Tabs Out | Faxes – Human Scale

Faxes – Human Scale
11.16.17 by Ryan Masteller

faxes

I mean, why not, right? You got a drum, you got some circuits and some piano keys, let’s just throw em all at a wall and see what sticks. No, literally, do it. The image is in my head, I wanna see it happen…

This is great news when you’ve got as minimal a setup as Faxes does, because you don’t have a lot of stuff to throw at that wall in the first place, so cleanup will be a breeze. Your instruments may be a little more broken, a little more worn, but I’m here to tell you that that’s the whole point with these guys, these Faxes, this PDX duo that clearly owns some Suicide and some Devo and some equally post-punk and new wave records. So yeah, that synth sound is super gritty, and whether they’re banging real drums or banging on a drum machine (just whacking it with a stick, which I’m probably making up) or programming the somewhat battered drum machine, the beats heave like seasick ponies on the ferry from Assateague. They have to get to the mainland somehow, and they have Nationals tickets! (Boo Nationals.)

Perhaps obviously, Faxes make music like fax machines transmit data – the end result may be blurrier than the original, but there’s a positive aesthetic you just can’t deny. (Well, unless you’re faxing me tax documents or something, in which case I need those to be pretty clear. Actually, I’ll go pick those up at my CPA’s office.) There are even vocals here and there, but since you can’t transmit vocals via fax … oh wait, you probably can, that would be a phone line. Anyway, Faxes songs usually introduce a melody, some squiggly shit, maybe some internet dialup texture, the ever-present rhythmic pulse, and then they spiral off into wherever they happen to be heading at any given time. The ride is the payoff – although be warned, that ride often feels like the audio equivalent of frantically throwing your rusted 1979 Chevette into reverse to escape the meat-grinder you’re caught in. That sounds all right to me, sure, but you have to be prepared. Those ponies are NOT gonna help pull you out of here, no matter how off-kilter you get.

Head on over to your friendly SDM Records (aka SadoDaMascus) internet website and pony up the dough (GET IT?) for one of the 100 of these pups in existence. Or all 100, I don’t care – what do I know how much you make.

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