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  • Writer's pictureBig Rick Stuart

Martin Gore’s ‘The Third Chimpanzee’

As if it were not enough to be still active and commercially viable with Depeche Mode, a band that’s been around for 40 years and was recently admitted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, longtime Santa Barbara resident Martin Gore continues to release powerful, innovative electronic music under his own name. His latest EP, a collection of five tracks titled The Third Chimpanzee, was recorded at Electric Ladyboy, Gore’s home studio, and takes as its conceptual point of departure the close genetic relationship between humans and primates. Each track is named after a species — “Howler,” “Mandrill,” “Capuchin,” and “Vervet,” plus “Howler’s End,” a reprise of the opener to close out the set. Gore was playing around with resynthesized wordless vocal tracks when he heard something that reminded him of the cry of the howler monkeys he had witnessed on a pre-pandemic trip to Costa Rica.

This is music for people who love synthesizers and drum machines, and what they can do to your ears and body when amplified through a superior sound system. Audiophiles will appreciate the density of textural detail, particularly as it arises out of the grooves of the vinyl release. Speaking of which, this version ought to appeal to collectors for a couple of reasons. First off, the A side is set to play at 45 RPM, while the B side is recorded for playback at 33 and a third. And if that’s not enough to get you excited, consider the cover, which is a reproduction of a painting by Pocket Warhol, a capuchin artist based at a Sanctuary in Ontario. Monkey do!

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