Send me your track


Fax - Zig Zag


Static Discos

Dreamy technopop has gone through something of a revival in recent years. Some of the better known producers that have tried their hand at this genre include Matthew Dear, Ladytron, and Solar Bears, to name but a few. This enlivened interest and recent inrush of inventive and cool music has provided a boon to fans of quirky, dreamy electronic pop. So it was with strong interest that I picked up Zig Zag, Mexican remixer and producer Rubén Tamayo’s (who produces under the moniker Fax) sixth album.

While Zig Zag fits in with this recent trend of harkening back to the heyday of electronic pop, it does not feel like a cutting edge or challenging take on an established genre. Tamayo makes use of a range of traditional instrumentation, including bright synth loops, bouncing bass lines, melodious guitar riffs, and smooth drum programming. In the process, he creates an enjoyable and tuneful, if largely vapid, collection of ten solid technopop tracks. 

The highlights of the album come with the tracks “HATE,” “Little Baby Shooting Star,” and “Fruit Flies.” The first develops as a four-on-the-floor house beat over a warm synth soundscape. Tamayo’s introduction of a guitar riff and rolling bass line really locks down this track’s smooth sound. No doubt, a competent DJ could make great use of this club-worthy track. “Little Baby Shooting Star” features bouncing synths and mellow vocal samples that blend together in a natural manner. It is a very nice tune and perhaps my favourite track on the album. Finally, “Fruit Flies” is an ambient interlude that ends the album, but it is so well done that I found myself wanting Tamayo to add more ambient tracks.        

The rest of the album is melodic and well produced, but nonetheless fails to challenge the listener. “Lonely Planet” feels eerily similar to any number of electronic pop templates established by Kraftwerk, but does not distinguish itself as a modern reinterpretation of the German band. “Sunburned” reminds me of a garage band piece that ought to have been made by The Strokes. And “The Room” feels overproduced in a rather hackneyed style. In all honesty, at times I even felt that Tamayo’s style—as technopopish as it is—would benefit from introducing an even broader use of vocals. That would keep many of the tracks fresh and exciting.

In the end, Zig Zag is a somewhat colorless album. While neither exhilarating nor challenging, Tamayo nonetheless produces tuneful tracks that serve as nice background music. Whatever the case, he is still developing as a producer and arranger.

Jeremy Yellen


Reader Comments (1)

Yes i completely agree with your views about Zig Zag. online faxing

October 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterraywilliam

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>
« Hyboid - Aliens Ate My Synthesizer! | Main | The Fun Years - God was like, No »