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Samantha Urbani Forms New Label Uru‏

London label Lucky Number, in-conjunction with new label URU, spearheaded by solo artist Samantha Urbani, today announce their reissue of British pop duo Rexy’s only album, Running Out of Time on March 18th, 2016.   Originally released in 1981 and long since out of print, the LP has become a coveted find for fans of leftfield pop, and through the rewards of its wry, forward-looking songcraft, has been championed by the likes of current artists such as Ariel Pink, Joey Negro, Connan Mockasin and MGMT.

The Rexy song “Alien” is available to hear now via Pitchfork, as well as a brilliant cover of the song by Samantha herself.  PRESS HERE to check them out.

PRE-ORDER REXY’S RUNNING OUT OF TIME HERE.

Rexy’s Running Out Of Time is the first release on URU, a label run by Samantha Urbani, best known as a founder, songwriter, and frontperson for New York City band Friends, as well as guest vocalist with Blood Orange.  It was Urbani who had first fell in love with the Rexy album, playing it enthusiastically to her pals at the record label Lucky Number, who agreed to co-release the album with her this winter.

Meeting in the heady milieu of London’s Blitz Kids scene, fashion student Rex Nayman and Eurythmics band member Vic Martin formed Rexy after bonding over a shared affinity for maverick pop music and the creatively flamboyant clothing fashions of the day. Writing and rehearsing together in down time, it wasn’t long before the pair’s relationship also blossomed into romance.

With clicking drum machines, maddeningly-catchy synth basslines, and spoken-word delivery vocals that recalled contemporaries like Young Marble Giant and Laurie Anderson, Rexy was asked to record a full-length after the release of one single.  The result, released on Alien Records, was Running Out of Time, a ten-song LP of idiosyncratic synthpop, released in 1981.

With its propulsive, large-scale pop productions, Rexy’s dynamic sound picked up momentum, resulting in a television appearance and a smattering of live shows both in the Netherlands and in England. However, as the band’s reach began to grow, Nayman and Martin’s romance started to falter, and before long, both their romantic and musical partnership came to an end.

Over the subsequent years, as the pair fell out of contact, the band’s peculiar output faded from earshot. In their short career, alongside the previously mentioned single and album, Rexy managed to release an EP (also titled Running Out of Time), and a single – In the Force (1981). Vic continued his musical career, playing keys for Boy George and Curiosity Killed the Cat, amongst others, whilst Rex pursued a career in the fashion industry.

Running Out of Time remained a favorite of the initiated few, though, one of whom was Samantha Urbani, who found them by sharing music with one of her 10 roommates, DJ and musician Jan Woo, when she lived at the now mythologized Brooklyn DIY venue and living space, Market Hotel, in 2010.

“I first heard Running Out Of Time a few months after I had formed my own first (and only) band, Friends, and I heard natural similarities to the music I was already creating that made me feel very at home in listening to the album – like a companion that understood me – and enough differences to feel inspired, fascinated, and infatuated,” says Urbani.   “There were songs about feeling alien amongst societally ‘normal’ humans, being suspicious of ‘music industry’ types who come off as vampiric, out of touch, and deceptive, songs about cops being scary righteous idiots, songs about forlorn yet zen-like acceptance of lost love – all things I felt so deeply at the time. And it was sung all in the most natural, un-self-conscious, spunky, sassy, and unaffected young woman’s voice – a record that was something truly punk, truly individualist, in that it was purely itself.”

“Also – Running Out Of Time had never been compromised by having a continued legacy that could ever miscontextualize it,” continues Urbani.  “I felt like Rexy’s one and only album had been fossilized in a perfect way, by its singularity, its mystery, and its illusiveness. This turned it into its own little esoteric- yet totally relatable and honest- world.”

Upon the formation of URU, Urbani knew re-releasing the Rexy album was her first priority.  She and Lucky Number spent months trying to track Rexy down on Facebook; when they finally did, they learned the band hadn’t kept in touch nor seen each other for 30 years.  The proposal to re-release their album sparked their interest in making music together again.  Whether this reunion will produce any new recordings or shows is anyone’s guess, but until then, Running Out of Time is ready to be justly re-categorized by a new generation of listeners from being a pop oddity to being an absolute classic.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, play guitar, music geek, movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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