28 February 2010

Vince Clarke

Vince Clarke is probably most famous as half of Erasure, the other half being Andy Bell, and one can get a pretty good idea of the 'Vince Clarke sound' simply from taking a trip through Erasure's twenty-four consecutive top 20 hits. For a more comprehensive overview, you'd have to take in his work with the early Depeche Mode, his acclaimed time as half of Yazoo (or 'Yaz' in the US) with rootsy blues diva Alison Moyet, and the various other projects he's had a hand in (West India Company, The Assembly, The Clarke And Ware Experiment, Robert Marlowe, Paul Quinn, Feargal Sharkey, Habit, Genderfix… I'll stop now; there's too many). Through his career, a strong association with Daniel Miller's Mute Records is evident, as is a preference for producer Eric Radcliffe.

Vince is an electronic musician, famous for his love of analogue instruments, although in later years he's started to branch out into digital. He's a competent guitarist, as well, but it's in the realm of synthesizers where Vince's genius lies. His particular brand of electronic music has a genuinely recognisable style, particularly when it comes to the instrumental pieces that scatter their way across the many b-sides of Erasure's work. Vince also remixes, occasionally, turning tracks from artists as diverse as Rammstein, Sparks, Happy Mondays or Polly Scattergood into shiny synthpop treats.

Vince currently lives in Maine with his wife Tracey and their son. At 48 years old and with no sign of Erasure slowing down, there's still plenty of synthpop heaven to come...

(Caption competition winner: 'Alison and Vince quickly regret accepting the Poltergeist soundtrack commission.' Thank you Mrs B. Smegma, Warrington.)

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