Category Archives: Hotel Mexico

20jazzfunkgreats best of 2010: Those cracks in time

It was as if, glimpsed from the right angle, all of the attempts at categorisation had but cascaded into one. Moving the three lists back into their proper position temporarily solved this issue but the great list-master remained disturbed. For what could this mean, he thought. What were the semantic implications of this perilous discovery? Were the three lists secretly as one? What would the creators of the lists think of this? A year’s work, carefully separating and categorising reduced, by a tilt of the head, to a universal soup.

Darkstar – North. In the best possible sense, the synth-pop album of the year.

Echo Lake – In Dreams. Metronomic dream-pop for Black Lodge parties.

Echo Lake – In Dreams (posted May 20th)

Future Islands – In Evening Air. The house band for a desert plateau from which you can see only stars.

Future Islands – Inch Of Dust (posted May 13th)

Girl Unit – Wut.  Minimalist mirrorball-Bass. A torch song for the drop.

Girl Unit – Wut (New Post)

Guido – Anidea.  Soundtrack to lone walks through a metropolis you’re falling back in love with.  Until this ends…

Guido – Tantalized (New Post)

Hotel Mexico – Its Twinkle.  Teaching us how to love the guitar overdose once more.  Like falling on psychedelics.

Hotel Mexico- Its Twinkle (posted August 3rd)

James Blackshaw – All is Falling.  An album of serene beauty that performed a feat of alchemy by making travelling back from London at 3AM a pleasurable experience.

James Blackshaw – Part 4 (New Post)

Night Gallery – Constant Struggle.  In a world of (reanimated) Cold-Wave we nuzzle in the warm embrace of an anglo-centric synth-pop…that includes songs about child killers.  What darkness lurks in the heart of synthesisers?

Night Gallery – Real Normal (New Post)

No UFO’s – Soft Coast.  A cascade through the experimental heart of early dance music. A transmission picked up from the desert wastes of a future built on Kaotic Harmonies.

No UFO’s – 00/00/2010 (posted July 1st)

Oneohtrix Point Never – Returnal.  Universally praised culmination of an epic journey of minimal synths into the night desert skies –  criss-crossed by star patterns that resemble a patch-chord diagram.  This is what happens when someone wires that up.

Oneohtrix Point Never – Where Does time Go (posted July 1st)

Solar Bears – She Was Coloured In.  “The metronome of this song swings with the circumference of a horizon beheld from high above, where the clouds glow with a tincture which is both the warmth of the sun, and the deep blue of the space above, it makes me wanna cry for everything we have forgotten”. – Florian

Solar Bears- Neon Colony (posted July 12th)

V/A – Shangaan Electro: New Wave Dance Music From South Africa.  Without a shadow of a doubt the compilation of the year.

Zinja Hlungwani – N’wagezani My Love (New Post)

A Faust for the Senses

We have a storied history with Brighton/London duo Peepholes. One of the founders of 20JFG makes music with Nick from the band as Thee Four Horsemen, a label run by some of us put out an EP by them and they’ve been friends of the hive mind for many years. So we’re completely biased in their favour. But then, this entire endeavour is based on a series of interacting biases. An objective blog would be rather dull, no? Not to mention the veracity of our claims is a mere click of the play button below…

That paragraph of full disclosure out of the way, we return to the fun stuff.

Carnivore is an epic by Peephole’s standards: seven minutes of whirling crushed drums and frantic synths scrambling for their lives. The reverbed synth that underpins the celestial opening stalks through this track, constantly looming, orchestrating – a spectral presence that knits together the ascension of the cacophony as the motorik destination comes into view. These red-lining drums fall over themselves as they hurl forward in a fair impression of a what, in a revelatory moment, sounds like House – admittedly, half glimpsed House: dance music’s ghost flickering among the red-lined bars. Until it dies. It all dies, the utter destruction of the last minute unleashing god knows what upon a masochistic world. Divine.

Carnivore is taken from Peepholes’ latest release for the excellent and much covered-in-these-webpages Upset the Rhythm. The release itself is a split LP with APATT and should be out at some point in August. More info here.

