Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
Andy McCluskey writes for Clash...

Music tends to be a meritocracy.

The best of us, so the reasoning goes, rises to the top, gaining the wider appreciation they deserve.

It doesn't always work like that, however. Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark have their roots in the post-punk era, rising from experimental obscurity to notch up all manner of hits.

Spending time on centre stage and time out in the left field, OMD remain one of the country's true maverick spirits, a group who obey their own creative whims.

Clash invited OMD's Andy McCluskey to write a few words about the hidden heroes of British electronic music...

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Stephen Morris from New Order/Joy Division

Barney and Hooky got all the headlines but the difference in sound between Joy Division and New Order is the drums and keyboards. 'Blue Monday' was one of the most radical recordings of the 1980s and it's all about the drum machine programming.

That such a brilliant and individually styled drummer would be interested in technology enough to actually mix machine and live drumming is a testament to his ability and confidence in what he was about. The drum patterns in Joy Division are as distinctive and iconic as Curtis's vocal and Hooky's bass but they never get mentioned.

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Gillian Gilbert from New Order

'Your Silent Face' is a truly great electro piece and it's all about the sequencer and the lead keyboard melodies. Haunting, hypnotic and beautiful. This track is all about Gillian's work and Stephen's simple drum programming. Barney and hook just provide the occasional icing on top of a perfectly formed cake. Gillian should get much more credit for the sound of New Order than she does.

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Mirrors

Brighton synth pop. From 2008 to 2013 they shone very brightly, made a really wonderful album entitled 'Lights And Offerings'. Toured with us in 2010, Sounded like no one but themselves, looked like the Beatles and fell apart before the world fell in love with them.

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The Normal

Perhaps not that hidden to these who know their UK electronic music history, but Daniel Miller's Double A sided single 'Warm Leatherette' / 'TVOD', was not only the record that propelled Paul Humphreys and I into deciding to play live at Eric's club in Liverpool in 1978, but was the beginning of Mute records... the home of most UK synth music.

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Dalek I Love You

Founded in 1978 by Dave Balfe, Alan Gill, Dave Hughes and Chris Teepee. They were from the Wirral they had a synth, a drum machine and tapes and plated Eric's before we did. I sung with them briefly in the summer of '78 before leaving to create OMD with Paul.

Dave Hughes toured with us in spring 1980 before Martin Cooper took his place. Alan joined the Teardrop Expodes long enough to play on their biggest hit 'Reward'. Balfe went on the create Zoo and Food records and live in a very big house in the country. Alan finally released their amazing album 'Compass Kumpas' on 1980.

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OMD's new album 'The Punishment Of Luxury' will be released on September 1st.

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