PROPAGANDA’S SECRET WISH
PROPAGANDA’S SECRET WISH
Andrew Harrison of The Word magazine wrote the liner notes for ZTT’s deluxe Element Edition of Propaganda’s A Secret Wish. As business office of his inquiry he interviewed Paul Morley close the group, the album together with his memories of the times. Here's the total transcript of the interview.
Alongside A Secret Wish, Propaganda take away hold contributed to the Element Series' The Art of the 12" together with Claudia Brücken's Combined.
Paul Morley is asked to create total inward a questionnaire close Propaganda together with A Secret Wish. He goes exterior together with punches the doorman.
Is it right that your friend together with swain NME author Chris Bohn outset set yous on to Propaganda? Where did yous outset encounter the band? What were your outset impressions of the band together with the private members?
Chris played me their version, almost an original novel piece, almost absurdist, of Throbbing Gristle's ‘Discipline’, together with having made my hear upward real early that I wanted Zang Tuum Tumb to live to a greater extent than European than American, together with arbitrarily fancying the thought of a grouping from the habitation metropolis of Kraftwerk, together with the thought of connecting the label to a so relatively novel but already deep together with fascinating history of techno/electro/industrial music, together with thinking their shout out was perfect, inward all sorts of ways, for a group, together with a grouping on a label that I was planning to live similar the label was for a curt while, they were the outset grouping I wanted to sign.
Their ‘Discipline’ was pretty harsh together with uncompromising, sort of the avant border of Fad Gadget to a greater extent than than the ship service Human League II of Vice Versa that became ABC, a teutonic Suicide, together with it took some fourth dimension to convince Trevor Horn, together with of course of didactics his married adult woman Jill was Jewish – together with so at that spot was something I had non fifty-fifty considered – that the outset signing to the label was going to live German. This was considered an issue. I thought that they were a real interesting agency of establishing much of the intended avant popular identity of the label, together with a agency of real apace opposing the Buggle-gum type epitome of Trevor together with the possibility that it was going to live just some variety of production fellowship churning out sugary popular product. Art of Noise were business office of this mission equally well, the thought that the follow upward grouping to Buggles was a piffling to a greater extent than out there, together with had conceptual loose energy together with ambition to check the studio/technological radicalism.
It seemed interesting to residual out the fact that inward the studio Trevor was clearly ahead of the pack with a label sensibility that reflected that with its overall patterning, sense of presence together with play. And I approximate that overall sense of presence needed to live post-punk, if silent pop, electronic together with experimental, if silent glamorous, together with rooted inward avant garde tradition stretching dorsum through the fourth dimension of Pop Art, Warhol, Fluxus, musique concrète together with Serialism to Surrealism, Futurism, Dadaism together with the dawn of Modernism. Oddly enough, I was genuinely thinking this way, together with Propaganda seemed perfect for this variety of plan. H5N1 sort of tape label that was just about the edges an abstract history of how the 20th Century went from Modernism to Post-Modernism, how the 20th Century created so much artistic together with technological data to mix together with mangle together with mutate etc.
There were 3 of them at first, together with because Suzanne could non sing equally such, Claudia was brought inward real early equally a singer, because evidently Trevor equally a producer did similar his singers, together with this gave the group, earlier the recruitment of Michael Mertens, the two-girl-two-boy residual that was real effective if only equally a subversive representation of a popular ideal. Ralf together with Andreas were non equally such musicians, to a greater extent than proto-versions of the post-punk curating DJ that would increasingly emerge over the side past times side few years, using primitive programming together with sampling to create pressurising soundscapes together with distorted of-the-moment trip the lite fantastic rhythms. I thought it would live interesting to consider what happened if such personalities were given the jeopardy to take away hold access to top of the make studios together with the engineers together with technicians that came with that.
"Ralf together with Andreas were non equally such musicians, to a greater extent than proto-versions of the post-punk curating DJ that would increasingly emerge over the side past times side few years."
