Fom Pioro Scaruffi’s History of Rock Music: “…a psychotic form of abstract pieces that mixed progressive-rock, noise, absurdist vaudeville, no wave and free-jazz, like a hybrid of Mars, Boredoms, God Is My Co-Pilot, Half Japanese and Art Bears…Duotron’s compositions were fits of delirium tremens. The girl wails and screams and mumbles, while she is beating the drums like a madwoman breaking kitchenware in a mental hospital. The guitar is never in tune (in fact they would break a couple of strings to make sure it could not possibly be in tune) and is generally strummed frantically at random (the guitar tunings were actually complex microtonal formula). Tracks (some as short as ten seconds) are sheer chaos.”
Duotron was Rikkeh Suhtn and Jodie M’Kahn. It was formed in 1994 just as MATH was breaking up and called it quits by February 1996.
1998 Duotron. The Complete Book of Duotron (Scratch Records)
1997 Duotron. Duotron vs. Tom Smith (Menlo Park)
1996 Duotron. Battalia Feminil (Bulb)
1996 Duotron. OT/Duotr ON/Xerob(Coat-Tail)
1995 Duotron. 60-Second Compilation (Coat-Tail)
1995 Duotron. We Modern! We Now! (Bulb)
Director Katarzyna Kalwat invited immigrants who live in Warsaw – artists and actors/actresses from various countries and cultures, to participate in the performance. The team wanted to confront the feeling of alienation and the need for redefinition of the identity of an actress/ actor – a resident of Poland. The performance originated from the need to integrate the immigrant artists. It’s an attempt to expand the notion of the national acting practices and redefine the national culture. Can theatre become the new Tower of Babel?
“‘Staff Only’ is not just an attempt to draw attention to the problems of immigrants-artists in our country. It is also a very specific proposal to make the change and break down some barriers.” — Magdalena Figzał-Janikowska, Teatralny.pl
’Staff Only’ astonishes the audience with the absurd, fun, humor and provocation. At times it resembles the Dadaistic Cabaret Voltaire. It intrigues with the aesthetic freedom, masterful play on eccentric instruments, palette of the costumes, spontaneity of the improvisations and irony.” — Krystyna Duniec, Dwutygodnik
Cast: Carlos Fernando Dimeo Alvarez, Jodie Baltazar, James Malcom, Ifi Ude
direction, set and costume design: Katarzyna Kalwat dramaturgy: Piotr Grzymisławski text: Beniamin Bukowski music: Wojciech Blecharz director’s assistant: Piotr Pacześniak project coordinator: Ela Petruk
Joey the Mechanical Boy is a boy controlled by machines.
JOEY was created in Portland, Oregon in 1997 and performed on the west and east coasts. The character was inspired by an article by Bruno Bettleheim in an old Scientific American I found at a thrift shop.
The instruments used in this performance included: a Casio, toys, strange old drum beat machines, sine wave generator, square wave generator, speakers.
“When I pulled the cryptic record out of the wood stain-spattered “Rubber Musique” LP sleeve (which contained no information) and put the needle on the record, I wanted to stay in Chicago…this record for me was the audio equivalent of my experiences of Chicago and all the dark moldy crevices that were still waiting to be explored. I was 18 and my head was exploding from the Hairy Who and No-Wave!” from WFMU Beware of the Blog (2006)
MATH was Robert Rolston, Michael Colligan, and Jodie Mecanic as well as a rotating cast of guests. It was formed in Chicago in mid-1990 and ended in mid-1994. The band often performed in their own performance space “Milk of Burgundy”.
1995 Math. UFO via CIA to Mercury (Atavistic) 1995 The Tweezers. Electric Servant of Everyman (Bulb) 1995 Math. Rubber Musique (MOB) 1994 Math. Bulb/Blackjack Split (Blackjack) 1994 Math. Bask Math (Bulb) 1992 Math. Elrod’s Baby Doll Mambo (Bright Green) 1991 Math. The Delicate Ape (MOB)
What can be said about Jing-Pow-Ki-Poo-Rah-So-Tee-Lu-Moo-Shun-Ga? (Jing-Pow-Ki-Poo, for short.) Jing Pow Ki Poo, a superDUPERbeing! We are all regular beings. Jing Pow Ki Poo is not like us. Jing Pow Ki Poo is better than us. HE is all powerful and can do all things whereas we are nobody and can do nothing. In fact, HE has to do everything for us. And we don’t even mind! Because Jing Pow Ki Poo has an unlimited power supply: Chicklets. But hey! Don’t be fooled by this mad scientist because to every up side there is a down: with all the powers of good and all the powers of evil together in one superpowerful superbeing unit, Jing Pow Ki Poo must continuously do battle with herself….
