Under the name FWY! (pronounced Freeway) Edmund Xavier offers a hypnotic instrumental tribute to various California highways.
These 11 excellent pieces hint at the ideal image of the motor car; one shrouded in the mystical allure of desire and personal freedom. There are no traces of potholes, gridlock, murder, accident, or low-speed chase. Even the short ode to (notoriously congested) "The 405" has the impressionistic beauty of an orchestra of very faint car horns. Elsewhere, synths bubble gently under clean, driving bass lines and an occasional fuzzy chord low in the mix hits like a distant wave heard on a coastal drive in an open-top car. On "The 57" gorgeous soft guitar creates a musical landscape that is part polluted sunshiny perfection, part neon heaven. The music throbs with a gliding, cooperative movement akin to "Autobahn" rather than the bouncy optimism of, say, "Route 66." Xavier creates uncluttered, shimmering, cruise-controlled moods, by lightly and smoothly applying drum machines, guitar, field recordings, bass, casiotone, organ, and synth. The moods are pleasantly familiar but as unnatural as a passing world, seen through glass.
Released on cassette, CA 80‚Äôs-90‚Äôs makes me wish to drive in California again (and for a tape-player in the car).