Füxa - Electric Sound Of Summer

First, there is silence. The crash of a wave fades in, softly at first, then more violent. It distorts, threatening to be wild and abrasive, before disappearing as swiftly as it appeared. These opening nineteen seconds don’t do much – no recurring themes are introduced, no grand concepts announced – but one thing’s for sure, they well and truly toy with your hearing. It’s like being played as an instrument, tuned up and tested, as a precursor to the actual music. And that’s a fair summary of how Electric Sound Of Summer treats the listener: not as an audience, but as an object to be played, a means of transferring ideas. With melodies kept to a minimum, heavy repetition makes texture the focus, and when that’s also kept between fairly narrow parameters… well, let’s just say your brain starts to interpret those sounds on a less intellectual, more intuitive level. Füxa are masters of this. We’re just a canvas they use to create wildly beautiful abstract art.

The first splashes of paint come courtesy of ‘A Billion Kilograms’, which glistens and gleams through five minutes of otherworldly drone, whilst a voice sombrely warns that the planet needs to be evacuated – “Your only chance to survive… is to leave with us”. You might well be thinking “kitschy B-movie trash” at this point, and that’s exactly what it should be. But somehow it’s more than that, as the kaleidoscopic melody twists and turns until you’re not sure what you’re feeling any more. It’s thrilling, giddy stuff.

Three covers hold the album together. Firstly there’s a take on Suicide’s ‘Cheree’ that strips the original of its breathless menace and slows it down to a near-glacial pace. Fogged with reverberating murmurs from Luna’s Dean Wareham and heavy with tumescent organ swells, there’s a real sense of sedation that eventually leads to the song grinding sleepily to a halt for nigh-on three minutes. When everything kicks back in for a glorious ninety seconds, it feels like God just turned the house lights up, bright and joyous. Meanwhile Daniel Johnston’s eternally-fragile ‘Some Things Last A Long Time’ gets the blissed-out psych treatment (with help from Britta Phillips), and ‘Our Lips Are Sealed’ develops a magnetic insouciance that’s worlds away from Belinda Carlisle and Terry Hall’s interpretations.

The rest of the album drifts through out-rock subgenres casually and delicately, leaping from moody flights of near-prog fancy (‘SWF Twenty-Oh-Two’) to hazy shuffles bedecked with stoned brass flourishes (the intoxicating title track). Never challenging or difficult, this revels in colour and texture like a Monet painting; all soft focus, blurred lines and natural light. It’s taken Randall Nieman the best part of a decade to assemble this collection of rich, absorbing spacerock, but it sure as shit was worth the wait. Those crashing waves at the start of the record are about as apt as it gets. Let them wash you away.