Marge and the Marvellous :: Distant Dance (No More Pop)

No More Pop is an oasis, an island amidst a sea of darker re-issues, an island of dulcet synth pop and cloudless skies. Bright and cheerful beginnings. Reclaimed sounds on a reclaimed medium.

Marge and the Marvellous :: Distant Dance (No More Pop)

The 7” has a love hate relationship amongst the faithful. For some the smallest vinyl format is annoying. Often poorly made and just too “fiddly.” For others it is the little gem of the lot. Personal and intimate, perhaps shown best in the uptake of 7” only mixes floating around the net. But labels dedicated to the runt of the litter are less common.

No More Pop has recently been founded by an artist better known for house, Murphy Jax. And his view of 12” records is pretty clear: “I don’t like 12inch. It’s like a horse compared to a cat.” He’s just as matter of fact when asked about the label. The focus is lost synth pop, forgotten wave and not “chliche italo, the mass production stuff.”

The first release saw the team make a trip to Greece to revive a lost pearl: Transport with Emotions. Taken from an album of 1985, that fetches some $300 on eBay, the track chosen is bright and emotion drenched. Lost souls and division through breathy lyrics and analogue echo with the head honcho and stalwart Flemming Dalum, alongside Steen Gjerulff, serving up some extra remix heartache.

A second obscurity has just been added to the catalog, even more obscure than the first. Marge and the Marvellous. Never heard of em? Neither had I. A short side project masterminded by Paulus Wieland of Ensemble Pittoresque fame, the group released…one track …in 1984! A compilation only piece has been revived for a beautifully crafted double 7” release. Clean and crisp, cold chords speed on snapping drums as sweetened vocals embrace. Both Murphy Jax and Flemming Dalum return on remix duties. The former accentuates honeyed bars, adding the male voice to balance the palette, the latter pours extra sugar on top and watches it sizzle in a disco infused foray. The final remake is by a personal favorite of mine, Keen K of Das Drehmoment fame. The innocence and fragility of the original is maintained, thicker modern chords cascading with an electro edge to beef up the ’84 version.

I must admit, my face screwed up and my brow furrowed on first hearing about the 7” focus of the label. But on seeing, the vivid artwork of Celina Seng jumping from sleeves (her voice featuring on Marge and the Marvellous), and hearing the sound quality it made sense. No More Pop is an oasis, an island amidst a sea of darker re-issues, an island of dulcet synth pop and cloudless skies. Bright and cheerful beginnings. Reclaimed sounds on a reclaimed medium.

A Distant Dance is available on No More Pop.

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