REGULARS


    

Five or six years ago when it was The Thing, I listened incessantly to electronic music in all its picayune varieties — trip hop, trance, house, drum and bass, ambient — and it never once struck me as music to fuck to. (Music to smoke dope to, sure. The highest praise one could offer electronic music was, "We've gotta get high to this!") It was too cold, too sleek, cyborg-y. In fact, charisma is what electronic musicians seem to want least. The members of Kraftwerk, the pioneering, early-'80s German electronica band, were rarely seen in the flesh; instead, computerized mannequins appeared on their records, in publicity stills and even on-stage at their live concerts, taking care of all the knob-twiddling and fan adulation for them. More recently, the French group Daft Punk announced on 9-9-99 that they had become robots. (Okay.) Even for most young people, no knob-twiddler is never going to be the new Al Green; it's aural wallpaper for MTV promos and the occasional car commercial.


    

Which is why a potty-mouthed diva like Peaches, the self-described "horny bitch" of the German electro-punk scene, is something like a revelation to my ears. She's an unlikely sex symbol, what with her pale, sleep-all-day complexion, frizzy 'fro and a wardrobe that's more softcore '70s than ghetto-fabulous. And despite having starred in a self-directed super-8 porn film, Chromezone XXX, which she's shown at several indie film festivals. But listen to her album or see her in concert, where she's famed for screaming, "Are you ready to get fucked up the ass?!" and working her audiences into a frenzy, and you'll soon understand why the thirty-four-year-old former Canadian school teacher is making so many so wet so suddenly.


    

"Sucking on my titties like you wanted me/ Calling me all the time, like Blondie/ Check out my Chryssie Hynde behind/ it's fine all of the time," Peaches raps over a booty beat less than a minute into her debut album. "Like sex on the beaches . . . What else is in The Teaches of Peaches?" To answer her own question, she offers an assortment of triple-X ditties like "Lovertits," "Hot Rod" and "Cum Undun" — minimalist tracks with a simple electro-beat garnished with a few catchy hooks, over which she drawls naughty nothings like, "Some say I keep my self-respect hidden in my cervix" and "Come diddle my skittle, 'cause there's only Peach with the hole in the middle." Imagine Lil' Kim on Sprockets, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopez channelling East Berlin hausmusik, Daft Punk on a triple dose of Viagra, and you start to get the idea. (Sample tracks from her album are downloadable at her label's website.)


    

What's appealing about Peaches, aside from the witty rhyming of her lyrics, is that even her beats have charisma. They're scratchy and homegrown, indie rock?style — crunchy, grind-y and viscerally sexy. It makes me think of eight-tracks and wood-panelled basements and musty shag carpeting and naughty things I did when I was in the third grade when my friend Paul came over to spend the night. We took turns holding up a megaphone as if it were a video camera and danced around naked, pretending to film each other. The sound quality has the budget aesthetic of a porn video. Just as punk was a reaction against disco, electro-punk is a reaction against electronica's clean, overproduced sound. Peaches has applied the principles of lo-fi to a quintessentially hi-fi music. Best of all, Peaches is an auteur — she writes and performs all the music and her one instrument is a Roland MC505 Groovebox.


    

And her timing seems perfect. Ass-kicking third-wave feminists unafraid to unleash their pussy power have been around for a while. We've had stripper chic, stripper backlash, stripper chic redux and The Vagina Monologues all over the place. Bonafide lesbians, starring in a feminist porn video, won the coveted AVN porn award for Best Female Video this year. It seemed inevitable that someone would ask when the women in electronica were going to show up for the party. "I'm only double-A but I'm thinking triple-X," sings Peaches in her perfect monotone. Take that, robot boys.


©2001
Albert Lee and Nerve.com, Inc.

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Peachy Keen



The Teaches of Peahces by PeachesElectronica has never had a Lil' Kim or a Foxy Brown. It's no-frills, skinny white guys who rule — guys like Moby, Fatboy Slim and the Chemical Brothers, whose cool comes from their music's association with various sorts of drugs and its liberal sampling of black gospel and soul. It's a genre that follows an Atari aesthetic: reverence for the electronic, devotion to geekhood. There's no flash, no flamboyance. No steam, no sizzle. Who ever has sex to electronica? It's nerd music. Bleep! Bloop! Not exactly sexy.

