One of the main reasons that this kind of Bowie Bolan music does so well when filtered through the Ariel Pink lo fi lens is because of how terrible and cheesy it sounds if recorded cleanly. When David Keenan coined the concept of making pure memory/nostalgia music, and regrettably invented hypnagogic pop, he focused on the far more avant collages of Skaters/James Ferraro. But he also pulled in the likes of Nite Jewel, and that's the kind of music Outer Limits embodies so well – 70s AM pop through the portal of the fuzzy radio sound, the lost tape deck artifact.
The irony is that this willful lo-fi recording method mutates the essence of what “lo-fi” is supposed to mean, past it meaning recording with whatever means one has, past it being the method du jour with so many garage bands of the past few years — it becomes a careful, tinkering process of its own, fusing past pop sensibilties with careful production aesthetic masked as crap recording: it takes work to sound this blurry.
Exhibit A. Does a fake radio reel announcement prior to fake name (The Sweethearts) for the Outer Limits track “Burnin Through The Night” go too far? Found myself watching the seconds counter just to validate that they did not spend more than 30 minutes shooting this video:
Outer Limits, “Julie”
Dude has a whole channel of gems like the above.
Look out for an Outer Limit Recording 7-inch from Transparent in the UK and Olde English Spelling Bee in the US, and more from True Panther and Young and Lost on the horizon.