TTCDX004 Onetwo - Instead album art Onetwo Instead (Album) There (There) TTCDX004 UK 2007 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

TTCD002 Onetwo - Item album art Onetwo Item (EP) There (There) TTCD002 UK & US 2004 Sell This Version
NVR 003 Onetwo - Cloud Nine album art Onetwo Cloud Nine (Single) There (There) NVR 003 Spain 2007 Sell This Version
TTVNL001 Onetwo - Onetwo, Remixed album art Onetwo Onetwo, Remixed(12") There (There) TTVNL001 UK 2007 Sell This Version


TTCD003 Onetwo - Instead (Album Sampler) album art Onetwo Instead (Album Sampler)(CDr, Promo, Smplr) There (There) TTCD003 UK 2006 Sell This Version
TTCDX 003 Onetwo - Kein Anschluss / Home album art Onetwo Kein Anschluss / Home(CDr, Promo) There (there) TTCDX 003 UK 2007 Sell This Version

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July 28, 2008
Rarely has a follow up been so necessary. And I do realize it may seem tedious for me come back to answer my own question. So be it.

But yes, it turns out that One and Two do indeed make three. With the release of the album <i>Instead</i> and the startlingly potent single, <i>Onetwo, Remixed</i>, containing breathlessly hypnotic remixes of Kein Anschluß and Home (Tonight), Claudia and Paul have removed all doubt from my mind that there is untapped reserves of synergy in their unlikely partnership, one that I hope continues to move from here to There and ever forward.

<i>Home (Tonight)</i>, for example, is an unforgettable combination of infectious modern beats, overlaid by haunting melody lines, tightly and cleverly arranged, impressively driven home by Claudia's pitch perfect vocalization, delivering both bittersweet regret as well as determined resolve in a performance that simply reaches out from the recording media and unforgivingly stabs at the listener's heart. And that's just one track!

Brucken delivers some of the best of her craft here and sounds like she's having a good time with it. I'm not sure what Paul's up to in here, but it certainly makes one wonder what he was doing all that time in OMD, as Onetwo simply blows it all away. History. OMD revisited? Heh. Why bother!

<i>Remixed</i> is a great choice for a distillation of some of what makes <i>Instead</i> such a strong release. It marks a point in time in which the talented duo have really hit their stride. All that and a surprising cover of Pink Floyd's <i>Have a Cigar</i> thrown into the mix. What more could one want?

<i>Instead</i> also includes new recordings of two of my favourite tracks from the tragically abandoned and never released Propaganda demo, recorded before One and Two parlayed the OMD Revisited tour into Onetwo, a new beginning. Do yourself a favor and get both the album and the single, one and two. And if you can track down the Propaganda recording of Anonymous, it's more than well worth it. There's something about the emotion in the original recording that just clicks.

Where does Onetwo go from here? I don't really know, but I'd sure like to go along for the ride. Fans of Claudia Brucken will be very pleased. And admirers of Mr. Paul Humphries will find themselves speechless.

Thanks to the person who sent me an email about my original review. It reminded me to come back. Did I mention <i>Kein Anschluß</i>? Oh my God. <b>Onetwo have arrived.</b>


December 29, 2006
edited over 15 years ago
OneTwo, for one reason or another hasn't yet bothered to count to three. I liked their debut "Item," sandwiched though it was by two versions of Paul's song to his real or imagined sister. Another of the five tracks, "Cloud Nine," the one made with the assistance of Depeche Mode's Martin L. Gore, is a leftover from the much stronger, but never released 2001 untitled Propaganda album, available only as a downloadable bootleg. The other two tracks feature fine performances by the consistently gifted Claudia Brucken. But it's somehow not enough. I mean, what have they done for me lately? ;-)

I like Paul Humphreys enough, and I had kept up OMD since the early eighties. I appreciate that I was able to meet and hear Claudia perform in Seattle, something I'd never expected to happen, due to his "OMD Revisited" tour (in 1999 or 2000 I think). It was basically 1/2 of the core OMD duo along with some friends covering the OMD backcatalogue, including a special guest vocalist from Duesseldorf. It was a brief tour in the smallest of venues. If not for the Propaganda vocalist tagging along, I'd never have noticed.

That was around the time I heard the rumour about 3/4 of Propaganda finally getting back into the studio after 15 long years, to continue what they had started back in Germany and had ended so abruptly in the UK due to producer (Trevor Horn), label (ZTT) and legal (contractural) conflicts. Somehow the planets had aligned just right. This time it was going to work great! But then it all went horribly wrong.

The project was scrapped and the resulting demo album (9 very good tracks, at least 2 of which, "Ignorance" and "Anonymous" are excellent diamonds in the rough). I am so very thankful that someone had the foresight to grab a copy of the unfinished album and leak it on the Internet. It nears Propaganda's ZTT debut and obviously surpasses the 2nd release that featured a different vocalist and a couple of blokes from Simple Minds. To suggest that was Propaganda, was itself propaganda.

I know I'm droning on and on, but inbetween Propaganda I (1985) and the supressed gem of Propaganda III (2001), Claudia has quietly made some great recordings, including "I'll Find a Way" with The Brain, and on her own with "Fanatic" and "Absolut[e]," among a handful of collaborations with other artists which have never been that well known. But they are worth seeking out. Especially worthwhile is Razormaid's Claudia Brucken compilation, "Incarnations." Best item I've ever bought from Joseph Watt.

I had such high hopes back during Paul Humphreys' low profile "OMD Revisited" tour with Claudia Brucken as a special guest. She performed a track off 1985's "A Secret Wish" as well as OMD's "Women III" among other. It was at this show that they both announced their plans to work together on the project that would eventually come to be called OneTwo.

Whatever happened to that?

I think I shall never forgive Trevor Horn, ZTT and Frankie Goes To Hollywood for destroying Propaganda back in 1985 and for setting Claudia Brucken adrift shortly thereafter. Just listening to the rough unreleased Propaganda demo album from 2001, after more than a year of anticipation, I can't help but think of what might have been.

I was just glad that I got to thank Claudia in person and tell her how much I had enjoyed Propaganda and everything I could find her in since.

I just hope that somehow, for OneTwo, three will be a charm. But I won't be holding my breath. Not for another fifteen years, anyway!

[ [ This has been an R23 rant.... ] ]

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