music has been promoted as the future of music in magazines and has been
adopted by superstars like Madonna and Radiohead, but it has yet to break
into the mainstream like grunge did in the early nineties.
Speaking to this, a couple recent national electronic music festivals
had cancellations (Mekka and Creamfields) due to low ticket sales. But
New York City's fast-approaching Electroclash 2001 festival, running October
10 to 14, promises to do it right and make a local breakthrough with this
scene, presenting a select group of superstar and pioneer artists from
Europe and the U. S. that best represent this growing scene, including
headliners Fischerspooner, Peaches, The Detroit Grand Pubahs, and many
Tickets are still available, so how's this one really different? Don't
blame the artists: the promotional efforts were as lo-fi as the music
(a street campaign, with distributed flyers and poster displays in hipster
stores and on poles-but I have yet to see one-and announced via email
lists). Regardless, the organizers feel the shows with advance ticket
sales, on the 11th and 12th, will sell out. A total turnout of ten thousand
is expected for the five nights.
What is electroclash? In general, it is pumping and grooving jams composed
of minimal tracks. It's bold, sexy, electronics-based-which means groove
boxes, keyboards, turntables, and computers are choice instruments-and
it incorporates genres such as punk, funk, rap, rock, you name it. The
presentation is just as important: very confident, sexual, and driven
by personalities people want to see or can relate to-they may go down
to thongs, wear elaborate costumes, sprawl onstage, are funny, cynical,
The mainstream may not know who these artists are, but they will in a
year or two, says Larry Tee. He should know, he's written a hit for RuPaul
(Supermodel), as a promoter has earned the title of "The P. T. Barnum
of New York nightlife" by Vanity Fair, and has been DJing in the
electroclash scene for the past couple years and in all the big New York
clubs for the past decade.
"A lot of people don't really get into it [electronic music] because
they don't know much about it," Paris the Black Fu of The Detroit
Grand Pubahs said.
But this is already changing. Fischerspooner is considering undisclosed
major label deals. The Detroit Grand Pubahs's hit song "Sandwiches" peaked
at number 29 on Billboard's Dance--Club Play chart. Peaches's album "The
Teaches of Peaches" was one of the top twenty sellers at the huge
East Village Tower Records over the summer.
But this music has yet to really make it on the airwaves. "I listen
to songs and it's like why isn't this on the radio because this is a gorgeous
song? It [electroclash music] sounds like it should be on the radio and
it's not. You go to Germany and it's all over the place." DJ Salinger
For those of you who don't want to wait two years, here's some of what
you can expect from them. Morplay: rapping, a lot of old school hip-hop
influence, with a move forward. Fischerspooner's Casey Spooner described
the visuals as a "haute couture show combined with a little bit of
Ziegfried and Roy, throw in a dash of Janet Jackson and a little Sid Vicious"
and the sounds as "very electronic and poppy." Chicks on Speed's
Alex Murray-Leslie said it's like a "living art object" with
"homemade instruments." DJ Assault: famous for songs like "Ass
and Titties," will show the different areas of what he does. DJ Salinger:
"take the attitude of Miami bass, the ghetto house of Chicago and
techno from Detroit and mix it all together and play it real fast and
funky and dirty." The Pubahs: "in-your-face, very personal .
. . and tongue in cheek, literally."
It's the first-ever, but not the last Electroclash festival, Larry Tee
promises. For more information, visit electroclash.com.
Free Williamsburg© | 93 Berry
Street | Brooklyn, NY 11211
| October 2001 | Issue 19
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