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VCMG: Ssss 


The last time Vince Clarke and Martin Gore made an album together the year was 1981, and that album was Speak & Spell, the classic synth-pop debut from a then-unknown band called Depeche Mode. Today, much of what they recorded for that initial pairing sounds insufferably coy, but it was a game-changer for electronic music. Clarke moved on to Yaz and Erasure after that, and for Depeche Mode, the rest is history. Three decades later, Clarke and Gore have reunited for Ssss, a dark and cinematic excursion that defies dance music's space-time continuum by using straight-up house music and minimal techno to fashion a brilliant album. Press play on such songs as "Lowly," "Spock," and "Recycle," and it's 1997 all over again. Your supermodel girlfriend has just stolen a whole lot of money from an Ecstacy dealer, along with his Porsche. Now it's time to burn rubber. (3 out of 5 stars)

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