News: Thomas Leer and Robert Rental’s cult punk-electro classic ‘The Bridge’ gets a reissue in January; hear ‘Monochrome Days’

Thomas Leer and Robert Rental, photographed by Chris Carter

NO LESSER a cultural vulture (and someone you’d love to go on an Edinburgh pub crawl with) Ian Rankin says of Thomas Leer and Robert Rental’s cult ’79 album The Bridge that “it spans the gulf between punk and electro. It’s as good as the best of ‘79 and still potent, still the future.”

Joining him in praise, Clint Mansell, once singer of PWEI and composer of soundtracks for such films as High Rise and Black Swan, adds: “This a record way ahead of its time, made by two pioneers of sound with ingenuity, basic electronics and a world of young minds to distort. Love it!”

Uninitiated interest piqued? Of course it is. Off you shuffle to the secondhand market, since it ain’t available new; oh. Pretty spendy.

Cool your boots, prospective buyer; for the good people at The Grey Area of Mute are on it, and should you hold fire for just a few more weeks, make it through Christmas, you’ll be able to own a brand-spanking copy on January 28th – in physical terms, there’ll be CDs and vinyl.

The album features “Monochrome Days”, a track that you so know even if you thought you didn’t – a perennial Peel fave that (and with the album as a whole) takes the wiriness of post-punk, the fire of punk and the cold alienation of emerging electronica and marries them. Have a listen below.

Thomas and Robert first began making music in their Clydeside home town of Port Glasgow at the end of the Seventies, self-releasing a brace of 7″s and coming to the purview of Throbbing Gristle, who picked them up for their Industrial Records imprint. The Bridge was both the first release on Industrial from outside the TG orbit and Thomas and Robert’s only formal twin billing.

The record was put together at Robert’s home over a fortnight on equipment provided by Throbbing Gristle and the barest of tutelage, but was vibrant and forward-looking enough to make no.9 in the UK Independent Chart. Its influence on other artists was evident immediately, with John Foxx, The The’s Matt Johnson and Sheffield’s ABC giving praise.

The reissue come alongside an exhibition examining the duo’s legacy: that’s entitled From The Port To The Bridge and will be taking place at The Horse Hospital in London’s Bloomsbury from January 21st to February 10th next year. Click through here for more information on that.

Thomas Leer and Robert Rental’s The Bridge will be released by The Grey Area of Mute on limited edition white vinyl and CD on January 28h next year; order yours here.

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