Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pump rave

Very pleasing post from Boomkat independent music specialists:

From the annals of '80s tape culture Plague Records have uncovered raw gold in the form of Pump's semi-mythical 'Sombrero Fallout' album. Previously known as MFH on their own YHR label, Pump were Andrew Cox and David Elliott, a pair of like-minded electronic music fiends who met at Brighton uni in '79. After spilling five cassette albums of underground industrial strains inspired by Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, Faust and Heldon, they spent the middle of the '80s largely estranged, with David writing for the notorious Sounds magazine alongside David Tibet, and Andrew working in Cornwall.

In '87 they finally recorded new material, heard on 'The Decoration of The Duma Continues', before colluding for this, their final album which was supposed to emerge on Trident Music International, but sadly didn't due to unknown reasons. The untimely death of Andrew in 2009 prompted a resurgence of interest, and with the utmost respect, we're f*cking blessed that it did as it's just the find of the year. Quite interestingly the album was mixed by Colin Potter of Nurse With Wound, which goes some way to describing the close, dark ambient nature of their sound, but there's many more factors at play which make 'Sombrero Fallout' so riveting.

'A Knife, possibly' sets a sour atmosphere with chugging slow drum machines and a guitar drone industrially dubbed for arcing, widescreen effect, while 'Yukiko' features spiraling marimbas diffused into stereo patterns with mournful, ghostly synths sounding like Zoviet*France gone strangely new age. At the mid way point we enter 'The 'Wife' Container', an incredibly claustrophobic and sickly doomscape with over-saturated bass hum and the distant sound of groaning guitars tortured in some sadistic dungeon ritual for over nine minutes. No sh*t, this is intensely dark stuff! Next, 'Apolinaire Enammelled' combines a reverb laden motorik backbeat somewhere between Stephen Morris and Klaus Dinger, with twirling raga-esque psychedelia, again benefitting from the Colin Potter treatment to sound drugged to the nails, followed with the stoically centred 'Etoile de mer', a blissfully darkside arrangement of beatless ambience.

Their swan song 'Falling From Grace' approaches the end with a chilling display of unholy, crawling synth tones and spectral axe work shielding a lone vocal, delivered with reserve and an arcane sense of timing. Fuuuck. This album has really touched a nerve in our office, reminding us of our favourite Industrial, darkwave and New Beat, or all those other '80s genres whose unholy allure we've always been susceptible to, and best of all, it does it without the slightest hint of fromage or pastiche. Honestly, this is beyond essential for anyone with a darker soul.

1 comment:

  1. They corrected the "Sombrero Effect" typo 5 minutes after I sent u the review.