**1.000 copies, 2019 stock** Born in Brooklyn, Alan Vega was reared on the rock'n'roll sound of Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison, but originally struck out on a career as a visual artist and light sculptor, making pieces out of electronic debris. Seeing Iggy Pop fronting the Stooges at the New York State Pavilion in 1969 was an epiphany for him: "It showed me you didn't have to do static artworks, you could create situations. That show was the first time in my life when the audience and the stage merged into one." It was that eradication of barriers between the two that Vega took to heart.
When he met and befriended Martin Reverby, the two began experimenting with music and formed the band Suicide. Their first two albums, 1977's Suicide and their 1980 follow-up, remain two of the era's greatest milestones, beacons for others seeking to transform their worlds with sound. Even during the group's hiatus through the 1980s, Vega continued to pursue his singular vision across an individualistic solo output. From his 1980 self-titled debut and rockabilly-infused albums like Saturn Strip, through bracing albums like Power On To Zero Hour and It, Vega forged his own singular path.
For all the darkness and despair that encompasses this moment in our world - and despite his work being depicted as bleak and nihilistic - for Vega there was always a sense of hope and a place for dreams to become reality: "People have always told me that my music is angry. To me, it was always just an energy. It was the way I perceived the world. The key Suicide song was Dream Baby Dream, which was about the need to keep our dreams alive. I knew back then that something poisonous was encroaching on our lives, on all our freedoms." He fought to his very last breath for that freedom.
As futuristic as some of Vega's albums may have seemed before, Power On To Zero Hour is the one that seems the most mechanical, primarily because Vega has stripped whatever human properties his music had before. Even his vocals, usually by turns manic and delicate, have a chilly, mechanical feel. Throughout the music is fuller than the spare minimalism of Suicide (or his early solo work), even though the album is a duo work from him and musician Liz Lamere, who also worked on Deuce Avenue. Most of the lyrical themes on the album were influenced by political unrest and the Persian Gulf War. The intention for being in the studio was to create sounds and then after a critical mass of tracks began evolving into songs, Alan and Liz would put them together to create a record.