Emerging once again from the storied annals of synth-pop legacy, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) punctuate the musical horizon with their latest single from their forthcoming fourteenth LP, both elegantly titled ‘Bauhaus Staircase‘. This project signifies not just another chapter, but their fourth foray into recording since their much-celebrated reunion in 2006.
‘Bauhaus Staircase‘ is a tempest of gritty analogue synths that scrape and resonate. Elevated by celestial electronic melodies and underscored by the relentless thump of 808 drums, the track is a kinetic whirlwind that intensifies, without reprieve, for a gripping four-minute odyssey. OMD is in fine form with this song: their signature motorik synthpop sound has evolved into something more expansive and of the 21st century.
On ‘Bauhaus Staircase,’ the band doesn’t shy away from plunging into the political maelstrom or referencing the legendary Triadic Ballet of the Bauhaus school – it’s wonderful to see that OMD is still fond of throwing out delightful historical references. This charged number is a testament to their ability to harmonize pressing societal narratives with their distinctive sound, signaling not only their musical evolution but their commitment to addressing the times.
“The title is derived from an Oskar Schlemmer painting.” McCluskey explains,” He taught at Bauhaus, and created the amazing futuristic costumes for The Triadic Ballet (referenced in the song).”
“Bauhaus Staircase” beckons as both an homage and evolution to OMD’s storied legacy. Unquestionably, this composition finds its lineage in the shimmering trails of their 2017 magnum opus, ‘The Punishment of Luxury‘—an album with excellent tracks like “Isotype” and “The Punishment of Luxury.”
The animated video, created by Cine1080 Studio, features a nod to the imagery of various sci-fi films, notably Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, Run Lola Run, and Blade Runner. Shadowy figures alternate between running through streets under zeppelins and rockets.
“When times are hard there is a tendency for governments to look at cutting funding for creativity, just at the moment when the arts are most needed to nourish our souls,” says McCluskey. “I am a huge lover of visual arts, especially mid-20th century movements. I reference them often in my titles and lyrics. The song…is a metaphor for strength and artist passion in the face of criticism and adversity.”
Watch the video, created by Cine1080 Studio, below:
Formed in 1978, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) weren’t merely contributors to the electronic movement of the early 80s; they were some of its masterminds. With an unerring knack for blending avant-garde minimalism with infectious pop hooks, they were at the forefront of the synth-pop evolution. As MTV catalyzed the Second British Invasion in the US, OMD’s undeniable influence radiated, solidifying their mark on an international scale.
Their debut single “Electricity”, released on Factory Records, served as a love letter to Kraftwerk.
At the heart of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) lie the genius of co-founders: singer Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys, the keyboard maestro with a vocal touch. These days they are joined by Martin Cooper, oscillating between keyboards and the sultry sax, and the percussive dynamism of Stuart Kershaw. Yet, through the ebb and flow of time, it’s been McCluskey and Humphreys who have remained the unwavering pillars of this iconic collective.
This November, California’s Darker Waves Festival is set to become an electrifying nexus of synth-pop and post-punk royalty. OMD, in a rare stateside appearance, is set to grace the stage alongside luminaries like New Order, Devo, Soft Cell, The Human League, the Psychedelic Furs, Tears for Fears, Echo & The Bunnymen.
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