There’s something deeply enticing about the darkness. Whether it’s the way that the corners of seedy dance floors seem to curl a proverbial index finger and beckon you to come hither, or the way that brooding back alleys cause you to turn and inspect at a second glance, it’s the shadows that are interesting: these varying shades of black stir up something in us that few other things can.
Lurking somewhere beneath the melancholic gloom are Detachments, the London-based quartet who spew-out heavy synths and noise rock, with a smothering of 80’s electro pop and a dreary miserablism, all of which has made lazy comparisons to the likes of Joy Division and New Order an inevitable pain in the arse for the band. “We get called ‘industrial’ a lot – what the fuck? I don’t even know what that means. And Joy Division blah, blah, blah. I think songs like HAL actually come out of my love of Hip Hop,” lead singer and creative force, Bastien Marshal, explained. “In fact, if I was stuck on a desert island and had to bring an album, I’d choose Pet Shop Boys instead of fucking Nine inch Nails.”
Feeling more misunderstood than a thirteen-year-old on the Jeremy Kyle show, Detachments channelled their disenchantment into an enthralling debut. The marriage of sleaze, frustration and seduction on tracks like ‘The Flowers that Fell’ and ‘Circles’ tempt you in a way that is hard to fight—like a hostage with Stockholm Syndrome—and it’s almost impossible to not find this despondency alluring, one of the band’s traits which Marshal is more than aware of. “I don’t take much notice of many other bands but I can’t sense anyone doing quite what we’re doing. The flavour we have is somewhat different, it’s a bitter, an acquired taste perhaps,” he says. “But once people get it they’re hooked.”
Having taken the decision to alter their sound earlier this year, Detachments spent most of 2010 re-establishing themselves as a live band and getting used to their new musical dynamic. “The album was completed in Spring, with the vast majority recorded on synths. As a result, we had to ditch bass and guitars to make the switchover this Summer,” Marshal
explained. “The change meant that we’ve only just got the re-invented live show up and running again and it meant we weren’t ready to play festivals or anything over the Summer.”
Making up for lost time, Detachments kicked off an extensive Autumn UK tour in September to promote the release of their debut. And with future plans for a second album sounding even more eclectic than its predecessor, Detachments look set to carry on enticing us into the shadows of Marshal’s warped, creative mind.
Words by Laura Routledge
Where: North-West London
What: 80’s synths and electro sleaze
Unique fact: Marshal recently made his acting debut in a film by an Italian Director
Get 3 songs: ‘HAL’, ‘The Flowers that Fell’, ‘Circles’