Monday 1 February 2016

Mark Dumais

Mark Dumais burnt briefly but very brightly on records by Crash and Tangerine from 1985 to 1990. Crash's 1987 album I Feel Fine marries the Mary Chain's menacing noise with Scritti Politti's artistic pop.

It was Kurt Ralske's training ground before he found a bigger stage with Ultra Vivid Scene: "He [Dumais] was brilliant, and he was somebody who had a very clear vision and wasn’t going to let anything get him away from achieving what he wanted to achieve."

You can file Crash's last single, Bright Colored Lights, under all-time 7" pop classic. There aren't many better.

Dumais signed to Creation in 1989 with Tangerine. Along with Creation contemporaries Pacific, they seemed to be the act that could achieve Alan McGee's ambition of making Creation a label like Atlantic that combined the best of rock and dance.

Tangerine (and Pacific) got nothing wrong but their timing. They weren't indie enough and they weren't dance enough to satisfy 1980s compartmentalised audiences, and they definitely weren't indie-dance crossover.

They covered Flaming Ember and Tommy James and the Shondells. Like World Of Twist, they had the best sounds in town but everyone else had gone to a different party. A re-evaluation is long overdue.

Mark Dumais died in 1992 of an AIDS-related illness.

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