Alan Wilder is best known for his time spent synthesizing for Depeche Mode’s we’ll-live-off-these-royalties-for-life years. Following his departure from the group in the mid nineties, Wilder has since focused on Recoil, his atmospheric sight and sound fest of the electronic variety.
Originally a side project, Recoil steadily evolved into a headlining gig both on stage and for Wilder personally. “It’s not confined to a 3-4 minute pop format,” he explains “and I guess that’s something I wanted to get away from. Which is why I started the project in the first place. And I’m not against pop, don’t get me wrong. But having done lots of that with Depeche Mode, I wanted to do something that was very different. So Recoil allows that to happen.”
Over the course of 20 plus years, Recoil has evolved from a minimalist’s 80stastic synth experiment into a mature sensory experience that draws from an eclectic appreciation of musical persuasions. Recoil creates and presents pieces that are narrative and theatrical, awkwardly seductive and…dark. “Most people would say that Recoil music is quite dark,” (yes, agreed) “but this never really was a pre-conceived intention. I try and work in a very natural way and let ideas flow instinctively and not really think too much ahead about what I’m trying to do, just see where it comes to. I’ve never been particularly drawn to your classic pop song and your classic love story, you know? I kind of try to find something a little more interesting than that. And the darker side of the human condition is always a bit more interesting to my mind.”
Side note: “Luscious Apparatus,” a favorite track featured on the winter release Recoil Selected, is a grand example Wilder’s interesting human condition. So much so that it requires an immediate google. Do it.
Transferring this unique collection of listenings from an individual and leisurely sonic space to an international blur of venues and stages requires a bit of reconfiguration. Wilder explains that “the [Recoil] live experience is certainly not the norm, it’s not a band. What we do is closer to an audio-visual presentation involving film which runs all the way through the music. The music is almost like a giant remix, in a way. It’s more presented than performed.” Though the term presented isn’t to be taken quite so literally. “I want people to be involved in the show,” he continues. “It’s not really a sit down and listening experience. It’s loud, it’s lively and it’s designed for people to, you know, dance if they want, to move around, make noise.”
Recommending that attendees dress in loose clothing so they can dance it up to the fullest extent of their wants and capabilities (or to the fullest extent of venue security standards), Wilder is eager for his Americas tour and upcoming gig in San Diego. “I’m looking forward to it,” he says. “It’s a late show. Normally [Anthology’s] for jazz artists I think, but they’re going to clear the chairs away and have a late show with us that evening. I hope people will come along and have a good time and we’ll turn the volume up and make it more of a party atmosphere.”
Alan Wilder will perform with Recoil this Saturday, October 23rd at Anthology. Tickets are available online (though the first person to email [email protected] with their favorite line from the aforementioned “Luscious Apparatus” wins a pair of tickets, compliments of this fine venue-y establishment). The show is set to start at 9:30pm.
Additionally, he will be making an appearance at M Theory for a quick meet and greet prior to the show.
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