My friend and electronic music master, Kurt Uenala, has a solo project called Null + Void. He asked me to do a string version, or remix, of one of the songs from his upcoming record, Cryosleep. I didn’t realise until he sent me the song, that it featured none other than Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode on vocals! A childhood hero of mine and I know a few people who worship him like God. Kurt has collaborated with Dave on various of his projects and has also contributed to some Depeche Mode records and occasional live sets.
So this turned out to be a big deal for me. I grabbed the opportunity when I had a string recording session booked for another project, and added an extra hour to sneak this project in. I quickly wrote out a 19th century saloon inspired string arrangement, which took the song in a very different direction (I was thinking about some kind of steam punk version) I added some slightly malfunctioning celestas and synths to it and treated the vocals. The most fun part for me was running Dave’s voice through this home made plate reverb that my brother Halldór built, using cheap material from Bauhaus, the hardware store. I admit that it was a kick, sending this incredible prestigious voice through the cheapest reverb ever made.
The remix was released alongside another fantastic remix, by another great hero of mine, Alva Noto. I added both of them to this playlist, along with another great remix by the Danish producer Kasper Bjørke and some related “bonus material.”
So there you have it. Dave Gahan’s beautiful singing, with strings, and through a Bauhaus reverb. Bela Lugosi is not quite dead!
Song by: Kurt Uenala, Dave Gahan
Violin: Una Sveinbjarnardóttir
Violin: Gunnhildur Daðadóttir
Viola: Guðrún Hrund Harðardóttir
Cello: Hrafnkell Orri Egilsson
Strings recorded by Kristinn Sturluson @ Sýrland Studio, Reykjavík
Mixed by Magnús Árni Øder