Geneva Jacuzzi tells us about the influences behind ‘Lamaze”
Low-fi electronic pop artist Geneva Jacuzzi channeled all manner of art pop and pop art on her 2010 album Lamaze, everything from Italo disco and Italian horror, to minimal wave synthpop, industrial, phantasmagoric synthpop and beyond. The record has been out of print basically since it was released and has fetched crazy prices online -- so it's good that Mexican Summer is reissuing the album this week. She's just released a new video for "Nonsense Nonsense," which she made using archival footage that looks like it dates from the early-'80s and not the '00s. Check that out, along with a few other songs off the record below and preorder Lamaze here.
We chatted with Geneva about some of the influences behind Lamaze, which includes some things you might expect (Nina Hagen, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Devo), and some you might not, including a few non-musical things (hello zombie sharks!). It's a fun read that may turn you onto some new stuff too. Check that out below.
For more: Geneva talked with Kevin Haskins (Bauhaus, Tones on Tail, Love & Rockets) and music, art and more over at The Talkhouse.
GENEVA JACUZZI - TOP 10 INFLUENCES ON 'LAMAZE'
1. Philip K Dick
Remember that scene at the end of The NeverEnding Story where Bastian is reading the book and screaming, "It's not real! It's only a story!" While windows are blasting open and a crumbling castle in the middle of void space screams to him for help? That was me when I read Philip K Dick... It opened a portal to an alternate reality where the songs I wrote already existed for thousands of years. Ubik, Three Stigmata, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep are my top 3.
2. Zombie Shark Scene in Lucio Fulci’s Zombie 2
There's a scene in Fulci's Zombie 2 where a Robert Smith lookalike zombie attacks a shark in the middle of the ocean. The two end up spinning around in a carnivorous dance backlit by the sun... both taking bites out of each other's flesh akin to the infamous shark sex scene in Lautreamont's "Maldoror." When I saw this... I watched it over and over not really even knowing why... I was mesmerized. I eventually wrote a song about it called "Zombie Shark."
3. Hardcore Devo Vol. 1 & 2
Mutant brain-eating apes, Infantile regression, mechanical spuds, suburban robots that monitor reality... Yes, please. I was already a hardcore Devo-tee but when I heard the Hardcore Devo vol 1 and 2, It was all over for me. WE MUST REPEAT... Over. Done. End of story.
4. Yellow Magic Orchestra and beyond
Hosono, Sakamoto, Takahashi... More like the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost of complete musical perfection. YMO is like the tree at the center of a secret garden that bears fruit to all of these amazing side projects and collaborations like Takahashi's Neuromantic album (My absolute favorite!!!!) Hosono's Philharmony, Sylvian and Sakamoto Bamboo Music. I'm dying. I can't write about this anymore... it makes me too emotional.
5. Ken Russell Films
If you watch Lair of the White Worm, you pretty much get the gist of the types of elements I channel when I'm making art and music. Dark, Surreal, Absurd, Mythical, Seductive... and most importantly... it's fucking hilarious. The "Bad Moods" video is an homage to Russell's "Salome's Last Dance."
6. The Legendary Pink Dots
Imagine the sound of Genesis P-Orridge battling the Norse dragon Fafnir condensed into a tiny music box that a costumed Jodorowsky circus monkey spins to serenade the horse-drawn buggy hauling piles of bubonic bodies through cobblestone streets in a metallic industrial dark age... It's a very special kind of music.
7. Ralph Records - Subterranean Modern comp
This particular comp packed a punch to my little skull. Tuxedomoon, the Residents and Chrome!.. breakfast lunch and a beast of a dinner. Chrome (early chrome with Damon Edge) is still, to this day, one of my all-time favorite bands. Tuxedomoon was a big deal too. Half Mute, Desire, No Tears... I don’t listen to the Residents as much but their videos and films are quite spectacular.
8. Greek Mythology
I've never been able to write a traditional love song. They're too straightforward and I'm allergic to cheese BUT I do love a good tragedy and it's fun to play with the mythical gods and archetypes of ancient worlds..."Love Caboose" is obviously about a Medusa …. sprinkled with a little Freudian Oedipal complex... you know, to "modernize" it a bit lol.
9. Nina Hagen
Everything about Nina Hagen is the quintessence of cool... Her aesthetic, style, voice, humor.. her freak! Ugh, I just wanted to be her.
10. Marcel Duchamp - Large Glass
If I could think of a single artwork that captures the essence of Lamaze, it would be Duchamp’s Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even. It’s a pataphysical Love Machine. A complex emotional factory contained in sheets of glass. Unintentionally-intentionally broken.