How do you define a label whose roster defy definition indefinitely? Jessica Pratt, Connan Mockasin, Ariel Pink, Oneohtrix Point Never, Cate Le Bon and Washed Out. Over the past ten years, Mexican Summer have signed a sprawl of artists and it is almost impossible to draw a line of best fit. Almost.
The common denominator amongst the menagerie is a conceptual spirit that explores, subverts and evolves a monumental array of pop music genres. Whether it’s Connan Mockasin’s psychedelic dream soul, Weyes Blood’s Laurel Canyon pastiche or whatever the fuck Oneohtrix Point Never is, Mexican Summer are drawn to those who play with our preconceptions.
Beginning in Brooklyn in 2008, Mexican Summer was founded by Keith Abrahamsson and Andres Santo Domingo. It is now the foremost experimental pop label and a bastion for artists to take creative control of their output. You never know what Mexican Summer will put out next (and I reckon they’re as miffed as we are), but you know it will take you to a place that is instantly recognisable and alien all at once.
5 Minutes With Keith Abrahamsson
First off, congratulations on reaching your 10 year anniversary last year. What are your hopes for decade number 2?
Thank ya, kindly. Decade #2 has gotta go even deeper, right? Our hope is to continue supporting artists who bring beautiful art and positivity into this big, frequently bleak world of ours.
As an outside observer, there is something elusive that connects your artists. A kind of conceptual indie-rock or epic experimental pop. Could you shed any more light on what it is that you look for in your artists?
Good songs + good people - but always keepin it freaky. If that criteria is met, we’ll usually find a way to figure out the rest.
Could you name us five releases over the past 11 years that define Mexican Summer?
Not sure about defining us, but here’s SIX selects I dig (cause I like even numbers better):
Ariel Pink - Dedicated To Bobby Jameson
Various - Sad About The Times
Cate Le Bon - Reward
Connan Mockasin - Jassbusters
Oneohtrix Point Never - Replica
Weyes Blood - Front Row Seat To Earth
What has Mexican Summer got in store for us in 2019?
2019 is almost a wrap, so here’s some 2020 news… new music from Ariel, Connan, Dungen, Paint, Jess Williamson, Arp and a bunch of new signings, reissues and book projects that you’ll have to wait a minute or two to hear about.
After the brief but beautiful collaboration between Ariel Pink and Weyes Blood, who from your roster would you love to see team up for a record?
That collab (and others like it) have been the fruits of our ongoing residency series that we hold each April in Marfa, TX at our Myths festival. We have a new one on the way this Fall from Cate Le Bon + Bradford Cox and then next year from Drugdealer + Tim Presley. Hoping we can keep that spirit alive and kickin well into the future…