Today we’d call it electroclash, modern music made on antiquated synthesizers. But in 1987, when it was state of the art, most people just called it garbage.
Heads nearly snapped off necks when Steven Oddyssey ditched the multi-platinum-dance pop of his Let’s Fight! album in order to make music with household appliances, like touchtone phones, oven timers, electric shavers, can openers and microwave settings.
Issued in 1987 under the phantom group monicker of Analog Cabin, it proved quite unpopular with Oddyssey’s then record label which spent millions to sign Steven the disco power broker not Steven the housebound sound technician. The fact that every blip on the Analog Cabin album was fed into a bank of Fairlight synthesizers and transposed in order to achieve the correct notes makes one wonder why he just didn’t make that music on a synthesizer in the first place. A thought which went unnoticed by Oddyssey himself, as he lost millions of his personal wealth in pursuit of what he called “kitchen nirvana.” To date, the identity of Jim Cherry, the sage dispensing with AARP wisdom in the lyric of “Maintenance”, remains a mystery.
Analog Cabin’s BONUS B-SIDE of DUBIOUS DISTINCTION is very much in a Depeche Mode vein. As Stephen Oddyssey remembers, “I was running out of time and money, so I just made a conventional number with conventional synthesizers because I was tired of making music with kitchen appliances, tired of having to wait for a perfect take before I could make a slice of toast. I’d called the song “Can’t Unring a Bell” largely because I demolished my door buzzer trying to get it to sound like a KORG Poly 61.”