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Soft Cell's Marc Almond On Electroclash, Make-Up and Tiga

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Wednesday, 23 July 2003
"I really like the electroclash scene particularly the smaller clubs that are full of interesting people, doing little performances and that kind of thing, there's much more of an intimate, creative atmosphere, I think. It seems like the time of the mega-discos is over in a way- it feels passe."

Hugely influential and revered by the likes of new contender Tiga, Soft Cell singer Marc Almond is the latest 80s pop star to benefit from the dressed up electro scene currently reshaping UK club culture, this weekend returning to DJing over 20 years since he last hit the decks.

"I haven't DJed for many years and kept getting lots of offers though turned them down because it just wasn't something that I wanted to do again," Marc told Jonty Skrufff.

"But recently so many interesting things are happening that I changed my mind. I also started listening to my record collection again; I have a great collection."

Marc DJs at London's Electric Stew followed by a date at Nag, Nag, Nag on August 7, though is keen to point out he's not making his debut.

"I'm not launching my DJ career, it's something I've done a few times before. I actually started my music career as a DJ, I was a DJ for two years before I started Soft Cell," he stressed.

Skrufff: What kind of musical style will you be spinning-

Marc Almond: " "I play a lounge, easy listening sort of set with kitsch, oddities and bizarre things and I play an electro set as well. I don't mix, though, I can't mix for toffee (chuckling). I don't tend to play particularly dance floor orientated tracks necessarily, though at the Electric Stew night I'm going to be playing a real mixture, an eclectic selection of electro-burlesque. That's lounge, kitsch and easy listening combined with electro, film soundtracks, and Russian pop. They'll be torch song stuff, strippers, vaudeville, the lot."

Skrufff: What do you make of the electroclash scene-

Marc Almond: "I really like it, particularly the smaller clubs that are full of interesting people, doing little performances and that kind of thing, there's much more of an intimate, creative atmosphere I think. It seems like the time of the mega-discos is over in a way, it feels passe'. It's great people are doing these smaller clubs with anything goes music policies, playing the newer electronic sounds alongside odd stuff. It's almost like performance art days are here again and it reminds me of the late 70s from when I was at Art college, DJing in the North of England at the Warehouse. Today reminds me of that time again though it's got a newer anarchic attitude to it now, it's more in-your-face with a millennium attitude, it's not just purely nostalgic."

Skrufff: Are you wearing make-up again-

Marc Almond: "I always wear a bit, though I've not been one for wearing full make-up for a long time. I left that behind a few years ago, but I always wear a bit though I'm much more subtle about it these days. I don't really do the big make-up thing any more. I did back in the 80s and it is nice to dress up again- I like the fact people are doing it again, that whole theatricality aspect of dressing up is great. When I wear make up now I'll wear it deliberately less noticeable though on stage I'll wear a lot more because I like creating a larger than life persona rather than how people would see you walking down the street. On stage my make up's more exaggerated. I've always worn black mascara and a bit of black eyeliner though, I feel kind of naked without it."

Skrufff: Are you going to be DJing any Soft Cell records-

Marc Almond: "I just did a DJing spot in Russia the other weekend at a cafe/lounge there and a few Soft Cell fans turned up so I threw in a few records but I don't think so on Sunday. I like DJing as an excuse to listen to other stuff. There was a period when I felt that I wasn't getting the time to listen to all the music that I had, I was buying CDs then I also have a huge vinyl collec
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