Hubert Kah - Wenn Der Mond Die Sonne Beruehrt (1984)

Album: Hubert Kah - Goldene Zeiten (1984)
Song: Wenn Der Mond Die Sonne Beruehrt

I once organized my Anomalies folder by the date the track was released under. To my delight, the year that had by far the most submissions was the year 1984. To clarify, the Anomaly folder is where I literally "copy" mp3s from their archives and paste them (making a double). I've been doing this for nearly 12 years now, and there has never been any rhyme or reason to why, when, or where I look for tracks. They find me. I have come across 1600 tracks in my time.

With that in mind, consider that
of all of those tracks, the majority of them come from the year this track came out. What was it about this particular year that ended up producing the sounds I will blindly and at randomly gravitate towards? That is something I will definitely post about in the future, as I have a lot of thoughts on the subject. But what about this track?

Hubert Kah is a German synth pop group that had a pretty decent following in the west. So much so that they re-recorded the album this song was on in English as well, which is kind of rad. But I definitely much prefer the original German vocals. They just feel more natural, and cold.

As with most of the tracks I end up posting, the track is completely bathed in reverb. It's clearly out of control, but once you are in the track, you don't really notice. it just makes everything feel icy and digital. But melodic, too.

Anyway, for comparison, here is the English version as well so you can compare which one sounds better. I would definitely recommend you try to forget about what the lyrics are saying, and just try to enjoy the art of speech. German synth pop of this calibre does not come around very often. Enjoy it over the English one while you can!

Alusa Fallax - Non Fatemi Caso (1974)

Album: Alusa Fallax - Intorno Alla Mia Cattiva Educazione (1974)
Song: Non Fatemi Caso

This is one of the tracks that set me on my path to isolate and document all exceptional tracks I stumble across. This was one of the first songs I ever copied into another folder so that I would not forget it (the name is not that easy to remember for a non-Italian speaker, hehe). To this day I still have no idea what this singer is singing about, but the performance he gives is one of my all time favourites. The emotion that this man is capable of belting out is bone chilling.

This track starts out fairly typical for a mellow Italian prog jam. It's quite sombre, and kind of minimal instrumentally. The vocals are already quite distinct, having a clear flamenco influence to them. Rolled "R" sounds, and a notable rasp.

However, by the time the chorus rolls around this track shows its true colours. After an awesome melodic build up, this chorus lets loose and the man goes from a room tone voice to an out manly emotional scream at the top of his lungs. But not a manufactured or distorted scream like you would hear in rock or metal. No, it's like a man's scream in real life. Either out of frustration, or anguish, whatever it is, it sounds like raw emotion without pretension.

Regardless, I have no idea what this song is about lyrically, but it is easy to fill in the blank and add your own meaning. If you are ever feeling some inner anguish, I would imagine this track will help you vent some emotional stress.

Vladimir Furduj Furda - Medy (1985)

Album: Vladimir Furduj Furda - Furda, Furda (1985)
Song: Medy

In spite of an extremely tense political atmosphere of the former Yugoslavia at the time, there happened to be a very strong music scene in the 70s to the 80s. So much so that I almost always make it a point to check out anything labelled as having come from Yugoslavia. This track was no exception. Based on this cover alone, I simply had to know...

I was not prepared, at all, for one of the most inspiring
Flugelhorn performances I've ever heard (performed by Goce Dimitrovski). It's oozing with so much reverb in the best possible way. It sounds like it is being played in a concert hall with no one in it, and is exceptionally introspective as a result.

Hidden in the background is a slowly pulsing synth bass pad that is just fat enough to give the track some heft without stealing the show from the horn.

The whole track as a result sounds remarkable similar to something you would hear in Blade Runner. As in, I can practically picture Deckard walking in to his lonely, super high-tech but scattered and messy apartment. The lights on really low, surrounded by mind boggling futuristic technology, but being eaten up inside with personal inner turmoil. Sometimes you just need to have a good sit down and think kind of evening.

Vladimir Furduj-Furda, no where in your casual sneaker and sweater wearing cover did you prepare me for this! Why does a lead drummer even have a song this soulful on his album anyway?

Ronnie Laws - Big Stars (1983)

Album: Ronnie Laws - Mr. Nice Guy (1983)
Song: Big Stars

Ronnie Laws was a very early former member of Earth, Wind & Fire. He was original the saxophone player for them, before eventually moving on to his own solo projects and collaborations. He's a bit of a Renaissance Man though, as he handled playing synths, piano, saxophone and his own vocals on this album.

