The SkinMechanix project began in August 1999 as a short lived but prolific collaboration between Dave Hughes of T-Bass UK and avant-garde sound experimentalist, Skin.
The end product was something very special indeed - dance rhythms fused with throbbing retro-inspired sequences and fiery electronic soundscapes, strong melodies and challenging arrangements, all welded together to form a magical melange that occupied a territory which was, at the time, perhaps unique in the UK synth music scene.
Sadly, the collaboration folded very quickly and the session tapes were left untouched for three years. The project was finally resurrected in January 2002 although the early demo tapes proved virtually useless. Hughes began re-recording and rearranging the source material to form the basis of a more commercial release.
The result was the debut album, The Secret Life of Angels, which was released late in 2002. After quickly gaining a number of excellent reviews and a great deal of airplay around the world, Hughes decided to continue the SkinMechanix project, albeit in a solo capacity.
The EP Fallen Angel followed in 2005 and featured a mix of both live and studio pieces. This release clearly showed that the band were not content to rest on their laurels by immediately searching out and exploring new and unfamiliar directions whilst, at the same time, keen to resurrect their earlier incarnation, T-Bass.
SkinMechanix remained active through 2005 and 2006 with concerts for the Awakenings group. New material continued to emerge throughout 2006 and 2007 although this was mostly in a demo format and was never released.
In 2008, SkinMechanix performed a one-off concert in front of their biggest audience to date at Newcastle University's Culture Lab. The concert, a showcase for students working out of the Culture Lab, was mostly unstructured and improvised, in keeping with the theme of the event. The rehearsal tapes were released the following year as a free download entitled Universal.
At the end of 2008, the SkinMechanix project was put on hold when label-mates, Ion, released their highly successful debut album, Future Forever and suddenly found themselves very much in demand writing library music for films and various multi-media projects.
With Ion presently holidaying in a small cottage off the shoulder of Orion, SKinMechanix was resurrected in August 2016 in time for the third Never Mind the Ramones concert at Gateshead Library, and have remained active ever since. Highlights include playing the top spot at the fourth Ramones concert in 2017, appearances on BBC Introducing, airplay on Radio Caroline and Astro Radio, and a support slot at the prestigious Third Northern Electric Festival in 2018. A brief sojourn into remix territory saw SKinMechanix supporting local Dance/Club outfit Tunnel Club at their final appearance at Shieldfield's Little Buildings in March 2019.
A new album, Sirens, is in the pipeline though it will be radically different from the previous incarnation.
From the material we've heard so far, it's very much in the style of Depeche Mode circa Songs of Faith and Devotion and some of Gary Numan's more recent albums. No surprises there.
We wait with eager anticipation.