Mark Lane "Creepy a la Weepy"
Wow! It has been long since I have listened to such a refreshingly freaky electro-album as this new CD from the eternal cult-electronic musician Mark Lane. “Creepy a la Weepy” chirps, screetches, rattles and drones, sounding like the best analogue-synthesizer-era, aptly combining electronic music in early 80s style with more recent influences. Lane skillfully includes elements from all stages of his musical career, which has already lasted for more than twenty years. From experimental sound collages, via oblique synthie-pop to the early industrial experiments from the mid 80s. Overall it is entertaining and refreshing throughout the whole album, unlike most of the recent releases in the electro-scene. Lane also presents fittingly beautiful and strange song titles and lyrics, such as the title track or tracks like “Walloon Love Song” or “Taffeta For You”. If you desperately need a category, you could call it a modernized version of the music on the first two Fad Gadget albums, but this is not completely fitting. “Creepy a la Weepy” impressingly proves that electronic music can be a big adventure, even in the year 2004. By Marty Kasprzak.
Mark Lane "Creepy a la Weepy"
August 6, 2004
The material on this album dates already back from 1999-2002 and has only been released now. The CD contains 7 new original Mark Lane tracks and a cover version of Gary Numan's electro classic "I'm Praying To The Aliens." Although Lane has remained an active force in the European minimal electro/industrial underground the recordings are the first full LP of new solo material released by Mr. Lane since the release of "Male Nymph", and the first release of new tracks since the "Shadow Merger" CD Maxi in 1997. Mark Lane is not a debutant, in the past he worked with 256 different musicians from all around the world including Conrad Schnitzler founding member of Tangerine Dream and Cluster, Guy Van Meighem (Vomito Negro and Blok 57), Andy Szava-Kovats of Data-Bank-A, Richard Van Dellen of De Fabriek, Peter van Fliet of Mechanic Kommando, Sandy Nys of Hybryds, Martin Bowes of Attrition, Chez Voz of Afterimage, Hidden Agenda et al, Dirk Ivens, Eric van Wonterghem, and Marc Verhaeghem of the Klinik/Dive/Sonar chain and so on. It resulted in material that mixes all of these influences and ends in wave electropop with a minimal edge. Recently the German label Metawaveclassix has started issuing new releases from Lane such as the 2001 recording “Who’s Really Listening?+” and now “Creepy a La Weepy”. The material itself reminds me of Absolutely Body Control but with a much more wave edge. Having said that, a track like “The Walloon Love Song” will please Erasure fans as it has this very airy feeling around it with fat analogue sounds. An entertaining 8-track release that is some of the best to get in its genre I might say. For those that have searched for earlier Mark Lane material, bad luck, it is all sold out. So get your hands on this one as soon as you can.
Going back to the early dawn of the new wave and punk movements, Mark Lane began his electronic music and tape splicing experiments in 1980. His first release in 1981 was a vinyl 7” entitled “Love is So Aggravating.” Although it was well received, it was the release of his 1984 mini-LP entitled “Who’s Really Listening?” that garnered him critical acclaim and cemented his place historically as one of the early pioneers of minimal wave synthpop. Tracks like “Sojourn” and “White Glove” still rank very high among djs and aficionados of this era and have become standards of the genre.
During 1985 Mr. Lane made a short tour of the Netherlands with the founding members of the Klinik who were then touring their first record. Those shows and their recordings are still remembered as an innovative and important chapter in the history of the Belgian electronic music scene.
Additionally Lane collaborated with a large number of European musicians of the era including Martin Bowes of Attrition, Andy Szava-Kovats of Data-Bank-A, Guy Van Miegan of Vomito Negro, Richard Van Dellen of De Fabriek, Peter Van Vliet of Mekanik Kommando, and the late Conrad Schnitzler of Tangerine Dream and Kluster.
In the mid 90’s Mark Lane released two CD-EPs “Black Lipstick” and “Shadow Merger” which in essence are sister recordings that laid the foundation for his critically acclaimed CD-LP "Creepy a la Weepy." Released on the German label MetaWave it is often referred to as his most accessible work and set off a resurgence in interest of his previous catalog spawning two collections of his work from the 1980's. The first, "The Anti-Tech Testament 1981-1985" was a double CD digipak was released in 2006 on the Editions Mark Lane label. It was simultaneously released with two more new releases ("Inner Most Folds" and "Elephant/Atomium") as part of his 25th music anniversary and stands as an essential listening guide to Mark Lane. The second was a deluxe 2xLP gatefold production titled "When The Night is Cruel" from Vinyl On Demand in Germany. Containing an array of previously unheard demos and remixes it provides that extra insight for the immersed listener. And to top it off in 2008 Mr. Lane gave a stunning performance (his first in twenty-one years) at the El Cid Theatre in Los Angeles which received high marks in a rave review by the Los Angeles Weekly.
Most recently Lane's classic 1984 track "Who's Really Listening?" has appeared on a split 7" single with the UK band Oppenheimer Analysis in celebration of their participation on of their participation on the various artists 2XLP "The Minimal Wave Tapes Vol.1" on Stones Throw Records.
Now at the height of his ardent analogue minimal wave style he continues to produce electronic music through a fourth decade.