Vinyl Corner : Propaganda ‘A Secret Wish’

Vinyl Corner is a feature where we take a look at vinyl pressings of various albums and weigh them up to see just how good they sound, how well they’re pressed and what sort of packaging to expect – as well as giving a brief overview of the music itself. This time we’re checking out the upcoming reissue of Propaganda’s 1985 debut ‘A Secret Wish’, released on the 28th January via BMG.

The Music:

Midway through the ’80s, German synth adventurers Propaganda released their debut album; the bizarre, ambitious ‘A Secret Wish’. Although sonically the album is undeniably linked to the time in which it was made, to label the group a relic of the synth-pop boom is to do a genuinely inventive record a significant disservice. Whilst there’s certainly a populist bent to the album, more-so the group’s approach is influenced by experimental music of the preceding decade. The album sold only moderately – as so many indefinable albums do – and today it’s regard by many of those who’ve heard it as something of a cult favourite.

The Pressing:

Pressed on heavyweight vinyl, this reissue sounds great, boasting a fresh remaster which brings the album’s heavily-electronic palette into sharp, precise focus. Our copy does have a few light surface marks from factory handling but these are non sounding and unobtrusive – indeed, the album performs excellently upon playback, with a quiet pressing and dynamic soundscape. Our copy is free of defects such as popping or noticeable surface noise and, even during the quieter passages, playback remains rock solid with, at most, a vaguely audible noise floor. The record is a solid heavyweight pressing and one that, all in all, presents the album in very enjoyable form.

The Packaging:

As the latest instalment in the Art Of The Album reissue campaign, it comes as no surprise that this reissue is convincingly packaged. The series focuses heavily on attractive presentation and the well printed sleeve reproduces the original album art well. We will say that the sleeve itself is printed on somewhat lightweight card, however the inserts certainly make up for that with a full colour fold-out insert detailing the band’s history in a well written, informative collection of liner notes which will certainly prove of interest to long-term fans of the group. Also included is a double sided art print featuring the album’s front cover in addition to some related art on the other side. We would like to have seen it printed on some form of card, as the laminated paper it is on is susceptible to light creasing if not handled with care but, again, it’s certainly of interest to fans and both sides are eye-catching enough that it’s not a stretch to see the art adorning the walls of a music room. The record also comes housed in a well made laminated card inner sleeve adorned with art as well as further liner notes. All in all, this is a very nicely presented reissue and one that definitely has enough to potentially entice even those who already own the original release, as well as providing an excellent introduction to the album for newcomers.

Final Thoughts:

All things considered this is a very attractive package and one that places just as much emphasis on the presentation as it does on the music. The supplied background reading contextualizes the record and the pressing rings clear as a bell with little to interrupt playback.

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