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Dumas Histoire



The evening was calm, underneath a feeling that there was some meaning to this obvious apathy, a source of being untapped, and if left to its state it might dissolve into the nothingness an obvious entropy that threatened all consciousness of the pro typical punk world. True there were uncompromising sources that had went there full span, and still stood as monuments to a time where political correctness and a dedication to the art of music making was as true as truth.

Here fighting in this hard world is a band Dumas that has erupted onto the East Village music scene. While developing their sound throughout the 1990s, they are now with a new sense of purpose and urgency. We are briefly allowed into their world on their way to another performance at the Continental. We shared a taxi ride as they related their story. Dumas, the enigmatic lead singer of the group (known variously as Dumas, Ron Dumas, Shrine Boy, etc) could only put his hand to his head in obvious characteristic contemplation. He is a mystical poet that found his musical roots in jazz, prog, and blues based rock.

Since his teenage years of alienation, rebellion, and hard work, he became an accomplished keyboardist - playing, first ,in a 70s glitter band called Aberdeen, then doing the West Coast party circuit as keyboardist in the Classic Rock cover band, Hot Ice, he then began to discover jazz and funk garnering much valuable experience in various funk projects and jazz ensembles culminating with playing as keyboardist with the 1st prize Big Band winner of the Hollywood Bowl Battle Of The Bands competition of 1978. In the meantime, his songwriting was taking another direction in bands such as The Wake, they played at the Troubadour , Club 88 and Bla Bla Cafe in Los Angeles 78-79, and produced some classic recordings .

A parallel interest of Dumas was cinema. Spending hours in the darkened theaters of the art revival houses where he absorbed the history of film. Particularly fond of the film noir and French New wave films his fascination impelled him to move to New York City, in 1980, where he was accepted to New York University film program. Before he left L.A. he played in the hardcore swing punk ensemble the Swingskin Brigade (A side project of Youth Brigade at the infamous skinhead manor), produced a recording of fusion compositions, and played a going away party where he premiered the new direction his music was heading. This was a raga-like dirge that bristled with a hard edge poetry.

It was in New York that Dumas began to develop this musical discovery that he discovered in L.A., at first, and produced a classic punk recording called Autonomy and More. Then in 1981 producing The Burns: Four Signals. In 1982, upon leaving film school with 9 short films to his credit, Dumas diverged from his rock performances towards performance art.

It started when he premiered his underground film Bloody Nights, and followed the screening with a performance of passionate and uncompromising poetry, ending in naked hysterical rantings, crumbling into the floor. Next performing at a benefit, a similar performance on the Bowery, he was discovered by Nina Hagen, and the two were apparently long-time admirers. Dumas was already associated with the ABC No Rio Gallery where he did several performances and a performance at Als Bar in Los Angeles before he was to leave for West Berlin that Fall.

Dumas lived in the Roseneck section of Berlin, just a walk from the Grunewald Forest where the majestic profound quiet provided an awesome setting for the development of Dumas art. Teaming up with some of the more experimental artists on the Berlin scene, Dumas presented 3 performances during his 5 month stay, and wrote a film treatment.

In 1983, Dumas returned to New York, where he completed the screenplay from his treatment. He greatly developed his musical and performance style in Berlin, and now called his ensemble Dumas and the Attack Group. Working with different experimental instrumentation this group became a legendary fixture on the East Village Music scene. Presenting a blend of performance art, music, and poetry at Pyramid Club, SIN Club, 8BC, and at Anti-Club in Los Angeles.

In January 1984, Dumas moves to Brixton, London England after a mini tour to the West Coast performing at the Lhasa Club. The shows were pick of the week in the L.A. WEEKLY, and the Attack Group demo was reviewed in the L.A. Reader by Andrea Enthal - a prominent L.A. radio personality. In London, the Attack Group played at two underground parties in the 4 months there, and then moved to Amsterdam Holland. In Amsterdam the group performed at one nightclub, before Dumas returned to Los Angeles in May.

Upon returning to Los Angeles, Dumas began doing poetry readings and working as a D.J. at the Lhasa Club. During this time Nina Hagen covered the Attack Group anthem, Universal Radio. In December 1984, Dumas and The Attack Group opened up for Nina Hagen as part of the Blitzkrieg Ball show at the Beverly Theater, Beverly Hills, CA. The song was released in 1985 to considerable international airplay. A segment of the song was played on Nina Hagen appearances on the Merv Griffen Show, and David Letterman Show. Also, Dumas attended the radio premiere of the song on the Rodney Bingenheimer radio show at KROQ, Pasadena, CA.

From 1985 to 1989 Dumas moved between New York and Los Angeles. Dumas & The Attack Group played just three shows in their newfound cult status - at the Pyramid Club in 1985, and at Club Lingerie and the Whisky a Go Go in 1989. Dumas moved his focus towards composing and recording, but also sang with the New York hardcore outfit , Pit, at Tin Pan Alley and CBGBs in 1986 and 1987.

In 1990 Dumas was introduced to Keith Levene of PIL, who had heard the Attack Group recordings from 1988 to 1989 and performed a rough mix of the tracks. Mr. Levene took an interest into producing some of these compositions, the result of which yielded - One Life To Live, which was picked up along with two other titles for the soundtrack of Blood & Concrete: A Love Story. A underground cult film with Jennifer Beals and Billy Zane, released by I.R.S. Entertainment.

In 1992 Dumas became the singer of the East Village punk prog- rock group, Shell*Shock. This group performed at CBGBs, Brownies, Under Acme, The Continental, Pyramid Club, and several underground parties. Producing some excellent recordings before disbanding in 1994.

Out from Shell *Shock was Transmitter, 1996-1998. They had ecstatic performances at Luna Lounge, Continental, Court Tavern, Right Bank and Mercury Lounge. Two years in the making , Transmitter were the. Progenitors of the new psycho- blues underground New York sound. Ready to rock into the new millennium.

And now the band is Dumas. And the band has been performing since 2001 at Continental. The band presents a smooth blend of some of the classic older songs as well as more progressive directions in new songs, playing raucous occasions with brilliant style.

In 2001 the band released the first official Dumas CD - Running For Love. In 2004, Dumas played at Continental January 5, 2004 to celebrate the release of the second Dumas album - Stranger, a collection of recordings from the 80s. Also new in 2004 were 3 Transmitter Live CDs including the double-live CD from the Right Bank show in 1997.

New in 2005 are 3 Dumas albums , including an album of Dumas electronica. Dumas is busy on his writing projects and compiling more CD collections. His most recent appearance, opening up, solo on guitar, for Pete Missing (Missing Foundation) and MC Hazard at the Apocalypse Lounge, NYC - August 22, 2004.

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