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Counterfeit E.P. (EP)

Counterfeit E.P. by Martin Gore
Released: May 2009
Label: Rhino/Warner Bros.
In the years between Music for the Masses and Violator, Depeche Mode's main songwriter and occasional vocalist snuck out this compact, six-track 1989 masterpiece of downcast synth pop. The songs might be D.M. demos: just a handful of synths and drum machines backing Gore's unassuming mid-range, carefully multi-tracked to sound heftier than it is. Most of it is low-key and restrained, but "Gone," with its heavy chords and metallic clang, rivals anything in Depeche Mode's catalog for dusky glamour.
Philip Sherburne