Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Adjust Your Set by Mesh

Alright; one more for today.  After doing a number of 80s one-hit wonders (for relatively loose definitions of "hit") it occurs to me that I'm going to someday, and maybe not that far from now, run out of bands to highlight.  Sure; I have a lot more music than is highlighted here, but does anyone really want me to highlight 30-40 different Depeche Mode or Erasure songs?  This is part of the reason I branched out beyond synthpop into italo-disco and EBM, etc., and why I branched out beyond the 80s to music that is more recent, but firmly rooted stylistically in the synthpop and new wave movements of the 80s.

Mesh is a band that hasn't really had its due here on my blog.  I only have one Mesh post (not counting this one, which I'm adding now.)  It was originally a video of "Confined" but when the video crapped out, I replaced it with "Crash."  I later found another copy of "Confined" on youtube, and added them both.  However, this rather inauspicious history belies their importance.

Mesh is cursed with very bad timing.  Forming in 1991 and active throughout the 90s and beyond, they've never been able to enjoy the mainstream synthpop boom that they really should have been entitled to.  Then again, they've also moved in and out of a "pure" synthpop sound over the years.

Their earliest material (although not released early) is found on Original 91-93, which naturally suggests the vintage of those tracks.  These songs are synthpop.  However, Mesh's first actual release was Fragile in 1994 sounds like slightly more melodic Nine Inch Nails.  They then went on to sound like classic line-up Depeche Mode for several albums in a row, before branching off into a kind of "synth rock" sound that can honestly be called somewhat unique.

To be fair to Mesh, they also really pounded the pavement in the 90s.  Back then, the synthpop scene was much smaller and more insular, and yet Mesh (along with De/Vision) emerged as real superstars in that scene.  For that matter, Mesh also did a bunch of remixes, including for De/Vision, from time to time.

I've been a fan, although I'm not always as sold on their style as I could wish.  One of my absolute favorite of their songs, "Confined" is from relatively early In This Place Forever, but in general I prefer The Point at Which It Falls Apart and Who Watches Over Me?, which are also the most Depeche Mode-like of the lot.  We Collide and on features a much more layered, intense production, and a grittier rock-like sound.  It was also produced by Gareth Jones, which is interesting.  It also has some of my favorite tracks, although I'm a little bit more skeptical in general about the style.

For today's, I've picked one of their most recent songs, "Adjust Your Set."  The mix is by Rob Dust, and he certainly brings his own style, but the Mesh produced original isn't as different as you'd think in sound.

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