hard to explain what Recoil is , in only one sentence ,
Recoil comes from the imagination and the work of mainly
one man : Mr Alan Wilder ,, ex member of Depeche Mode from
1982 to 1995. Recoil isn't a band in the standard way ,
it's more a concept in itself , in which the main core and
mind is Alan WIlder himself . Alan worked with many artists
for the lyrics of the songs of Recoil but he composes all
the music of each of the songs of Recoil
Recoil adventure starts back in 1986 with the release of
a mini album "1+2" , both tracks from that album
are mostly composed by samples from Depeche Mode songs .In
1998 is released the LP Hydrology suivra ensuite en 1988
,which is an instrumental album (the CD version features
the first EP : 1+2 as bonus tracks ). Already at that time
Alan explains that he works with Recoil, outside of what
he can do with Depeche Mode , to explore ways he couldn't
do among Depeche Mode.
In 1992 is released the Bloodline LP , where Alan worked
with other artists to write the lyrics of the songs. He
has quite a special way to work , he first work all the
musical scheme of the song and then gives each of the artists
he collaborates with the song so he/she could put some words
over it , Already at that time he works with artists such
as Toni Halliday (Curve) , Douglas Mac Carthy (Nitzer Ebb)
and the enigmatic Moby . This album features some very catchy
tunes at the first listening as the famous "Faith Healer"
performed by Douglas Mac Carthy ( it's a cover version from
the band "The Sensational Alex Harvey Band" )
as well as the re-arranged version by Wilder of a song by
Bukka White, famous bluesman.
Wilder leaves Depeche Modeon June 1st 1995 ; now being completly
free to doo all he wants to do with his projectt : Recoil
, he also lives now with Hepzibah Sessa, previous member
of the band Miranda Sex Garden who were the guests at the
Depeche Mode concerts back during the Devotional Tour ,
in 1994 to promote Songs of Faith and Devotion.
1997 Wilder releases the LP called "Unsound Methods"
in which he goes on a most experimentation side that he
already started with Bloodline ; you can also find again
some artists such as Douglas Mac Carthy, Hepzibah , Hildia
Campbell ( one of the gospel singers from the devotional
tour ) and also Siobhan Lynch among others .. On this album
I would advice you to listen carefully to songs like "Drifting"
where you can feel the deep, intense and troubling voice
of Siobhan Lynch as well as "Missing Piece" (
where you can hear Wilder whispering ) also Stalker performed
by Mc Carthy.
2001 has been released the last Recoil LP l : LIQUID,
where Alan Wilder insisted more on the "spoken word"
side of the songs which are more performed like telling
a tale / story during the whole LP. He collaborated with
artists such as Diamanda Galas or Nicole Blackman,in order
to give the feeling that through the album you follow a
kind of story a travel through different experiences that
leads you to the conclusion with Black Box , showing you
some hard, soft , tragic, dark and touching moments at different
times . One of the song that is the most representative
of that feeling is Black Box which opens and closes this
album ; it's a song that reflects one of the tragic events
that Wilder and his girlfriend were witness : a plane crash
while they were driving on a road . Through all the songs
of LIQUID Wilder wanted to show how this fluid, evasive
, and weird aspects that life can be seen , in all its ways
: sometimes calm, but also anxious , and quite mysterious
and beautifull all at once ...
can't say that Recoil is for everyone's ears , as radio
formatted music, but it's full of intensity , emotions and
you can clearly feel the great techniques and the musical
skills of Alan Wilder,as he already gave an aspect during
his years among Depeche Mode.
1988 - Hydrology
1992 - Bloodline
1997 - Unsound Methods
2001 - Liquid
are some websites you have to visit to know more about Recoil
Shunt , official site
Recoil section at Mute Records
French language sites about Recoil :