Those yearning to dance with people other than Jefferson Memorial protesters should consider the Depeche Mode Dance Party, the synth-tastic DJ night that celebrates its 10th anniversary at Black Cat tonight. Touted as the biggest Depeche Mode night on the East Coast, its DJs should be commended for their stalwart commitment to one band, though the 30ish-year-old British synth-pop group offers plenty of material. DJs Steve EP and Missguided spin Depeche Mode hits, lesser-known cuts, and remixes, while Killa K and Krasty McNasty shows videos and projections to fully overstimulate the crowd. Depeche Mode’s dark but irresistibly danceable style artfully built a bridge between electronic and pop music in the ’80s, launching dozens of electronic sub-genres and just as many imitators.
In honor of the tenth anniversary of the event, Arts Desk asked Depeche Mode Dance Party team to chose some of their favorite lesser-known gems and b-sides.
DJ Steve EP
“Here Is the House,” Black Celebration
Steve says: This song, along with the entire Black Celebration album, is so good and definitely a crowd favorite. The textures, sampling, tones, and melodies on this song are infectious and difficult to ignore.
“Lie to me,” Some Great Reward
Steve says: This is one of my favorite DM songs of all time. It shows the dark influence of Alan Wilder, who gets the credit for taking the band to notoriety.
“Fools (Bigger),” “Love, in Itself” b -side
Steve says: This is the “Love, in Itself” b-side, written by Alan Wilder. Once again this track shows the stark difference in style and tone between Vince Clark and Wilder.
“Somebody,” “Blasphemous Rumours” b -side
Missguided says: This song is beautiful but not very danceable.
“Dangerous,” “Personal Jesus” b-side
Missguided says: This is one of my favorite songs.
“One Caress,” Songs of Faith and Devotion
Killa K says: Obviously at the dance party we play the hardest hitting hits, so it’s kind of ironic that my two personal favorite songs are dance-floor killers. I absolutely love “One Caress.” It’s wonderfully beautiful, and has Martin on vocals. (Bonus!!)
Killa K says: Every once in a while we sneak one of these in as the last song of the night, a perfect way to wind down and bid everyone adieu.
“Get the Balance Right!” (Combination Mix)
Krasty McNasty says: If you want to delve deeper into old-school dance action, look to “Get the Balance Right” (Combination Mix)—-it’s clever and will keep you moving.
“Sea of Sin”/“Happiest Girl,” “World in My Eyes” b-sides
Krasty McNasty says: Properly catchy and slightly dirty (this band shines when the beats are gritty). Violator kills it with the b-sides for dance purposes.