When the man behind the first Depeche Mode album (plus Yaz, Erasure, and a couple other things) reunites with the man behind all the rest of their efforts (which turned them into a more lyrics-driven group) you'd think the synth pop-and-somewhat-goth fan base would consider their album release a holiday. VCMG stands for Vince Clarke (first album) and Martin Gore (the rest) and their release, SSSS, is hardly what you'd call ambitious, but it is inspired, filled with minimal techno tracks that have identifiable contributions from the two. Punchy drum machines and chimey, "Just Can't Get Enough"-styled synths (Clarke) mix with atmospherics and other touches that suggest deep space (Gore) and everything runs clean five to seven minutes, allowing for head-bobbing and hypnosis without tedium. To say this sounds like raw demos for Erasure's Circus or a dubby freebie given away with Depeche's Ultra clues fans into the sonic landscape, although it's obvious these songs weren't designed for vocalists as they all feel standalone, ready to be shipped off to Mute, or Tresor if that doesn't work out. Adjust to it being low-key, sometimes background music, and SSSS won't be leaving the average synth pop fan's headphones anytime soon.
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries