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Wishful Thinking

Propaganda

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Album Review

In the '80s, remix records were usually either solipsistic synth noodling with very little appeal for the average listener or, worse still, crass commercial attempts to eek a few additional dollars from die hard fans. Propaganda was apparently prepared to answer accusations of that sort. The record jacket for Wishful Thinking, their 1985 collection of remixed "disturbdances" of songs from their debut, A Secret Wish, defends the remix concept with a quotation from Goethe: "and refashioning the fashioned/ lest it stiffen into iron/ is a work of endless vital activity." Somehow Wishful Thinking seems deserving of Goethe's defense. These remixes are vital and original creations in their own right. At times they even seem to surpass the quality of the original poppier versions. The driving dance beats, mesmerizing gothic chords, and swirling ambient guitars create a melancholic ethos of considerable artistic merit. Perhaps the key is the reduction in emphasis on the sometimes grating sing/shout vocals by Claudia Brucken and Susan Freytag. And though some mixes do begin to get dull when they are reduced to thumping bass and grinding drums, the vast majority of this project is more dynamic than that.

Biography

Formed: 1983 in Düsseldorf, Germany

Genre: Dance

Years Active: '80s

Synth-pop band Propaganda was formed in Germany by vocalist Claudia Brücken and drummer Michael Mertens plus keyboard players Susanne Freytag and Ralf Dorper. The quartet moved to England in 1983 and signed to ZTT Records, also the home of Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Art of Noise. Propaganda's first single, "Dr. Mabuse," reached the British Top 30 in early 1984, but the band's...
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Wishful Thinking, Propaganda
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