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VNV Nation are an English and Irish Electronic music duo who formed in 1990 when both members lived in London, England. They are known for their eclectic mix of electro-industrial, trance and synthpop and have released a handful of studio albums.
Call it cynicism, but in my mind hearing that a band has a motto should be enough to put anyone’s hackles up about them. A motto? That’s for private schools and rich families, not bands! However, since bands are otherwise known as the globally accepted symbol for rebellion against societal norms, it would take one hell of a group to get away with it. In the form of VNV Nation, that’s exactly what we have.
VNV Nation are a truly international band. The core duo of Ronan Harris and Mark Jackson hail from Dublin and Essex (respectively), the band was formed in London, and the duo are now based in Hamburg since the band have been popular there ever since their 1999 breakthrough album “Empires”. However, after first forming in 1990 it wasn’t until five years later that their debut album “Advance And Follow” was actually released.
The band’s first two albums bought them a degree of hype and no shortage of critical respect but come 1999, everything would change. “Empires” topped the German alternative album charts for several weeks and make them a big name all over Europe. Which is all the more surprising, considering that the entire album was composed on one synthesizer and two basic samplers.
With 2002’s album “Futureperfect”, the band started leaning away from their early industrial influences to a more commercially viable trance sound inflected with Synth-pop. The resulting album was so successful that they were able to go on two successful world tours as a result, the first two in the band's history.
Since then the band has gone from strength to strength. Sold out concerts the world over, a new album coming every two or three years, they’re a band that mixes dependability with true artistry. However, this isn’t all that surprising from this band. Y’know that motto I wrote about earlier? Turns out that it’s "One should strive to achieve, not sit in bitter regret." Honest hard work mixed with poetic turn of phrase? Sounds like VNV Nation through and through. Highly recommended.