OMD’s ‘Bauhaus Staircase’ Is Their Most Explicitly Political Record

[Cover photo credit to Ed Miles]

British Electronic synthesiser pioneers Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark (OMD) have released 13 long players including classics Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark (1980), Organisation (1980), Architecture & Morality (1981), and Dazzle Ships (1983). Their 1986 song “If You Leave” was also featured on the Pretty In Pink Soundtrack. They have recently announced upcoming album Bauhaus Staircase due October 27, 2023.

To accompany the record’s announcement, they have shared an animated video for the record’s title track and first single, “Bauhaus Staircase,” which serves as a nod both to Andy McCluskey’s love of the Bauhaus era and the power of protest art. 

As McCluskey writes on the single:

I am a huge lover of visual arts, especially mid 20th century movements. I reference them often in my titles and lyrics. The song ‘Bauhaus Staircase’ is a metaphor for strength and artist passion in the face of criticism and adversity. The title is derived from an Oscar Schlemmer painting. He taught at Bauhaus, and created the amazing  futuristic costumes for The Triadic Ballet (referenced in the song).

When times are hard there is a tendency for Governments to look at cutting funding for creativity, just at the moment when the arts are most needed to nourish our souls. Thus, it seems appropriate that the song and its eponymous album were created during Covid Lockdown.

Sonically, the track attacks you instantly with rasping analogue synths, soaring electronic melodies, and pounding 808 drums. And the energy just keeps ramping up for four minutes.

The forthcoming Bauhaus Staircase is regarded as OMD’s “most explicitly political record” born from new explorations during lockdown when, as Andy McCluskey admits: “I rediscovered the creative power of total boredom.”

Predominantly written, recorded, and mixed by both McCluskey and Paul Humphreys (who has recently become a second-time father), Bauhaus Staircase’s other main external influence was David Watts, mainly known as a Rock Producer who mixed two tracks on the new OMD record.

In celebration of their forthcoming record, OMD will perform alongside New Order, Tears for Fears, Soft Cell, The B-52s, DEVO, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Psychedelic Furs, and many more at 2023’s Darker Waves Festival, taking place Saturday, November 18 in Huntington Beach, CA.

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