- It's safe to say that probably the last thing that anyone expected from the reunion of Depeche Mode founders Vince Clarke and Martin Gore was straight-up techno. But hey, that's what we get. "Spock" marks the first taster from the upcoming VCMG album: remarkably strong given their past inexperience with the genre, it nevertheless sounds a bit like synth-pop auteurs trying to make dance music.
"Spock" sports all the eyeliner-streaked drama that defined Depeche Mode's decade-spanning work, like a more exaggerated and literal take on Sandwell District's post-punk aesthetic. It's all prickly, bass-heavy textures, and by the time the track reaches its feverishly crowded midpoint, it's like Planetary Assault Systems gone completely mad: all a little obvious, maybe even cheesy, it packs enough of a wallop to be effective anyway.
The single is backed up with a number of remixes from "real" techno producers, as if to lend the project some street cred, and it almost works: reworks from Regis and DVS1 are the reliable standouts. DVS1's "Voyage Home Remix" takes the original's bell refrain and moulds it into one of those alarum riffs he does so well, running off on an eight-minute, wildly panning bender of melting chords, while Regis puts a consummately Sandwell stamp on the track, immersing its darker tendencies in actual dread. Meanwhile, Edit Select douses the track in filters and fashions a relentlessly chugging barnstormer that never relents, and XOQ—who helped to mix the final album—contributes a rework that predictably leans close to the quirkiness of the original.
02. Spock (Edit Select remix)
03. Spock (Regis remix)
04. Spock (XOQ remix
05. Spock (DVS1 Voyage Home remix)