Sex Machine – as robotically aloof as a rusty lawnmower
Sex Machine Review from 2008
Thus spake Jason Heller. I particularly liked, while not being exactly correct:
Crawling Chaos, though, was a fucking wreck. Gangling, ungainly, sloppy, self-sabotaging, murderously humorous, and perhaps mildly insane, the group appropriated the title of one of James Brown’s most archetypal funk tracks and basically took a big dump on it. Clinical detachment was the name of the game when it came to that era’s synthesizer-backed post-punk, but Crawling Chaos was about as robotically aloof as a rusty lawnmower–and “Sex Machine” is a dripping, glorious, psychosexual phantasmagoria worthy of Ballard or Cronenberg (or a precociously perverted 11-year-old). The synths are demented, the singing shrill, the beats nearly brain-dead–but it’s the lyrics alone that are worth a trip to the nut farm….
One of the nicest reviews I’ve read by miles, and shows that he’d read this website pretty thoroughly enough to grab and use some phrases creatively.
Two points though.
- When I/we entitled the track Sex Machine I was so musically naive that I’d not even heard of James Brown!! Maybe Jeff and Eddie did, but not me.
There are no synths on the track. The sound was derived from my self-made green toota organ and destructively modified afterwards in my self-made black tube both of which can be seen in this live photo. So not synthesised as in a Moog etc.
Spot On Description
Finally a proper review of the B-side. There are some shit ones about by others but Jason’s, I really like:
“Berlin.” The name of that city at that time bore connotations of Lou Reed, David Bowie, and the Teutonic lockstep of Krautrock, which were all clear influences on Crawling Chaos. And they all melt into a dissonant mess all over “Berlin,” an aimlessly menacing jam that limps and burps along for seven torturous minutes before succumbing to some kind of sonic gangrene. In other words: It’s fantastic.
However, Jason’s all wrong (and it’s not his fault) when he says,
Khult and Perfect gradually drifted away from the group, although they reunited in 2003 for a new full-length titled Homunculus Equinox.
A more accurate pattern of events is now thoroughly explained on this website right here: https://crawlingchaos.co.uk/myths#recent – and neither, even back in two thousand and 3, 8 or 17 were we still “plugging away”.
Despite the minor errors mainly due to myself (SP) not updating this website fast enough, it’s a gem of a review with Jason “getting” what the whole thing was about. This is his best bit…. I’ll finish with it:
- Crawling Chaos’ [Sex Machine] is the musical equivalent of getting punched in the groin.
- While being forced to watch barnyard porn.
- Starring your mom and dad.