Thomas Leer And Robert Rental get reissue of ‘The Bridge’ on vinyl via The Grey Area (Mute)

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(Photo by Chris Carter) Out on 28 January 2022 via The Grey Area (Mute) is the reissue of the 1979 album “The Bridge” by Thomas Leer And Robert Rental. This new reissue will be available on limited edition white vinyl and CD, both featuring new sleevenotes.

The reissue of Leer and Rental’s sole collaboration will coincide with “From The Port To The Bridge”, an exhibition detailing the duo’s work and legacy, due to run at The Horse Hospital in London from 21 January through to 10 February 2022.

Discovered by Throbbing Gristle

Thomas Leer and Robert Rental, both from Port Glasgow in Scotland, were at the vanguard of a DIY electronic scene that went on to influence and inform the 80s synth-pop movement. After self-releasing two solo 7” singles, they came to the attention of Throbbing Gristle and signed to their label, Industrial Records. Their one and only collaboration, “The Bridge”, was originally released in 1979, the first non-TG / associated release for the label.

Recorded at Rental’s home over two intense weeks using equipment provided by Throbbing Gristle (with only rudimentary explanation of how to use it), their album was cited by a number of electronic musicians at the time, including John Foxx, Matt Johnson (The The) and ABC.

Listen to “Monochrome Days”.

The late Robert Rental retired from the music industry

Robert Rental (who sadly died in 2000), went on to collaborate with The Normal – Daniel Miller and Rental’s live album, “Live at West Runton Pavilion, 6-3-79”, was released in 1980 by Rough Trade. Rental also released a single on Mute, “Double Heart” / “On Location” in 1980 and produced music for the Comic Strip’s “A Fistful of Traveller’s Cheques”, before retiring from the industry.

Thomas Leer continued to release music

Thomas Leer went on to release albums on Cherry Red and Arista, formed Act with Claudia Brücken (formerly of Propaganda) in the late 80s who released on Trevor Horn’s ZTT label. After a hiatus, he re-emerged with a series of releases from 2001, and currently lives in Greenock.

About The Grey Area

The Grey Area was founded in 1990 to restore and reissue albums by important and influential artists, initiated by catalogue deals between Mute and Throbbing Gristle, Can and Cabaret Voltaire.

The label went on to be the home for the catalogues of DAF, Virgin Prunes, SPK, Swell Maps, Dome, The Radiophonic Workshop and The Hafler Trio as well as key early works by Wire, Buzzcocks and Einstürzende Neubauten.

Dormant for a few years during the 2000s, The Grey Area emerged again quietly in 2013 with the re-release of Cabaret Voltaire’s Virgin period work, Richard H. Kirk’s solo work, the Sandoz catalogue and a new agreement with Throbbing Gristle.

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