneys at law), he was in bubblegummy AOR band called the Dragons, a glammy new wave outfit called Daphne & the Tenderspots, which was sort of like the Vapors blending with Sparks, and a surf-meets-reggae unit called Real to Real. A colored early career!

It's Recoil I'm allegedly highlighting today, however. Recoil is a solo project of his that began in the mid-80s and the first couple of releases, 1 + 2 and Hydrology, both of which Mute put out, are very strong. Instrumental and expansive, they're a little bit of kosmische stretches, a little bit of modern classical doodles, a little bit of tight-as-a-drum fidgety electronica. Franky, I lost interest after the first few efforts, but maybe the latter section of the catalog contains some gems I'm sleeping on.