OMD is far from done – their new studio album The Punishment of Luxury is a modern synthpop masterpiece. Moreover, just in terms of taste, style and art, they could teach a lesson to some of the heroes of the underground whose desire to “stay relevant” (read: get booked with the same other fifteen DJs at the same other fifteen festivals. Rinse & repeat for the next fifteen fucking years.) has lead to some of the most godawful tracks to befoul a Beatport chart on reputation and retweet potential alone.
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark’s thirteenth album is as fascinating to me as the first, or the seventh, or the twelfth, or any of their rich discography I discovered when I learned that OMD was more than an ’80s soundtrack band as many in the US have been lead to believe. “Isotype” is my favorite track from the new album. Released as a single, I just now got my hands on the 12″ mix (with non-album track “Skin” on the B-side) – a perfect little pop symphony of bits of Kraftwerk with a smear of Tangerine Dream and a sonorous sensibility that is OMD’s alone. According to the liner notes, “It’s about the modern world where our communication value systems are so reduced that you wonder if we’re actually getting any clear point across.” That’s the power of music, isn’t it? The clarity is OMD.