For all intents and purposes, Mark Hollis disappeared twenty years ago.
No, not entirely.
Since releasing his last full album, MARK HOLLIS, in 1998, he has appeared, from time to time, on the work of other artists–most particularluy on the work of Phill Brown, Dave Allinson, Unkle, and Anja Garbarek. All of these collaborations, however, took place before 2002.
Ten years later, in 2012, Hollis again emerged, writing a stunning piece of music for the Kelsey Grammar TV series, Boss. That piece, “ARBSection 1,” lasts a full 54 seconds. No one in the music world has seen or heard from him since.
Not too surprisingly, Mark Hollis’s absence has only heightened the interest in him.
For those of us who love Talk Talk, there’s something unlrentingly fascinating about the trajectory of the band. As is well known in musical circles, Talk Talk had its origins in punk but quickly became an MTV showcase of glam rock and pop, producing one clever synthpop song (and video) after another–Talk Talk, Hate, Today, It’s My Life, Such a Shame, and Dum Dum Girl–between 1982 and 1984. They became a standard of the first half of the 1980s–easily lumped in with Echo and the Bunnymen, The Cure, Thomas Dolby, New Order, and Duran Duran—as part of the second British invasion of American pop culture.
Yet, even from their beginning, the band was different from all of their pop companions, even if many in the music scene of the time dismissed (or missed) those differences.