1982: Interference - Interference

Unlike the vast number of deluxe reissues pouring out of the bigger labels these days, the self-titled Interference album never saw a proper release when it was recorded in 1982. That makes it truly unique when compared to items like Universal-Island’s reissue of the early U2 albums and Hip-O’s recent versions of the first few Elvis Costello discs. Still, it’s tempting to place this in the context of those and find it wanting. After all, many of those albums are familiar and comfortably worn, but Interference has more in common with Rhino’s 2007 Collector’s Edition of Joy Division’s Closer and Mute’s 2009 reissue of the first three Nick Cave albums than any of those more heralded reissues.

Like Cave and Joy Division, Interference were more content pursuing calculated nuance than revisiting scripted pop formulas, and like Ian Curtis and similar-minded artists, they chose to do so out of the limelight. During their far too brief two-year lifespan, Interference consisted of David Linton, Anne DeMarinis, and Michael Brown. Both Linton and DeMarinis were chums with Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo, while Brown and Linton had played with Rhys Chatham. Owing to their heavy downtown New York connections, any similarities to Sonic Youth or early-80s work by Chatham would be expected.

What’s striking however, is how well Interference incorporate their European influences like Joy Division, Wire, and This Heat. Opening track “Excerpt #1”’s replication of Joy Division’s staccato basslines and hyper percussion is uncanny, and “Contempt” finds the group channeling Wire’s peculiar version of angular punk while celebrating their penchant for bizarre lyrics: “Live in the climate/ Make decorations.” The droning “Interludes” that bracket the track could have been pulled from any of Bruce Gilbert’s post-Wire work, but it’s hard to call any of these artists influences when, in fact, they were closer to contemporaries.

As for true contemporaries, Interference seem to look no further than fellow New Yorkers Sonic Youth for a pattern. Much of this album mirrors Confusion is Sex in its ambition and terrific expanses of mesmerizing noise. Oddly enough, Interference was recorded almost a year before. Still, “She Said Destroy”’s lyrics, repeated with only subtle variations, evoke Kim Gordon’s gauche, yet brilliant poetic delivery: “She said now/ She said here/ She said right/ She said then/ She said destroy.”

While the decision to include remixes of nearly all the album tracks is neither original nor, for that matter, necessary, Linton’s connections in the New York underground provide for remixes that at least prove interesting. In particular, QPE’s dub mix (“QPE #5 Dub Remix”) and Toshio Kajiwara’s Bingsang remix of non-album track “Globalization Report” are standouts.

Originally intended for Glenn Branca’s Neutral records, Interference seems to have suffered from an ill-fated combination of unfortunate timing and regrettable financial concerns, evading awareness for over two decades — given the current economy, it’s ironic that it appears now. After 27 years of waiting, to say that its arrival is a tour de force would border on hyperbole. Referring to it as anything less than exceptional, on the other hand, would be a grievous understatement.


There’s a lot of good music out there, and it’s not all being released this year. With DeLorean, we aim to rediscover overlooked artists and genres, to listen to music historically and contextually, to underscore the fluidity of music. While we will cover reissues here, our focus will be on music that’s not being pushed by a PR firm.

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