Vince Clarke got sucked into the Eurorack vortex during the making of his debut solo album: “I could have gone on forever, I could have not stopped”

Given how long he’s been making music, and his success with Erasure, Yazoo and Depeche Mode, you may be surprised to learn that Songs of Silence, which is set for release on 17 November on Mute, is Vince Clarke’s debut solo album.

And this is a solo album in the truest sense. Rather than calling a roster of guest vocalists, Clarke committed to generating all the sounds using just his Eurorack setup (though, having heard a track from the album, there may have been other musicians involved later, we suspect). This was the first of two self-imposed rules, the other being that each of the 10 tracks would be based around a single note, and remain in one key.

The result, we’re told, is an album of ambient instrumentals, which Clarke says were a pleasure to work on. “I could have gone on forever, I could have not stopped,” he confirms. “I was enjoying the process so much and wasn’t thinking about anyone else hearing it. But hearing it develop in my studio, in my head, learning new tricks - that’s been the best thing about this. I was in a state of shock, actually, when Mute said they wanted to release this album.” 

Many Eurorack users will be familiar with that feeling of going down the rabbit hole and not wanting to return, so credit goes to Clarke for managing to pull himself out and get the album finished. Not that his nearest and dearest are that bothered: “Nobody in my household is particularly interested in what I get up to in the studio” says Clarke. “Even the cat used to leave after an hour or so of listening to drones.”

Despite this apathetic reaction, Clarke still seems keen to explore what’s possible with electronic instruments. “The infinite shades of sounds you can create with just the tiniest tweak of a knob or slider continues to fascinate me,” he enthuses.

The first track from the album, The Lamentations Of Jeremiah, is available to listen to now. Check it out below.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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