Submitted by Robin Blackburn
In 1987, New Order’s vocalist Bernard Sumner decided to record a solo album, and asked fellow Manchester musician Johnny Marr to contribute guitar. Marr had just quit the Smiths, and ended up joining Sumner permanently as the other half of Electronic.
The band’s first single, ‘Getting Away with It’ - a collaboration with the Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant - was released in 1989, followed 18 months later by a critically acclaimed eponymous debut album. Only ever meant to be a part-time project, Electronic was never going to be prolific, but it was five years before a second album emerged, with Sumner returning to New Order and Marr joining The The in the meantime. ‘Raise the Pressure’ (1996) saw Sumner and Marr being joined by ex-Kraftwerk percussionist Karl Bartos, and creating an album of complex and multilayered dance music. In contrast, 1999’s ‘Twisted Tenderness’, saw a more traditional ‘rock’ approach, with Doves’ bassist Jimi Goodwin and Black Grape drummer Ged Lynch helping to create a live band sound.
Although they haven’t officially announced a split, it seems that Electronic are no more. Sumner returned to New Order, and Marr formed his own group, the Healers, before joining American indie rockers Modest Mouse. Any further Electronic releases therefore seem unlikely in the near future.