This edition of Pump Up The Jam features KYO, CFM, Nightmare Fortress, Aish, and four new reissues from Dark Entries.
At the end of the year, let’s take a count of how many times I mention Danish post-punk musicians in this column. Today is more of the same. Lust For Youth singer Hannes Norrvide has a new project: KYO. This duo, which counts Frederik Valentin as its other member, has announced a new album. I Musik will be released on March 3 from Posh Isolation. “Data Carriers” reminds me a bit of when Brian Eno was first embracing his ambient nature.
CFM might share a similar nomenclature to KYO, but this band’s music is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. If you’ve been following Ty Segall’s career for a while, you know all about Charles F. Moothart, who records and performs with Segall as a solo artist and as a part of Fuzz. Moothart started the Moonharts (along with Segall associate Mikal Cronin) when he was just 16 so he’s been at this for a while… and it shows. The guy is a brilliant musician.
Moothart worked very hard on CFM’s debut release, concerned that it would sound too much like another Fuzz album, but you can tell from “Rise and Fall” that this band has Moothart’s fingerprints all over it. Dichotomy Desaturated will be out on April 7 from In The Red Records.
Now for something completely different… again. The fine folks over at Haute Macabre have tipped me off to this remarkable album by darkwave duo Nightmare Fortress. It was released a couple of years ago, but it is excellent stuff, due in no small part to singer Alicia Amiri’s confident croon. Unfortunately, the band ceased to exist in 2016, although Amiri and bandmate Colin Roper have a new project called Year Of Death. I’ll keep my ears open for any upcoming releases from this band and report back!
I’m not sure exactly how to describe this bizarre yet fascinating video from Aish for the song “Migrant.” Directed by Rashaad Newsome (recently inducted into the Smithsonian for African-American art that President Obama inaugurated last year in DC), it is the kind of thing that defies a genre. You just have to experience it to understand. Says the musician about the video:
“I told [director] Rashaad [Newsome] I wrote ‘Migrant’ about my separation from mother when I came out, and that I was also thinking about the largest human migrations since World War II. So Rashaad erased the colour and gender of the dancers and I, and represented us all as part human-unicorn-pegasus flying mythical creatures called ‘Pegataurs’, which migrate across vast prairies, magical forests, tumultuous oceans, in search of home.”
Dark Entries has four new reissues out, all of which were released on February 27. First up, is Night Moves. If the album cover art didn’t intrigue you, check out this description from the press release.
“Night Moves was the brainchild of Michael Guihen, from South London. Inspired by seeing Tubeway Army perform on Top of the Pops in 1979 he placed an ad to form a synth-based band in the NME. In November 1980 he was introduced to Denis Haines, formerly Gary Numan’s keyboardist on the Telekon album. Denis and Michael worked closely together, writing a number of backing tracks. One of these was the farewell song from Gary Numan to his band Tubeway Army, ‘Love Needs No Disguise.’ In exchange for this backing track, Denis gave Michael the studio time needed to develop ‘Transdance’.”
This is exactly the kind of new wave/electronic stuff I loved when I was 15 and obsessed with listening to WTUL New Orleans college radio. All four mixes of “Transdance” are being releaed as a tribute “dedicated to the lives lost in the Oakland Ghost Ship fire on December 2, 2016.”
Speaking of WTUL college radio: One of the other Dark Entries reissues is from Illinois band The Arms Of Someone New, “formed in 1983 in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois by Mel Eberle and Steve Jones… they modeled their sound after the melancholic side of Factory Records, The Cure’s Faith period and The Teardrop Explodes.”
Imagine my surprise, when I listened to second track, “The Fishermen” and realized that this was a song I had taped from WTUL back in the mid-1980s and listened to hundreds of times. I don’t think the DJ ever named the band so for the last 30 years (ahem!) I have been wondering who the hell was responsible! Thank you Dark Entries for solving this mystery!
Also out from Dark Entries is an eponymous 1982 release from Silvia, “a Neue Deutsche Welle (NDW ‘New German Wave’) project created Tommi Stumpff and Silvia Nemanic” and Beranek’s Sound of Danger album, originally released in 1981. My fave quote from the press release states: “Taking heavy cues from David Bowie, all of the songs are sung in a nasally English accent, a rare occurrence in Norway at the time.”
In honor of The Arms Of Someone New, today’s #FlashbackFriday is another WTUL favorite, Gargoyle Sox’s “Succubus.” For the back story on this track check out this Popshifter article.