Back in the 1980’s in the city of Düsseldorf, Germany, one of the most outstanding electronic releases hit the streets by the group Propaganda with their 1985 album “A Secret Wish.” A mere four decades on after that legendary LP, ex Propaganda members Claudia Brücken and Susanne Freytag, alongside original producer Stephen Lipson, have reunited to form a new group called “xPropaganda.” This has yielded their beat driven new album “The Heart is Strange,” which is available in Atmos via streaming services. Additionally, for enthusiasts with an ear to the ground, an extremely limited standalone Blu-ray edition of 1,500 copies was sold featuring an exclusive 96kHz / 24-bit 5.1 surround mix along with a Dolby Atmos version too. As you may have guessed, the Blu-ray has already sold out. Beyond that UMC under the ZTT label has issued both a CD and Vinyl version.
When the original line up split up in 1987, the individual band members went on to pursue various solo careers and projects. Jumping forward a couple of decades to the spring of 2018, Claudia and Susanne reformed as xPropaganda to play two sold out headline shows at The Garage in Islington, London. It was through the creative inspiration brought on by that experience that led them to reconvene with producer Stephen Lipson to write new music.
They then spent the next two years recording “The Heart is Strange,” evoking the spirit and passion of classic Propaganda whilst sounding effortlessly contemporary. With its pumping beats and glacial textures juxtaposed beautifully by Brücken and Freytag’s expressive vocals, the electronically driven album moves from silky to intense, and beyond.
While Propaganda quickly achieved international success back in the ‘80’s, their latest album is poised to attract a new generation of dedicated followers, as well as carry forward the original group’s fans. The exquisite, sensual electronic aural ecstasy of the group belongs as much in the new music and technology soundscape of the 2020s as it did nearly four decades ago.
The immersive mix is one not to miss with sound from all corners, inviting and exciting one’s ears. For a variety of reasons, possessing the Blu-ray is the best option – but given its limited print run, these may be hard to come by in the aftermarket. At least Atmos enthusiasts can stream it today.
Released May 20, 2022.
Atmos streaming, limited edition Blu-ray with 96kHz / 24-bit 5.1 surround and 48kHz / 24-bit Dolby Atmos. Also available on CD and Vinyl.
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About the Author
Wesley is a lifelong music enthusiast. He started his career in the recording industry in New York City as an audio engineer, producer, and studio manager. Subsequently he toured across America as a guitarist with the short-lived band Land's Crossing. After many years in the technology sector and amassing a substantial vinyl and CD collection, he delved into immersive audio and created Hi-Res Edition to share with other listeners about the sound quality and discrete mixes available on many formats. He recently upgraded his system to 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos and continues to seek out and share about the best sounding releases.