OMD  Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

History of Modern Tour, Part II

OMD Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

Washington

Sat · September 17, 2011

7:00 pm

The Beacham

$25.00 - $30.00

This event is all ages

Bottle Service menu OMD VIP ticketing link: http://omd.brightantenna.com/
VIP tickets include additional merchandise and options.

OMD Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
OMD  Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
‘The Punishment of Luxury’ is the new album by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark(OMD), the pioneering synth-pop group–founded almost 40 years ago by two teenage Kraftwerk fans from the Wirral–whose early albums ‘Architecture and Morality’ (1981) and ‘Dazzle Ships’ (1983) would shape the dominant sound of that decade.Alongside the Human League and Gary Numan, OMD mapped out the musical landscape of the time and helpedto mintthis newgenre with hits such as ‘Enola Gay’, ‘Electricity’ and ‘Souvenir’. Signed first to Factory Records and then snapped up by Virgin, the duality inherent in OMD was plain to see from the start, asPeter Saville’s minimalist artwork belied the warmth of Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys’ timeless songwriting. Described by The Quietus as “not just one of the best synth bands ever –they are one of the best bands ever”, OMD’s influence has become ubiquitous. The xx, the Killers and LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphyhave cited OMD as an inspiration, andthe likes of Future Islands and Chvrches show traces of OMD’s DNA.Now they return with their thirteenth album ‘The Punishment of Luxury’, a daring collection of stylish synth-pop and masterful song craft that sees OMD edge out of their comfort zone without compromising their integrity. “It’s almost like we’ve gone back to being teenagers after all these years,” says Andy.“We just do whatever we wantand there’s no record company to tell us what we can or can’t do.” The album was recorded in their respective studios in Merseyside (Andy) and London (Paul) with the final mixes handled by both at Paul’s. In the pasttheir songs were fuelled by naïvety and excitement, this time the mood is reflective and sanguine, yet the youthful energy that coursesthrough OMD remains the same. ‘On this album we have managed to make beautiful things out of noises and repetitive patterns’, explains Andy. ‘The trouble is, we just cant help but write a catchy melody!’The album takes itsname from an 1891 painting by the Italian divisionist Giovanni Segantini that hangs in the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, where it caught Andy’s eye. Divisionism is a techniqueof painting similar to pointillism, and Segantini’s painting, ‘The Punishment of Luxury’,depicts two women, condemned for having ideas“above their station”,floating inalimbo of purgatory in an Alpine landscape. P.T.O

“We appropriated the title for something else,” explains Andy. “In a nutshell: most people in the western world are now materially better off than their predecessors ever were and yet we are unhappier because we have replaced the imagined order of religion and royal decree with the imagined order of marketing and commercial propaganda. So everybody thinks they need more stuffand nowwe have loads of things that we don’t need because we’ve been persuaded we do. Everybody is miserably unhappy and that is the punishment of luxury.”The band were thrown off-balance in July 2013 when long-time drummer Malcolm Holmes suffered aseriousheart attack onstage at a sweltering concert in Toronto on the ‘English Electric’ tour. “We struggled initially to start writing ‘The Punishment of Luxury’ album because we were in shock after Malcolm nearly died,” says Andy. “We didn’t want to play live as we wanted to give him 12 months,just to see how he was, and also we felt shocked and up in the air. It took us a year to get our engine started.”Malcolm, who joined OMD in 1980, is in good spirits today but can no longer drum under doctor’s orders. His replacement is Stuart Kershawwho has now been playing live with the band for the last year, and has previously co-written several OMD tracks, most notably Sailing on the Seven Seas.Two special shows at the Museum of Liverpool in November 2014 pulled‘Punishment...’–and the band –into focus. At the event, Paul, Andy and keyboardist Martin Cooper performed songs fromtheir experimental high-water mark‘Dazzle Ships’ and lesser-knowntracks from theOMDcatalogue, using drum programsin place of Malcolm. Listening to the ‘Dazzle Ships’ material, the band found themselves reconnecting with it, reappraising what they’d set out to achieve in 1983. “Hearing what we’d done on ‘Dazzle Ships’ made us more determined to do weird and glitchy things –it got us enthused,” says Andy. “We shackled ourselves after that record, thinking we’d gone too far.”Perhapsthey hadn’t gone far enough. It was in this spirit of adventureand discoverythat ‘Punishment...’ was forged. Having delivered a vintage OMD album with ‘English Electric’, their best since, well, ‘Dazzle Ships’, Andy and Paul found they could take more risks in the studio and see where the software and endless banks of synthetic sounds would take them. As they see it, their comeback album, ‘History of Modern’ (2010), for all its flaws, wiped the slate clean and allowed them to effectively rebootOMD as a credible proposition. Andy describes ‘History of Modern’ as their John the Baptist record, onethat spoke of the next coming: “It was a collection of ideas and had a rock palette butwe specifically wanted to be more electronic.”P.T.O

OMD have always been techno-futurists but rarely have they sounded so brutally electronic as they do on ‘Punishment...’, as they pairgnarly electro rhythms with characteristically serene melodies on the opening title track, and slideAndy’s blue-eyed soul ballads ‘One More Time’ and ‘The View From Here’ into sleek new digital frames.Next to the imperial Kraftwerkian rush of ‘Isotype’, one detects traces of Arpanetor Dopplereffektin the pristine glide of ‘Kiss Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Bang’, whilethe striking‘As We Open, So We Close’ weldsglitch-scoured beats to a McCluskey croon. In common with‘English Electric’, this album explores several themesbut the prevailing mood is one ofwistful nostalgia and idealised romance, of what might have been in both societyat largeandin moreintimaterelationships. Paul’s tender ‘What Have We Done’ examines the final stages of a long relationship. Andy muses on 20thcentury modernism on ‘Kiss Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Bang’ –“Mao Tse-tung and Uncle Sam, sold the world, bought the car, this time you’ve gone too far”,he sneers –and sings of the international picture language on ‘Isotype’, a now-archaic system devised in the 1930s that, he argues, has resonance today. “I like the idea of reducing information down to typographic images. But when we use emojis, we’re going backwardsin our ability to communicate with each other.”For ‘La Mitrailleuse’, another track named after a painting, this time one from 1915 of First World War machine-gunners by the British Futurist Christopher Nevinson that Andy came across in the Imperial War Museum, they patch together a military rhythm from cannon fire and rifle shots while Andy whispers: “Bend your body to the will of the machine.”This is accompanied by ahaunting clip in which Nevinson’s soldiers are animated by regular collaborator HenningM Lederer. A secondcollage, ‘Precision & Decay’, tells a story in fragments of Detroit’s decline from industrial powerhouse to modern-day ghost town –“from luxury to landfill” –as Andy and Paul salute the city that’sgiventhem so much pleasure inMotown and techno. “We did feel like we were doing something that was changing the world,” saysAndy of those early days when OMD would shock TV audiences with their weird new-waveon Top of the Pops. Their vision of utopia never quite materialised, of course, but with ‘The Punishment of Luxury’, OMD continue to enrich our lives.
Washington
Washington
Washington, an Australian musician and songwriter, is the physical manifestation of seemingly diametrically opposed forces. Somehow these forces have not yet created a black hole that envelops the universe. They instead created songs and a voice that in one short year have put her in every Australian home, on the cover of a magazine, or on the television, or round and round in your head when your taking a shower.
Venue Information:
The Beacham
46 N Orange Ave.
Orlando, FL, 32801
http://www.thebeacham.com/live/