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Voyeur (Remastered)

Gina X Performance

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Album Review

Meant to be a self-conscious reaction to X-traordinaire and its perceived poppiness, Voyeur, the final album released under the full Gina X Performance name, is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, the lyrics certainly aim for a return to the cold confrontationalism of the debut — if you're going to call a song "Pederast Dissection," one might as well go all out. Meanwhile, having a song about a dying figure "confessing his sins" when the song is called "Kaddish" and the lead character is Jewish is a bit curious, to say the least — having the spoken word break about the burial ritual followed by a funky synth solo is unavoidably creepy, which was doubtless the intent. But on the other hand, especially in comparison to the homegrown brutality of D.A.F., then becoming an unexpected pop sensation in West Germany, Voyeur is often fairly restrained. There's giddy synth pop merriment and slow-paced moodiness throughout, to be sure, but compared to the dramatic, commanding arrangements for "Nice Mover" and "No GDM," songs like "Horror Vacui" come across as either competent copies or all-too-obvious rewrites. It's not an unattractive combination by any means, and Zeus B. Held's production holds its own, but the group was already hitting a rut. If anything the rhythms work better than the melodies — on "Babylon Generation" a solid enough Moroder/disco beat gets cooked up, but the lead synth sounds so dorkily quirky that one wonders just where the difference between this and X-traordinaire is. There is a sense of unexpected futurism throughout, though, in that the prominence of male voices on many choruses suggests what the Human League were about to discover with their commercial breakthroughs. LTM's reissue as expected includes bonus cuts, though all are remixes of tracks not from Voyeur, including, perhaps inevitably, takes on "Nice Mover" and "No GDM."

Biography

Formed: Germany

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '70s, '80s

One of the earliest proponents of chic, detached electro-pop, Gina X Performance (born Gina Kikoine) released a number of records throughout the late '70s and early '80s. A few of her songs, especially "No GDM" (a tribute to writer/actor Quentin Crisp) and "Nice Mover," have remained popular at dance clubs and within DJ circles; as proof of her lengthy shelf life, the latter was featured on Andrew Weatherall's Nine O'Clock Drop, a compilation of alternative dance tracks from the first half of the...
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Voyeur (Remastered), Gina X Performance
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