It seemed unfair – equally inward fact is ultimately the case, especially at nowadays – that it is less high-minded popular that gets a outset jeopardy to utilisation the liberating novel technology scientific discipline rather than the to a greater extent than artistically adventurous minds. I suppose at that spot was a sense of “what would plough over off if nosotros took this real austere post-DAF High German electronic expressionism together with filtered it through the same techno-machinery that had processed the ideas of Malcolm McLaren into a sort of proto-hip-hop-world-montage?”. I don't know if I ever discussed this with the grouping inward specific detail, together with it was an approach that came from the agency I was mutating from NME author into ship service Factory/Mute tape fellowship man. I suppose my zeal together with vision for the label was similar what members of groups usually take away hold which I thought, maybe wrongly, the grouping appreciated.
Andreas seemed equally mad equally a stone critic, together with real happy to live business office of all this initial craziness, which suited him. Ralf was also something of a pupil of popular music together with underground loose energy together with seemed real comfortable with allowing things to accept their ain shape, to consider where all this collection of ideas led – this was what I thought at the time, that everyone was upward to speed with my thoughts, fifty-fifty if I wasn't sharing them directly, together with that everyone was also thinking inward the same agency close how to create original popular music inward original novel settings.
Had yous genuinely signed Frankie Goes to Hollywood to ZTT past times that point? Did yous take away hold an epitome inward your mind's oculus of what the band could be? Who coined “Abba inward hell” together with how exercise yous experience close that nickname?
Propaganda were my outset recommendation equally a signing, but inward the halt they were signed slightly after Frankie, equally it was hard to persuade Trevor together with Jill that this was going to live the best agency to launch their novel label. In fact the grouping only had a duet of pieces, no songs equally such, together with when they came over to exercise some music at the Sarm Studios were, shall nosotros say, real unusual together with non just capable of setting upward equipment together with playing music.
Jill together with Trevor were real traditional inward their approach to pop, together with this was much to a greater extent than of a concept, a project, an experiment, together with so at that spot a lot of resistance to it. The Frankie signing relaxed them – genuinely – a little, so they were so to a greater extent than prepared to travel with my ideas, fifty-fifty if they seemed a piffling obscure. The evolution of Propaganda amongst Frankie together with Art of Noise meant that the label could start with a piffling flake of a roster, together with I remember Trevor could consider that the label would take away hold something of an original shape, together with inward fact all 3 acts were inward their ain ways concepts turned into an illusion of a group, together with that whatever it was that he had brought me inward to exercise seemed to live working. That ZTT was indeed a tape label with its ain mission together with identity, together with non just a theatre for Trevor – not, inward fact, simply an early 80s version of Xenomania, which it could take away hold been, total of hits but slightly empty of cultural impact.
‘Mabuse’ took fourth dimension to live turned from lean but compelling electro sketch with hints of a vocal into what it became, a deviant epic, extreme popular melodrama, but it sort of confirmed my feelings close what would plough over off if experimental underground musicians with a few original ideas together with instincts were given the Trevor Horn handling – that Trevor would bask the experimental ideas, together with his popular approach would inward fact live inspired past times the unusual nature of what he found inward the music Propaganda made. He was worried, equally he admitted to me, that “they were real nighttime together with I don't genuinely exercise nighttime music”, together with to some extent the whole matter was a combination of Horn's Spielbergian tendencies together with me coming from a to a greater extent than David Lynch surface area – but the combination seemed to work, together with 1 time the multi-track was loaded with sonic data together with diverse audio sources, together with an extraordinary string organisation past times David Bedford – again, the ideologically risky getting access to things usually given to the evidently commercial – it created endless potential for something Trevor was loving at that time, the non-stop remixes pregnant he could hold working on a runway for, to a greater extent than or less, ever.
Another programme I had at the time, which lasted for a few months, was that all the groups would exercise embrace versions for inclusion on the twelve inch singles, to eventually make a variety of ZTT album history of popular music (this never happened). I got them to exercise The Velvet Underground's ‘Femme Fatale’, to create the connectedness with Nico, together with indeed the feverish literacy of the Velvets together with their connections to 20th century currents etc, together with this supplied to a greater extent than data close the variety of grouping they could be. (I genuinely outset asked them to embrace The Carpenters’ ‘Goodbye to Love’, but they did non consider the indicate of that, together with non hear what I heard, a motorbeat squelch upward betwixt sinister, desolate lightness together with unsafe pressure, together with this matter I was keen on, the excogitation of choice popular universes, ones that didn't be but could have, inward this instance a Carpenters that supported the Stooges together with wrote the soundtrack for ‘The Shining’.)
