Hello, you’re here, welcome, or welcome back, and ‘This Now’ is packed with useful advice and information about Claudia Brücken, where you can find news, reference, photography, biography, speculation, general details and sundry virtual souvenirs about her life in song since back when she was only beginning. From pre-Propaganda to everything up to date, photos, stories, autobiography, it’s all here.
Claudia herself would like to say; ‘Thank you for being there, have a look around, read stuff, get in touch, keep in touch, try things, hear things, suggest things, see you soon x x x x.’
Claudia Brücken was one of the two girls in the two girl, two boy Düsseldorf avant pop group Propaganda, memorably – and positively – described by one critic as ‘Abba from Hell’. The first signing in 1982 to Trevor Horn’s innovative Zang Tum Tumb label, later joined by Art of Noise and Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Propaganda’s debut single ‘Dr. Mabuse’ was one of the strangest, darkest singles ever to make the British charts, and the follow up ‘Duel’ one of the greatest and smartest. The one and only Propaganda album released on ZTT, A Secret Wish, is generally considered to be one of the decades finest and a definitive electronic music masterpiece, extravagant, surreal songs of intimacy and intrigue sung by Claudia with icy passion and impassive splendour.
After leaving Propaganda in 1985, Claudia formed the conceptual pop Act with respected electronic music pioneer Thomas Leer, producing a series of delirious hype-focused lost electro-classics that emerged out of and commented on the excess, eccentricity and effervescence of the 1980s, pointing the way ahead of their time to the dramatic electro-glitter world of Florence, Gaga and La Roux. Claudia further developed her own uncompromising personal electronic aesthetic with an album produced in 1991 for Island Records, Love: and a Million Other Things, and stuck to her synth guns throughout the 90s.
Her collaborations with Glenn Gregory of Heaven 17, Andy Bell of Erasure and Martin Gore of Depeche Mode emphasized her special identity as discreet, discerning electro icon, and her album of surprising, non-electro cover versions, Another Language, produced with composer Andrew Poppy for There(there), demonstrated her ability to interpret an unusual, or sometimes familiar, pop song with complete originality. The 21st century group she formed with Paul Humphreys of OMD, Onetwo, was the logical latest stage in her music, as much a direct follow up to Propaganda, Act and her solo work as it was a unique entity in its own right and a close, inventive relation to electro pop lords OMD. A recent comprehensive compilation of her work from Propaganda to Onetwo, Combined, also containing Act songs, solo songs, collaborations and new work, celebrated 30 years of Claudia Brücken – none of it sounded old, all of it sounded new, revealing an adventurous narrative consistency to all of her work, whoever she collaborates with, and also a commitment to her own sense of style.
In the future: Claudia Brücken with Stephen Coates of and from glitter literate avant cabaret act The Real Tuesday Weld extending their twisted para-40s collaboration for the Rockstar ‘L.A. Noire’ video game. This project will be a set of songs in vivid, shadowy black and white forming an album (Suspense) and/or an musical hallucination (‘Intrigue’) dislocated in a mysterious imaginary world somewhere between post-war Europe and post-romantic nowhere in a time between a known 1940s and an unknown 1960s between the sinister fiction of The Third Man and the building of the Berlin Wall. If Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy had been directed by David Lynch from a script by Franz Kafka and Don Delillo, these songs would form the sound track – imagine a world where Dietrich sang a Bond song written by Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Lee.