Lunatic Fringe, the long-awaited release from Visionquests own Lee Curtiss, purveyor of sonically sophisticated sleaze.
Expanding a sound cultivated over the years in a series of releases for pivotal labels such as Spectral, Get Physical, Supplement Facts, and Wolf & Lamb, in Lunatic Fringe Curtiss delivers up what can only be described as three dance floor monsters that will push the limits of the best sound systems the world over.
A recent fixture of Lees celebrated live and DJ sets at DC-10 and other legendary venues the world over, the EPs A-side finally makes available Body Twitch. Rife with not-so- veiled sexual innuendo, at one point a sinister, reverb-drenched voice brags (with a seemingly breathless bravado), I can make your body twitch/Ill be working like were making kids. Combined with Curtisss signature skulking stalker-bass lines, Body Twitch does its fair share of reveling in streets and sewers...banality and booze.
Taken as a whole, Body Twitch is equal-parts DJ Deeon and Phil Spector, an entirely inimitable Curtiss combination which has earned Lunatic Fringe a much-coveted Parental Advisory warning. Not since INXS (or R. Kelly) have the inner recesses of the male psyche been plumbed with such abandon.The EPs B-side features two tracks, Freaks and Haters, both of which revisit themes from some of Curtisss earlier work. Freaks begins with thick synth chords and a slowed down, lackadaisical shuffle reminiscent of his breakout hit Sexy Dancer. For those suffering from synesthesia, Freaks will be an unending hot flash of neon. But underlying these familiar in-your-face elements are a whole array of softer percussive patterns and almost elegiac snippets of sound that snicker back at the track itself. Disaffection with ones own mastery? The mark of a true musician.Like Candy, last years collaboration with Matt Tolfrey, the EPs final track Haters evokes the acidleanings of Chicago house. Haters seamlessly integrates Curtisss dance floor sensibility with his earlier roots in techno-psychedelia. Underpinning a classic hip-hop taunt (all the haters in the house/if you see em point em out) is the ever-morphing swirl of a vintage Jupiter-8. This is a wicked, dizzying, merry-go-round of an anthem...or, perhaps, a poem after all.