Peepholes – Carnivore

A mere few days after we visited Hotel Mexico‘s delicate looping guitar cascade, It’s Twinkle, we were contacted by Nites and provided with their subdued, almost industrial remix. Here the source’s suggestions of Jesus and Mary Chain via proto-House are re-calibrated to throw the force of that reverbed guitar in the direction of something harsher, more resigned.

Strange what spaces are created by the judicious application of reverb: what was once delicate, cascading beauty is now the blue streets of dawn, Springsteen-ian heroes, hands in jacket pockets, moving along ‘sidewalks’ the world’s weight temporarily shifted by the loneliness of early morning. Triumphant in its own strange way, the track becomes the coda to a deep struggle only barely glimpsed and mostly off-screen.

Hotel Mexico – It’s Twinkle (NITES Remix)

The Chap‘s absolutely gorgeous ‘b-side’ on new(ish) EP Even Your Friend is all drifting Spanish lilt in place of the band’s usual clipped English (itself an anachronism in a sea of transatlantic drones). Written by the band for a German filmmaker who couldn’t get the rights to a Robert Wyatt cover of a Cuban love song the providence belies the beauty. Or maybe an English band writing and recording in a language they’re not proficient in, for the soundtrack of a German film that would go on to screen in competition at the Berlin Film Festival, is the perfect formula. Either way, for the non Spanish side of the 20JFG mind, this yearning and actually rather rousing love song will fill many a nostalgic dream for boss nova pre-sets and wall size sunset prints – a facsimile of equatorial romance but perhaps more affecting for it.

The Chap – Friendo for Life

Death to the Ersatz Haderach!!!

(Part of the series where we produce posts loosely inspired by Sci-fi classics you need to have read to “be with it”)

The planet at the crux of the universe where the 20jazzfunkgreats astronauts find themselves marooned is disputed by three powers: the noble Atreides, formidable masters of the classico sound, the corrupt Harkonen, forever polluting the atmosphere with an oil-spill of viscous necrowaves, and the austere Fremen, who dominate the desert and ride the gigantic worm, worship water and spice in their rituals, and await for the arrival of the Mahdi.

This battle shouldn’t end, least any of the three elements that fuel each of the powers reach ultimate dominance, and imbalance the universe into a cascade of entropy towards the untimely abolition of time, matter and the life that latches upon both.

They all have their songs, if you listen to any of the musics that we have reported from this website over the years you should be able to trace its lineage back to one of the powers. Today we leave you with some melodies that the Fremen intone around bivouacs enveloped in sandstorm, transmitted across unimaginable distances to animate the dreams of earth-bound troubadours.

If the Boredoms are the Bear, and Deerhunter are the Wolf, then Hotel Mexico are the Manta Ray dancing in that kaleidoscope of blues of which Fremen dreams are made, a majestic shape gliding on an ecstatic loop which is the refraction of dawn showering tropical fish of countless colours, and along the mighty flow of the oceanic bass-stream, it is the metaphor for awakening and growth, for life thriving across vast expanses and in its expansion building further niches interconnected in an ecosystem of great complexity which, beheld from a great distance, has a heart that beats as one.

Hotel Mexico- Its Twinkle

Hotel Mexico hail from Kyoto. Their new album, His Jewelled Letter Box, comes out on the 16th of August, on Second Royal Records.

Love in a hostile environment is a dirty and pragmatic affair, romance and courting are compressed in the brief moments of quiet between crisis and threat, balladry delivered with mongrel equipment fixed by generation after generation of self-taught machinists. It sounds harsh, like all real things.

Colleen Green- Worship You

Colleen Green’s ‘Worship You’ is a spell of square-wave fuzz and drum machine skronk which, if it wasn’t for the lovely vocal harmonies of glazed teen adoration, wouldn’t be out of place in some cassette collection of abstract german post-punk experimentalism, or one of those Royal Trux quadruple vinyl compilations of skaghead faustian bargaining.

Weld it all together and you have a brutal gem for the real indie club bound to blow up speakers and inspire many bands out there to get way more creative (or violent) with their re-appropriation of 1960s Girls in the Garage tropes.

She’s releasing Worship You really soon in the rather brilliant Suffering Jukebox initiated by Jack from Mazes and the Deaf Institute at Manchester.