Dexies Chicks

by Piers Martin, The Face, Vol. 3, No 34, November 1999, p. 29

"Self destruction is the right way!" say techno/art/TV terrorists Chicks On Speed

Chicks On Speed are weighing their options for the future. "We want to turn into an art installation," declares Alex Murray-Leslie, the blonde, Australian third of these thoroughly modern, Munich-based, techno-trashing upstarts. "We want to merge all our ideas and become really strange in the public." New Yorker Melissa Logan disagrees: "We should get away from being arty-farty and, like, be a serious band." "OK," Alex reasons, "but we'll retain elements of confusion - especially when play live."

Arty-farty, serious, confusing: Chicks On Speed, it would be fair to say, have difficulty explaining themselves. They create art (large-scale 'Frankenstein' monster collages), music (techno meets disco, trash metal and house) and even venture onto cable TV.

Since embarking on the multi-disciplined project that is the Chicks two years ago, these three former art school students have taken their subtly subversive, media-savvy and occasionally noisy vision out of Munich's bars and into the white-hot glare of the commercial mainstream. This year alone, Melissa, Alex and genuine Munich girl Kiki Moorse have released four singles on their Go Records label - electro-scoured punk dalliances with DJ Hell and Patrick Pulsinger and swish Euro house with Viennese futurist Christopher Just. A fifth record, 'Chix 52', out this month, finds them reworking songs by forgotten US kitsch troupe The B52s in an aggressive techno-smeared style ("We're giving them back their credibility," snipes Melissa). They're also putting together material for an exhibition called Xmas - about Christmas and consumerism - in New York's Kent Gallery.

It doesn't stop there: the threesome are already disrupting a German cable TV shopping channel with their own show where the girls barter their personal possessions with those of their callers. "It's about getting a communication going between people who don't know each other," Alex eplains. However, music remains the group's chief concern. Though for how long remains uncertain - Go Records is set to self-destruct when it reaches its tenth release. "It's a suicide label," explains Melissa, "a countdown from ten to zero, and we're now on number four. When we hit zero that's the end. What's wrong with the world is that everyone tries to make everything so big so that it takes over and maybe this concept of self-destruction is the right way. We're exploring a system of building up a label by, um..." "Building it down," Alex concludes. "But there's no time limit. Our concepts are never too strict in that way."

'Chix 52' is released in November on Go Records. Xmas is at the Kent Gallery, SoHo, New York, from November 26 to late January 2000.

Copyright © 1999 The Face. Reprinted with permission.

Alex,  Kiki  &  Melissa