Right from the get go, this song is saturated with one of the most lush and fat synth bass leads. This synth is so fat that is is just feels juicy, squishy and warm. Turn it up and let it wash over you. I can hardly think of a synth bass I have enjoyed more than this one, and it is just ripping it up for the entire track. If I had to wager, I would guess it is a Roland Juno 60, which had just come out earlier that year, and was quite well regarded for this type of chorus laden sound. I specifically bought the TAL-U-NO-X Juno 60 emulation VST with the intent of recreating this bass patch, and I have come surprisingly close.

Gorgeous synth bass aside, this track is slick. The entire track is played in the "pocket". What I mean by that is, if you are snapping your finger to it, you can wait just a little bit off the beat to snap your finger and somehow sound like you are on even better time with the track.

When I hear these vocals, I just can't help but look at this album cover, and that ultra prominent mustache. It just feels like the 80s to me. There is a gental confidence to the delivery, and I just don't sense any malice or bad intentions. Mr. Nice Guy is absolutely right.

The synths throughout the rest of the song are subtle, but extremely effective. From little synth key cascades, to another rich resonant patch during the instrumental interlude half way through.

Finally, Ronnie Laws lays down some practically orgasmic soprano sax lines. I mean, most people would probably say they sound corny, but in the context of this track, that mustache, and this synth bass you just have to bow down to something bigger than you.

I love every second of this song, and I hope it becomes a favourite for all of you as well.

Here Today - Whistle In the Yard 12'' (1983)

Album: Here Today - Whistle In the Yard 12'' (1982)
Song: Whistle In the Yard

Here is an absolute banger from 1983. The genre is post-punk new wave. But really it's quite unique sounding beyond that label. The production quality is absolutely infectious and really on point. It's definitely a dark track, but it feels like it was recorded by a pop group that just wanted to do something dark. Vibrant pink album cover, with a dark and defiant tone.

The song itself has a smattering of that 80s 'wash of guitar' sound. Something you might expect U-2 to do with their guitars, but done much more aggressively and close quarters. The bass is gritty, and there are tons of little bass fills peppered in there that give this song a sense of urgency. The vocalist is also breaking the 'fourth wall' a lot by purposely derailing the conventional vocal structure. Yet more defiance.

The melodies also have that trademark 80s skepticism to them. There is something undeniably pure about strife and opposition in the early 80s. Nothing was fully digital yet. It's completely analog emotion, but at the very end of the completely analog world. It could just be me, but the name of the band also seems to reference that change. Here, today. A unique time for music to say the least.

This song is a defiant keeper.

Edit: The original video got taken down. All I could find was a version of the entire vinyl EP. In any case, the first track is the one I had originally posted. So just hit play.

Judie Tzuke - Sportscar (1980)

Album: Judie Tzuke - Sportscar (1980)
Song: Sportscar

Track from 1980 that almost seems like it should be coming out now. There is a very unique "modern" quality to the enigmatic vocal melodies and rhythms. That thing that a lot of new music does, where the vocal timing is really hard to predict. I don't usually hear that in music that is over 35 years old. It's neat to hear, though.

Aside from the enigmatic vocal phrasings, the lyrics are pretty much worthy of fist pumping. It's a pretty defiant theme that basically calls out people who act arrogantly, and selfishly, and expect that people should be impressed by their material possessions. Judie Tzuke wasn't having any of it. It's an absolute delight to hear even 35 years later.

As a side bonus, here is a version of the song being performed live during the time of the album's release. The reason I am posting this as well is because just look at the performance here. Considering the theme of the song, just look at her up on stage. The confident body language, and her energy hitting this exceptionally difficult vocal part. It just makes me happy that this happened. I don't know why.

Joseph Williams - I Didn't Do It (1982)

Album: Joseph Williams - Joseph Williams (1982)
Song: I Didn't Do It

Film composer John Williams (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, E.T., etc) had a son who evidently made some insanely rockin' 80s music.

I've heard a lot of music in my travels on the internet. Immediately this track stands out as something exceptionally unique. The way the guitars and the bass are synchronously playing that opening riff. The tonality and the performance of it is just so "meaty". The first time I heard it, I was fully prepared to hear some heavy rock. As soon as the vocals kicked in, I almost couldn't believe what I was hearing.

It's like a mix of Michael Jackson and John Farnham (Break the Ice, Thunder in Your Heart). Super high quality, super characteristic and energetic pop vocals, matching the energy of this stupendously heavy rhythm and brass track. I can't help but be left wondering how it is possible that this track is not something you still hear today.

Add to that the son of the most famous film composer of all time, and you have an Anomaly if I ever heard one.