Cock Joke


Sudden Infant, Cock ESP, Raum 16, 16th August 2007

August 16th, 2007 | 0 Kommentare ...  

Cock Joke

Von

Sudden Infant is the noise moniker of one Joke Lenz. Lenz has been peddling his shtick for some time. Tonight, Lenz, slightly paunchy and clad in black stands in the centre of the gallery space, his breathing amplified through a contact mike, his manic gaze roaming around the room, acknowledging friends, staring down others. Lenz, harshly lit in Halogen, will tonight channel Sudden Infant, a kind of dada alter-ego but not yet. First he will continue to breathe and stare. A loop of processed electronic laughter plays.

Welcome to the world of Noise, an anti-genre that traces its routes to the Italian futurists, via the power electronics of Whitehouse and the death disco of Throbbing Gristle – through countless genres and sub-genres between Japan the States and all over the world. What were once cassettes traded by a small fanatical band of fans and fellow noisicians has now become, thanks to the internet, Thurston Moore’s indefatigable work with Ecstatic Peace and Wolf Eyes signing to sub-pop – a slightly larger fanatical band of noiseniks.

After considerable breathing and staring, Lenz aka Sudden Infant stamps on a pedal which releases a harsh burst of noise and shouts theatrical invective at the ceiling, the audience, his amplifier. Stamping on the pedal again, Lenz breathes. The performance is repeated once and then he is gone. Too quick to be caught by a photograph.

Cock ESP at Raum 16

Cock ESP at Raum 16


This is perhaps more avant-garde theatre than music. An idea that looks better on paper. And there is a banner on the wall which reads, American Noise rocks !

Cock ESP consist of Emil Hagstrom, Elyse Perez and Matt Bacon. Bacon, leaping on a plinth stacked with tweaked and modded FX, is wearing a child’s donkey mask and announces that this, after thirteen years, will be their last ever show. I stand well back, wondering if every show is their last ever show or whether tonight really does see the farewell performance of this strange and extreme group.

They are from the free-glam sub-genre, related in spirit to To Live and Shave in L.A. and Harry Pussy – they ridicule the dour misanthropy and machismo of some of the scenes older practitioners with drunken shambolic performances that resemble infantile tantrums. The band have collaborated widely over the years and their press cuttings file contains more material than I am willing to read.

Loud blasts of dissonant white noise are tweaked into deliberately ugly shapes by Hagstrom, who appears to wearing a demented super-hero cape and chicken mask. Elyse Perez is shrieking in a white dress which she removes to reveal a bizarre cheerleader outfit. The plinth is kicked over and they run out of the room.

Outside I witness the dress recovered from an adoring fan who hands it back to Perez and says: “I like your smell.”

Cock ESP are from Minnesota. Sudden Infant is from another planet but has a degree in art history.

www.suddeninfant.com

Cock ESP @ youtube.com



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