There's a bit of a Cinderella story behind Ashrae Fax's Static Crash, so don't feel too bad if you didn't know it was originally released 10 years ago, because you'd probably be in the majority.

On the Mexican Summer website, it suggests that "One could easily believe its origin to be from 1983, or 1993, or even 2013. But its 2003 release found few takers, outside of a small but dedicated local following." This is confirmed by the haunting, electronic dream-pop nature of the album, which was even reissued once on cassette in 2005, and again in a very small vinyl pressing in 2010. So clearly, dedicated fans of Ashrae Fax exist, and with Mexican Summer's most recent reissue of it, the snowball that is Static Crash only seems to be growing in size.

And why shouldn't it? Static Crash is a nightmare of an album, a kind of "bad dream"-pop that would have definitely had me in my parents' bedroom in the middle of the night in my younger days. Take the second track on the album, 'Daddystitch', for instance. The low, fuzzy synths, when combined with the abrupt, fast-paced beat and Renee Mendoza's eerie vocals, make for an incredibly unsettling song.

This seems to be a good way to describe most of Static Crash, which at a mere eight tracks, is decently short-lived. However, the album is effective in its brevity, often employing chiming synth lines over huge waves of reverb-drenched guitar, as in the song 'Pointbreak'.

Despite being rather nightmarish, Static Crash does share many qualities with other dream-pop, shoegaze, and even noise pop albums. As is typically the case with this kind of music, the lyrics themselves are never the focal point of the individual tracks. Instead, the vocal melodies - drowned in reverb - create a feeling just as strong as the words might be able to on their own. Mendoza in particular has the ability to create these certain types of feelings; her voice is sometimes a little rough around the edges, but these occasional wails are always purposefully (not to mention effectively) executed.

Now, there are moments on the album that are, at least at first, kind of questionable. The fifth track, 'Uprlxrq', almost entirely comprised of what appears to be audio malfunctions, had me double checking that I hadn't blown a speaker or something. However, the track is far from out of place on the album, and it definitely goes along with some of its more noisy moments.

The shimmering electric guitar chords and relentless drum machine beat of 'Armpit' makes the whole track sound really pensive. It makes the listener feel as though something terrible is about to happen, like they're frantically searching for something that they will never find. This is similar to the final track on the album, 'Ectome', in which the strong synth intro sounds almost like the soundtrack to an 80s slasher flick.

So again, don't feel too bad if you weren't aware of Ashrae Fax, or Static Crash when it first came out so many years ago. Just pull down the shades, turn off the lights, and be thankful that Mexican Summer has made it available once again, this time (hopefully) in a more welcoming musical climate.