I got Anton Corbijn who I worked closely with at the NME to exercise the video for ‘’Mabuse’ – his outset existent popular video – together with also to accept their photographs together with create a epitome for every runway they recorded . This was, of course, earlier his collaborations with U2 together with Depeche Mode, together with was an absolutely integral business office of creating the epitome of the group: enigmatically glamorous, fine art but silent pop, mysterious but right inward front end of your eyes, together with total of its real ain intense style. There was almost equally much fury within the label equally at that spot was with the apparently porno ‘Relax’ video that the ‘Mabuse’ video was inward dark together with white, equally if this was somehow an deed of terrorism. In reality this was a real of import controversy to make. At a fourth dimension when the globe was exploding into slick MTV color together with everyone was going crazy for the multi coloured superficial, nosotros stood theatre inward the shadows, together with fifty-fifty to some extent pulled Trevor Horn into the shadows, where I personally felt he was going to live to a greater extent than amazing equally a producer.
"There was almost equally much fury within the label equally at that spot was with the apparently porno ‘Relax’ video that the ‘Mabuse’ video was inward dark together with white, equally if this was somehow an deed of terrorism."
This was the dissever inward the label. I ended upward wanting to sign the likes of Front 242 together with The Fall, the other side of the label were looking for commercial popular acts. For a while, the tensions at the label betwixt my worked upward post-punk idealism together with the to a greater extent than mainstream pursuit of hits were held inward fantastic banking company check past times the real existence of Propaganda. I wasn't necessarily existence wilfully opaque, equally the thought that Anton's ideas close presence, shade together with image, together with popular equally an explosive, intelligent secret, take away hold proved to live non completely poisonous to success.
The “Abba inward Hell” label I remember came inward a Time Out Review – perhaps Alix Sharkey – together with fifty-fifty though I had non thought of it, it was definitely non something to deny. Even when Michael joined nosotros kept the two-boy-two-girl matter inward the photos equally all along my principal concern with popular grouping photos was to create certain the pictures did non hold off similar a bunch of people waiting at a charabanc stop.
How would yous depict your contribution to developing them betwixt 'Dr Mabuse' together with making 'A Secret Wish'? Did yous verbalize close vocal ideas, the presentation of the grouping together with so on with the band – or was the presentation solely your creation?
It was a long twelvemonth betwixt ‘Mabuse’ together with the side past times side stage, taken upward past times Frankie fuss. Michael arrived, because a instrumentalist seemed necessary, together with he had a classical background which suited the situation. In his ain agency he in all probability had prog tendencies, just similar Trevor together with his teams, together with he was a percussionist, which opened upward novel rhythmic possibilities. It also looked dandy to take away hold an electro grouping with a xylophone player, together with I was thinking of ways to extend the group's repertoire. Putting to music the Edgar Allan Poe poetry form H5N1 Dream Within H5N1 Dream became a dandy agency to emphasise diverse elements musically together with conceptually: this sort of absorbing hallucinatory atmosphere, something that was at the border of gothic, at the border of electro, at the border of post-punk, together with at the border of prog.
I was existence the A&R human but also equally such a sort of Andrew Loog Oldham inward price of suggesting songs, thinking of titles – write a vocal called Murder Of Love, I said, because sure all the “of love” titles are taken, together with it's fourth dimension to kill them off – together with arranging their image. I liked Josef K real much together with thought it would live interesting for an electronic grouping to embrace a vocal past times a guitar grouping – underground popular that should live nautical chart popular – together with that seemed to work, to the extent that I said to Michael, when he was having problem writing songs, just exercise a embrace version of something, together with past times the fourth dimension you've worked it out, it volition plough out so different, it powerfulness travel an original piece.
