Album Review: Classixx / ‘Hanging Gardens’ (Innovative Leisure)

classixx hanging gardens


The photogenic sound of synth-surf LA brought to you by Michael David and Tyler Blake reaches a convergence point of ’80s saturation — from under a rather prosaic moniker — and something you should live your life and be free by. Where “I’ll Get You” doesn’t make good on its cheery promise of ‘do you like bass?’, and “Long Lost” is either gorgeously dreamy or sickly sweet, the rushes of sunshine and neon in many ways fit the stereotype of bashing hexagon-shaped drum machines and keyboards manned by hair gel models.

Far from bringing these elements out of retirement, Classixx have always kept the keyboard dream alive, but a subtle Fleetwood Mac recognition on the title track as means of introducing themselves is the right mix of kitsch and originality. “Holding On” is a certified day-brightener with essential Gallic components to make it a summertime smash, conversely showing worst kept secrets working in a big way; while the sparse bassline that rubs its funk through “Rhythm Santa Clara,” in place of the phat slap bass found elsewhere, is a fine example of going synthing without having to flower and “blossom” all the time.

Throughout the crystal peaked backdrop, softer shades shadow ubiquitous buoyancy. Old dogs aren’t taught new tricks, but whether wide-eyed and bouncily doing pure pop or timed to a hammock sway (the affectionate thoughts found on “A Fax from The Beach”), Classixx reveal an Eden for when the groove needs to go outside.

File under: Letherette, Miguel Campbell, Justice