Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – La Mitrailleuse

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark are a hugely influential electronic music band. Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys, themselves inspired by Brian Eno and Kraftwerk, have often been called ‘the Lennon-McCartney of synth-pop’. Their impact stretched out to artists as diverse as U2, a-ha, No Doubt, Talk Talk and Radiohead (and, more obviously: Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, Information Society, Yazoo and Underworld).

On 1 September, OMD put out their 13th album The Punishment Of Luxury. It will be released in several CD and LP formats, but also on cassette. Humphreys describes the album as ‘stripped down’. The first track that was made available might be representative for the musical direction. La Mitrailleuse (French for ‘the machine gun’) is just over two minutes long, and only features the lyric ‘Bend your body to the will of the machine’. This is sung with a Kraftwerk-like vocal effect, accompanied by a minimalist choir. After 45 seconds, sound effects of (machine) gun shots, bombs and jets flying over form a rhythmic backdrop to the ongoing choir. This makes for an alarming and intense atmosphere, which is only augmented by the video.

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