Sad news arrived last weekend with the death of Alan Vega frontman to long running band Suicide.
Listening back to their first two albums over the week really brings home just how ahead of the curve they were in style and sound. Dark looping electronics underpin whaling lyrics of despair and anger. Although in it’s infancy this sound is the foundation of a lot of modern electronic music today. Roots that spread from CBGB a small underground club in Manhattan to the mainstream over the last 40 years.
Suicide may not be the one and only reference to this sound but they’re a really important one and highly influential. Overtly for the likes of bands Crystal Castles, LCD sound system and even Bruce Springsteen but also subtly in many other artists throughout the years.
Unfortunately when you set the trend you’re not usually going to be the one who receives the notoriety. Suicide although highly regarded in the alternative scene never achieved mainstream success. But they won’t be forgotten by the many people they influenced. Alan Vega and Martin Rev will Live on, Not just though their music but as a stepping stone in the evolution of music as a whole.
Over a year where famous deaths (especially musicians) seem to have become the norm, artists like Alan Vega are more likely to be sidelined. But not by me, If you haven’t heard suicide and like my posts on this site you simply have to immerse yourself in their world. It often isn’t a pleasant one but it’s certainly revelatory:
Suicide came from the 1970’s punk movement and can be considered one of the founding fathers of synth music as we know it today. There repetitive synth lines with vocals manage to mix the enchanting with the dark but remain compelling. Dream baby Dream was the first song I heard by the band and is still my favourite:
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