A look into the history of Information Society is a peek at the evolution of electronic music. From their first self-released album in 1983 to their 2014 album _hello world, InSoc (as they’re affectionately known), have grown from a young electronic band, mutating the sum total of their influences, to a veteran collective influencing a new generation of electronic musicians. One important thing remains constant: The music is distinctly Information Society, monster electro bass and beats topped with lush, poppy vocal hooks.

Founded by producer/songwriter Paul Robb and vocalist/songwriter Kurt Larson, the group quickly drafted bassist James Cassidy and went on to storm the club charts in the mid ’80s with their Freestyle classic “Running”. Inspired by the worldwide response to the single, the group moved to New York to record their major label debut, Information Society, for Tommy Boy/Reprise. Initial buzz was intense, and proved to be accurate; by the time the group got to its first in-store appearance, two days after the record’s release, the album was sold out.

After a whirlwind series of live dates, the group went on to release the albums Hack and Peace And Love, Inc. and numerous hits, notably the #1 smash “What’s on Your Mind (Pure Energy),” as well as “Walking Away,” “Think,” “Repetition,” and “Peace and Love, Inc.” National and international tours followed; outside the United States the group is particularly popular in South America, Spain, and Japan.

Departing Tommy Boy/Reprise Records in the mid-’90s, the group returned to its electro-industrial roots on several independent releases. Kurt Larson took the artistic helm of the group in 1997, and released Don’t Be Afraid, which explored the darker recesses of the band’s musical imagination. In the early 2000s, re-releases of both “Running” and “What’s on Your Mind” reached #1 on the Billboard Dance/Club chart. This renewed interest in the band served as a catalyst for a new round of songwriting, and an EP of new material, entitled Oscillator was released in 2005, followed by the full-length album Synthesizer in 2007.

Summer 2013 found the three original members – Kurt, Paul and James – reunited to discuss working on a new album and the result, _hello world is the offspring. Released in September, 2014, _hello world is rife with songs that have one foot firmly planted in their past and one foot confidently resting in the present. The new album is filled with classic INSOC dance floor fodder like “Get Back”, soaring epics like “Jonestown”, and cinematic textures like “Creatures of Light and Darkness”. The first single, “Land of the Blind,” is a swirling, propulsive track that hearkens back to their signature sound yet infuses it with state of the art production values. Longtime InSoc hero Gerald V. Casale adds his vocals in a duet with Kurt on their cover of “Beautiful World” which adds a modern splash to the Devo classic.

2015 is proving to be quite a year for the band. With history’s tendency to repeat itself, it appears INSOC are poised for another takeover. _Hello World, indeed.

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