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At times, history has an inherent gravity, a sense of direction, some indescribable force that can mean that things will reach eventually their natural conclusion, regardless of the timescale involved. The often-inescapable process is at the heart of Modus: the new/classic album from Nature of Wires.
The album had its genesis back in the late 80s and early 90s, when the band - comprising Gary Watts and Andrew Stirling Brown for most of that period - were in the middle of a creative hot streak. Life and responsibilities got in the way of the band pursuing the material they’d put together, something the band felt now needed addressing.
The eight songs that make up CD1 of Modus were born in a time of personal and musical change, something that comes through with striking clarity in the music and lyrics; but the band do not view the album as an exercise in nostalgia. In fact, with access to top of the line music technology and connections in the music industry that were not available to them at the time, the duo have refined and reinterpreted the inner soul and meaning of each song to create something that echoes an exciting time in the history of electronica and dance music, but which also easily holds its own in the modern synthpop scenes.
Gary Watts had this to say about the album: “Modus includes songs written between 1986 and 1993, recreated using 21st century technology. We want to look back on this album in 20 years’ time and be satisfied that it is as good as it could possibly have been and so we've drafted in some top producers, namely Steve Whitfield (The Cure, The Mission, Shed Seven, Terrorvision, Jah Wobble, Promenade Cinema, Zeitgeist Zero) and Mike Marsh (Calvin Harris, OMD, Human League, Chemical Brothers, Moby, Shamen, Massive Attack, Erasure, 808 State, The Prodigy, Depeche Mode). Artwork is by the super-talented Vlad McNeally. It is our final farewell to our younger years, being representative of the sound we created back then.”
Vocalist Andrew agrees with those sentiments, adding: “CD1 of Modus presents the retro-electro, ‘lighter’ side of our writing, influenced by the synth-pop of the 80’s & 90’s scenes. A ‘definitive’ version of the material we had back then, but with a modern edge. It brings together the core of our older fan-favourite songs and includes the very first one we wrote and one left unfinished in 1993, finally completed over 20 years later! Of equal importance to us is CD2 of the album. We originally envisioned it as not just a collection of remixes, but as a deliberate companion or twin to Modus. We wanted it be as cohesive in design, sound and running order as CD1 (plus a couple of extras!). It provides a whole new interpretation and ‘vision’ of the cycle of songs. So, it’s not a double album, it’s a dual album.”
CD2 sees Nature of Wires curate re-imaginings of Modus CD1 – with labelmates including Room 1985, The Cowls and ATOMZERO re-interpreting the tracks, applying their own vision whilst being faithful to the spirit underlying the originals. Additionally, Leaether Strip and MESH are among the heavyweights of alternative electronica that have worked their remix magic in their own impeccable styles, adding to the sense of history that underpins Modus.
There’s a sense of finality to Modus, as well as a statement of intent. Think of the album as the last step in the rebirth of Nature of Wires, coming to terms with the past in a glorious and positive fashion, and preparing for an exciting future. With the current line-up going from strength to strength, European gigs and new music in the pipeline Modus is a fitting tribute and farewell of sorts to the first incarnation of the band.
released August 16, 2019
Thanks to our production / label team Josh Watkins at Cobnash Studio, Steve Whitfield at Mead Studio, Mike Marsh at The Exchange Mike Marsh Mastering, Vlad McNeally & Kele-De Aemorniel at Kallistidesign, Adrian Brian Thompson & Mark Buckley at AnalogueTrash
Also thanks to our remixers Peter Godziszewski, Damion Jurrens, Andy McBain, Adam Higginson, Eugene Somers, David Fox, Steve Whitfield, Claus Larsen, Richard Silverthorn, Chris Crysand & John Hulse
Andrew would like to thank:
Barbara, Katie, Emma & all his family & friends
Everyone in the worlds of armour/theatre costume/re-enactment, Big Finish, Team PEX & everyone at Border A
All the other bands he's been in - shout outs to Wiz, Ian, Andrew, Jonny, Mickey, Will & Andy
All of the Synth Scene & everyone who plays/promotes our tunes
Gary would like to thank:
Guen & Matt for unwavering support
Fiona for putting up with the noise
All other family & friends who have shown an interest
All of those wonderful musicians who have trusted him to remix their work
The DJs who have played our songs on their shows & podcasts
Every band with whom we've played & every promoter who has taken a risk with us
Tim would like to thank Gary & Andrew for the chance to play live again after such a lengthy hiatus
Thanks to my wife Stacy for her encouragement and support of the band, despite it taking me away from her and the kids on occasions
Finally thanks to everyone who is interested in Nature of Wires in some shape or form
Special thanks to the guys on the Ohm From Ohm/No Sleep Til… tours
Nature of Wires is Andrew Stirling-Brown, Gary Watts & Tim Powell-Tuck
All songs written by Gary Watts & Andrew Stirling-Brown
Be the best you can
Do the best you can
Love the best you can
Let the fire in yourself be a dance in your soul
NoW was formed in 1986. Original line-up was Gary Watts & Andrew Stirling-Brown. In 1993 Sarah Bouchier (Lady B) joined. In
1994 year the band took a 6-month break, which would last more than 20 years!
In 2015 NoW reformed and joined forces with CountessM. In 2016 they released Cyber Rendezvous on AnalogueTrash.
In 2015 Tim Powell-Tuck joined on drums. In 2018 Lady B returned to the line-up....more
Without a doubt one of the strongest EBM/Electro/Synthpop releases of 2015! Every song a brilliant shimmering gem and qualified as a "favorite track". A refreshing range of styles, emotions, and songwriting genius. This is not ordinary by any means but rather extraordinary and shows exceptional promise from the Swedish masterminds on their sophomore release (as did their debut). Highly Recommended. This has quickly become a release I could not live without. 10/10! Johnny Brito
Bought the album on the strength of hearing Heroes. It is an excellent cover version of a legendary track. I also streamed the album a couple of times and liked what I heard. I look forward to hearing more of the album. Neilo