April 17, 2001 
New York Times/Arts 
Clamorous Sounds for Dancing and Feminist Enlightenment 

The world has previously seen what transpired at the Knitting Factory on 
Thursday: fiery women dressed in fashionable tatters creating art pieces 
about propriety and desire only to rip the work, and almost themselves, to 

It might have been a Dada show in Berlin between the wars or a Yoko Ono 
happening in swinging London. But this was the new trio Chicks on Speed, 
rekindling the eternal spark of feminist enlightenment. 

Chicks on Speed formed in Munich several years ago as an art project that 
evolved toward music. Self-declared "genius dilettantes" and nonmusicians, 
this cosmopolitan team works with many producers to create their clamorous 
dance-based sound. 

At the last of three shows, Melissa Logan, Alex Murray-Leslie and Kiki 
Moorse surged around in white disco suits or paper dresses shouting lyrics 
about clueless supermodels, sexual warriors and pyramids in the sky. 

(That reference, Ms. Logan announced, denoted not New Age mysticism but 
urban architecture.) 

Spurring this whirlwind was music that started hard and minimal and 
eventually expanded. Stretching from techno to classic rock, the style is 
rooted where disco met punk, and rock collided with the longer trajectory
of feminist performance. Feminist bands like Liliput and the B-52's seized 
music's technology as others had already sacked the realm of high art,
using amateurishness to rip down staid premises. 

Chicks on Speed framed its revivalism within today's feminist dance rock. 
"We don't play guitars!" shouted Ms. Murray-Leslie in front of a video of
a male street performer pompously "playing" a stick strung with rope. 

By playing down musical skill within a larger spectacle, Chicks on Speed 
took away the main card male rockers often hold: virtuosity. These women 
surely know Audre Lorde's adage that one cannot use the master's tools to 
dismantle the master's house. Chicks on Speed trashed the tools and, from 
the wreckage, built their own motherland.