JING PO KI POO was created in Portland, Oregon in early 1997 and performed in Portland, Seattle, Bellingham, WA, and San Francisco. The character was obviously inspired by Luchadora masks — an extension of the wrestling/boxing obsession I’d developed while in Duotron. I’d been to Mexico at the time and found several amazing masks (and an abundance of “chicle”). The sense of nonsense…
The instruments used in this performance included: contact mics on the drums controlled with a metal plate operated by my barefoot to employ excrutiating, barely controllable feedback, Wollensack with tape loops, sine wave generator, square wave generator, some old street sign….
Jing Pow is Powful Coming
My Name is Jing Pow Ki Poo Just like that other guy Coming
Nakadai is a number one Samurai. He has lived alone in a great green forest for many years. He scares away anyone who comes near. He can’t help it. He’s a ghost and he’s supposed to scare people! But one day, someone puts an old Pacman video game in the forest and Nakadai lightens up …
Background: Sayonara Monotrona
“Nakadai the Samurai” was the last Monotrona character and was put together quickly in December 2002 for The Bubblegum Music Festival at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles organized by Miss Kelly Kuvo (show above). I had been interested in European armour for along time, but when I found Japanese armour, I became enamored with its beautiful craftsmanship. I am also a big fan of yurei, yokai, and kaiju in Japanese visual culture. The songs and performance were oriented for kids, though no kids ever saw it! The character was named after the great Japanese actor Tatsuya Nakadai.
I ended up performing this show a few times into 2003 before giving birth in April. The performance below was taken when I was +7 months pregnant, which is quite obvious. It was very hard to breathe! I nearly slipped off the stage at one point — thanks to a kind young’s woman bosom, I did not die. The character also made an appearance in the film Slumberland by Jarek Kupść. Two songs featured music (and lyrics) by the band Mr. Pacman and another by Palsecam. Thank you Mr Pacman for letting me sing your songs. Thank you Mariko for helping me with the Japanese. Thank you Palsecam for letting me use your cool music.
There is a kind of ghost
He moves like mist in the forest
He creeps around; he seeps in your bones
He will cut you down with his sword before you know
Samuari see you, Kitaro e ko (???)
But Nakadai will get you, so go man go!
There is the one called Nakadai
One deadly dangerous Samurai!
Music by Palsecam
sore sore odore (Dance!)
ike ike odore (Don’t dance!)
ka se to asobe (Let’s play!)
u mi to asubu toki (Through the night!)
pacuman bu to bu (Pacuman you’re number 1)
pacuman o do ri hodai
hiru mo yodu mo
pacuman i kasuteru
o re gai ko wai no ka
o re gai kaichida
o re gai i kasuta
o re gai i ka pacuman
Words and music by Mr. Pacman
ii da ro (That’s fine)
ii yo ne (It’s good)
ii to ne (It’s nice)
ii ne (So nice)
kyoo wa kimi o tanjobi!
Happy Birthday Pacuman
o tanjobi pacuman, omedeto!
Monotrona was a one-woman musical/performance band active from 1996 to 2003. I made my own instruments, and used drums, toys, keyboards, and in the later years canonical video game music, created tunes using an Elektron Sidstation, MC-101 Groovebox, and collaborated with others. Monotrona performed in costume as many self-styled Superbeings characters.
These “Superbeings” took the form of marginally or partially human figures (alien, ape, madman, robot, superhero, giant, ghost, etc.) with the additional perk that they possessed (or thought they possessed) superhuman powers. They included: Gorditz from Gorditz, Ooka, Jing Pow Ki Poo, Joey the Mechanical Boy, Hawkeye & Firebird, The Might Mun, Burglemir Frost Giant of the Supersphere, and Nakadai the Samurai.