David M Allen is a world renowned musician, composer, producer and engineer who played a major role in the electro-pop explosion of the 1980s. He first made a name for himself at London’s famous Genetic Studios. Through a fortuitous turn of events at the turn of the decade 40 years ago, a then unknown Allen found himself behind the board for the Human League’s now legendary breakthrough album Dare!
In 1979 Allen was in a punk band called Pinpoint and working on the band’s ill-fated debut album at Martin Rushent and Alan Winstanley’s studio. Through that session and others David began experimenting with new Roland synthesizers and drum machines. The owners eventually hired him to set up similar equipment at their new studio. Over the course of months the engineer graduated from novice to expert. The opportunity to work with the Human League presented itself, and a career was born.
In the decades since that shipment of Roland gear arrived, David M Allen has worked with some of the biggest names in new wave, pop and alternative rock. He has produced records for legends like The Cure, Sisters of Mercy, Neneh Cherry and many more. Throughout this time he continued making music of his own as well. Earlier this year, to celebrate Record Store Day in the UK he released The DNA of DMA, a 9 song collection of his own early electro-pop and experimental instrumental electronic solo work.
From the sawtooth synth bass bounce of the quirky pop love song “You And I” to the avant-garde explorations of the nine minute instrumental closer “The Passion of Father Bernard,” The DNA of DMA is a fun tour through an iconic era in popular music. Rhythmic arpeggios and complex synthetic melodies spin through tracks like the upbeat “It is Nowhere” and “Lost Horizons.” Elsewhere, on tracks like “The Dice are Loaded” Allen hints at the dark wave to come. The record serves as a sort of time capsule, viewing those days through the eyes and ears of one of the genre’s main architects.
“Just a Combination” is the current single and brand new video from David M Allen, released worldwide via YouTube on June 17, 2021. Those classic Roland midtempo electro-pop create an unmistakable 80’s vibe on this midtempo examination of love and its confusion. The single and the entire album showcase just how important Allen’s role was in establishing that scene. This is the sound of London in the early 1980s.
Check out our US exclusive of the “Just a Combination” video below. You can also hear the song on the Deep Indie Dive playlist. Also, check out the entire album The DNA of DMA below, or listen on your favorite streaming service. Follow the links at the end of this article to connect with David M Allen and dig into a rich musical history.