❉ Club Torsten’s sensibility is firmly upbeat, with infectiously melodic dance-pop akin to Andy Bell’s signature Erasure sound, writes Ange Chan.
“SoftWave made two all new ‘Electro-Noir’ style remixes for my ‘Club Torsten!’ album and I loved their strong retro inspired synth melodies the first time I heard them and the way Catrine’s vocals weave in and out so deftly is just gorgeous!” – Andy Bell.
On 5 February 2021, Andy Bell of Erasure has a new strictly 500 copy limited edition out, as the next instalment of his ‘Andy Bell is Torsten’ side-project, entitled Club Torsten! The album has been pressed on translucent shocking pink vinyl and is a celebration of the uplifting, dancier, synth-pop side of the on-going theatrically driven Torsten story in which Andy plays his semi-immortal, polysexual alter-ego. It is being released by Cherry Red and is currently sold out via pre-orders, such is the anticipation of this release, by fans.
Andy Bell said of the project, “I can’t wait to hear ‘Club Torsten!’ in a real club when all this clears and we can dance again in electronic-pop heaven!”
The album’s sensibility is firmly on the upbeat, with infectiously melodic dance-pop which is more in line with Andy Bell’s signature Erasure sound that has seen the band through four decades of chart-topping popularity. Produced for the first time on vinyl, the album includes highlights and fan favourites of the highly regarded ‘Andy Bell is Torsten’ project, and their dance-orientated remix trilogy ‘Variance I, II and III’, which is out of print and a much sought-after rarity.
Consisting of a dozen diverse tracks of synthpop, the remixers collected together on the album include an impressive roll call of legends of the genre, including Erasure maestro and Andy’s fellow band member Vince Clarke, and Matt Pop, Bronski Beat and Barry Harris (Kan Kon) as well as two hardy perennials of the UK’s contemporary synth-pop scene, Shelter and Dancing With Ruby.
Matt Culpin of Dancing With Ruby said, “I was introduced to Barney who wrote the play for Andy via Limahl, after the Kajagoogoo tour I did with my other band Northern Kind. I believe Andy had heard of me through the remix I did for one of his songs he did with Shelter, and then Barney also mentioned me, so that’s how I think I got picked. I remixed the track Weston Super Mare as Dancing with Ruby.”
Additionally, Club Torsten! has three brand new synth-pop dance remixes which are only available on this release. This includes two catchy, deeply melodic noir remixes by Scandi synth-scene stalwarts SoftWave, including Lead Me (SoftWave Electro-.Noir Remix) and Society, Society (SoftWave Electro-Noir Remix) plus an exclusive remix of Judgement by Cyber Monday.
Andy Bell said, “I just love those happenstance moments; it just so happened that I was wearing the SoftWave T-shirt at the same time that my band-mate Barney announced that the ‘Club Torsten!’ remix vinyl was complete. SoftWave made two all new ‘Electro-Noir’ style remixes for my ‘Club Torsten!’ album and I loved their strong retro inspired synth melodies the first time I heard them and the way Catrine’s vocals weave in and out so deftly is just gorgeous!”
He went on to say “I’ll let you into a secret, ‘Lead Me’ was not a favourite track of mine until I head what SoftWave did with it for ‘Club Torsten!’. It quickly became one of my favourite ‘Andy Bell is Torsten’ remixes!” This must have been a dream come true for Catrine and Jerry (SoftWave) who both admire Erasure greatly, and consequently it was their ultimate desire to work with the prolific electronic duo.
The vibrant album sleeve illustration is a specially commissioned piece of artwork designed by illustrator Meriel Waissman in conjunction with Andy himself. It depicts Andy Bell in his revered role as Torsten surrounded by choice props from the popular Torsten stage shows and is symbiotic with the shocking pink vinyl within.
❉ Andy Bell: ‘Club Torsten!’ Limited Edition Pink Vinyl LP releases February 5, 2021 via Cherry Red Records. RRP £19.99. No longer available for pre-ordering – only 500 copies manufactured worldwide.
❉ Ange Chan is a freelance writer having published six volumes of poetry and two novels of contemporary fiction. She was also a prolific contributor to the David Bowie charity anthology Me and the Starman, (now available by Cult Ink on Amazon) and is a lifelong lover of music in general and synth/electronic music in particular. She was first published in the music press in the 1980s and hasn’t stopped writing, or listening, since. As well as being a frequent and prolific contributor to We Are Cult, she is also working on a long-standing project of her third novel Champagne Flutes and Pixie Boots which she wonders will ever get finished.