Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Hydrology Plus 1 + 2
Genres: Dance & Electronic, New Age, Pop
Mute U.S. reissue of the first two (long out of print) albums from former Depeche Mode member Alan Wilder. Both albums released on one CD for the first time, this is a must for Depeche Mode fans and those interested in ... more »
Listen to Samples
Mute U.S. reissue of the first two (long out of print) albums from former Depeche Mode member Alan Wilder. Both albums released on one CD for the first time, this is a must for Depeche Mode fans and those interested in the history of the emerging world of sample driven music.
Two in one; the beginning of Recoil
P. Bjel | Richmond Hill, Canada | 08/27/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This CD has an interesting background history. When Alan Wilder, the now-former musical director of Depeche Mode, was asked to reproduce snippets he had composed on a four-track cassette machine in his spare time (emerging largely from a sampler), the foundations of his current solo project Recoil were set. The first snippets released were two (very long) instrumental tracks entitled "1" and "2"; without name, and never intended for release. The two first appeared as a 12" mini-LP only (August 1986) entitled '1+2', alongside Depeche Mode's release 'BLACK CELEBRATION.' In January 1988, Wilder's second Recoil release, entitled 'HYDROLOGY,' was released, with three new snippets, but was overlooked because of Depeche Mode's massive tour taking place. It was released on 12" vinyl, but also on CD and cassette; on these latter two formats, the vinyl-only release '1+2' were included, producing a compilation with the following track listing: (01) Grain (7:43)
(02) Stone (14:32)
(03) The Sermon (15:03)
(04) 1 (14:24)
(05) 2 (18:37)This five-track compilation was, for some reason, discontinued, and remained so for a long time. On 20 March 2001, Mute Records (thankfully) re-issued 'HYDROLOGY plus 1+2' with this same track listing and artwork. Fans of Recoil are lucky to now have the opportunity to listen to the beginnings of this unusual and meritorious solo project, which captures not only the essence of independence that eventually came to head for Wilder, but it also captures an `80s zeal. On first listening, the tracks in this compilation are long and can be repetitive; the fact that they are entirely instrumental (perhaps, not including samples of a French train station announcer, or an Italian speaker, or of choir chants, etc.) adds to the challenge of a first listen. They do possess the ability to hypnotize those close listeners. Laced throughout the compilation, especially in the '1+2' part of this release are many samples that made their way to Depeche Mode releases (e.g. "Tora! Tora! Tora!," "Blasphemous Rumours," "Shake the Disease," "If You Want," and more). Wilder has the ability to take existing samples used elsewhere and transform them into something entirely new (evidenced by his later album 'BLOODLINE,' which also used several DM samples). One of the only negative aspects here is the obvious "cut-and-paste" feel to these demos, though I do not believe they harm the integrity of '1+2.' As for the 'HYDROLOGY' part of this compilation (tracks 1, 2 and 3), they served for Wilder (at that point) as an "antidote" to working within the pop atmosphere of Depeche Mode. The track "Grain" is almost classical, with a soft keyboard playing a rhythm that starkly stands beautiful, while still emulating a haunting quality about it. "Stone" begins with a sample that eventually grows, though never deviating from the original pattern, only to suddenly stop three minutes later and metamorphose into DM-like pulses and beats. Then it slows down into a soft, haunting electric pulse that soon falls back into another DM deviant sound. "The Sermon" maintains a more simplistic melody, the majority of which is another pulsating electrical sound, that tops off with a beat previously used in the DM track "Behind the Wheel." All throughout, various samples appear and disappear, adding to the richness of this track (and compilation). Although Alan Wilder was to release three more Recoil albums after these two (all of which were more commercially-friendly with the addition of vocalists and complete songs, though definitely not at all like "mainstream" garbage), listeners will still be intrigued and amazed in listening to and absorbing 'HYDROLOGY plus 1+2,' available once again."
Everybody has their beginnings...
Derek J. Power | Falls Church, VA USA | 05/30/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the beginning of Recoil.It started out when Daniel Miller of Mute Records noticed then Depeche Mode member Alan Wilder's homemade recording containing, among other things, samples from DM. He released it as an vinyl LP entitled "1+2" in 1986. Two years later, Alan Wilder released another vinyl under Recoil called Hydrology. In the CD release, the first two albums were joined together. For a long while, that CD was out of print until now.First off, the star rating... I don't think it's fair to give it five stars because it isn't super spectacular (comapred to the recent release of Liquid). I think four stars is sufficient because it's not a normal album (and I like that) and it is his first outside of DM.This is not to say that the album is bad. If you are a Recoil or Depeche Mode fan, you can see Alan's talent. And if you like things electronica (especially the experimental and the weird), you can appreciate this album. Plus this could inspire you to make some simple little riffs and sounds, splice it, dice it and reassemble it using a simple studio program/mixer. :)"