Commentarium (12 Comments)

Mar 22 01 - 3:41am
sku

glad to see peaches get some more love from the populace. two nit-picky things, though. #1. kraftwerk started doing their thing in the late 70s and didn't gain recognition in the states until the early 80s. #2. if you're going to use a term as vague and marketed as "electronica" you could fit some wonderful music that could be played during sex into that fabricated category. examples: bjork, portishead, tricky, andrea parker, kruder and dorfmeister (and all their side projects), amon tobin, boards of canada, coldcut and dj krush's coldkrushcuts album.... and the list goes on. funny thing is, most of the artists in this list have very little in common, musically. fitting all electronic music into one genre is a narrow-minded way of looking at the music. i would argue that calling the many genres of this type of music "picayune" is a subtle way of being dismissive of the music. the sampler and synthesizer are used differently by different folks just like the guitar. does it follow that every music group that uses guitars to make music is considered to be in the same category? wait--most musicians who put out records use recording studios/devices--aren't those electronic?

that said, go have sex to peaches now.

Mar 22 01 - 9:23am
kel

Here's that nerve article about the Diddle My Skittle chick ... .

Mar 22 01 - 3:00pm
HM

the author hasn't been listening to the right house. to fuck to, that is. Dirty dirty.

Mar 22 01 - 11:27pm
kh

"electronica" lacking sex? are you completely ignorant of Lords of Acid??

Mar 28 01 - 1:09am
dd

Might I direct your attention to Massive Attack's Mezzanine. Truly something to fuck to. Peaches sounds pretty cool, though.

Jun 29 01 - 12:01am
KP

Hey, what about the Lords of Acid? Nikki's got a potty mouth to rival the freakiest Prince albums.

Jul 10 01 - 2:26am

i dont like it

Jul 17 01 - 4:52pm
jim

you don't really know what you're talking about. you obviously haven't taken much time checking out electronic music. not to mention that this music sux. there's nothing wrong with simplistic music as along as it's interesting but when the only thing interesting about the music is getting a hard on from some bitch talking about masturbation.... i'd rather dig out my crusty old penthouse mags and have a go. or i can save the $20 i'd spend on this crap and go buy a blow job.

Aug 16 01 - 10:23am
A.A.

I guess the writer of the article needs to do a little more research: on top of all the erotic eurodance, some which never made it to the USA (E-rotic's "Fred come to bed," 20 Fingers' "Short Dick Man" and "Lick It") there's of course the Belgian group Lords of Acid who's been doing "electronica" since 95, and whose albums you can find in pretty much any record store in the US. They have nothing to envy Peaches.

"I take my pussy everywhere I go,
to see my little pussy is a show,
I heard your pussy's really slick,
but I think your pussy's really sick"

Jan 12 02 - 8:13pm
xtx

k maybe i'm a little late- but i simply MUST comment... raw sex exudes from a lot of rave music (ever hear of a little band called the Prodigy?) btw, have u ever even BEEN to a true hardcore rave, mate? the sexual energy on the dance floor from all the sexy, sweaty, drug- amped kandy kid boys/girls in belly shirts is unmistakable- and the things that the drugs and the lights and the rhythm and the whole vibe on the dance floor can lead a body to do is beyond words... try some more field research- you won't regret it.

Mar 18 02 - 9:07pm
bjg

i think peaches is a little over the heads of most of the people on nerve, you know the types that think anything on merge recordings is really "underground" and "edgy". The work that pink is doing is more in line with contemporary visual arts / performace art than anything you will hear on even the best house labels (the typle of "electronica" i know best).

Apr 10 02 - 7:59pm
ml

I'm wondering if Albert Lee was just really close to deadline when he wrote this piece or is he really *that* ignorant of music? In either case, why allow someone who is so clearly devoid of any basic knowledge about the so-called "electronica" genre to comment on it? Would you interview Ariel Sharon and ask him about The Strokes? Why assign the Peaches CD to Lee? He's clueless and his piece is factually incorrect in many places.