German synthpop outfit And One formed in Berlin in 1989. DJs/producers Steve Naghavi and Chris Ruiz first met the previous year in a local dance club, bonding over their mutual affection for early ebm
acts like Front 242 and Nitzer Ebb and borrowing their subsequent dual synthesizer and beatbox aesthetic from Depeche Mode. Upon signing to the fledgling Machinery label, And One issued their 1990 debut single, “Metal Hammer,” a significant club hit that set the stage for their first full-length effort, Anguish, completed with contributions from newly added third member Alex Two. And One closed out 1991 with the techno-inspired charity single “Aus der Traum,” originally titled “Saddam Hussein” and produced to benefit Greenpeace. The angry, cynical Flop! followed months later and heralded the exit of Ruiz, who resigned to pursue a solo career. With new drummer Joke Jay, And One cut the EP Monotonie, which invoked the electronic body music influences of their earliest work. Conversely, the 1993 full-length Spot proved their most commercial and accessible effort to date, generating the mainstream pop hit “Life Isn’t Easy in Germany.” Alex Two left the trio soon after, and with replacement keyboardist Rick Schah, And One recorded 1994’s I.S.T., generally considered their most ambitious and challenging project. A year later, Ruiz guested on the single “Deutschemaschine,” which marked the end of their long stint with Machinery. A bidding war quickly resulted, and after signing with Virgin And One issued Nordhausen in 1997. 9.9.99. 9 Uhr followed a year later, scoring the hit “Get You Closer.” In the wake of the follow-up, Virgin Superstar, Joke Jay handed in his resignation, and in 2001 Ruiz finally returned to And One full-time, appearing on the MP3-exclusive single “Amerika Brennt,” the group’s response to the terrorist attacks of September 11. As And One entered its third decade, their pace began to slow. A new full-length, Aggressor, did not hit retail until 2003, and a three-year gap preceded the release of 2006’s Bodypop.
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