BIOGRAPHY / LONDON 99
THE OTHER TWO
You may know OTHER TWO. They have been one half of what was described recently as "the most culturally significant group of the last 20 years" - New Order.
A fearsome facility with state-of-the-art computer gadgetry and ability to write insidiously memorable melodies has also meant Steven Morris and Gillian Gilbert have long been in demand. They became officially The Other Two in the early nineties, following years of being referred to as New Order's "Other Two", they dropped the "The".
In 1991 they released their first single as The Other Two called Tasty Fish. Melody Maker promptly made it Single of the week, describing it as "Kylie meets kraftwerk".
Other Two's debut album The Other Two & You was a fine compromise between electronic experimentation and melodic accessibility and contained several more potential hits. Since 1996, they have been busy working in their home studio in Macclesfield creating a follow up. Other Two's long awaited second LP, SUPERHIGHWAYS. Produced and engineered by Tom Oliver, formerly of M-People, it features soulful vocals of Melanie Williams of Sub-Sub while Lionrock's Paddy Steer and Spirtualized's Mike Mooney helped out on the instrumental duties. Most of the rest of the album was sung and performed by Steven and Gillian.
You Can Fly is a euphoric hands-in-the-air house anthem. Title track Superhighways is simultaneously upbeat and melancholy, and concerns, as it does most of the record, emotion impermanence, transience. "We had a go at being serious", says Steven of the overall mood of Superhighways, "because it's dead hard to write happy lyrics. It's much easier to be miserable". Not that Superhighways is a miserable record, a soundtrack for downers everywhere. On the contrary, it is uniformly uplifting and upbeat, while the lyrics explore traditional Morris/Gilbert themes: love, faith, truth, betrayal and desire. Whatever Stephen may think, it is smart, intelligent pop for the 21st century.