premiere: connan mockasin puts a new spin on rexy’s ‘running out of time’

As Samantha Urbani’s new record label URU prepares to re-release the 80s duo’s only album, our fave alt-pop oddball Connan Mockasin takes the title track for a drive.

by Emily Manning
|
18 February 2016, 4:00pm

Last month, Samantha Urbani made music nuts' heart flutter when she announced she'd be spearheading URU, a new record label created in conjunction with Lucky Number (the London-based indie imprint Hinds calls home). The former Friends front woman's first order of business? Re-issuing Running Out of Time, the only album ever recorded by Rexy -- an illusive Brit pop duo Urbani has long admired.

Originally released in 1981 and long since out of print, Running Out of Time has achieved cult status among left-of-center pop enthusiasts for its electro-tinged grooves and strong, straightforward lyricism. After spending months trying to track down its members, Urbani learned they hadn't kept in contact or seen each other for over 30 years. But her personal connection to the duo's subject matter and desire to re-examine their impact on contemporary pop by sharing their sounds with a new generation might actually lead to renewed ventures.

For now, though, Urbani is excited to re-issue the record on March 18. She's already released her own version of "Alien," a slightly dancier take on the melodic original. Today, we're pleased to premiere psych-funk auteur Connan Mockasin's cover of the title track. "I've been a long time fan of Connan -- his records, live shows, and as a person in general," Urbani told i-D via email. "When I heard through the grapevine that he was also a huge Rexy fan, it made perfect sense. What I love about his music has lots of ties to what I love about Rexy."

Rexy's "Running Out of Time" combines cutting vocal clarity, rhythmic ticks, and fluttery but precise guitar riffs that clearly bear influence on contemporary outfits -- perhaps most directly Chromatics, but also Ariel Pink. Connan's cover delightfully distorts these guitar progressions, pairing them with alien-ish vocal exaggerations. The overall effect is wonderfully weird, and we can't help tap our feet to Mockasin's fuzzy funk.

"'Running Out of Time' is about surveillance and paranoia, although written in a time long before computer surveillance," Rexy's members told us in an email. "We are delighted that Connan covered this track; we're big fans of his and thrilled with the results."

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