August 18, 2010

Sombrero Fallout - Pump

Adapted from

From the annals of '80s tape culture Plague Records have uncovered raw gold in the form of Pump's semi-mythical Sombrero Fallout. 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 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 inexplicably didn't see the light of day - until now.

The untimely death of Andrew in 2009 prompted a resurgence of interest, and with the utmost respect, we're fucking 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 are many more factors at play which make Sombrero Fallout so riveting: chugging slow drum machines and a guitar drone industrially dubbed for arcing, widescreen effects; spiraling marimbas diffused into stereo patterns with mournful, ghostly synths; claustrophobic and sickly doomscapes with over-saturated bass hum and the distant sound of groaning guitars tortured in some sadistic dungeon ritual. No shit, this is intensely dark stuff. Elsewhere we have reverb laden motorik backbeat somewhere between Stephen Morris and Klaus Dinger.

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.

Y brawd was, until recently, privileged to jockey a workstation alongside David E. before he decamped en famille to Beijing where he now rules China as arts supremo and cultural ambassador at large. A quiet dude and one of life's natural gents - not at all the depraved fiend he would appear to have been at the time of SF. Thus, insider knowledge draws attention to the more prosaic yet pervasive Eno influence hovering over some tracks...though never slavishly or derivatively so.

Also, it was all laid down on a 4 track machine in a bedroom apparently. Or is that recorded in bedroom and mixed on 4 track in potting shed? No doubt David will enlighten us in the comment section, Chinese firewall permitting.

Afore he went, Mr E. laid on y brawd a cracking double comp of late 70s kosmische teutonic grooves which might just end up on WB one of these days....

Oddi wrth y brawd
deebido, yoroshiku ne


David Elliott said...

Mr Selby, you are too kind. All a long time ago, but most pleased it's finally seen the light of day. There's talk of re-releasing the first Pump too...
Alas, I do not have such a knowledgable colleague sitting next to me in BJ, but I shall continue to check into WB to clock its weird world.

Forced Nostalgia said...

And that reissue of the first Pump is now a fact. 33rpm long player in gatefold jacket.

Anonymous said...

any chance of a re-up? would love to hear this, but can't find it anywhere...
many thanks from canada

Too many anonymous geniusses out there! said...

@ anonymous "can't find it anywhere": you can *hear* the full album on plague bandcamp where you can *buy* it too if u like it.