MEXICAN SUMMER (MEX 075, 12” + digital)
Ramona Gonzalez has completed her journey of the evocation of the physical and real material realisation: that which used to be a dream, difficult to catch with your hands, is now something solid. I’m referring to her passion for eighties pop, the big hits with passionate vocals and perfect electronic production: on her album for No Pain In Pop and on the single “Am I Real” there were still traces of the desire to make songs like they used to, still rough and with a phantom-like halo, but “It Goes Through Your Head” is the dream come true: now, Nite Jewel sounds like her, but also her being Cindy Lauper or the singer of Berlin, in a tremendous mirror game. Thanks to the improvement of her recording budget (signing with Mexican Summer, the label that has been well to do as of late thanks to the Best Coast boom, was probably a good choice in that respect), the final production sounds like that of those days: it’s supreme hypnagogia when you go from the –purely imaginary– ideal model to actually making it with your own hands.
The two tracks on this 12” are like those by Games: they’re reverential with the original sources –FM radio AOR pop– and personal and modern at the same time. Just like “Natural Causes”, on which you can still see the old Nite Jewel. But “It Goes Through Your Head” stands out as the best cut, and I even think the electro-funk remix Dâm-FunK has given it doesn’t do right by the track –or maybe it’s like those Madonna hits remixed by John “Jellybean” Benitez: they were so good that the remix almost destroyed them, and something similar is happening here. However, the one by The Samps of “Natural Causes” is worthy, full of chillwave textures that go so well with the label –and Nite Jewel herself– and which her new orientation towards retro-futurist chart-topping pop seems to have banished to a second place in her sonic imagery. But there’s no need to worry: the step forward is firm, courageous and good.
Natural Causes (Samps Showerstation Remix)
Nite Jewel - 'It Goes Through Your Head'