Psyche (band)

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Psyche
Darrin Huss of Psyche (Press Photo).jpg
Background information
Origin Edmonton, Canada
Genres Synthpop, dark wave, electronic
Years active 1982–present
Labels Artofact, Accession, Metropolis
Associated acts Vanishing Heat, Inside
Website Official Site
Members Darrin C. Huss
Stefan Rabura
Past members Stephen Huss
Dwayne R. Goettel
David Kristian
Per-Anders Kurenbach
Remi Szyszka

Psyche are a Canadian dark synthpop band, now based in Germany. They are centered on singer Darrin Huss, who has been the only constant member, with various line-ups including his brother Stephen Huss, later followed by David Kristian, Per-Anders Kurenbach, and Remi Szyszka, all recording albums with Darrin under the name Psyche.

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

Psyche was formed by brothers Darrin and Stephen Huss[1] in Edmonton, Alberta, named after the B-Side of Killing Joke's Wardance single as well as being chosen for the meaning of the word. The band's debut performance was on December 13, 1982 with Dwayne Goettel on additional keyboards.[2] During this period, Psyche were known for their bizarre live shows wherein Darrin performed nude (except for being covered in shaving cream) while talk-singing and shouting over the music. The performance idea was inspired by pictures seen of Fad Gadget in British Music magazines.

While demos were recorded during this period of collaboration with Dwayne Goettel, no albums were released until 1985's Insomnia Theatre, after Goettel's departure.

Early Years[edit]

After Insomnia Theatre achieved moderate success in Europe, Psyche tested the waters with a couple single releases followed up by a new studio album, Unveiling the Secret, in 1986.[1] To promote the record, Psyche performed as the opening act for Suicide, at Élysée Montmartre in Paris, then as headliners on their own proper European tour.

After the release of their third studio album, Mystery Hotel, Stephen Huss was forced to take a hiatus from the group due to being diagnosed with schizophrenia. During this period Darrin began collaborating with David Kristian, leading to a new album, The Influence, in 1989. This album introduced new elements to Psyche's sound, with samples created by Kristian, and being performed entirely on the Casio FZ1.

A visit home to Waterloo in 1991 reunited the Huss brothers and, the subsequent recording sessions produced 1991's Daydream Avenue. Though Psyche returned to tour Europe with German keyboardist Johannes Haeusler in support of English poetic artist Anne Clark, Stephen Huss stayed behind in Canada due to his illness.

A follow-up wouldn't come until 1994s Intimacy, produced in collaboration with Joseph Watt (of Razormaid). Feeling that this new album lacked powerful dance numbers, Psyche released the Private Desires EP as a companion, featuring a cover of Soft Cell's classic Sex Dwarf. While the group embarked on a small German tour, the future of the group was unclear due to Stephen Huss remaining in Canada, leaving Darrin to find new collaborators in Germany.

Crossover Success[edit]

After another hiatus while dabbling in side projects, Psyche resumed activities in 1996 with Per-Anders Kurenbach joining as a new member. Together with Kurenbach, Psyche released Strange Romance, which took a musical shift toward an accessible, upbeat pop sound to bring listeners up to date with the personal events described in Darrin's lyrics. After playing for the first time in Oslo, Norway and a return to Sweden, Psyche released a live video featuring highlights from their Strange Romance Tour. 1998 saw the beginning of a new record label partnership, and in June of that year Psyche released their eighth official album on the StrangeWays label out of Hamburg, Germany. The album Love Among the Ruined added a few more experimental touches to the pop side of Psyche's style.

At the beginning of 2000, Psyche signed to Art of Fact Records in North America. The specially-compiled release of Misguided Angels contained material from 1983 through 2000 as a re-introduction of Psyche back on their original continent. It contained the last material from Per-Anders Kurenbach, and Darrin as well as some rare mixes. By this point Kurenbach has left the group and was replaced by Remi Szyszka.

The new line-up made its debut on Accession Records with a new single, Sanctuary, released in April 2001. After a series of successful concerts in both Europe and North America, ninth studio album The Hiding Place was released and well-received, charting fourth in the year-end Top 100 of the German Alternative Charts.[3] To capitalize on The Hiding Place's success, a new remix album entitled Endangered Species was released mid-2002. The success continued into 2003 with a string of live performances and the release of a new album, Babylon Deluxe, which found its way in the German Alternative Top Ten once again.

