They were a successful synth-pop duo from Switzerland: Séance toured Europe in the 80s and early 90s and enjoyed international indie success with their album Blue Dolphin Blue (PIAS).
Then it became quiet. "Musically, a lot changed in the 90s towards dance and house - that wasn't our thing," explains Ralf L. Aerne. He opened a shop specialising in the sale and repair of analogue synthesizers (Audioklinik), while his bandmate Reto Caduff moved to New York and made a name for himself as a director of music videos and documentaries.
But the passion for electronic music never waned. In recent years, more and more young bands have started to work with the synthesizer sounds and drum machine patterns that originated in the 80s. For Aerne and Caduff, this was the moment to bring Séance out of hibernation. "The sound of that time has its own character, "analogue soul", that's what we grew up with. It's great that young artists are now drawing with these tools," explains Reto Caduff.
The return of Séance has developed in small steps. In autumn 2019, the remastered album Blue Dolphin Blue, which the band recorded with Blaine L. Reininger (Tuxedomoon) in Brussels in 1988, was released digitally for the first time. The package includes two remixes: Chris Corner (Sneaker Pimps, IAMX) has taken on the title track Blue Dolphin Blue and delivered an atmospheric remix that takes the song in a new direction. The Swede Johan Baeckström, also known as a member of the band "Daily Planet", has brought the track My Room electronically into the modern age with a nod to 80s synth-pop.
The debut EP Detlef and Destemonias End (1987) was also made available online for the first time. Then came WHERE WE CAME FROM, Séance's first studio album in 30 years. Ten new songs, recorded in London in winter 2019 with producer David M. Allen (The Cure, Sisters Of Mercy, Depeche Mode) at the mixing desk of legendary producer Conny Plank. WHERE WE CAME FROM is both the title of the album and a reference to the musical past. A commitment to the sounds that inspired the artists in their youth and motivated them to make music. But this is no 80's homage with cover versions. All ten songs are new original compositions that fit seamlessly into the Swiss duo's oeuvre, created for the present, with themes that composer Aerne has been working on over the last few years. Less youthful exuberance, more personal reflection, but created with no less passion and verve. A seamless transition - hard to believe that there are 30 years in between. Released digitally, on CD and vinyl, the album was finally presented to the public in the spring of 2022.
The story now continues with Dark Flow - the latest album to be released in September 2023 - a tour to promote the new work to the public will start in September 2023.