April 12, 2024

The Normal returns on Mute Records after 40 years of silence… with more silence

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Earlier this year, in January to be precise, we posted this article “When an April Fools prank becomes reality: ‘STUMM433’ (feat. Laibach, Depeche Mode, …)” describing how Mute would release a box set featuring 50 Mute artists giving their interpretation of John Cage’s silent track “4’33”.

Today, The Normal aka Daniel Miller, has shared his tribute to John Cage’s “4’33””. It will be the first ‘music’ released by The Normal on Mute since the debut 7”. On Mute that is indeed because “Live at West Runton Pavilion”, The Normal’s second release, done with another Mute Records act Robert Rental, was released on Marat Records in Germany as Daniel Miller Robert Rental Live, with a black and white picture sleeve.

But back to 2019. Miller recorded his piece at a site in North London that will be familiar to fans of the label as the site of its foundation: 16 Decoy Avenue. Listen to The Normal’s take on “4’33”” right below.

Daniel Miller: “John Cage’s 4’33” has been present in my musical life for as long as I can remember as an important and inspiring composition. When the idea of every Mute artist doing their own interpretation of the piece came up during a conversation with Simon Fisher Turner, I immediately thought this was the perfect way to mark the label’s MUTE 4.0 (1978 > TOMORROW) series.”

Ironically, last year we had the idea to create an April Fools prank with a fake compilation with a lot of famous musicians covering John Cage 4’33 silent track. We decided not to do it, not sure if most of you would grab the irony.

Which Mute artists are featured in the boxset?

The boxset will feature over 50 Mute artists including A Certain Ratio, A.C. Marias, ADULT., The Afghan Whigs, Alexander Balanescu, Barry Adamson, Ben Frost, Bruce Gilbert, Cabaret Voltaire, Carter Tutti Void, Chris Carter, Chris Liebing, Cold Specks, Daniel Blumberg, Danny Briottet, Depeche Mode, Duet Emmo, Echoboy, Einstürzende Neubauten, Erasure, Fad Gadget, Goldfrapp, He Said, Irmin Schmidt, Josh T. Pearson, K Á R Y Y N, Komputer, Laibach, Land Observations, Lee Ranaldo, Liars, Looper, Lost Under Heaven, Maps, Mark Stewart / Sonskrif / The New Banalist Orchestra, Michael Gira, Mick Harvey, Miranda Sex Garden, Moby, Modey Lemon, Mountaineers, New Order, Nitzer Ebb, NON / Boyd Rice, Nonpareils, The Normal, onDeadWaves, Phew, Pink Grease, Pole, Polly Scattergood, Richard Hawley, ShadowParty, Silicon Teens, Simon Fisher Turner and Edmund de Waal, The Warlocks, Wire, Yann Tiersen and Gareth Jones.

The designers behind the visuals

Contributing designers include Simone Grant who worked with Miller on a lot of the early Mute artwork (The Normal, Fad Gadget and Depeche Mode); Steve Claydon, a member of Add N To (X) who designed for Goldfrapp; Slim Smith, who worked with Mute through the 1980s and 1990s; Malcolm Garrett, who designed the “House of Illustrious” box set for Vince Clarke and Martyn Ware; Tom Hingston, who has worked with Erasure and created the majority of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Grinderman artwork since the early 2000s; and Anton Corbjin, who has worked closely with Mute on many campaigns since the early 1980s, including those of Depeche Mode, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Fad Gadget.

author avatar
Bernard - Side-Line Staff Chief editor
Bernard Van Isacker is the Chief Editor of Side-Line Magazine. With a career spanning more than two decades, Van Isacker has established himself as a respected figure in the darkwave scene.

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