Press The Spacebar - press release notes
Chicks on Speed and the No Heads
Press The Spacebar (CD)
COS 19 / Hausmusik/Indigo 5278-2
30 November 2004 (Europe)
The fourth full length CHICKS ON SPEED album after "Will Save Us All" and last year's "99 Cents" sees them radically turn away from the synthetic electroclash approach they are often misleadingly associated with and team up with the Spanish band the No Heads and the producer Cristian Vogel to deliver their most collectively experimental record to date, that will remind people of The Shaggs, Sonic Youth, The Raincoats, Pixies, Violent Femmes, The Bangles, Can, Beefheart & the Magic Band, Bananarama, Bongwater, ESG and the Flying Lizards... and which still is impossible to place anywhere.
It was back in 2000 @ Sonar, when COS first saw Cristian Vogel playing with the legendary band, Super Collider, captivated by their performance and never to forget their first meeting, the COS always dreamt of working with Cristian. Years later on a very early morning at Ultraschall in Munich, the legendary electronic music club, they encountered each other once again, this time, to make devious plans of making music together.
The planning came to fruition and THE COS went to Barcelona to start work on an album in early 2003. On arrival, Cristian presented COS with a book, titled The New Music by Reginald Smith Brindle inspiring the 3 to create a score for one another to improvise to. The score was on large pieces of paper, including drawings of lines, biscuit crumbs, and its execution involved recording smashed cooky crumbs, polystyrene being rubbed on drums, an old synth, a radio mic tuning in and out of Spanish radio, walking up and down stairs and samples of other strange near by environmental happenings. This piece of improvised occurrences is titled "Hand in My Pocket" on the final Album.
Each day was a surprise in the studio, more and more people started to show up, and work on the album and eventually all became a type of band, playing found instruments, percussion, old synths and traditional instruments. The band members included Panoxa, Enric and Tony, all having a rich history of experience at various capacities within the Barcelona music scene.
The daily creative work process was varying, from almost whole day long jam sessions with COS, Cristian and the band, to COS writing lyrics to the sounds which were being generated and developed in the next room. It was living experimentation on a daily basis and everything was being recorded and twisted into songs with a live recipe. The jam session room was clustered with an array instruments: Korg MS 20, an MS 10, a Moog, paint spatulas, a wooden flute, other strange shaped wooden percussion objects, guitars, bass, drums connected to trigger pads which fed a sampler, that was connected to Cristianīs computer, air FX, a Sherman Filter bank and Dr Boss sampler.
Friends and other musicians continually popped in and contributed to the jam with artists such as Heidi Mortenson on the Melodica on Class War.
From the first day of jamming in Barcelona COS believed that this 3rd album should essentially draw reference to The Shaggs (late 60s) and bands like the Raincoats and other do-it-yourself bands of the late 70s, in approach and their beliefs in the disorder of music, through methods of musical delivery and how to play an already existing instrument. These initial ideas mutated into an album far more reaching than the initial source of inspiration COS had. PRESS THE SPACE BAR is an eclectic array of ideas, culminating through lyrical content and and a fresh, but rough and dynamic musical approach. Song lyrics included collaging together texts, from boring humdrum, rock and roll yellow press, as on the perversely delivered "Wax my Anus", a Song about the life of Courtney Love, to the politics of America and George Bush's "CLASS WAR", written at a time when the world of America, has fallen into a world of globalised greed and the uneven distribution of wealth, "The Household Song" is a celebration of the feminist house wife, in this modern age of careerism and "Mitte Bitte" is a song reflecting the angst and excitement Berlinerīs have, living in one of the "coolest", most dysfunctional, fast moving, unpredictable, great, broken down cities of the world.
The intellectual and experimental approach of Panoxa's guitar playing, has brought an extra dimension to the songs, at times his guitar restructures a song in mid-way and other times the guitar becomes the ghost of a 4th Chick.
Cristian Vogel is a musician and producer, well known for his DJ performances, studio compositions and full length recordings, mostly electronic music, but possessing elements of real instrumentation. Cristian's approach on the process of making the album, was ingeniously open to experimentation, influencing lyrical content and performance through natural voice manipulation to the positioning of amps in hallways with polystyrene attached to them for better sound quality. With Cristian's disregard and appreciation for traditional music, along with COS' love for all things raw and do-it-yourself, they have created an album together that could be compared to progressive rock, concept albums of the 70s, inviting the listener to come on a psychedelic journey, into a world as seen through the eyes of a temporary band.
In the words of Felix Kubin: "Culture is not luxury, culture is the new politics in opposition to pure economics." This album presents questions attaining to Politics and economics in today's society and is just part of our mission and role to advance culture through music, fashion, graphics, film and ways of doing plain business.
Europe (w/o UK): November, 30th 2004
UK : February, 7th 2005
USA : March, 3rd 2005
1. The Household Song
2. Mitte Bitte
3. Class War
4. Culture Vulture Part Two
5. Culture Vulture Part Three
6. Ten Thousand Years
7. History Will Outlive Us
8. Madalyn Albrights Answer
9. Is Bigger Better
10. Fuzzy Nipple
11. Wax My Anus
12. Hand In My Pocket
13. My Pony
14. Bigger Is Better
15. Madalyn Albright Strikes Again
CoS & The No Heads pic from inlay | Credits from CD jewelbox | Inner art from CD jewelbox | Inner credits: upper | Inner credits: below | Inner art collage (left side) | Inner art collage (right side)
bacK to chicKs-o-graphy
chicKs on speed