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|Birth name||Martin Degville|
27 January 1961 |
Walsall, West Midlands, England
|Associated acts||Sigue Sigue Sputnik|
Martin Degville (born 27 January 1961 in Walsall) is the lead singer and co-songwriter of the UK pop band, Sigue Sigue Sputnik – which had a worldwide hit single in 1986 with "Love Missile F1-11" – and six other EMI single releases. Sputnik was formed with ex-Generation X bassist Tony James.
Degville hails from Walsall and was a familiar face on the Birmingham club scene of the late 1970s and early 1980s – at clubs such as The Rum Runner and The Hosteria (Wine Bar). Before Sigue Sigue Sputnik (SSS) he had worked selling clothes, and he was spotted by Tony James and Neal X while dancing in his Yaya boutique. Degville's former flat-mate is Boy George, and George worked in Degville's shop (Degville's Dispensary) during the time that he lived in Walsall. Degville was also a fashion designer who styled Sigue Sigue Sputnik's original image, and musical style.
Following the initial split of SSS in 1990, Martin Degville started working with guitarist Mick Rossi (from the band, Slaughter & the Dogs) with a view to producing material as a solo artist.
A new single going by the title of “I Surrender” was recorded which Martin and Mick debuted on the Sky TV show “Hit Studio International”. However, an official release did not materialise.
Before the year was out, Martin appeared on the late night TV Show “Timeshift” presented by Jono Coleman, performing another track “Nuclear Powered Sex Machine”. During the interview with Coleman, Martin advised that he had written enough material for two albums but first, the aforementioned track was to be included on a 6 track EP/ Mini-album entitled “World War 4” and was to be released in the New Year via Trojan Records. The expected EP did not see the light of day but in 1991, “World War 4” was released as a 10 track vinyl/ 13 track CD solo album through Receiver Records (a subsidiary of Trojan).
An immediate follow up album was in the pipeline and in 1992, Martin promoted the fact through his fan club with the intention of releasing the track “Techno Crash” as a limited edition 12” to fan club members. However, this release did not come to fruition although the song was reworked and included on the Jungle Records SSS album “The First Generation – Second Edition” in 1994.
Aside of some ad-hoc SSS recordings in the mid-90's, Martin returned to performing with Tony James and Neal X in 1998 which led to three new SSS studio albums being released between 2000 and 2003. Martin then formally left SSS in the summer of 2003.
Martin has since recorded and performed material under the names Sputnik 2 - The Future, Sci-Fi-Superstars and Sigue Sigue Sputnik Electronic but from time to time has released further recordings under his own name.
Sputnik 2…..The Future!
After Martin had decided to leave SSS, it was not long before he had set up his own website and set about performing and releasing music under the moniker of “Sputnik 2 – The Future” (although sometimes shortened to "Sputnik2"). In 2004, a new 6 track EP entitled Smart1 was released. The EP featured 4 previously unreleased Degville tracks which included “World War 4”, “Psychodelik”, “Slag in the Back (of my Cadilliac)” and “Don’t Dabble with the Devil”.
Sputnik 2 undertook some short sets to promote the Smart1 EP with a number of different backing musicians including the two piece band Dead Heaven.
Subsequently, in 2005, Martin started to work with Scottish remixers, The DiskoKingz (DKz) and introduced a new track to the set, “Planet Bi”. The DKz would go on to record, produce and remix versions of “Don’t Dabble…” and “Planet Bi” albeit neither would be made available as a commercial release. The DKz also toured with Martin as part of Sputnik 2.
During 2005, Martin appeared on the BBC TV show “Never Mind the Buzzcocks” where it was confirmed that he was working on his new project, “Sci-Fi Superstars”. In February 2006, the album “It’s So Chic to be a Sci-Fi Freak” was released - the album was advertised moreover as an instrumental dance album that included a full vocal on only one track (a re-worked version of “Don’t Dabble with the Devil”).
In 2008, Martin started a collaboration with the Spanish bothers David & Santi Lluch aka The Hellbilly Club. However, it was not until 2009 that Martin announced that this collaboration was to now be formally taken forward under the band name of Sci-Fi Superstars with the 15 track "Prophet of Freak" album released in April.
