Ladytron in Mexico in 2011. From left to right: Mira Aroyo, Helen Marnie, Daniel Hunt, Reuben Wu.
|Genres||Electronic, electropop, new wave|
|Labels||Nettwerk, Island, Rykodisc, Telstar, Emperor Norton, Invicta Hi-Fi|
Ladytron are an electronic band formed in Liverpool in 1999. The group consists of Helen Marnie (lead vocals, synthesizers), Mira Aroyo (vocals, synthesizers), Daniel Hunt (synthesizers, guitar, vocals) and Reuben Wu (synthesizers).
Their sound blends electropop with new wave and shoegazing elements. Ladytron described their sound as "electronic pop". Some of the group's songs performed by Aroyo contain lyrics written in her native Bulgarian.
They have released five studio albums so far: 604 (2001), Light & Magic (2002), Witching Hour (2005), Velocifero (2008) and Gravity the Seducer (2011). The compilation Best of 00–10 was issued in 2011.
Ladytron have produced remixes for many artists, including David Gahan, Goldfrapp, Apoptygma Berzerk, Placebo, Blondie, Gang of Four, Christina Aguilera, Bloc Party, Kings of Convenience, Indochine, She Wants Revenge, Simian, Nine Inch Nails, SONOIO and Soulwax.
Early years 
Liverpudlian producers and DJs Daniel Hunt and Reuben Wu met in the 1990s. Hunt also founded the indie record label Invicta Hi-Fi and a nightclub. Wu trained in Industrial Design at Sheffield Hallam University and graduated in 1997. He became an industrial designer at Team Consulting Limited, until finally going full-time with the band around 2002.
Using the moniker Ladytron, Hunt and Wu recorded the debut single "He Took Her to a Movie" for £50 with the guest vocalist Lisa Eriksson (who later formed the band Techno Squirrels), The band name was inspired by the song "Ladytron" by Roxy Music. "He Took Her to a Movie" was released in 1999 and became NME Single of the Week.
In the summer of 1999, Hunt and Wu met the Scottish student Helen Marnie through various DJ gigs, and the Bulgarian student Mira Aroyo through a mutual friend. Marnie and Aroyo joined the band as vocalists and keyboardists. Helen Marnie studied music at the University of Liverpool where she received a Bachelor of Arts in pop music in 1999. Mira Aroyo was a postgraduate research geneticist in the Oxford University's Biochemistry department.
In 1999, Ladytron issued the EP Miss Black and Her Friends in Japan only, followed in 2000 by the EPs Mu-Tron EP and Commodore Rock. All the songs from these EPs, except "Miss Black" and "Olivetti Jerk", were later included on their first full-length album.
2001–02: 604 
On 6 February 2001, Ladytron released the debut album 604 on the Emperor Norton/Invicta Hi-Fi labels. The album has been written mostly by Daniel Hunt and co-produced by him and Lance Thomas (who also engineered and mixed the album). The singles released from this album were "He Took Her to a Movie", "Playgirl", and "The Way That I Found You". The single "Playgirl" brought some national and international attention to the band.
Until 2004, the band wore uniforms on stage. Daniel Hunt stated in 2001 that their uniforms were inspired by the SF movie The Andromeda Strain. In an interview with Chaos Control magazine from 2002, Hunt also said that the meaning of 604 album title is the area code for British Columbia.
|“||It's the area code for British Columbia... we're glad we've attached this strange importance to that number, it crops up everywhere now. We noticed when we stayed in Hamburg in Germany (in a hotel called "Commodore" – pure coincidence), that the number to phone reception from your room was '604'. Moments afterwards the building had caught fire and we were lucky to escape with our lives. I'm not joking.||”|
In 2001, Ladytron performed at the music festivals La Route du Rock in France and Benicàssim in Spain. On 5 December 2001, they performed four songs for Radio 1's John Peel Show: "Zmeyka", "Holiday 601", "Another Breakfast With You", "Discotraxx".
2002–03: Light & Magic 
Their second album Light & Magic was released on 17 September 2002 on Emperor Norton/Telstar labels. The album featured a darker sound than their previous album. It was written and produced in Los Angeles by the band and co-produced by Mickey Petralia.
