The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'chicks on speed'
I just picked up the new Chicks on Speed album, 99c. It's amusing; a bit of a punk DIY aesthetic going on, with them ranting about consumerism, culture-jamming and selling out over electronic beats and sampling mobile phone ringtones and such. (I'm not sure where it falls in the ProTools<->chip music spectrum, though; bits of it have a computer-produced gloss about it, but then they're chopped up and distorted. Fake authenticity or détournement? Someone could probably do a PhD thesis on the subject.)
The booklet is a "catalogue" of Chicks on Speed merchandise, including an "urban camouflage" T-shirt printed with a lot of brand names and corporate logos. None of the items have prices, except for a coffee-table book selling for £59.95/US$85. (Somehow, I don't think I'll buy a copy.)
The CD also contains a Quicktime video for We Don't Play Guitars, which is somewhat amusing, and features Peaches as a Joan Jett-esque retro hard-rock goddess.
Things I have been listening to over the past few days:
- Broadcast, Haha Sound -- the followup to The Noise Made By People, follows on from it, combining '60s retro sounds, sweet vocals, clunky basslines and jangly tweeness with glitchy experimental electronica (which makes sense, with them being on Warp and all). The first song sounds like Julie Andrews or something, whereas the second one is the token attempt to ride the electroclash bandwagon (thankfully the rest of the album leaves that particular well-flogged horse carcass alone). Some of the interludes are quite nice too; in particular, the bad-acid-trip quality of Black Umbrellas.
- Pizzicato 5, Happy End of the World -- Electronica combined with shagadelic retro kitsch, stylised as only the Japanese can do it. The lyrics are mostly in Japanese, and the music varies from drum & bass and house to Bacharach-hop, vintage film scores and lounge exotica. Very cute and quite groovy.
- Cornelius, Point -- I didn't like this much; it's a bit on the bland side. Also, the birdsong samples sound like something you'd pick up in a New Age crystal shop.
- Death By Chocolate, s/t, and Zap the World -- The product of an English schoolgirl's obsession with chocky bars and the Swinging Sixties. Wears its retro stylings very much on its sleeve, and is also interspersed with short spoken-word pieces in which the narrator describes what various colours mean to her and enumerates her favourite things. Most of the music is somewhere in Mid-State Orange territory. Possibly too clever for its own good.
- Chicks on Speed, The Rereleases of the Unreleases -- A collection of tracks from Chicks on Speed combines laptop electronics, punk sensibilities and ironic detachment. Has some good moments (the ironic house track Glamour Girl, and their cover of The Normal's Warm Leatherette) and a lot of filler, including many <1-minute filler tracks. Annoyingly, though, the liner notes are printed inside the packaging, which means that the only way to read them is to tear it apart. Which was probably some sort of artistic statement.
- Manitoba, Up In Flames -- this has been growing on me. Think My Bloody Valentine meets Múm. Understated, reverb-drenched vocals, glitchy beats and layers of environmental sounds, processed guitars, tinkling music-box sounds and odd instrumentals. I'll probably get Start Breaking My Heart, their (more electronic-sounding) first album, soon.