Kevin BlechdomPHOTOS: JOE DILWORTH

'Music is like a boys' club
- look at how many female artists
are released on Warp.
Across their whole roster
maybe 5% of their artists are girls.'


KEVIN BLECHDOM: FROM THE HEART
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Only, not. The cover artwork, showing a topless Kevin clutching some raw meat, directly subverts the conventions of the female nude, (passively accepting the gaze, coyly displaying her parts, yada yada ad infinitum), to such an extent that the record company decided to conceal the image beneath a more innocuous cartoon cover in order to avoid censorship in Japan, the UK and the US.

"It's ridiculous. You give them tits but then they get mad when they're not plastic tits! Then it's suddenly illegal! I mean, I'm just standing there casually. I'm not sticking my tits out. My shoulders aren't back. They're just like another part of my body, like my elbow or something. And that's seen as more offensive than someone who's thrusting their tits forward in this really sexual way! It's like, what is going ON with this world????"

 

Speaking at a conference at the University of Virginia back in 2000, Gloria Steinem pointed out that women tend to be more conservative in their early years, and become 'radicalized' once they enter the workplace and encounter discrimination, or when they become mothers and find themselves working two jobs with little help.

Feminsts are made, not born. Blechdom's shift in perspective - from literally pretending to be male to appearing on her album sleeve with her floppy, freckly tits out and yelling about love, heartbreak and disappointment, would seem to bear this out.

"It would be great to feel that you didn't have to talk about feminism, and a lot of people I know say that you should only talk about the music, and not about gender politics.

'But I'm like, fuck that! Gender politics is FUCKED UP! Music is like a boys' club - look at how many female artists are released on Warp. Across their whole roster maybe 5% of their artists are girls. It's like the most sexist fucking boys club ever and I'm just really tired of it. It's just boring.

'I want to see some girls rock the mic. Let them talk their minds about their side of the relationship! BRING IT ON, MOTHERFUCKERS!"

You know what? I don't think I mind being compared to Kevin Blechdom any more. This woman's just made the most ferocious, impassioned, visceral electronic album the decade's seen so far, exploring stereotypes of what it means to be female, fucked-up, heart-broken, artistic - then wrapping it all up in a layer of piss-take, cleverness and irony and genius glitched-up beats (just so we don't get too fucking serious, like).

She's putting a human - no - a female face on the esoteric landscape of digital music - and it's laughing right at us. Arguing with me's like listening to a Blechdom album? I'll take that shit as a compliment.


Kevin Blechdom website
Chicks on Speed records
Buy 'From The Heart'

WORDS: MISS AMP
PHOTOGRAPHY: JOE DILWORTH


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Kevin Blechdom / Kristin Erickson
to me

DUDE!!!!!
totally amazing article!!!!
i laughed the whole time... really i finally feel like someone gets it!!!
thanks so much...
i also just read the WIRE review, and was like WHAT THE FUCK? the writer
just doesnt get it past like the most surface way to listen, aaargh!

but such a relief to read you piece... totalllllllly appppreciate the
thoughtfullness of your work!!!!

thanks again!!!!!
kev

R

 

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