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På skive


«Lunatic Asylum»

Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson claimed that when the going gets weird, the weird turns pro. Well, our world is pretty much weird now and swings quickly into absolute disarray, and the Swiss, Berlin-based Sudden Infant was always weird. Sudden Infant is an absurdist, punkish trio that likes to dance, a dadaist unit charged with manic energy but in love with abstract music and a trio of resourceful and bold improvisers who enjoy industrialized junk-noise and the experimental worlds of sound art. Luckily, Sudden art returns with another incisive and ironic manifest about the human condition of the 21st Century, aptly titled «Lunatic Asylum», a perfect follow-up to 2018’s «Buddhist Nihilism» (Harbinger Sound).

Sudden Infant’s mastermind since 1989, vocalist and electronics wizard Joke Lanz, known also as a turntablist who performed with Peter Kowald, Mette and Rasmussen, Sophie Agnel, is joined by in-demand jazz and free music bassist Christian Weber and drummer Alexandre Babel, the artistic director of the Geneva-based percussion group Eklekto. These grown-up jesters have a sacred mission: to glue everything back in place and expose the bigger lies, stupidities and ignorance, nourished by half-baked cultural nuggets, pre-packaged and sold as great and awe-inspiring delicacies for the many who presently tripping over its own feet more so than ever. Sudden Infant insists on the simple, but apparently, subversive truths.

«Lunatic Asylum» begins with «Good Morning!», a promising declaration about its program, and immediately jumps to the silly, child-like infectious energy of «Head», a song that in a perfect world even daytime airwaves should be pregnant with (and please check the video clip, with the nine-year-old kid of drummer Babel – Kenzo and his pals Eric and Oscar), and has a revolutionary message: use your heads, no matter who or where you are. Other songs like «Happiness To Go» («…home delivery / is modern misery…»), «Damage Control» and «Mood Swings» empty the cult happiness of its pompous propaganda. «There Will Be a Reply» gives the same treatment to the clinging to elaborate bureaucratic regulations as the new, secular religion. Franz Treichler (of The Young Gods) joins Sudden Infant on «Il y a des Enfant», which flirts with Heretics – the collaboration of poet Anne-James Chaton and The Ex’ guitarist Andy Moor. And as mature infants, Sudden Infant knows how to spice its sharp poetics with healthy doses of irony, dadaist imagery, surprising twists and razor-sharp energy. The last «Tuba Manifesto» summarizes this insightful journey with a revolutionary promise to keep on the «creative act» even if Sudden Infant would have to reach for an ax.

Eyal Hareuveni

Joke Lanz (v, elec), Christian Weber (b, elec), Alexandre Babel (dr, perc), Franz Treichler (v)

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