A Brief History:
Brooklyn based label Mexican Summer (MEX 008) was founded as a sub label of Kemado Records in 2008 to release limited edition vinyl and special edition packaging. In 2009 they expanded and started the Co-Op 87 record store in Greenpoint, Brooklyn (otherwise known as one of the trendiest districts in the world) so its no surprise their roster has attracted acts such as Ariel Pink, Kurt Vile and Real Estate. To date, Mexican Summer have put out over 100 releases across vinyl, cassette, CD and Mp3. The label is run by the illusive and relatively unknown Andrés Santo Domingo and Tom Clapp.
Here is a quick look at the kind of sounds the crew over at Mexican Summer are all about.
Dungen – Satt Att Se (2008)
It just seems so fitting that the first release of a limited edition vinyl label would come from a Scandinavian progressive psychedelic rock band. Although obscure, this song really hits the spot. Combining the basic fuzz ridden guitar tones with luscious strings and horns, Dungen create a beautiful piece of psychedelic music. Think Air meets Can. A fascinating first release from Mexican Summer.
Peter Matthew Bauer – ‘Liberation’ (2014)
This latest release on Mexican Summer comes from Peter Matthew Bauer, who you might know as a previous member of the new york indie rock band The Walkmen (Don’t worry, they were just a pitchfork thing). This interesting take on americana incorporates classic rock and roll, shoegazey guitar riffs and Bob Dylan-esque phrasing. This whole album varies in tempo and mood, going from energetic rock and roll performances to melancholic heartfelt lyrical belters similar to that of James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem). Worth a listen.
Andras Fox – ‘Vibrate On Silent’ (2014)
There have been heaps of Australian acts signed to the vinyl division of Mexican Summer. Beaches, Eddy Current Supression Ring and Lace Curtain just to name a few. This intriguing new signing however is and it comes from Melbourne’s very own producer and 3RRR presenter Andras Fox. This EP is full of Casio keyboard default sounds that have been mixed in with 90’s house textured beats. The whole EP sounds very organic given all the sounds are synthetic and the childish nature of the tracks are rather endearing.
Best Coast – Crazy For You (2010)
‘Crazy For You’ is perhaps Mexican Summers most commercially successful release to date, as it ended up selling 10,000 vinyl units and scoring a number 10 position on the digital download charts. This jangle pop album was the launchpad of Best Coast‘s career and potentially spawned the LA Lo-Fi surf resurgence of 2010-2011 (Yep, thats officially the most portentous sentence I’ve ever written). Standout track on Crazy For You was ‘Boyfriend’, which has beautiful harmonies and perfect surf toned guitar. Apart from the sound of it its just a solid pop record from start to finish.
Connan Mockasin – Caramel (2013)
This strange addition to the Mexican Sumemr family comes from Kiwi psychedelic pop sensation Connan Mockasin who released his second album Caramel in late 2013. This record has a very Barry White sensual feel about it, with jangly echo driven guitars driving the songs forward they are backed up with flowing organs and electric keys. Mockasin takes the roll of the modern day crooner with his high pitched smoothly phrased love letters. It makes sense that Mexican Summer took Mockasin on board given that their releases with Ariel Pink had all worked out nicely, and they do share a similar sound. This guy apparently kills it live, so if you’re heading to Laneway 2015 then Connan Mockasin is one to check out.
Washed Out – Life Of Leisure EP 2009
A lot of people will be quick to name Washed Out as the original innovator and buzz act of the short lived genre that was ‘Chill Wave’. A title that Georgia based producer Washed Out AKA Ernest Greene was quick to dismiss and distance himself from. But with this debut EP released through Mexican Summer he created a stir with this choppy yet chilled out EP full of interesting beats, harmonies and synth textures. It was dance music, but not as the indie world knew it. One of the tracks on this seriously hyped EP was ‘Feel It All Around’ has now been used as the theme song to the IFC comedy series ‘Portlandia’.
Mexican Summer are a super interesting and diverse record label. Its certainly worth checking out the rest of their back catalogue. www.mexicansummer.com