Dalek I

Dalek I were an English electro/art-pop combo from Liverpool that released two albums and a clutch of singles between 1979 and 1983. Originally called Dalek I Love You — a space-age play on the phrase “darling I love you” — the band distilled from a late-’70s Liverpudlian conglomerate that would also yield future members of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and The Teardrop Explodes.

Members: Alan Gill (vocals, synthesizer, bass, guitar), David Balfe (bass, keyboards, 1977-78), David Hughes (keyboards, 1977-80), Chris “Teepee” Shaw (drum machine, tapes, synthesizer, 1977-78), Andy McCluskey (vocals, bass, 1978), Martin Cooper (saxophone, 1978), Gordon Hon (instruments, vocals, 1982-83), Kenny Peers (instruments, vocals, 1982-83), Keith Hartley (instruments, vocals, 1982-83)

Paired down to the duo of Alan Gill and David Hughes, Dalek I cut the choppy “Freedom Fighters” for Phonogram’s Back Door subsidiary in 1979. The following May, the label released Compass Kum’pas, on which the duo cross the neon-chordal rays of the Tubeway Army with the harmonically vertical abstractions of mid-period Gentle Giant — a balance exemplified in the Replicas-cum-Interview jitters of “The World,” “The Kiss,” and “Missing 15 Minutes” — on an assortment of electronic and acoustic instruments.

Unfortunately, the duo splintered upon the album’s release when Hughes departed for Godot. Undeterred, Gill carried on the Dalek I nameplate for a round of singles with new personnel. A more streamlined second album, Dalek I Love You, appeared in 1983.

Between the two Dalek I longplayers, Gill lent his guitar services to five tracks on Kilimanjaro, the first album by The Teardrop Explodes. He would later go into soundtrack work. Hughes appeared on a number of small-press/shortplayer recordings and later assumed the role of keyboardist/composer/producer for sophisti-pop crooner Thomas Lang.


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