Take Off to Indie Labels: Mexican Summer

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“The best songs in the world come from a feeling” says the artist known as Ilian, whose life and career is documented in this short film created by Mexican Summer's Anthology records for the their reissue of artist's long lost 70’s album, Love Me Crazy.
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When punk first broke in the UK in 1976, music journalist John Ingham was on hand to document the rupture and the rowdiness. Fascinated by the music, fashion, and intrinsic iconoclasm of a little-known outfit called the Sex Pistols, Ingham conducted the band’s first interview, partied with its members, and even bailed Sid Vicious out of jail. Ingham also documented the group's early evolution at legendary gigs shared with other pionee...Read More
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Michael Angelo Nigro is a Kansas City multi-instrumentalist who recorded his first album in 1977, the self-titled Michael Angelo. Recorded during his off hours at his job as a session man at Liberty Recording, the original release was only 500 copies. In 2015, Anthology Recordings remastered and re-released the album and produced a short documentary about the artist, now streaming on Night Flight.
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The Los Angeles-based quartet Allah-Las came together in 2008 while its members were working at Amoeba records. Allah-Las eventually found their way to Mexican Summer for the release of Calico Review in 2016, cultivating an array of global influences. These disparate and collected sounds would come together on the band’s fourth full-length, Lahs, an ode to the band's traveling lifestyle, released on Mexican Summer in 2019.
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Arp is Brooklyn-based electronic producer and composer Alexis Georgopolous’ ambient solo project, first unveiled in 2006. While Georgopolous’ early work as Arp is largely defined by minimalist soundscapes made on synthesizers, each consecutive release remains untethered from the former, with later works exploring Glam, art pop and field recordings. The fifth Arp album, Zebra, arrived in 2018 and features elements of jazz and tradition...Read More
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CMON, which stands for Confusing Mix of Nations, is a pop duo born out of the ashes of Brooklyn indie rock group Regal Degal. Shifting the focus towards more danceable tracks, the duo carried the atmospherics from their previous project into CMON, only now incorporating more elements of disco and pop into their recordings.
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“There’s a strange romanticism to going a little bit crazy and playing the piano to yourself and singing into the night." Singer/songwriter Cate Le Bon began her career collaborating with fellow Welsh musicians Gruff Rhys and Richard James before releasing her first EP, the Welsh language Looking in the Eyes of a Borrowed Horse in 2008. In 2019 Cate Le Bon signed with Mexican Summer for her fifth album, Reward, released to critical ac...Read More
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Kiwi oddball Connan Hosford, better known as Connan Mockasin, made a name for himself in the New Zealand psych scene in the early 2000s playing in a group called Connan & the Mockasins, known for their trippy, bluesy and whimsical indie pop. His most recent album, Jassbusters, arrived in 2018 on Mexican Summer accompanied by his absurdist film Bostyn ‘n Dobsyn.
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LA psych scene veteran Michael Collins, formerly of Run DMT and Salvia Plath, surfaced as Drugdealer in 2016 with the warm and melodic The End of Comedy. Dialing back the psychedelia that had defined the first half of his career, Drugdealer reflected a shift towards 70s soft rock and Baroque pop influences that would continue to emerge on his next album, Raw Honey, released in 2019 on Mexican Summer.
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Swedish psych rock band Dungen was founded by composer and vocalist Gustav Ejstes in 2001. Their most recent studio album Häxan, is the first all-instrumental work the group released and was inspired by and exists as a score for The Adventures of Prince Achmed, believed to be the oldest surviving animated feature film.
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Geneva Jacuzzi is well known for her uncompromisingly obtuse synth-driven pop and one-of-a-kind performance art that is comprised of one time only spectacles and installations. Her works have been presented in famous art institutions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art, MOCA, The Broad Museum, Vooruit, Kampnagel, and numerous other venues across the globe. Her videos and live performances depict the shattering of self into a variet...Read More
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Danish punk stalwarts Iceage formed as a group in 2008, fronted by Ellias Bender Rønnefelt with guitarist Johan Suurballe Wieth, Jakob Tvilling Pless on bass and drummer Dan Kjær Nielsen. Known for their abrasive but ever developing sound, their most recent record Seek Shelter arrived in May of 2021, their fifth full-length and first for Mexican summer. Recorded over a 12 day period in a run down studio in Lisbon, Seek Shelter feature...Read More
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In a time rife with alienation, Magic Touch, the latest album by the ubiquitous and mysterious Jack Name to be released on Mexican Summer, offers the comfort of contact. With a body of work that ranges from the catchy to the cacophonous, Name has earned the reputation of a musician who’s difficult to define and has been a fixture in the Los Angeles underground for over a decade.
