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VIVA LA DIVA
:: Valerie :: Various Artists :: This Beat Is Lezbotronic :: Humousexual :: Flamingo 50 :: Sewing Circle :: Denial :: Hello Cuca :: Sara Jaffe :: Lesbo Pig :: San Andreas :: Isso*Keh ::
23 February 2004 / No Label Required / 12 Trk CD :: Irkk
By Manuel Ecostos

Opening with the obviously lesbian tongue in cheek electro of “s/t” from This Beat Is Lezbotronic”, the femme-camp angsty oblivion of this collaboration between Verity Susman (Electrelane) and Lauren Roe is pretty compelling. In contrast it sounds like a lush disco number, as we’re jolted into Valerie’s “Tokyo Girls”. Whipping casio beats and untuned twangs, held together with stylophone riffs and Slits vox. Big fun for sure. Flamingo 50 remain as one of the most powerful female acts in the UK at the moment and their unrelenting energy is infectious as ever on “Not For Me”. Flamingo should deservedly be much much bigger than they currently are. Sewing Circle really rattle out the New Wave on “The Gay Shoes” whilst Denial is a philosophical narrative on “Limitations”. “Hay Una Fiesta” by Hello Cuca may seem primitive, but its repeating rambling is spontaneous and fresh and the vocals snap and howl with intelligence. Whilst it sounds very much a free form piece, the instrumentation of this track is some of the best stuff I’ve heard in ages. Sara Jaffe (Erase Errata) prefers recording stuff on a cassette and doesn’t bother with things like guitar tuners. Somehow it all does seem to work and you’ll fall into either the crap or cool camp on this one. San Andreas sound pretty Rage ATM on “16th & Valencia” with some rasping guitars and great one liners. The production and recordings are on a budget but this could be one f*cking great, powerful tune if someone gave the backing to get it recorded well. You can’t have a compilation like this without getting Valerie to close things down for you. “Electro Beats” squashes convention into a package consisting of cool shouts, splattered keyboards and WWIII dynamics. Arthouse or slaughterhouse, it makes little difference and Valerie always make an impact – resistance is futile.

Viva La Diva is out now on Irrk via Cargo and the label plan to have a number of equally incendiary releases out soon.


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