27 Feb Sex In Dalas – Birth of a Myth
There’s a new urban myth circulating about Sex in Dallas, a young techno-punk band based in Berlin. Early in February the group signed to the Berlin recording label Kitty-Yo, famous for artists like Peaches and Gonzales, and already the rumors are flying. As the story goes the band originates from Texas, but moved to Paris and then to Berlin in order to have the freedom to pursue their creative vision, which was prohibited in the US. With only 2 pre-releases from their upcoming debut album circulating in the underground clubs of Europe, it’s surprising to hear that this story originates from Los Angeles. Their first track was released to select DJs with the title “Everybody Deserves to be Fucked” , becoming an instant hit in clubs of Berlin and Paris. Soon remixed by The Hacker and Tom Cat in Tokyo, the track has gained such an underground popularity that one of the only 5 demo CDs they produced was stolen from a DJ one night in a Madrid club. It has been suggested that this was how the music snuck back into the States and gained its notoriety as a product of American ex-patriotism.
Mythology has always played a tremendous role in the creation of rock stars. Society ravenously feeds on rumors and tidbits of gossip – vicariously living through the exploits of pop personalities lives too fantastic to personally experience. These stories often portray transmuted social anxieties, channeled through the device of glamorous deviance. Like viruses they spread orally, evolving, transforming and taking on a life of their own.
We all recall urban myths like the one of Mick Jagger and David Bowie sleeping together, or Rod Stewart ingesting sexual body fluids in the never-neverland of a time before AIDS. Whether or not these stories are true is hardly relevant. They go to perpetuate the image of artist as agent provocateur, pushing at the boundaries of acceptable society while simultaneously boosting record sales.
Its strange to think an urban myth born in the USA tells the tale of artists creating work as mundanely controversial as mentioning sex and fucking in their content, who must flee Texas to Paris and then Berlin for the freedom to express themselves creatively. A darkly ironic reversal of recent history, when the artists and intellectuals fled Berlin and then Paris as the Nazis systematically removed their rights of expression. Fortunately, as with most urban mythology, this story is also false. In fact the band originates from Paris and has only recently made the move to Berlin to focus their energies on creating music.
Like many artists before them, Sex in Dallas has arrived in Berlin with hopes to capitalize on the creative crucible image the city has enjoyed since the 1920’s. From the Anglo-American ex-pats of the cabaret infused Weimar years between the World Wars, to David Bowie and Nick Cave in the walled island of the ‘70s and ‘80’s, Berlin has been a magnet for artists to come reinvent themselves. A place to throw oneself into the turmoil of dark aggression and continuous reconstruction, to kneel low and sift ones fingers through the ashes in the hopes of rising phoenix-like to superstardom.
A mélange of The Strokes and old skool Detroit techno, Sex in Dallas’ music churns with vaguely explicit lyrics spoken in choppy ambivalence against aggressive rock and roll riffs. Fueled by Adrien’s anarchistic-linguistic rebellion to rigid French academia, the band also includes the fragile artist cum bad girl Mohini (Mo) and the coolly understated DJ Jean Marc. Together they assemble a loose collection of ideas and attitudes to create music resembling the cut ups of William Burroughs, informed by a Generation Y commercial savvy. Their two studio mixes with producer team MANIX (manager/producer Reza Davoudi, and artist-producer Gaga from External Hard Drive, Berlin),, “Every Deserves to be Fucked” and “Berlin Rocks” have captured a crossover style that leverages Berlin’s elektroclash notoriety with the catchy energy of a driving guitar section. A little something for everybody!
Though they have only performed publicly once, debuting with Kitty-Yo at the street-fashion showcase Bread and Butter Berlin this past January, their reputation precedes them. Notorious for barroom brawls and bathroom banging, Adrien has been known to wake up in toilets of bars closed and locked for the day. Mo has been spotted beating up giant German men, successfully bringing one to the ground in the parking lot outside a club in a hail of skinny arms and legs. Apparently she had spotted him wearing the too small jacket he had stolen from Adrien and went at him with a fiercely protective, intoxicated rage. With stories like these who cares about the music? They are perfect fodder for the hype mill, painting a fresh face on the old antics we can recall from classic punk memorials like “Please Kill Me, an Uncensored Oral History of Punk Rock” by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain. Will Sex in Dallas rise to the heights of their chaotic forefathers The Ramones and The Sex Pistols, or more recently The Strokes? With the upcoming release of their single in March and the debut album in June, the world will have the chance to judge for itself. In the meantime they keep themselves busy developing new music and preparing for take-off.
Originally posted in 2004 for Outskirts, www.fashionwiredaily.com