“This album is both a birth and a rebirth,” explains Paul Robb of one of electronic music band Information Society about the new album _hello world. “It’s been so long since we’ve made new music together it almost seems like a whole new thing, and yet anybody who has ever listened to one of our records will immediately recognize our style.”
Set for release on September 23, 2014 via HAKATAK International/MVD, the album marks the reunion of the original founding members of the band, Robb (synths), Kurt Larson (vocals) and James Cassidy (bass, keyboards), following the release of their single “Land of the Blind” which was released earlier this year. “_hello world is our way of re-introducing ourselves to our old fans, and hopefully making the acquaintance of some new fans.”
Originally forming in 1982 within the synthpop and New Wave world, Information Society (a.k.a. “INSOC”) have always been three steps ahead of the musical curve. Among the many instances of the band’s stylistic trailblazing was their 1985 dance smash “Running” which became a Top Ten Billboard dance chart hit. The single helped break open the freestyle dance craze that bubbled up through the underground Latin community. With the new album _hello world, INSOC is once again leading the charge through the musical landscape.
When asked about the band’s new material, Robb says, “We’ve perhaps matured a bit, and that has enabled us to express some more nuanced emotions in our songs than we may have done earlier.” With songs like the anthemic “The Prize” with its retro voice emulator intro, to the deep house-inflected “Get Back,” to the vogue-worthy “Dancing with Strangers,” to the mid-tempo anthem of “Above and Below,” _hello world propels INSOC into the current mainstream while hearkening back to their seminal roots. The closer, “Tomorrow the World,” is a tender ballad that might have sounded out of place on earlier records, but on this album, it sounded comfortable and ‘right.’ “We have traditionally not been a ‘love song’ kind of band,” Robb says of the track. “In fact, most of our songs explore what happens when things do not work out so well, but this is a song both Kurt and I had been wanting to explore for a while. It was a situation where we said, ‘We’ll include it if it works, and leave it off if it doesn’t.’ Obviously, we thought it worked!”
Another throwback brought into the “now,” the band has recorded a cover of Devo’s “Beautiful World” featuring none other than Devo vocalist and founding member Gerald V Casale. “We’d been toying around with doing covers of songs by some of our influences,” he reminisces. “Devo was hugely important to us when we were young, so of course we had to do a Devo cover. We had already decided on ‘Beautiful World’ when management reached out to and asked if he wanted to participate. When he said ‘yes,’ it only made us more excited about recording the track. Turns out he and I live about a mile from each other!”
A band whose influence stretches decades, Information Society has enjoyed multiple Top 40 hits including their Number One smash “What’s On Your Mind (Pure Energy),” “Walking Away,” “Think” and “Peace & Love, Inc.” Their infectious appeal translated the world over with Japan, Spain, Mexico and their native US leading the charge. Brazil, especially, became one of their continued main markets, where they are signed to the major label LAB344.
With the upcoming release of _hello world on September 23, 2014 via HAKATAK International/MVD, Information Society have returned to form and a national tour is in the works. Information Society is Paul Robb (synths), Kurt Larson (vocals) and James Cassidy (bass, keyboards).
Photo by Wil Foster