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The Electronic Circus: Direct Lines 7"

The Electronic Circus: Direct Lines 7"


Tags: · 80s · hcpmf · new wave · reissues · synth-pop
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Though famous for other things (including doing the synths on GARY NUMAN’s iconic “Pleasure Principal” album and co-writing VISAGE’s massive hit, “Fade To Grey”), Chris Payne brought THE ELECTRONIC CIRCUS to life in 1981. At the time, poised to become his next major project, the initial single “Direct Lines” gained little traction and quickly found its way to quiet obscurity. There it remained until some genius made a video using footage from Swedish film “Summer With Monika” that so perfectly fit the surging melancholy of youth’s temporary romances that the song garnered a million views and a new cult of rabid fans (me included! -Jensen). Once this synth-pop perfection enters you it will find permanent purchase and continue to be a joyous wellspring for years to come, truly a gift that keeps giving.

This fully licensed official reissue comes on 150 on red and 350 on black 75gr vinyl housed in a reverse board custom die-cut glue pocket sleeve. Originally recorded in 1981 at Pebble Beach Studios in Sussex UK (also where THE ADVERTS recorded the excellent "Gary Gilmore's Eyes/Bored Teenagers single!) by Tony Harris. Remastered in 2021 by John Golden. Art and packaging based on the original 1981 design.


Our take: As I wrote in my staff pick a few weeks ago, I’ve been spending a lot of time listening to the Bandsplain podcast. Host Yasi Salek does this thing when she plays a song she likes where, just after it ends, you hear her voice come in and she says something like “what a motherfucking god damn gorgeous song.” That’s how I feel about the a-side of this single. “Direct Lines” is a great new wave song with a strong, danceable electronic beat and an anthemic (yet slightly melancholic) chorus you can’t help but sing along with. The Electronic Circus was a project helmed by Chris Payne, who played synths on Gary Numan’s The Pleasure Principle and co-wrote the Visage track “Fade to Grey” (talk about a pedigree!), and while the Electronic Circus was meant to be his solo vehicle, they only released this lone single. While the b-side doesn’t do much for me (a pretty but insubstantial-sounding instrumental), the a-side is a full-on New Romantic banger. Much like the excellent Dorothy single just reissued on Sealed Records, I’m psyched to have this one-off pop nugget reissued in its original format as the lord intended.