Everyone knows that electroclash is dead, right? This time last year, New York titans of the genre Fischerspooner were signing a £1 million deal with London’s Ministry of Sound label. By the end of 2002, their album (#1, due out in the U.S. in February) flopped, their tour was canceled, and Ministry fell into disarray. It seemed that electroclash and its ludicrous outfits, pretentious lyrics, and trashy ’80s synths were toast.
But no one told the denizens of Nag Nag Nag. Named after a song by synth pioneers Cabaret Voltaire, Nag isn’t just London’s hottest weekly party but the wildest the capital has seen since famed early-’90s cross-dressing fiesta Kinky Gerlinky. Every Wednesday, eye-shadowed men and women in pig masks and spiked, skintight PVC trousers queue round the block to get into this subterranean Soho sweatbox. There, they go bananas to electro old and new (from the Normal’s 1978 classic ”Warm Leatherette” to Freeform Five’s anthemic ”Perspex Sex”).
And the freak show seems to be drawing a crowd. Sober U.K. broadsheet The Guardian claims the male regulars’ extravagant sartorial sense heralds a revolution in menswear. Celebs like Kate Moss, Bjork, and Boy George flock there weekly.
Beyond fashion, Nag’s success proves that electroclash is becoming dance music as significant as house, U.K. garage, and on these shores, hip-hop. Electro tracks like Bangkok Impact’s nine-minute, vocoder-driven ”Masters of the Universe,” Water Lilly’s sticky sweet ”Let Me Be Your Fan,” and Miss Kittin and the Hacker’s ”The Beach” are pouring in from all corners of the world. You can hear some of them on Swiss-based label Mental Groove’s compilation Where Is Here, or Ghostly International’s Italo-house-flavored Tangent 2002: Disco Nouveau.
Claims of electroclash’s death actually gave its practitioners a space in which to do their thing without the intrusion of rubbernecking part-timers. And having rediscovered the joys of outrageous dress and Giorgio Moroder bass lines, London’s hedonists aren’t about to give it up anytime soon. — Alex Needham, NME Associate Editor
MORE THAN OKAY IN THE U.K.
MORE THAN OKAY IN THE U.K.
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