It seemed real natural, this agency of working – of advising, suggesting, framing, equally though it was a legitimate collaboration, something that was clearly working. There was a real definite grouping called Propaganda emerging, so that I did non remember of it equally a classic record-company-versus-exploited-group thing, together with was equally good inexperienced inward concern to appreciate that they were existence practically exploited. I was just inward interested inward the grouping equally a surreal popular object with a soundtrack that developed from a Kraftwerk indicate of sentiment musical ideas I had liked inward Simple Minds, Associates, Japan, DAF, Vince Clarke, Grace, Cabaret Voltaire, ABC…
When Trevor pulled out of producing them whatsoever more, figuring it was going to accept equally good much out of him to exercise 10 ‘Mabuses’ especially equally ‘Mabuse’ itself had turned into 10 ‘Mabuses’, I genuinely asked David Sylvian to make them. While he was thinking close it, he came upward with the ghostly top business of ‘P:Machinery’ – the music, if yous similar – together with a gorgeous watery slowed downward version of ‘Duel’, but he decided against producing them, together with it stayed within the Sarm popular factory. Actually, some other sign of the dissever betwixt sensibilities at the label: I asked David Sylvian, together with Jill approached Stock Aitken together with Waterman. One side of ZTT was seeing them equally a sort of Dollar (a Deutsche Mark) together with the other side was seeing them equally a sort of supremely eerie avant-pop ensemble.
The grouping were genuinely going to live dropped from the label, during the fourth dimension when I was losing whatsoever ability I 1 time had together with the Art Of Noise had already moved off. Steve Lipson, I guess, was a variety of compromise otherwise 2 thirds of the roster would take away hold disappeared inward 1 travel – together with Frankie wanted to exit equally well. ‘A Secret Wish’ was a sort of folly, really, inward the agency that many of the dandy lost classics oft are: no existent commercial, or to an extent, specific artistic argue for it to exist, just that the momentum to consummate it became so great, for all sorts of unlikely reasons, that it did teach finished. At many stages, the production was threatened with existence unopen down.
What's your fundamental retentivity of the making of 'A Secret Wish'? Did yous and/or Trevor brief Steve Lipson beforehand? How many of the songs were novel together with written for/during the recording of the album?
Steve used to ban me from the studio. I talked equally good much, close things that scared and/or irritated him, but so he didn't similar whatsoever of the grouping existence inward the studio, or whatsoever of Frankie. He worked solo. Mad professor stuff. Nerdy needs to perfect the hi-hat sound. H5N1 frenzy of programming, accumulating of effects, together with patient craft. But at that spot was a basic outline to the album made upward of the dream, the novel songs, together with the cover, together with what was interesting for me, existence biased, is that at that spot was a sense of mission to the material, a commitment to beauty, mystery, surrealism, intelligence, strangeness, together with – fifty-fifty though Steve scoffed at such whimsy, real suspicious of my ideas close pop, whatsoever theory, whatsoever belief inward popular equally something other than just a agency of passing the fourth dimension together with lightly dusting memories – the template was so strong inward price of the material, the lyrics, the adventure, the electro-style, that Steve concentrating on the expensive soundscapes couldn't undermine whatsoever of this, indeed it inward fact enhanced it – gave a sort of immense elevating post-prog attending to particular to music that doesn't oft have such tending together with attention, giving a degree of studio ability of an almost Quincy Jones degree to ideas together with intentions that were attractively ethereal together with fifty-fifty intellectually playful.
"a lovely non-commercial laid of oblique songs that would usually non live given such a budget together with such a sense of imposing grandeur."
Whatever business office of the tape is a sort-of lost masterpiece comes from that. Steve was indulged together with allowed to pass a modest fortune on a lovely non-commercial laid of oblique songs that would usually non live given such a budget together with such a sense of imposing grandeur. In a way, all the attending Steve gave to ensuring that every audio worked inward every agency together with was layered with a neurotic demand for some variety of club was matched past times the piece of occupation the repose of us were doing inward price of selecting material, imagining melodies, writing words, taking photos, conceiving rhythms.
Can yous tell me close the background to turning 'Duel' into a dualistic discussion game ('Duel'/'Jewel'/'Dual' etc, double singles together with so on)? Is the “evil” Propaganda of 'Jewel' closer to the band that yous originally encountered – a popular version of Einstürzende Neubaten?
There was some other version of Propaganda that existed inward the studio – my version. I would oft cast my ain critical answer to the gloss together with glory of Steve's productions past times expressing possible alternatives, so for instance when Steve Lipson used Steve Howe of Yes on a runway (as he did, to my horror) I would teach inward John McGeoch of Magazine together with the Banshees to play on my mix of ‘p:Machinery’. I loved the Steve Propaganda audio but I didn't want to lose sight of some other Propaganda sound, 1 that yous could play amongst The Creatures, the Cocteau Twins together with Echo And The Bunnymen. (Hiring Steve Jansen of Nippon together with Derek Forbes of Simple Minds to play alive with them was also my agency of highlighting where I felt the grouping belonged inward popular history.)
