Joel Ford of Airbird and Daniel Lopatin of Oneohtrix Point Never’s label, Software has had a slow, steady build over the last year, since launching with his own band, Ford & Lopatin. Set up as an imprint of Mexican Summer, it currently releases some of the more interesting ends of the “digi/psyche” spectrum.
Containing 15 tracks across Mexican Summer and Software’s release schedule, with spots from the aforementioned Airbird and Oneohtrix Point Never forming the highlights, alongside Carlos Giffoni, Slava, Mike Wexler and, surprisingly, The Alps. Titled archly ‘Slash-Rituals’, the album operates somewhere between the solo and soft synth electronic music held down by Software, slash’d with more traditional ideas of out-there folk rock, as handled by Mexican Summer, which more than anything else, cements the idea that the current US vogue for synths belongs in the rich history of American psyche. Occasionally, the tendency towards “pleasant” veers toward triteness, as it does on Lilacs & Champagne’s LP-only track Babbling Brook – as a rule of thumb, psyche is best when it’s between heaven and hell, and takes tepid unusually badly – but it’s still an interesting listen throughout.