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This is the first of several reissues on Mexican Summer of the work of Ashrae Fax. No, me neither, but it turns out they were a pumping synthpop band from the early 2000s when synths were pretty out of vogue and have since been celebrated retrospectively. It’s an interesting sound they’re peddling, too. Hard, cold drum machines tick and thump metronomically around a wall of drifting melody from synths and guitars draped in mysterious reverb and bold, soaring vocals.
It’s really good, from that same school of gothy ghostpop as the Cocteau Twins and more recently Zola Jesus, it’s all moody and mysterious and full of wibbly analogue primitivism but also has moments of soaring and uplifting power. It really doesn’t sound like a record which came out 10 years ago at all. Resident Cocteaus buff Ian just walked in and immediately said “What’s this? I really like this!”. That’s just the kind of record it is.
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