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"Counterfeit 2" short biography (UK version)

10 февраля 2003

Martin L. Gore, songwriter and one of the founder members of Depeche Mode, is set to release his new album entitled "Counterfeit2" in April 2003. The album is the second in his counterfeit cover-version series. Classic tunes by Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, Kurt Weill, David Essex and John Lennon are among the album's eleven radically reworked homages to musical heroes old and new.
As Depeche Mode took time out following their monstrously successful "Exciter" album and world tour, Martin could easily have spent the last 18 months lying on a beach, listening to disco music. But instead he knuckled down at his home studio in California, revisiting and reinventing songs which have touched him deeply over the years.
The tracks on "Counterfeit2" range from sultry 21st Century blues to achingly lovely sci-fi lullabies, sublime alt-country crooners to engrossing electronic torch songs. A glittering haul of buried treasure, their only guiding spirit being the visceral emotional attachment felt by Martin towards them.
"I really wanted to get across a fan's perspective," says Martin. "There is something about the songs I like that somehow gives the album a thread. Deep emotions, I suppose. There has to be a personal connection."
Even casual Depeche Mode fans will recognise the aching vulnerability and lustful longing in these songs of faith and devotion. But the track listing on "Counterfeit2" goes deeper than mere influence; it goes right to the roots of why Martin became a musician in the first place. "Without some of the artists I've covered here, I wouldn't be writing the way I do."
Martin's teenage tastes clearly ranged freely, as "Counterfeit2" demonstrates. Here a woozy electro-glide through the strangely soothing alienation of Brian Eno's 'By This River' rubs shoulders with a techno-glam overhaul of post-fame burnout anthem 'Stardust', the weirdest David Essex tune ever to grace the Top 10. Martin is, after all, pop's original Essex boy.
A compelling post-lounge twist on Iggy Pop's 'Tiny Girls' gives way to a streamlined, softly oscillating version of John Lennon's 'Oh My Love'. And a sleek, German-language version of Nico's Teutonic torchlight serenade 'Das Lied Vom Einsamen Mädchen' (The Song of The Lonely Girl), contrasts sharply with a reading of The Velvet Underground's 'Candy Says', which Martin fatefully describes as "more drugged out than the original".
In choosing the tracks for "Counterfeit2", Martin has also dug deep into musical history, adding a sensual electronic sheen to the vintage country-blues tunes 'I Cast A Lonesome Shadow' and 'In My Time Of Dying'. But the album's most straightforward and traditionally romantic number finds Martin crooning desolately over piano and strings on Kurt Weill's deceptively jaunty hymn to a godless universe, 'Lost In The Stars'.
As well as nodding to the past, "CounterfeitВІ" also acknowledges some of Martin's left-field pop peers. Labelmate Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds' lusty blues howler 'Lover Man' is reborn as a sexually charged trip-hop juggernaut of manicured malevolence. But the album's beatific peak is 'In My Other Word', Julee Cruise's fragrant, David Lynch-ian fable about a parallel universe where cover versions of ourselves are enjoying perfect lives.
So what is the counterfeit Martin L. Gore doing, right now, in this magical world just beyond our reach? "He's probably on the beach," grins Martin, "listening to disco music."
Counterfeit2. Borrowed songs, real passions. Accept no substitute.
For further information please contact Sarah Lowe or Andy Fraser at Mute Records (UK)

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