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The Texas-born, L.A.-based singer and songwriter Jess Williamson makes deeply felt songs that orbit around her powerful voice. In her most recent album for Mexican Summer, 2020's Sorceress, that voice is surrounded by a deep-hued kaleidoscope of dusty ‘70s cinema, ‘90s country music, and breezy West Coast psychedelia. Here's the video for "Wild Rain," directed by Williamson herself.
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After a collection of demos and early studio recordings earned her a dedicated audience, songwriter Jessica Pratt moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles and recorded her first intentional album in her bedroom. That album, On Your Own Love Again (released by Night Flight indie label partner Drag City in 2015), would bring her around the world many times, leading many to fall under the spell of Jessica Pratt the performer, the songwrit...Read More
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Actor, screenwriter and artist Karen Black cemented a place for herself in the New Hollywood movement of the 60s and 70s with starring turns in films like Easy Rider (1969) and Five Easy Pieces (1970). During an acting career that spans 5 decades and over 200 credits, Black began writing and recording music with notable producers Bones Howe and Elliot Mazer. Decades later under the oversight of Cass McCombs, her work has been restored...Read More
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Brooklyn-born and based experimentalist and multi-instrumentalist Taja Cheek, aka L’Rain’s, 2021 album Fatigue demands introspection from ready ears with an array of keyboards, synths, and hauntingly delicate vocals while blending the sounds of gospel, jazz, and neo-soul to create a genre entirely her own. Cheek has dipped her toes in every corner of the arts, through her work at some of the most prestigious art institutions in NYC an...Read More
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Dan Lopatin aka Oneohtrix Point Never’s releases for Mexican Summer are sample-based meditations that are as lyrical as they are ecological, featuring re-purposed “ghost vocals” which serve as narration for Lopatin’s signature amorphous, ambient passages. His 2010 album Returnal’s placid, synthetic surroundings are accelerated through darker, more unpredictable terrains via Lopatin’s use of samplers, analog filtering, tape-op, piano, ...Read More
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Evan Shornstein, known as Photay, has a talent for melody, but rhythm is at the heart of everything he does. He’s been playing the drums since elementary school, and the name Photay actually stems from an eye- opening trip to Guinea with his drum teachers. As a producer, he combines digital and analog, blurring the lines between “real” and electronic instrumentation.
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The first thing you notice about Weyes Blood’s third record for Mexican Summer, Front Row Seat to Earth, is its closeness. The music is immediate and warm with an intimate feeling. Active in underground music since 2006, Natalie Mering [MER-RING], the being behind Weyes Blood, sings sublimely. There is a faded California beauty to Merin’s music and a gentle honesty that recalls the finest folk music made on the West Coast of the ‘70s.
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Georgia-based Robert Lester Folsom released his first studio album, Music and Dreams, in 1978. Although it did receive some local attention on its initial release, the record had limited pressings and Folsom was unable to complete a follow-up album during that time. Here’s the Anthology Records documentary about the artist, created to accompany the label’s reissues projecs.
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In 2016, Mexican Summer's sister label Anthology reissued two essential live albums from Träd, Gräs och Stenar (Tr-ad Grass Ah-k Sta-Nar), a 70s underground Swedish psych rock export, whose records have been hidden gems for collectors worldwide. To commemorate the reissues, Anthology Recordings produced a short, two-part documentary revealing rare interviews with surviving members of the band, presented together here on Night Flight.
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This is Unusual Sounds: A deep dive into the mysterious world of library music; the extraordinary stock recordings that soundtracked the heyday of B movies, low-budget television, and scrappy genre filmmaking curated by David Hollander and released by independent label Mexican Summer.