Fair Sex Pummels, Grinds

Interview by Mary J. Owen

One very last fling before the summer and the toaster thrower, myself, bids a fond ax grinding farewell to Pomona College. For one more moment we can twist another industrial dance band into verbiage! THE FAIR SEX is just such an industrial dance band; it induces more twisting in others that can be put into words! Although THE FAIR SEX has been mixing, programming and pummelling out their version of music since the late 80s, it has only been a year since THE FAIR SEX was available domestically. These German artists released Machine Bites on Van Richter Records, a small independent label located in La Jolla, CA.

Machine Bites includes a variety of tracks from previous releases originally distributed by Rough Trade in Europe. The second track, "Not Now,Not Here," enjoyed much success on the floors of dance clubs across the country. I even heard this song played in Detroit, MI, when I was there over winter break. Machine Bites consists of 18 tracks with six one minute or shorter snippets of experimental fun. Anyone searching for a classic use of electronics along the lines of Front 242's "Headhunter" or Ministry's Twitch will be very pleased with Machine Bites. THE FAIR SEX sets a few standards and presents a unique sound while incorporating the best of industrial dance icons before them.

On March 16, 1995, I was lucky enough to meet Myk Jung, the vocalist of THE FAIR SEX. KSPC's CyberSocket hosted an interview with Jung, who talked about THE FAIR SEX and his side project, Testify. Jung explained how THE FAIR SEX lost their drummer and replaced him with a drum machine. Jung has a very healthy view of technology, especially in contrast to some of the more recent industrial dance bands who seem to think of technology as a surrogate child:"Just human beings are companions for me on the stage. The other things are alright and do a good job, the keyboards and samples and so on, but they are not my pets, not my companions. I do not talk to them. I just play them." Perhaps if more people understood the nature of their tools, they too could be as effective as THE FAIR SEX in conveying their desired message.

Myk Jung also responded to questions concerning the European audience of industrial. Bands listened to in the US such as Ministry are very popular in Europe as well. For the newer and smaller bands which incorporate technology into their sound, Jung thought that most people remain unaware of these bands, but that the audience is growing. In terms of the themes presented in THE FAIR SEX, Jung talked about how these themes are elaborated in his side project, Testify. "One main theme for me, because I am the lyric writer, is the feeling of dissatisfaction and anger...I think it's one of my crazy, mentally insane habits to talk about anger and frustration...I do not make this music to make people depressive or aggressive. Sometimes I hear this, 'why do you make this kind of music?'" said Jung.

"I want to express my personal anger about many things in this crazy mad world! I must be careful. Anger is a main theme and one of my favorites, the theme I always bother people with." Jung states all this with the sweetest grin and a light chuckle. Although Testify takes the industrial crossover approach, THE FAIR SEX maintains a critical black humor as well.

THE FAIR SEX will expose Myk Jung's lyrical talent to an even greater extent with their upcoming, second full length release on Van Richter Records, Labyrinth. Labyrinth is the first "CyberOpera" (Jung's words). Each track further develops the opera created through the use of lyrics which could stand alone as poetry and atmospheric sounds layered over dark and deep rythms which creep and dance about in one's skull. Labyrinth follows an unusually adventuresome day in the life of a young man alive in the year 2030. Noise becomes a way of exploration for Trancer, the young man who at first was not much more than a human vegetable. The opera includes the tracks, "Mother Restless" and "Sister Anger," who are monsters which Trance encounters.

Musically, Labyrinth takes THE FAIR SEX's ability to manipulate samples and instruments in a straightforward industrial dance fashion and places it within a context, the CyberOpera, which allows for a more refined and more well-thought-out use of electronics. The lyrics and music of Labyrinth, co-dependent due to the desired outcome of a whole, combine to generate pure brilliancy.

THE FAIR SEX has mastered its technology, Machine Bites turned into a Labyrinth that is worth getting lost in! More information on THE FAIR SEX can be obtained from: VAN RICHTER, PO BOX 13321, La Jolla, CA 92039-3321.