They toured over a year to support the album. On 4 December 2002, Ladytron returned to John Peel Show and performed live the songs "True Mathematics", "Evil", "USA vs. White Noise" and "Blue Jeans".
On 7 October 2003, they issued the mix compilation Softcore Jukebox. Besides the songs of other artists, the compilation also includes two of their own songs, the single remix of "Blue Jeans" renamed "Blue Jeans 2.0" and a cover of Tweet's "Oops (Oh My)". The cover art appears to be a homage to Roxy Music's Country Life.
2004–07: Witching Hour 
Ladytron released their critically acclaimed third studio album, Witching Hour, on 3 October 2005 on Island label. This album was recorded in 2004 and it was co-produced by the band and Jim Abbiss. Witching Hour featured Pop Levi on bass, live drums by Keith York and electric guitars mixed with their trademark sound. Pitchfork Media described it as a "quantum leap record".
The group took to the road on the strength of their cult following, booking sold-out tours across North America and Europe, and playing for capacity crowds in China and Latin America. Without any real label support, Ladytron toured exhaustively over the next two years. In early 2007, they also opened for the European shows of Nine Inch Nails, at the invitation of Trent Reznor.
In 2006 saw the light Extended Play, a two-disc EP CD/DVD compilation that features exclusive unreleased remixes and UK B-sides, as well as a 35-minute bonus DVD. In the same year Ladytron recorded The Harmonium Sessions, which contained four songs from their third studio album, performed unplugged. Ladytron were subsequently dropped by Island Records.
2008–09: Velocifero 
On 2 June 2008, Ladytron released their fourth album Velocifero on Nettwerk. The album featured a heavier sound and it was recorded in Paris, with the band handling production duties with Alessandro Cortini (Modwheelmood, Nine Inch Nails, SONOIO) and Vicarious Bliss (Justice, DJ Mehdi). The band stated that "velocifero" literally means "bringer of speed" and is also the name of a classic retro styled scooter.
The album spawned three singles: "Ghosts", "Runaway" and "Tomorrow". In mid-2008, the group composed three exclusive tracks for the Sims 3 game soundtrack: "Rockfalls & Estuaries", "She Stepped Out of the Car" and "Young Etruscians". These songs were performed in Simlish.
In 2009, Ladytron toured North America with The Faint, and performed two special shows with Brian Eno at the Sydney Opera House. In the same year they announced that they will be the opening act for Depeche Mode on few concerts in Eastern Europe, but these concerts were cancelled due to Dave Gahan's illness.
Also in 2009, Nettwerk issued the remix compilations 604 (Remixed & Rare), Light & Magic (Remixed & Rare), Witching Hour (Remixed & Rare) and Velocifero (Remixed & Rare). In the same year, Ladytron self released their first live album Live at London Astoria 16.07.08. They also wrote and produced two songs for Christina Aguilera's album Bionic: "Birds of Prey" and "Little Dreamer".
2010–11: Best of 00–10 
The soundtrack of the video game FIFA 11 included a new Ladytron song, "Ace of Hz", which was released as digital single on 30 November 2010. In 11 January 2011, the band issued the music download Ace of Hz EP, which contained the album mix plus 5 remixes.
On 28 March 2011, it was released the compilation Best of 00–10, featuring 17 tracks on standard edition and 33 tracks on deluxe edition, plus a 80-page booklet. Both editions included two new tracks, "Ace of Hz" and a cover version of Death in June's "Little Black Angel".
Also in 2011, Nettwerk reissued all their previous albums and released the remix compilation Best of Remixes. They released the iTunes video compilation Best of 00–10 Videos which included nine music videos for the singles "Playgirl", "Blue Jeans", "Seventeen", "Sugar", "Destroy Everything You Touch", "Ghosts", "Runaway", "Tomorrow" and "Ace of Hz".