"There was some other version of Propaganda that existed inward the studio – my version."
This was why I did ‘Wishful Thinking’, the album of alternative, stripped down, deconstructed versions, mayhap purely for me, the critic anxious that the studio pomp was getting out of hand, because the group, the tape company, just close everyone seemed to abhor it. But I just had this need, equally much equally I beloved ‘A Secret Wish’ equally 1 outcome of the experiment, to indicate out how at that spot is a fascinating ideological chemical component to the content together with context of sound, together with all these different histories of popular music that coexisted fifty-fifty dorsum inward 1984. So Steve Lipson's Propaganda was the Propaganda of a fan of Steely Dan together with Queen. Mine was the Propaganda of a fan of Can together with New Order. Steve's Propaganda was a grouping that Stevie Nicks invited on to a tour, together with that concerned me, equally I wanted them to live the variety of grouping that would proceed tour with Depeche Mode or indeed Cabaret Voltaire.
‘Duel’/’Jewel’ together with thus ‘Dual’ was, I'm afraid, some other of my ideas, reflecting the a together with b side of the grouping itself, the popular side together with the other, out at that spot side, together with a agency of getting a b side for a unmarried that did non take away hold a b side. I asked Steve to come upward up with a quick b side, what I described for the sake of shorthand Steve would empathise equally the punk version, together with encouraged him to roughen upward the dynamics of the a side, together with non equally good worry if some of the club was shattered as, after all, it was the b side, together with it could live a vocal for non-singer Suzanne – nosotros didn't want to lose Suzanne's presence.
So nosotros got a slice of ecstatically sung perfect popular – when Michael outset played me his crude oil demo version I thought it was similar stone equally if they were on Mute, so I was real very happy – together with also the nighttime side. Steve gave me the nighttime side fifty-fifty though at that spot was a piffling anxiety close the nighttime side of Propaganda at the label. There was a sentiment that equally at that spot were girls inward the group, couldn't they live a piffling to a greater extent than Bananarama, a piffling prettier? Being equally NME equally I was, stubbornly committed to avoiding cliche, trouncing the obvious, resisisting the corporate line, my answer was to take away hold them scream aggressively on the unmarried sleeve together with force the Abba From Hell side. I was thinking 4AD, others were thinking RAK.
My impression is that Michael Mertens was especially stubborn together with believed that Propaganda was his band together with thus he should take away hold the fundamental tell inward what happened. Is this true? What are your thoughts on that?
I treated the grouping equally a sort of fluid, flexible, mobile projection that was inward the shape of a popular grouping but was genuinely just a agency of presenting a popular concept inward sonic cast – everyone else treated it equally the straightforward human relationship betwixt a popular group, together with a tape label, together with the 2 things were non genuinely meant to meet, at to the lowest degree non inward a productive creative way.
Of course, if they had been fairly treated contractually, my dreamy theoretical approach powerfulness take away hold been to a greater extent than successful, but the combination of roughshod contracts together with my interference meant the grouping got quite rightly annoyed. At no indicate did I remember of money or royalties or shares or whatever – just the matter itself, in all probability equally good much equally though I was a much a business office of the projection equally the group, seeing myself, non inward a cynical way, but in all probability annoying for the group, equally the controlling designer of the thing.
From the outside, other labels became interested when they realised the ZTT contracts powerfulness live suspect – consider the deviation of Art of Noise, together with the Frankie courtroom instance – together with 1 particular lawyer pointed out that he could teach the grouping a massive bargain elsewhere. This was evidently seductive to the group, although of course of didactics the grouping was non genuinely the people inward the photos, but also the somebody who took the photos, Trevor, Steve, the Sarm engineers, together with me. It was non a green type of present concern popular group. It was an impression of one, a conceptual reading of the thought – although I lone seemed to honour this, together with if Ralf noticed, his enthusiasm for playing just about a piffling with the thought together with seeing if it could live done elsewhere, away from ZTT, took over.
