As a follow-up to our lengthy series of conversations (in 2010 and earlier this year) about Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry, Alfred Soto and I embark on a similar excursion into all things Pet Shop Boys. Over a series of who-knows-how-many discussions, we will delve into the music and the guiding aesthetic behind our mutually-agreed-upon favourite synth-pop duo of all time (better than Erasure, better than Soft Cell, better, even, than Blancmange). Unlike our Roxy discussions, we won’t tackle PSB in a strict, album-by-album chronology, choosing instead to bounce around from theme to theme. It’s also our intention to engage other people in the discussion.
In our first chat, we delve into the latest PSB release, Electric, the group’s intrinsic (sometimes complex) roots in gay life and culture, and why PSB still matter, at least sometimes.