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Calexico – The Thread That Keeps Us

City Slang

Calexico - The Thread That Keeps UsI had a real love for Calexico back when they first started. There was something about Joey Burns and John Convertino disappearing into a shack in Arizona somewhere and reproducing the sound of their environment in such a charming and understated way. That dusty, warm sound, the sensation of lounging underneath the canopy of an orange grove as these subtle, Mexican-influenced, horn-infused delights float around your head like the last rays of a spring sun.

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Archived reviews: C

Mira Calix – One On One Label: Warp Format: CD,2LP

This record rocks, thats the simple way to put it. Other record labels must hate the way Warp casually goes about releasing albums that are just so damn good. One on One is the debut album of South African Chantal Passamonte, AKA Mira Calix, recorded in the seclusion of relatively icy Sheffield where she goes about her musical business as occasional in-house DJ for Warp.

OK, why is this album so good? Go buy it, thats the simple answer. Trying to describe what One on One sounds like is an exercise in futility. Each track would have to be broken down in turn. Mira Calix has a distinct style, but thats not to say each track is a variation on the same theme. Few electronic records have this much diversity; each track launches out into a new direction.As

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Calexico – Even My Sure Things Fall Through

Label: Quarterstick Format: CD

Even My Sure Things Fall Through- sleeve Spanning most of the musical history of Calexico, a band highly reminiscent of duo Joey Burns and John Covertino‘s previous bands Giant Sand and especially Friends Of Dean Martinez, this EP combines unreleased tracks with remixes of previously-released material, some European B-sides, and three CDROM videos to make an almost definitive collection of Calexico’s southwestern-Texas-Arizona-tinged music, all on one compact CD. While the majority of the material here is original Calexico, there’s also a wonderful cover of the American Music Club song “Chanel No. 5” that’s so heartbreakingly rendered that it blows the first version clear out of the ballpark. The remix of the trumpet-heavy “Banderilla” is also wonderful, as is Two Loneswordsmen’s remix of “Untitled III.”

-Holly Day-

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Calexico – Hot Rail

Label: Quarterstick (North America) City Slang (Europe) Format: CD,LP

Hot Rail - sleeve Calexico are not trying to be subtle in any way with Hot Rail. From the Mexican Mafia gang tatoo font to their immediate delve into Mariachi horns on track one, it is apparent that this is border town type music for lovers of the desert from a group named after one very such crossing point. Mercifully they shy pretty far from sounding too Country, too Tex-Mex, and instead weave and swing through more classical SouthWestern themes of lone flowers and desolate vistas. Very cinematic, Hot Rail does conjure up beautiful melacholy pictures of lonely windswept horizons with rolling tumbleweeds, though due to some gratifying versatility, the views could be as easily taken for Italy as Arizona. One track, “Fade”, gives vision of a wanderlusted cabellero exploring the alien backstreets of

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