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Martin Rev

Martin Rev and Alan Vega released their seminal self-titled debut Suicide in 1977. Its shocking mix of Rev's minimal keyboards and Vega's ranting Beat vocals made it one of the most influential albums of all time. Suicide took the attitude and belligerence of the late '70s NYC punk scene and channeled it into a weird new avant-garde electronic style. The duo's live performances were notorious thanks to Vega's confrontational crowd taunting and Rev's rudimentary keyboard sequencing. If The Birthday Party took control of Kraftwerk's gear, Suicide could have possibly been the alienated result. They were in musical realm of their own, crafting a bold synergy between art and electronic music like a rogue punk industrial The Velvet Underground.

Suicide's second album was produced partially by Ric Ocasek and released in 1980. Also self-titled, it showed an evolved style that was less raw but equally as abstract. Martin Rev released his debut solo album around the same time on the Lust/Unlust label. His hypnotic drum machines and organ lines tapped the same evil pulse, but his vocals tended less toward Vega's raunchy Beat spectacles,the perfect example being the featured track, "Baby Oh Baby." Suicide released the Half Alive album in 1981, then disappeared while the two members continued to work on solo music and other projects. Having unwittingly unleashed the industrial music revolution, Rev and Vega reunited long enough to release A Way of Life in 1988 on the legendary industrial label Wax Trax!, again produced by Ocasek.

Suicide started to tour again in 2001 and in 2002 released their first album in over a decade, American Supreme. Prompted by the reunion and the interest of a new generation of listeners fascinated by the proto-electronic sounds of the late '70s, ROIR re-released Martin Rev's debut solo album 2002 with five bonus tracks. The album is simplistic and unrefined, but instantly appeals to followers of art and aesthetic. Rev signed to File 13 Records in 2003 and released an album of all new material in September of that year, entitled To Live. The album features classic Martin Rev production, but with a less confrontational vocal delivery than Vega's and a definite forward progression, ranging from electro-rock to those classic keyboard pulses.