These days it’s kind of hard to imagine that a band would stick together for over forty years and I’m sure these things will get rarer and rarer over the next decades. Their 40th anniversary is not the only reason why Depeche Mode remain quite a unique phenomenon in pop history. Their dedicated fanbase, their constant hunger for new musical adventures and the fact that they created their very own and unique musical niche that found its own special place between mainstream and sub-culture are other aspects that turned them into one of the world’s greatest ‘cult’ bands. Well, and I’m just one out of Millions of fans that fell for their spell long time ago. And now, all those years later I still find myself being regularly surprised about the effect their music still has on me. There’s no need to dive further into an explanation here because if you made it to this article and past its first words there is a high chance that you feel the same way.
As a dedicated follower of everything Depeche Mode have released over the past years I not only enjoyed their own songs quite a lot but also the countless remixes that were created for their songs. Over the past weeks I found myself revisiting some of these reworks and since I love to create mixtapes under my Burnout Sumner alias I started to compile some of my favourites just to see whether I can produce something like a highlight set. In the end the project got bigger and bigger and resulted in an over eight-hour long and four-parted mixtape series. Each set highlights a different aspect of Depeche Mode remixes and they can be enjoyed individually but also as one big story that showcases an important aspect of the band’s musical history of the past four decades. There are a few familiar names in there and if you like to learn a bit more about these tapes please continue reading.
#01 The Pop Dance Mix
Okay, so the first tape focuses on the more commercial, “poppy” reworks that the band released, featuring some of the slightly slicker pieces of dance-infected pop. It’s shows the shiny and more commercial aspect of the floorfilling reworks from the early 80s to the here and now and features contributions by Eric Prydz, Jacques Lu Cont, M83, Dixon, Shep Pettibone, Paul Van Dyk, Danny Tenaglia, Rex The Dog, Gus Gus and a few more. You are kindly invited to dance in your living room while blasting this one through your stereo.
#02 The Dark Club Mix
This second tape dives a bit deeper into the dark club territory and works as a direct continuation of the first one. It’s a bit rougher, techno-based and feels a bit less slick in the end. On it you’ll find pumping club reworks by some of the electronic music scene’s most important characters like Erol Alkan, Boys Noize, Maya Jane Coles, Efdemin, Ricardo Villalobos, Simian Mobile Disco, Underground Resistance, Djedjotronic and a few more.
#03 The Odd Alternative Mix
Over the past forty years Depeche Mode not only invited producers from the field of electronic music to rework their music but also other bands and artists that came from totally different fields. They hired Air to rework Home before Moon Safari was even released. And back in 2004 Linkin Park‘s Mike Shinoda gave the iconic Enjoy The Silence an unusual modern rock spin. On this tape you’ll find more from these odd reworks that also feature trippy electronica experiments and even a bit jazz here and there. Artists like DJ Shadow, Goldfrapp, Soulsavers and Algiers are also part of this, resulting in the most surprising and adventurous mixtape of this series.
#04 The Slow Ambient Mix
Last but not least the final mixtape shows a more gentle and laidback side of the remix game. Since Depeche Mode have always been about atmosphere in their own music they also picked other artists to follow their footsteps and provide tracks that weren’t huge club bangers. This selection is a tribute to softer soundscapes and the more atmospheric and laidback Depeche Mode remixes that were created over the past forty years, featuring the work of artists like Underworld, Michael Mayer, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Ulrich Schnauss, Chris Liebing and more.
Thanks for listening! You can find all four mixtapes combined for stream and download right here.