It’s nearly 30 years since Stephen Mallinder was involved with Cabaret Voltaire, the group his name will always be associated with, but he's never stopped creating, innovating and moving forwards. Our in-depth interview lifts the lid on the time that he spent in Australia after the Cabs had split up – one minute he was training to be a teacher, the next he was locked inside a garage all night with Shaun Ryder and a pint of sherry – and examines his role as an enabler and a serial collaborator. We also probe Mallinder on his excellent new solo album, ’Tick Tick Tick’, which he reckons is "on the spectrum between The Jackson 5 and Terry Riley". That's code for something magnificently wonky, by the way.
As well as our cover feature, we also talk to one-time Kraftwerk man Karl Bartos about his autobiography, ‘The Sound Of The Machine’, the long-awaited English version of which comes out shortly. Elsewhere, Kelly Lee Owens explains her influences – from witchcraft to, er, gravy – and Ultravox keyboardist Billy Currie discusses his solo back catalogue. We have Everything Everything, Alison Cotton, GNOD and The Beatmasters too, plus Scottish musician Lomond Campbell, the inventor of strange instruments such as the Harmonograph Synthesiser and the Unsung Machine. Don't touch that dial!
This month's magazine is accompanied by an exclusive seven-inch featuring two splendid tracks from Stephen Mallinder. It's pressed on lush green vinyl too. The A-side is the warm and fuzzy but still resolutely warped 'Contact', the opening cut of 'Tick Tick Tick', his brand new album. This is loose-limbed electro-funk from another dimension. Turn the record over for the more mechanical sound of 'Cool Down', which originally came out as a single in 1981 and later became one of the highlights of Mallinder's debut solo album, 'Pow-Wow'. "I think having two tracks from two albums that were released 40 years apart adds up to a nice little seven-inch vignette," he says. He's certainly not wrong.