Despite creating Mute Records, launching Fad Gadget and Depeche Mode, and then blazing a trail with Yazoo, The Birthday Party and a zillion more to become the indie label of all time, founder Daniel Miller’s moniker, The Normal has been strangely quiet since 1978. His one release, ‘TVOD/Warm Leatherette’ that initially launched the label was a slab of retro-futurist analogue beauty that will probably never be bettered even if we live to 3075 and beyond. It’s the Mona Lisa of electronic music, but fear not; he’s back and this time he’s strangely quiet with bells on.
The John Cage revolutionary piece 4’33 was essentially four minutes and thirty three seconds of silence, the argument being that whatever background noise that filled the illusion of silence would constitute the piece. It’s a rum concept for sure, as is covering it, but if you want conceptualism gone mad then Mute are not going to disappoint.
A box-set, limited to 433 copies – STUMM433 will feature over fifty artists all playing the same piece of music (which is essentially silence), and The Normal’s version is first out of the trap. It’s akin to accidentally phoning someone in your pocket and they get the number 76 bus going past.
The ambient noise of everyday life in box-set format as interpreted by the likes of Depeche Mode, Liars and Irmin Schmidt is soon to follow, but for the moment, until someone offers to sell you the Eiffel Tower, this is where we are at.
it’s either KLF-style genius or the king really is in the all-together, and we should just wrap up the whole humanity experiment now, for fear of what comes next. You decide. I’m going for a lie down.