Trance Is for Pussies
With an instantly memorable name seemingly swiped from Lords of Acid's playbook, wardrobe borrowed from Mad Max, and several releases of high-octane electronica, Israeli boy-girl duo Analog Pussy is right at home within psychedelic trance's free-spirited, nocturnal playground.
Psy-trance is an anomaly in dance music. Its fashion sense is inspired by industrial's futurist obsession; its melodies are haywire, its beats synapse-frying. Yet it's evolved into not just a mind-bending techno offshoot but an entire subculture of tech-savvy, well-costumed eccentrics. Thanks to their hippie-like devotion and global network, international artists like Analog Pussy can thrive.
While Jiga (female) has punk roots, it was trance-loving Jinno (male) who cultivated her synthesizer jones. "Both of us have completely different tastes," Jinno says via e-mail. "It makes the working process difficult, and it takes time to agree on a certain sound. But it's good for the music because the results are quite interesting." Forming in 1997, Analog Pussy initially promoted tunes through famed unsigned artist channel MP3.com. Their original material soon reached 1 million downloads, ushering club gigs in Israel and a host of open-air festival dates throughout Europe.
Following 1999's subtly titled debut Psycho Bitch from Hell, Analog Pussy relocated to Germany, where the pair quickly developed into progressive tech-trance beatsmiths and started their own label, AP Records. Though trance gets a bad rap from techno enthusiasts for being commercial, monotonous drivel, Jiga says that outside of America, the masses love its dramatic sonics. "Trance is being played everywhere," she says, "from kiosks to kids' TV [shows]. Germany is one of the world's trance centers."
Even though psychedelic trance is still underground stateside, Analog Pussy has already whet American appetites. "The U.S. scene was quite different than what we were used to," Jinno admits. "We played our fluffiest tracks and were blowing people's heads off. Our most memorable show was in Atlanta, with George Acosta, and the amount of energy there was unbelievable. We felt like we were floating on air." After a lengthy absence and a handful of releases, the duo returns with new material, which Jiga says shows a more intricate, soulful side of the Pussy. "This album will concentrate less on beats and grooves and more on complicated melodies and fractured structures," she says. "We're putting our blood and soul in this album without paying attention to what's hot, because for us, it's all about the music." Meow. -- Kiran Aditham Analog Pussy sweats and purrs at 10 p.m. Saturday, July 23, at Sonar Nite Club, 2006 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Featuring DJs Roe, Digital Life Style, and others. Admission is $10 preshow, $20 at the door. Call 786-285-1907.
Don't look now, but we've reached the halfway point of summertime, and you high school students aren't finished with summer reading lists. Luckily, many rock 'n' roll bands have drawn inspiration from American novelists, taking their names -- and sometimes literary cues -- from our greatest writers. So, in the spirit of CliffsNotes, Outtakes offers CritNotes, a rockin' alternative to summer reading.
Reading Assignment: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (1961).
Synopsis: Bomber crews contemplate war and madness during World War II.
CritNotes Suggests: New Jersey ska survivors Catch 22, who avoided potential lawsuits by dropping the hyphen.
Sample Literary Passage: "'Do you know how long a year takes when it's going away?' Dunbar repeated to Clevinger. 'This long.' He snapped his fingers. 'A second ago you were stepping into college with your lungs full of fresh air. Today you're an old man. '"
As Translated by the Band: "I still remember when we were young and fragile then/No one gave a shit about us because times were tougher then/Feeling so good, cruising the 'hood/Straight into the real world rich kids never understood" (from "Keasbey Nights").
Reading Assignment: Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger (1948).
Synopsis: Just like it says: nine short stories dealing with suicide, imaginary friends, and disfigured loners.
CritNotes Suggests: Mid-'90s nerd-chic heartthrob Lisa Loeb and her backing band, Nine Stories.
Sample Literary Passage: "He cocked the piece. The he went over and sat on the unoccupied twin bed, looked at the girl, aimed the pistol, and fired a bullet through his right temple."
As Translated by the Band: "So what is this weather, and what is this darkness/And why do I feel so alone?/When will it snow, it's been raining for hours/Why do I feel so alone?" (from "Alone").
Reading Assignment: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960).
Synopsis: A brother and sister discover injustice and their own burgeoning maturity in their small Southern town.
CritNotes Suggests: Liverpool pop-rockers the Boo Radleys, named after Mockingbird's mysterious recluse.
Sample Literary Passage: "Jem gave a reasonable description of Boo: Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks... There was a long jagged scar that ran along his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped, and he drooled most of the time."
As Translated by the Band: "I complain about my looks/I feel bad 'bout my hair/Jesus that's so sad I admit it now/Why should anyone care?" (from "Melodies for the Deaf"). -- Christian Schaeffer
Chris Ward -- known to intellectual stoners everywhere as MC Chris -- is the head of a mysterious consortium that rules the universe from a giant spaceship in the outer reaches of the fifth galaxy. In his spare time, he's also the world's foremost nerdcore rapper, coming down in a squirrelly nasaltone on all sorts of geektastic subjects, such as Boba Fett, manga, Dairy Queen, and cough syrup as a chuggable beverage. Beyond his vast musical accomplishments, he's best-known as the brains and occasional voice behind the megafab, late-night head candy that is Cartoon Network's Adult Swim lineup, including Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Sealab 2021, the Brak Show, and Space Ghost Coast to Coast. Somehow, the Manhattan-dwelling Chicagoan has also found time to graduate from New York University as a screenwriter, take long walks in the park, tour the U.S. in a minivan, drink by himself, and e-mail Outtakes for the most serious Q&A of his life:
Outtakes: What's your sign?
MC Chris: Virgo. I'm a schedule nut
Turn-ons: comics, video games, marijuana. Turn-offs: Republicans, turned-up collars, vegetables.
Comic book store or Six Flags, pad thai, and then some making out on the Staten Island Ferry.
Favorite place to cuddle?
The ball pit at Chuck E. Cheese.
Best cartoon ever?
Tom and Jerry or early Hanna Barbera.
Favorite b-boy stance?
The Run-DMC shoulder hug.
Do you keep it real?
Do you wreck MCs? Do you put them in a line?
I waste wack MCs like they're fuel in a Hummer.
How many MCs does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Two. One to get it done and one to get jealous and challenge him.
What's your exit strategy for Iraq?
How hungry are you?
I could eat your face off.
Who's a player?
Who's your nemesis?
That would be the pope. He has some incriminating photos of me buying discount goods in Singapore. -- D. Sirianni
MC Chris performs with Simplekill at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 23, at the Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $9.99 advance or $12 at the door. All ages admitted. Call 954-564-1074.
Get the Music Newsletter
Find out about upcoming concerts and special offers happening in the South Florida music scene.