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The German synth-pop trio Camouflage was officially formed in 1984 by vocalist Marcus Meyn and keyboardists/programmers Heiko Maile and Oliver Kreyssig. The group took first place in a radio-sponsored song contest in 1986, and before long, their debut single, "The Great Commandment," was scaling the German charts. Their full-length debut, Voices and Images, was released in 1988, reflecting the group's classic new wave synth-pop influences, but most of all Depeche Mode. 1989's Methods of Silence began to broaden Camouflage's sonic palette, yet the Depeche Mode sound still remained at the forefront. Oliver Kreyssig then left the group, leaving Maile and Meyn as a duo augmented by several studio musicians. By the time of 1991's Meanwhile, Camouflage had garnered a not insignificant following on college radio; the album moved still farther away from synth-pop and incorporated greater instrumentation. However, with the advent of grunge, synth-pop lost a great deal of its footing on college radio; Camouflage soon found itself without an American record deal. 1993's Bodega Bohemia, available only as an import, moved back towards synth-oriented music and took a darker tone than much of their previous work. The mostly instrumental Spice Crackers followed in 1995, after which the future of the band was cast into doubt; a best-of compilation, We Stroke the Flames, was released in Germany in 1997. ~ Steve Huey