"I powerfulness take away hold been serving my ain interests, but they were the interests of a fan of Fassbinder, Factory Records together with Faust"
Michael protected his interests equally a instrumentalist real thoroughly, together with seemed to take away hold some borrowed ideas close “artistic control”, but to an extent such self-protection tin give the sack teach inward the agency of the emergence of the variety of randomised, spontaneous magic that I remember came close earlier at that spot was equally good much thought close who was getting what together with who was inward it for what reasons. Also, he didn't take away hold whatsoever experience of some other tape label, so didn't appreciate the difference of having someone similar me sort of running a label, fifty-fifty if only inward my ain head, loving the real thought of turning the label itself into a piece of occupation of art, of existence committed to the unusual rather than the everyday. For him, I was just “the tape company”, getting inward his way, existence greedy, manipulating him, serving my ain interests. I powerfulness take away hold been serving my ain interests, but they were the interests of a fan of Fassbinder, Factory Records together with Faust, non genuinely of someone wanting to build a concern empire.
It's non possible to verbalize close Propaganda's story without the estrangement betwixt Claudia together with the repose of the band. When did yous together with Claudia start going out? When were yous aware that a breach was starting to occur inward the group? The other members later on claimed that yous were promoting Claudia at the expense of them – what's your answer to that?
Well, I plead innocence, naivity, excitement, together with also I thought nosotros were all inward this together – together with my commitment over together with inward a higher identify favouring individuals, including me, was to promoting the thought of the label, together with the thought of the group, together with for a curt spell I thought everyone was inward on that, the possibility that nosotros could all exercise something genuinely special that was going to live noticed past times to a greater extent than than a select few.
The thought of plucking an obscure electronic ensemble from darkest Düsseldorf who'd only written 2 songs together with were roofing Throbbing Gristle, together with so within 2 years making an extravagant fine art popular album that entered the album charts at 13, seemed to advise nosotros could all exercise fifty-fifty to a greater extent than fantastic things. If I got unopen to Claudia, it wasn't to spite the grouping at all, together with inward fact I was always, 1 time again in all probability real naively, surprised that they didn't genuinely exploit it to a greater extent than to their wages – after all, my emotional involvement did aid when I had to to a greater extent than or less beg Trevor together with Jill to hold them on the label together with destination ‘A Secret Wish’.
"Claudia together with Suzanne were on the route together with liable to create no money, equally the album toll so much to create it would in all probability never ever recoup"
Also, a major breach inward the grouping genuinely came from the erstwhile classic, the songwriting, the royalty sharing. I felt it unfair that Claudia together with Suzanne were receiving no fiscal wages from songs that were credited to Mertens together with Dörper fifty-fifty though they wouldn't take away hold existed without the substantial abstract compositional contribution of Lipson together with Horn – together with indeed Sylvian together with 1 or 2 others – neither of who received credit together with who to an extent were making their contributions based on an thought of the grouping that contained the 2 girls. I suggested a four-way split, which particular seemed fair 1 time the grouping went on tour, when Ralf genuinely stayed at home, leading to a province of affairs where Claudia together with Suzanne were on the route together with liable to create no money, equally the album toll so much to create it would in all probability never ever recoup, spell Ralf, with his writing, keeping his task inward the bank, which he was doing, would create money.
The only money to live made was publishing money – so I figured the grouping would take away hold to a greater extent than of a realistic hereafter if they shared their money. Ralf together with Michael decided this was me favouring Claudia – forgetting Suzanne was involved equally good – together with inward hindsight I tin give the sack consider they thought, existence on a label that was treating them elsewhere financially real poorly, that I was just trying to haul inward to a greater extent than cash. They wouldn't take away hold known that my ain bargain was non necessarily much amend than theirs. All this mundane rummaging through contracts etc ruins the romance of the tape itself, but at the fourth dimension it apace became a reality, together with began to accept over… I was aghast to genuinely consider something I had previously scoffed at equally a critic – this thought of “creative differences” together with the economical reality behind that – cast inward front end of me together with overwhelm together with undermine the actual project…
Did it disappoint yous that the band disintegrated so acrimoniously together with never built on 'A Secret Wish'? If yous could take away hold done it all again, would yous take away hold done it differently?
If it had been done different, different from the chaos, studio persistence, together with incidental revelation, nosotros powerfulness non take away hold ended upward with ‘A Secret Wish’. It exists equally 1 particular reaction to the abnormal peculiarity of the unstable dynamic at the label at the fourth dimension betwixt my philosophical search for some variety of pregnant together with operate inward music together with popular together with Trevor's ruthless ambition to excel at production for its ain sake.