Sigue Sigue Sputnik Electronic
Midway through 2009 Martin started to play live as Sigue Sigue Sputnik Electronic (SSSE) alongside Johann Weidemann (who took on the keyboards/ FX). This new incarnation aimed to take the original SSS songs and present them in a new electro style.
In April 2011, a re-recorded mastered version of “Flaunt it” was released. Then, in June 2011, a limited 16 track mastered CD entitled "Revisited" was released which included a track called "Fascination" (originally a demo during the Sputnik 2 era) and a new, slower version of "Don't Dabble..." entitled "Unknown Soul". A selection of remixes made up the other tracks.
October 2012 saw the release of "Electronic DNA", an album full of new songs. Two video trailers were launched on YouTube over a three week period prior to the release - the first, showcasing a snippet of the track "Terror Bytes" & the second mixing a number of the songs. The album was formally released in both download and limited edition mastered CD formats. "Electronic DNA" was the last full album release under the SSSE name.
SSSE released a new 12" vinyl single entitled "Timex Kid" in 2015.
Solo/ Martin Degville
- 1991 World War Four (10 track vinyl and cassette/ 12 track CD released via Receiver Records)
- 2008 Guns, Oil, Drugs (11 track CDR self-release featuring unmastered tracks)
- 2008 Sputnik 2 - The Future (9 track CDR & digital self-release featuring unmastered tracks)
- 2014 Demolition (12 track digital self-release featuring unmastered tracks)
- 2016 The Collective (12 track digital self-release featuring unmastered tracks)
- 2008 The Good, the Bad & the Fabulous (4 track CDR given away free with a DVD package)
- 2012 Unplugged (4 track digital only release)
- 2004 Smart1 (6 track studio mastered self-release)
- 2006 It's So Chic To Be a Sci-Fi Freak (18 track CDR self-release)
- 2009 Space Age Junkie (8 track digital only release including mastered tracks and demos not included on "Prophet of Freak" album)
- 2009 Prophet of Freak (CD and digital self-release - fully mastered 15 track album plus two bonus tracks given away digitally)
Sigue Sigue Sputnik Electronic
- 2011 Flaunt It (10 track CD and digital download)
- 2011 Revisited (16 track limited edition CD and 15 track digital download)
- 2012 Electronic DNA (10 track CD and digital download)
- 2013 Electronic DNA - The Remixes (16 track digital download)
- 2009 Sputnik vs Bowie (initially a 6 track CDR and digital download albeit in 2012, a further 2 tracks were included on the digital download via Reverbnation)
- 2010 Futuatronik (4 track CDR and digital download)
- 2011 Fascination - The Remixes (Part 1) (8 track digital only release)
- 2011 Fascination - The Remixes (Part 2) (7 track digital only release)
- 2013 Cover to Covers (5 track digital only release)
- 2013 Resurrection (4 track digital only release)
- 2014 Love Missile F1-11 2014 - The Remixes (17 track digital only release)
- 2015 Where Have All The Rock Stars Gone? - The Remixes (12 track digital only release)
- 2015 Timex Kid (4 track 12" and 6 track digital release)
Other Commercial Releases
- 2007 Planet Bi (Pilgrim Omega) Martin Degville (track included on the various artists compilation album, “Electraparade”)
- 2008 I Fought the Law Bettie Ford featuring Martin Degville (B-side to the "One for the Road" single)
- 2008 21st Century Boy The Hillbilly Club featuring Martin Degville (track on the "No More Parasites" album)
- 2015 She's Outta Fashion Banshee featuring Martin Degville (2 track digital only release)
- Strong, Martin C. (1999) The Great Alternative & Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 0-86241-913-1, p. 564-5
- Larner, Tony (2000) "Back in Style", Sunday Mercury, 15 October 2000
- Schabe, Patrick (2003) "TONY JAMES AND THE ARGONAUTSSS", PopMatters, 29 May 2003, retrieved 28 August 2010
- "Black Country helped heal star’s heart", Express & Star, 28 September 2008, retrieved 28 August 2010