Following 2011’s Limited Edition pressing of Easy Action as a 3D Pop–Up Pyramid – designed by acclaimed visual artist Tauba Auerbach & Alps member Alexis Georgopoulos aka ARP – Mexican Summer has now reissued a special 2nd Edition of the LP in an equally noteworthy sleeve.
A special gatefold edition, it features a design concept by Georgopoulos in collaboration with designer/curator Jiminie Ha (W/——— Project Space, White Zinfandel) that forms a distinct call & response with the 1st Edition.
Auerbach’s 1st Edition worked with a Josef Albers–like system of opposing colors – the three panels used Red/Green, Yellow/Purple and Blue/Orange, respectively – and this new edition follows suit by simply using Black/White. Like the 1st Edition, this new Gatefold Edition uses halftone dots to mesmerizing effect, combining Trompe L’Oeil psychedelia reminiscent of classic 70s Op Art and Lichtenstein’s appropriation of Comic Book printing techniques with a rigor & whimsy that suggests a playful Cosmic Minimalist take on Sacred Geometry.
The group’s third studio album, Easy Action follows III (2009) and Le Voyage (2010) – both released by Type (UK). While those preceding albums fused the cinematic art funk of Serge Gainsbourg & Jean Claude Vannier with the studio experimentation of BBC’s Delia Derbyshire and the pastoral wind–in–face breeze of Agitation Free, Easy Action takes a different approach, both in sound and in process.
Cloaked in a film of sun–bleached fuzz (see opener “Today & Tomorrow”, “For Isabel” and others), Easy Action revels in a blown/blissed out sound that suggests any number of things, from Broadcast to Sun Araw or Boredoms. The title–track, which opens Side B, showcases the kind of laid back bliss Flower Travelin’ Band if they’d been able to travel in time from 70s Japan to a Moogy wonderland. Meanwhile, the ecstatic drum and fuzz of “Spray” recalls the Brazilian beach jams of Lula Cortez and Zé Ramalho’s legendary album Paebiru. Elsewhere, tracks such as “Reflection for Peter Green” showcase something utterly new for the group. A solo piece for electric guitar played by Georgopoulos, it is an intimate pastoral window, a drive down a country road as filmed by Michelangelo Antonioni. Scott Hewicker’s piano playing comes to the fore throughout Easy Action and especially on Side A closer “Loves of a Blonde”, a track born of a distorted tamboura that would make Sunroof! blush which gradually transforms into a tranquil idyll defined by open space and Jef Cantu’s infinitely cascading guitar. Then, of course, there’s the epic “Instant Light” – perhaps the album’s centerpiece – a track Werner Herzog would surely salivate over.
This is the first time the group have combined studio recordings with home recordings and further processing – primarily through analog pedals and synths – in quite this way. Taking a cue from Faust’s legendary FAUST TAPES sessions, which combined jams in a rather obtuse, sometimes jarring way, the result is collage–like, playing like an otherworldly dream where figures, landscapes and memories emerge out of the haze.