Synth pioneer Andy McCluskey counts Kraftwerk, Brian Eno and Stockhausen among his musical mentors, which may not come as much of a surprise to many. Together with Paul Humphreys, the songwriter helped define British electronic pop, drawing on the templates of these early experimenters and translating their ideas into chart-busting hit singles.
However, Andy says he’s also influenced by the contemporary music of Swedish electro artist Robyn and the moody minimalism of south London’s The xx, to name a few. During a recent interview with M, in which he talked about his 35 year career in music, he explained: ‘I make a point of searching things and I have discovered a lot of very interesting new music. It’s almost as though we’d had to hear other people’s work to get a clear handle on our own.
‘I look at the melancholy minimalism of The xx and go, “We used to do that! We should take a page out of their book because they’ve taken a page out of one of our old ones anyway!” To some degree we’ve learned from the fact that younger bands with their quiet confidence are prepared to strip things down.’
For their latest album English Electric, which drops 4 April, OMD have gone back to basics. Ahead of its release, we asked Andy to compile a playlist of tracks that have got him all hot under the collar lately, and here’s what he came up with…