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Blancmange - Mindset

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 27 / 5 / 2020

Blancmange - Mindset
Label: Blanc Check Records
Format: CD


Fabulous twelfth album from synth pioneers Blancmange which returns to their early poppy 80's heyday

So, to a band that really needs no introduction. From their earliest days when they debuted with the massively danceable album 'Happy Families' in 1982 to the present time, Blancmange have released twelve albums. The original duo of Neil Arthur and Stephen Luscombe split in the mid-1980s, but reformed to record their fourth album 'Blanc Burn' in 2011 before splitting again shortly afterwards when Luscombe retired due to health reasons leaving Arthur to carry on alone. Arthur has recently found a new collaborator in the form of Benge of Wrangler and John Foxx And The Maths fame. 'Mindset' is the third album to be written and co-produced by the pair. The title track hark back to their early days with a splattering of Kraftwerk thrown in. In fact this entire album edges closer to their poppy first three albums tan any of their latter albums. Tracks such as the Bossa Nova-influenced 'This is Bliss' and the Human League-esque 'Antisocial Media' are a trip back to my youth. I thought I was actually there with the spat out 'Clean Your House'. I can still hear my mum and dad's voices on it now, but it is apparently about a break-up. Recorded at Benge’s Memetune studios in Cornwall, the pair seem as though they are exploring each other's talents to good effect. The electronic fun continues with 'Insomniacs Tonight', which sounds like its been taken direct from the playlist at the Final Solution (80's Nottingham underground club), as does the darker-edged 'Sleep With Mannequin', a dance-based number which recalls Depeche Mode. That retro sound, for me, has been revived to its fullest in 'Diagram'. If you can't dance to this – even if it is your best 80's dad dance – you must be dead. With Grace Jones style vocals and sharp beats, this blisters on and screws with your head. 'Not Really' is a little harder-edged and more indie-oriented, before it comes to an ends with the slower 'When'. The album is available in the usual formats on Arthur's own Blanc Check records, and sports a yellow and black combination on the front cover with an open padlock, which is quite just in my book because the pair have unlocked something special with this album. Marvelous!

Track Listing:-
1 Mindset
2 Warm Reception
3 This Is Bliss
4 Antisocial Media
5 Clean Your House
6 Insomniacs Tonight
7 Sleep With Mannequin
8 Diagram
9 Not Really (Virtual Reality)
10 When

Band Links:-

Have a Listen:-

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Interview (2020)
Blancmange - Interview
Dave Goodwin speaks to Neil Arthur from seminal electronic group Blancmange about their 80's-influenced new and twelfth album, 'Mindset'.
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Tony Gaughan examines a detailed and in-depth nine CD retrospective from synth pop duo Blancmange, which compiles together their first three albums with remixes, session tracks, demos and live performances

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