The 11th Hour, Psyche's 11th album, saw the return of previous collaborator Per-Anders Kurenbach, but including a farewell track with Remi Szyszka, and a guest appearance by Christian Wirsig. The 11th Hour was released through Accession Records in Europe, Metropolis Records in North America, and Irond Records in Russia making it the widest release in the band's history. The album topped the German Alternative Charts (DAC).[4]

In 2006, after nearing the 25-year mark of Psyche's existence, a DVD collection documenting Psyche's appearances in every incarnation from 1983–2005 was released. Containing 23 tracks in all, with at least 1 song from every album ever released, Imaginary Life was released on May 26, 2006. It contains music videos and performances covering the very beginning from "The Crawler" on an Edmonton TV station in 1983 through to 2005. Plus an audio commentary track and bonus features such as Darrin and Stephen Huss being interviewed backstage in Sweden after their debut concert in Gothenburg in 1988.

Present[edit]

Following The 11th Hour, Psyche shifted their focus to touring rather than recording, playing shows and festivals across Europe, North and South America, and South Africa. During this phase of Psyche's career, no new studio albums were released, with the band opting instead to release remix albums (Unveiling the Secret 2.0, Until The Shadows, Halloween EP), compilations of old and unreleased materials (Re-Membering Dwayne, Unknown Treasures, As The Brain Collapses, Rare Mixes & B-Sides), and multiple live albums. In addition, several early albums received re-releases.

Discography[edit]

Studio Albums

  • Insomnia Theatre (1985)
  • Unveiling the Secret (1986)
  • Mystery Hotel (1988)
  • The Influence (1989)
  • Daydream Avenue (1991)
  • Intimacy (1994)
  • Strange Romance (1996)
  • Love Among the Ruined (1998)
  • The Hiding Place (2001)
  • Babylon Deluxe (2003)
  • The 11th Hour (2005)

Singles EPs

  • Thundershowers (1985)
  • Contorting the Image (1985)
  • Prisoner to Desire/Black Panther (1987)
  • Uncivilized (1987)
  • Eternal/Insatiable (1988)
  • Suspicion (1989)
  • Angel Lies Sleeping (1991)
  • If You Believe (1991)
  • The Saint Became a Lush (1993)
  • Private Desires EP (1994)
  • You Ran Away/Good-Bye Horses (1996)
  • Sanctuary (2001)
  • The Quickening (2003)
  • X-Rated (2004)
  • Unveiling the Secret (Remixes) (2006)
  • Disorder (2008)
  • All Things Pass into The Night (2012)
  • Halloween EP (2013)
  • The Saint Became A Lush (Radical G Rework) (2014 )[5]

Live Albums

  • Live (1988)
  • Live 2K (2000)
  • Live at Belvedere Hall 1983 (2003)
  • Noche Oscura (Live in Mexico) (2009)

Compilations and Remix Albums

  • Tales from the Darkside (1990)
  • 69 Minutes of History (1993)
  • Misguided Angels (2000)
  • Endangered Species (2002)
  • Legacy (2004)
  • Unveiling the Secret 2.0 (2006)
  • Club Salvation (2007)
  • Vintage (2007)
  • Until The Shadows (2009)
  • Re-Membering Dwayne (2010)
  • Unknown Treasures (2011)
  • As The Brain Collapses (2012)

DVDs

  • Imaginary Life (2006)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Schneider, Jason (July 5, 2001). Psyche ahead of its time. The Record .com. Retrieved July 27, 2012. 
  2. ^ Canadian Profile @ Jam http://jam.canoe.ca/Music/Pop_Encyclopedia/P/Psyche.html
  3. ^ http://www.djcharts.de/jahrescharts2001/DACAlben.html
  4. ^ http://www.psyche-hq.de/DAC.html
  5. ^ The Saint Became A Lush (Radical G Rework) @ iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/saint-became-lush-radical.g/id812596886?i=812596892

External links[edit]