Martin Gore – The Third Chimpanzee (EP Review)

The name Martin Gore might ring a bell, or, it might not. But his band sure does: Martin Gore is one of the founding members of Depeche Mode. Besides that, he is also an accomplished record producer, DJ, and even when he is not busy with Depeche Mode, he keeps creating music with various side projects and solo projects. With that in mind, his brand new solo effort, going by the name of The Third Chimpanzee, is set to be released on January 29th through Mute Records.

A follow up to Gore’s 2015 MG Remix EP, The Third Chimpanzee is also an EP and it comes with five songs. All new music, each track is fully instrumental with no vocals whatsoever, while the arrangements mainly consist of synthesizers. So what does it sound like? To put it simply, the creations that make up The Third Chimpanzee sound like thoughts turned into music. In fact, it almost seems as if they have their own mind, which also tends to create images in your head. It is pretty much like a soundtrack to a film where the score is written to represent the scene, thus these Gore’s new songs are telling tales without words.

This is especially the case with opener “Howler,” which is one of the songs that creates strong images—what exactly those visuals are depends on the listener and his individual interpretation. It could be wandering through the forest with wolves howling in the distance, a full moon that gets covered by clouds every now and then, or something entirely different. And what the mind comes up with also depends on your mood along with what is happening around you at that time.

These factors makes the music of The Third Chimpanzee pretty amazing and gets you excited to listen continue listening to see what the story goes next. For example, “Mandrill” is a track that adds fog to the forest before the synthesizers feel reminiscent of 1982’s Tron. Meanwhile, “Capuchin” sounds like the distant cousin of the Depeche Mode’s “John the Revelator,” as some of the melodies sound similar, though these are far in the background of the arrangements. 

Which leads us to “Vervet,” by far the longest song of this collection, lasting for well over eight minutes, leading you along deep into a trance. Conversely, the final track, “Howler’s End,” is the shortest cut at only a little over two minutes. A great ending, including use of organ pipes, it perfectly wraps up the musical journey before bringing you back to the here and now.  

The Third Chimpanzee might only be an EP that lasts 24 minutes with five songs, but the ways it inspires your imagination is incredible. There is so much to discover in each track that you will never grow tired of listening multiple times to uncover what else each compositions has to reveal. Clearly Martin Gore is a genius, so Cryptic Rock gives this EP 5 out of 5 stars.

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