group:xex is flying out of the boxes as it did the first time it was released in 1980!
be sure to grab a copy of the newly remastered LP from the SHOP
and while in the process of cleaning my room I found a review of group:xex in a zine published in 1981 from Ohio! Read what they had to say:
and then today OTHER MUSIC reviewed the 2011 re-issue:
Released in 1980 to little fanfare, Xex's sole album, Group: Xex, has become something of a Holy Grail item for collectors of US minimal synth since its (re)discovery in the late '90s. Destined to reach higher and higher prices on the collector's market, Dark Entries Records has remedied the situation by rescuing and re-mastering this lost gem for synth lovers everywhere. Comprised of five friends from Rutgers College, these New Jersey weirdoes constructed ultra-minimal pop songs with nothing but electronic instruments and a cynical sense of Cold War-era humor (on "SNGA" for example: "Soviet nerve gas is fun/ If your pleasure is killing everyone"). Obvious nods to Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! abound throughout Group: Xex, as the band takes the general feel of Devo tracks like "Jocko Homo" or "Shrivel Up" and strips the sound down even further to its most basic elements. Yet, Xex are hardly some cheap Devo rip-off; there are few records of the era that sound quite so charmingly strange and perfectly art-damaged (though Der Plan and the Residents' early discography certainly comes to mind -- this album at hand even features some cool moments of tape loop noise and odd sound manipulations that will certainly please fans of both bands).
Group: Xex ultimately plays out like some strange cry from the distant past, or alternately, a document sent back to us from some very bizarre future. Alternating male and female vocals chant some of the most strangely humorous lyrics over the 12 tracks, as synthesizers buzz and twinkle over metronomic drumbeats. This is some of the most minimal of all minimal synth records (there's no dancefloor fillers here), yet fans of bands like Crash Course in Science, Ceramic Hello, Experimental Products' Prototype, or even Devo enthusiasts wondering what all this minimal synth hubbub is about will find a lot to love here. I also have to take this moment to congratulate Dark Entries on another really beautiful reissue. The design is a fantastic reproduction of the original LP, and the album comes with an awesome 'zine packed full of photos and information about Xex. A really stellar reissue! [CPa]
expect some announcements next week about the next reissue Bay Area Retrograde (BART) Volume 1