“Exposing the ‘Gimmixx’ behind Certain New 4AD Projects”

Wow, 4AD’s laundry list of incredible, unforgettable albums they’ve released goes on and on, I’ve got to admit. They’re currently the British host label to Deerhunter, St. Vincent, Grimes, Beirut and Camera Obscura, each of which have turned my head in a new indie rock direction at some point in the last 10 years.
But God, there’s something just hopelessly mawkish about a label hyping its own band now, especially since we have facebook, and even more since we’re sitting a squat 12 years past Clap Your Hands Say Yeah “self-releasing” one of the best albums in indie rock history. Granted, now, I don’t think that album has real drums on it. Is the point of having a label now to actually just get a drummer?
Well, this wouldn’t matter for current hipster-savior du jour “Pixx,” and her album The Age of Anxiety, seeing as she indulges shamelessly in the electronic beat (very Crystal Castles) although admittedly sprinkling the mix with a considerable cloak of a melodic live percussion (very Chris Clark). How did I get this INSIDE INFORMATION, since The Age of Anxiety doesn’t grace stores, ahem, laptops and phones, for another three months, like, as in, yes, after the Indy 500? Oh, I resorted to my deep, dark secret known as iTunes, on which the entire album is already uploaded, with song titles and running lengths and everything, only three songs albeit playable. Well, sh**, that’s one fourth of the album. Is this a last-ditch effort to make it seem like full albums actually matter, the way Sufjan Stevens would have wanted? Hmm, I sure hope so, but track one is already the sort of anticlimactic, style-over-substance “indie dance pop” we’ve heard droves of starting with Passion Pit, on through what Purity Ring and Chvrches? Is Pixx the worst music ever? No, but in a way, that would be even more notable, and worth waiting three months for.
Addenda 1: Sub Pop
The movie Hype! does a great job of outlining Sup Pop’s shady promotion dealings, which would often include pressing a “limited number” of a certain record or single, as a way of generating a “fake appeal” for it (yes, they’re obviously students of high school economics).
Addenda 2: Eminem
You might have heard of a little small-fry Midwestern rapper known as Eminem. His unleashing of the eight-minute song “Campaign Speech” with no notice should serve as a precedent that now, today, if you’ve got important music (which “Campaign Speech” is, in a certain capacity), you just GET IT OUT THERE. That’s the times we’re living in. We’ve got the tools. There’s probably a handful of artists out there today with more credibility than Eminem (Wu-Tang, Big Boi, Pearl Jam, Wilco)… and in the case of these I’d feel ok about waiting months and months for a release that’s already mixed, produced and cover-art-ed… some cutesy upstart that’s recycling the strategies of Pitchfork Festival 2009? Not so much.

173 thoughts on ““Exposing the ‘Gimmixx’ behind Certain New 4AD Projects”

Leave a Comment