by Don Crispy
Chicks on Speed
The Munich-based trio turn the term Eurotrash into a compliment
While associated with the electroclash movement thanks to
their participation in American DJ/producer Larry Tees
first, widely hailed Electroclash tour, Chicks on Speed resist
categorization. With Tee in town this weekend, one suspects
there may be a reunion of old friends, but the trio continue
to create their own, tag-free future in the form of their
just released third album, Press the Space Bar.
Formed in Munich in 1997 by New Yorker Melissa Logan, Australian
Alex Murray-Leslie and Munich native Kiki Morse, Chicks on
Speed are a quintessential example of that pop music standby:
the art college band. The three met at a bar near the Munich
Art Academy, and soon set about forging a new wave/electronica
hybrid sound that was as hip as their post-feminist, anti-consumerist
lyrics and the campy 60s minidresses and glammy jumpsuits
in which they were often attired.
They were soon releasing a string of singles, including the
ironic house anthem Glamour Girl, before issuing
their debut album Will Save Us All! in 2000. Thanks to appearances
at the Love Parade and tours with acts like Super Collider,
Chicks on Speed created a buzz in the trend-generating basements
of clubland, leading to their first US tour in 2002 with Tees
The year 2003 saw the release of 99 Cents, an endearing slice
of sonic fun that featured a whos who of female ele-pop
icons from Talking Heads/Tom Tom Club bassist Tina Weymouth
to fellow 00s electro icons Miss Kitten and Peaches.
Their new disc, Press the Space Bar, saw them collaborating
with Spanish band the No Heads and producer Cristian Vogel
and, they say, turning away from the synthetic electroclash
Chicks on Speed have also shown an ability to adapt consumer
culture toward their own subversive ends, with three record
labels, video and print graphics, and avant-garde paper and
leather clothing among their various commercial endeavors...
Canadian techno producer Mathew Jonson, meanwhile, has built
a solid reputation through his participation in the Modern
Deep Left Quartet, Cobblestone Jazz and various productions
under his own name.
The Vancouver-based Jonsons forays into house, fusion,
techno and other forms of electronic-based music grew out
of a youth filled with musical activity. Jonson has a formal
background in percussion and drums, and was exposed at an
early age to electronic music through his fathers interest
in early non-acoustic instruments.
Jonson was already utilizing keyboards, sequencers and sound
modules at age 10, and began to experiment with computer-based
sequencing and composition in his teens. Jonson has a formal
background in percussion and drums, and was exposed at a young
age to synthetic music through his fathers interest
in early electronic instruments.
He became known for deeply moody solo performances, and later,
his work with the Modern Deep Left Quartet and Cobblestone
Jazz, a live electronic trio in which Jonson plays drums.
Solo productions for Canadian West Coast boutique label Itiswhatitis
have also brought him international exposure, with tours following
to the US and Europe. His recordings have been licensed by
such electronica luminaries as Carl Craig.
Both the Chicks on Speed and Mathew Jonson tours are being
promoted by expat American Laura Browns increasingly
active ArcTokyo promotion company.
Chicks on Speed@Yellow, Mar 20. Mathew
Jonson@Air, Mar 20.
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