I met up with Lexx briefly last Christmas. He was doing a Sunday gig with the Cosmopolitan Dance crew in Daikanyama, while I`d been in Harajuku the night before for a Bounenkai. Bouenenkai translates as something like “event to forget the year”. Originally this was in reference to seniority in the work place i.e. in a country where to you can, just about, still have a job for life, the oldest people pretty much hold the highest rank. This is an office piss-up where who`s the boss is supposed to be forgotten. These days it`s also more literally translated as “let`s get so wasted that we can`t remember what happened this year”. I`d been DJing and drinking with Max Essa, Ken Hidaka and Gordy, at Bonobo until about 7 AM. I`d then crashed at a cheap hotel (no love involved) until they`d kicked me out at noon. Realizing that I was a considerable way off sober, I dragged my record box to the venue in Daikanyama with the idea of plotting there. The venue being a large basement café, and the gig due to start at 4PM, I figured that I could catch Lexx for an extended chat, and grab some lunch suitable for a vegetarian, since Lexx is a vegan and the Cosmo Dance crew have a bit of an organic / hippy vibe (a lot of rainbows in effect). Beef curry was all they had. So I struggled with endless coffee and the alcohol publically leaching from my pores. Trying to pass myself of as professional I set up my laptop on a long table and did my best Lester Bangs / Dr. Thompson, held court and wrote those end of year round ups. It was great to watch the set up, always cool to chat to Cosmo Dance`s Nozo, get Test Pressing feedback from the lovely Megume (“more interviews please”), and another chap (funny how I can remember the girl`s name but not the guy`s. I guess I`m a little prehistoric. Sorry) who was dressed in a rad outfit that placed him in NYC right on the border of the 1970s / 1980s, and should have had him bombing trains with Dondi and breaking in the projects with Prince Ken Swift. Kinda preppy but very “Subway Art”. Lexx was travelling and running late but I got to hear very smart sets by Altz and Chee Shimizu (also really nice to talk to Chee for the first time in about four years). When Lexx did arrive one of the three conversations that we had concerned this record. We joked that he would have taken Bing`s cover of “Hanging On A String” (lifted from his ”Sunshine For Your Mind” CD) and Soul boy that he is turned it back into Loose Ends. Well, it isn`t quite that, but to not make comparison with the Nick Martinelli-produced classic would be impossible. Lexx edits Mr. Ji Ling`s acoustics over a popping LM-1. Gitanos toque touches giving it the feel of an Ibiza of yesteryear. The Loved-Up, tempo-ed down of Moccasoul and Movement 98. Lexx`s original on the flip, “All That Is Now”, layers languid guitar and tabla patterns, electronics like the detail in a fine engraving, and is going in my box not too far from Steve Cobby`s “Arroyo”.
Lexx`s reconstruction of Bing Ji Ling`s cover of Loose Ends` “Hanging On A String” isn`t up on the Phantom Island Bandcamp page yet but Piccadilly and Juno have copies.