Partners in life as well as in music, paul Humphreys and Claudia Brücken are the first (and probably only) couple of ‘80s electro-pop. Humphreys was half of the multi-million-selling Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, who are reforming to play gigs in May, and Brücken was in Propaganda, German label-mates of Frankie Goes To Hollywood on Trevor Horn’s ZTT label.
Together as Onetwo they create melancholic stadium synth-pop. The more downtempo material bears a slight resemblance to Everything But the Girl’s electronic experiments, but mostly Onetwo deal in grandly orchestrated Teutonic elegance. Alongside an amusing electro-disco crack at Pink Floyd’s Have A Cigar there are some pleasingly crafted songs. The deliciously elegiac I Don’t Blame You is about the fickleness of fame, Cloud 9 is sweetly co-written by Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore, and Kein Anschluss has an oomph worthy of Kraftwerk. Instend is an unexpected treat, albeit one touched with a graceful technological chill.
Thomas H Green