2011–present: Gravity the Seducer 
Their fifth studio album, Gravity the Seducer, was released in the United Kingdom on 12 September 2011 and in the United States on 13 September 2011. The album was recorded in Kent's countryside and it was produced by the band and Barny Barnicott (Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian, Editors). Daniel Hunt said "Gravity the Seducer is more of a jump than the last album was, more ethereal and melodic, a touch more abstract in places than we've gone before, baroque 'n' roll".
"Ace of Hz", which appears on the album, was previously released as a single from the band's greatest hits compilation Best of 00–10. The first single from Gravity the Seducer, "White Elephant", was issued on 17 May 2011 and its accompanying video was posted on YouTube on 26 July 2011. The band premiered another song, "Ambulances", on 16 June 2011. The second single, "Mirage", was released on 8 August 2011. Its music video was posted on YouTube on 11 November 2011.
During September 2011 and December 2011, the band toured in USA, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Chile, Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore. For the concerts in North America, Ladytron were supported by SONOIO, VHS or Beta and Geographer.
Ladytron announced on their Facebook page that they will release a new album in 2013. On 22 February 2013, the band premiered the "International Dateline" music video. It was shot in 2006 during Witching Hour era, left unfinished, rediscovered and finished by Daniel Hunt in 2012.
Music style 
Their sound is usually described as electropop with new wave and shoegazing influences. The band described their sound as "electronic pop". Ladytron focused on a balance between pop structures and experimental sounds.
|“||We felt being compared to the day-glo trash-aesthetic of electroclash didn't make any sense. We were wise enough to know that being positioned by the press at the forefront of it, despite our protestations, would mean we bore the brunt of the backlash when it inevitably came. However, that happened anyway, and we survived.||”|
|“||We were always lumped in with bands we sounded nothing like and often didn't have much in common with. That was what made us uncomfortable. For that reason, we just tried to avoid any connection with the term. Our sound is never reactionary to outside elements, it's always natural and down to experiences.||”|
Reuben Wu said about the process of making a new Ladytron album: "We start writing individually. We've never really lived in the same city before. We've always been geographically apart. [...] It's always been first as individuals, and then reviewing everything together, and then working on each other's songs. That's how we've always worked. And it goes well with how we make music. We do get together down the line and in the studio when we start fleshing out the tracks".
There are four kind of Ladytron songs: sung by Marnie (sometimes with Aroyo on backing vocals), sung by Aroyo (sometimes with Marnie on backing vocals and sometimes contain lyrics written in her native Bulgarian), duets (usually Marnie and Aroyo, but sometimes Marnie and Hunt) and instrumentals.
There were six main Ladytron tours: 604 tour (2001), Light & Magic tour (2002–2003), Witching Hour tour (2005–2007), Velocifero tour (2008–2009), Best of 00–10 tour (2011), and Gravity the Seducer tour (2011). With the exception of Africa and Antarctica, they toured in all continents (Europe, North America, South America, Asia, and Australia).
The band started to tour extensively and to add touring members to play live bass and drums during Light & Magic tour. Previous touring members include Pop Levi (bass during Light & Magic tour), Andrea Goldsworthy (bass during Witching Hour tour), and Keith York (drums during Light & Magic tour and Witching Hour tour).
Ladytron have opened for other artists like Soulwax on their UK tour in 2001, Björk in 2003, and Goldfrapp in 2006. In early 2007, they opened for Nine Inch Nails on their European tour, at the invitation of Trent Reznor. In 2009, Ladytron and The Faint co-headlined a North American tour.
Ladytron's current live equipment consists of Korg Delta played by Helen Marnie, Korg MS-20 played by Mira Aroyo, Minimoog Voyager played by Reuben Wu, Crumar Stratus played by Daniel Hunt and a drum kit played by the tour drummer Billy Brown (who also played during Velocifero tour). During the early part of Witching Hour tour, the band used to name their four Korg MS-2000B synths to easily differentiate them: Cleopatra (Marnie's synth), Babylon (Aroyo's synth), Ulysses (Hunt's synth), and Gloria (Wu's synth).
Daniel Hunt, Mira Aroyo and Reuben Wu also play DJ sets in clubs and events around the world.
Media usage 
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