Psyche, began as a joint project of two brothers: Stephen, the shy programmer, stoically standing behind his Korg, and Darrin, the flamboyant cover boy with a penchant for melancholy. Throughout the '80s, these two Canadian brothers forged ahead in the relatively uncharted territory of electronic music; their journey is captured for the first time on their career-retrospective DVD, "Imaginary Life". Showcasing Psyche experimenting with everything from the kaleidoscope visuals of "Maggots" to the 1930s horror film-inspired "I'm a Gentleman". With gorgeously shot black and white dissolves "Eternal" finds Psyche at their creative zenith, as a band who has finally come into their own in the video medium. "Misery" is the first song/ video without Stephen and doesn't feature a centrally placed Darrin, instead going with a more socio-political bent. The remainder of "Imaginary Life" is a series of live footage from 1989 through the present that goes from the home-movie intimacy of "Prisoner of Desire", to 1996's "Love is a Winter", which displays the band's maturing lyrics and stage presence, not to mention Darrin's more-than-passing similarity to Marc Almond. What is striking about this collection is how in their twenty-plus year history, Psyche has remained almost identical to their original construction. Devoid of the elaborate guitars of the Cure, the highly stylized look of Depeche Mode or the theatrics of Erasure, Psyche relies on being a lyrically centered electronic band. Their refusal to resort to clichéd imagery, may help explain why Psyche never enjoyed the commercial success in the US as that of their peers. Imaginary Life gives a alluring glimpse into the DIY spirit that began with two brothers, who went on to become one of synth-pop's most durable bands.
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