DUTCH MUSICIAN STEPHEN EMMER, pictured above, worked with the unique voice of Associates’ Billy Mackenzie on his 1982 imaginary soundtrack Vogue Estate. 32 years on, he presents his tribute to this late, much-missed talent with Untouchable, released as a single on April 7. Sung in dramatic style by Heaven 17’s Glenn Gregory, it pours on the hurt with a polished update of the string-heavy ’60s pop model, with inescapable echoes of a villainous Bond theme.
Mackenzie would have suited International Blue, the impending new album by Emmer, who played guitar in Minny Pops and The Lotus Eaters, and recorded 2008’s spoken word Recitement LP with help from Lou Reed and Ken Nordine. Paying homage to “the rare art of the pop crooner”, the album features lushly orchestrated tales of heartbreak delivered by singers including Liam McKahey of ’90s contenders Cousteau and Neil Crossley of Bristol nocturnalists Furlined. Mixed and produced by Tony Visconti, it's out in July.