JJAAXXNN “Space Case” (Translingustic Other)

JJAAXXNN is really annoying to type, and originally I planned on griping about how tricky spellings and all-caps hijinks separate artists from the boots-on-ground, blood-in-teeth real world. But then I listened to the tape and realized that JJAAXXNN (still, sigh) isn't interested in the real world at all. The solo work of Josh Bruner, formerly of Californian hypno-psych desert-wanderers Magic Leaves, Space Case is a breezy collection of mellow-yellow synth pop that wafts around freely like a plastic bag in the wind, tethered tangentially to a group of voices that sing with all the slit-eyed conviction of a slacker sex/death cult. There's a shoulder-shrugging chintz to the sound on this tape, like Bruner lifted his gear from a low-rent wedding band, but figures you'll be too entranced by his washes of reverb-y haze-pop to notice the '89 Casio stock drum beats. And mostly you are. By the time you hit the B-side – all dubs, all the time – you'll be floating effortlessly in the dirty bathwater of your soul. And for $7.00 a pop, that's a  much cheaper ride than a weekend-long  Xanax jag.

- Ken McIntyre