I take away hold ever thought it was a shame that Michael especially could non take away hold seen a piffling to a greater extent than clearly that Propaganda was a unique, troublesome hybrid of different specialist talents, together with that it worked because the group’s impressions, sketches, attitude, talent, desires got strangely amplified, magnified, positively distorted past times going through the imaginations of Horn together with Lipson, together with bloody Morley, who all had different agendas, but agendas which genuinely gave the grouping a jeopardy to travel something both innovative together with commercial.
Virgin signed non just a grouping without a singer, but a grouping without, essentially, the studio together with conceptual minds that gave it its actual shape together with texture. In a sense they signed an inanimate picture. We were left with the singer, the concept, the studio, but non the name, together with non the history, so nosotros were just equally badly off. You tin give the sack consider from other Trevor Horn projects, though, that to some extent, all his records are sort of solo projects, branded inward different ways, together with he tends non to genuinely create a 2d album with many of these projects.
And finally a duet of questions close quotations yous used on the tape sleeves:
Regarding the lines on the dorsum of the original CD, “Wir denken buy the farm Bequemen gedanken der anderen und fühlens nicht, dass unser bestes Selbst allmählich abstirbt. Wir leben ein totes leben. Wir ersticken unser ich.” (a High German friend translates it equally “We remember the conventional thoughts of the others together with exercise non sense that our best self gradually dies. We alive a dead life. We suffocate ourselves.”). Where did this come upward from? Did yous elevate it to the band or just set it on the sleeve? How did they experience close it?
That powerfulness take away hold been Nietzsche.
I tended non to banking company check things with the grouping based just about the solely reasonable sentiment that if I did they would tell no, which would take away hold broken my heart, because 1 time I got an thought into my caput it was incredibly hard for me non to exercise it. I had unreasonably decided, although it seemed reasonable at the time, that my ideas were amazing, together with had to live pursued, together with would create the groups on the label hold off fantastic. I had made a determination early that all ZTT sleeves were my surface area together with that this was where I got the jeopardy to limited my ideas visually together with conceptually close the label together with the groups on the label, which just goes to present that I was used to operating equally a writer, together with non necessarily equally a tape fellowship executive. I thought that groups would live chuffed that on their sleeves at that spot was such provocation together with data together with random references to other forms of creative enterprise. I was, effectively, wrong.
"I tended non to banking company check things with the grouping based just about the solely reasonable sentiment that if I did they would tell no"
There's a Goethe quote on the dorsum of 'Wishful Thinking' (“And refashioning the fashioned lest it stiffen into atomic number 26 is piece of occupation of endless vital activity”) which acts equally an elegant justification of remixing amid other things. Had yous had that 1 inward the dorsum bag for a spell or did yous stumble upon it spell working on the record?
Well, I'm glad yous noticed, equally I was incredibly excited when I myself noticed that Goethe had described so brilliantly the purpose, the potential, of the remix, together with also the agency that Horn was working inward the studio at the time.
I remember that I had it written inward 1 of my ZTT notebooks, where I formed manifestos together with campaigns together with prepared the side past times side phase of ideal advancement, together with fifty-fifty though I thought of it a lot equally nosotros spiralled off into numerous choice ‘Two Tribes’, together with was also bearing it inward hear equally I planned the side past times side Art Of Noise album – which was going to consist of remixes of remixes of remixes of the outset album, so remixed they had all travel novel pieces of music – it seemed to arrange the Propaganda remix record, non to the lowest degree because it needed justifying equally no-one liked it. These novel remix albums were meant to live for the trip the lite fantastic floor, together with although these were non equally such trip the lite fantastic remixes they were indeed examples of refashioning, together with where that goes.
And at that spot nosotros take away hold the label that I felt powerfulness equally good live invented because it didn't be – 1 that reported on its ain eccentric workings past times quoting Goethe, together with past times implication suggested that popular music existed within some variety of exalted self-invented globe where at that spot was Goethe together with Ballard, Walter Benjamin together with Susan Sontag equally good equally Bowie, Kraftwerk together with Bolan. IE it was all close independent thinking, all the same that manifested itself.