Tag Archives: Android Lust

30 Day Music Challenge: Day 13 – A Song That Is A Guilty Pleasure

Android Lust – Kingdom Of Ones

This track requires a coarse language warning


Though I have used it on the odd occasion, I’m not so fond of the term guilty pleasure. The primary inference is that I have to admit or confess to liking something, and be embarassed by it for some reason. I can’t do that, because I like my taste in music. So much so that I think the music I like is awesome and most posts on this blog are written just to tell everyone about it.

I’m not embarassed to say that in my CD collection, Justin Timberlake’s Futuresex/Lovesounds is in close proximity to Tool’s Lateralus. I used to be, I guess, but there’s little point in my insisting this blog is about the things I like if there’s an unspoken addendum ‘…but only if I think everyone else will approve.’ Whether people would pick up on it or not, it would discredit everything I write here.

So when I thought about which song I could consider a guilty pleasure, Android Lust’s Kingdom Of Ones is the only one I could think of that even comes close, though the guilt isn’t quite from thinking that it isn’t something I should like, or that others will chastise me for doing so.

It’s a remix of Kingdom of One (the ‘s’ being the only difference in titles, so a notable distinction), with one word in particular repeated at the start with pointed emphasis – if you’ve already pressed play, I’m sure you know by now which word I’m referring to.

I feel guilty that no matter how much I dislike the fact that a word which refers to a part of the female anatomy is still considered one of the most derogatory and shocking things you can call someone, I still find it exceedingly difficult not to feel a level of discomfort at other’s attempts to bring it into more common usage, where it has potential to lose the aforementioned ‘worst word ever’ stigma.

I feel guilty that although it’s actually one of my favoured Android Lust tracks, I would be slightly embarassed to be ‘caught’ singing along to it (on a sliding scale, though – friends and the like = marginally embarassed; grandmother = I probably wouldn’t be able to look her in the eye for a while afterwards). Further to that, I feel a little guilty that I can rarely bring myself to sing along to it in the first place. The word has maintained a distinct sense of taboo and on the occasions I have found myself singing the lyrics, I feel self-conscious about it.

Admittedly, it’s not used in the most positive context here, either, but at least it’s clear that Shikhee is using it to refer to what it’s meant to refer to, and not simply the most vulgar insult she can think of for a person as a whole. (No pun intended, but there one is anyway).

I’m not sure what it’s like elsewhere, but in Australia a lot of swear words – particularly those that refer to human anatomy or function – are capable of being used in either an insulting or affectionate context. I mean that in a more day-to-day colloquial usage rather than, say, dirty talk, but as far as I know the same rules generally apply in that situation, too. If you’re calling your girlfriend or her anatomy “the word which must not be named”, chances are you’re also calling her a bitch, whore, slut etc in the same context. (Fine if she likes that sort of thing, I suppose).

The issue for me is that every word that I know which refers to a part of the human anatomy but is considered ‘bad’ language, is acceptable as a term of endearnment in certain contexts. Except the c-word. This bothers me, and not from any militant feminist standpoint – I’m not about to go make placards that say “equal rights for c***s!” and stand outside Goverment House… Then again, maybe I should. It bothers me that outside of the word’s strict, original meaning, which dates back to the 13th century, just so you know, appearing in Chaucer‘s Canterbury Tales (14th century) – notably seeming to be synonymous with quaint and used in a raunchy context, and not considered obscene until the 17th century (sometime around Shakespeare deciding to play with it¹let’s blame him). What I was getting at is that now, every intended meaning and inference is taken to be uncouth and insulting. Which I think is a shame.

Of course, there’s always the chance I’m simply out of touch with my and other cultures. Maybe no one else was even remotely shocked by the language used in this song, and thought of all sorts of good things when they heard it. I’d be interested to know if the sense of vulgarity and – particularly – disparagement is less prevalent than I think, or if there are other places the word does have the capacity to be used in a positive context.

I don’t feel the obligatory, or implied, sense of shame that “guilty pleasure”  usually infers when listening to this song, or by posting it for others to listen to. The point is that even if I can’t say it freely myself, I can at least continue to expose, and therefore push, my own limits, which is they only way they have a chance of changing.




1. Act III, Scene 2 of Hamlet

Hamlet: Lady, shall I lie in your lap?
No, my lord.
I mean, my head upon your lap.
Ay, my lord.
Do you think I meant country matters?
I think nothing, my lord.
That’s a fair thought, to lie between maid’s legs.

That last line is intended to show the emphasis is on the first syllable of ‘country’ in Hamlet’s previous line...perhaps obviously.


Spotlight on Android Lust & The Human Animal

When it comes to attempts to succinctly convey the tone of Android Lust‘s particular brand of electro-industrial music, there are a few common ones; like Female NIN, gothic, dark, aggressive, moody, seething, rawHR Giger even gets the odd mention, more than likely owing to the erotic overtones of the mechanical/android/alien aesthetic that’s prevalent in both the imagery and sound. I make no arguments to any of those (I’ve used them myself), but they don’t really do full justice to music that can sometimes be really quite haunting and beautiful.

Shikhee, the woman behind the moniker, has a fantastic knack for combining incisive lyrics that highlight some of the darker recesses of human nature – the ones a lot of us think or feel but would rarely, if ever, openly admit to – with music that somehow makes it not only ok to sing along with them, but to agree wholeheartedly with them as well. Stained, for example, from 2002’s The Dividing, takes a look at some fairly hateful thoughts – “I know not how to cease this feeling of hate in me / I just want to see you bleed  / I know what I want / I want to stop seeing red / I know what I want / I just want to see you dead“. Whether you interpret those words as being directed inward or outward, the purity of loathing is made pretty simple, yet the song itself is almost ghostly. The main vocals are strong and smooth, delivered with a sense of mild disdain, but there is no venom in them and ultimately the prespective takes on shades of a fragile hurt. The implication is made that the protagonist has simply become resolved to the desire, but it also seems to make clear that the anger is coming from a deeper, less accessable pain.

Fair warning: This video contains images not recommended for the squeamish

Of course, there are times when subject matter and music are more closely related and forthright. Sex and Mutilation, also from The Dividing, is a manic, glitchy and hyper-kinetic track where the title words are half-screamed with an edge of desperation, while Kingdom of One (and in particular, the remix from 2004’s Stripped & Stitched) is probably the only song I’ve ever heard that uses the normally preternatural sounding and “offensive” C-word in a pointed and derisive manner and yet keep it from actually feeling crude – i.e., it completely avoids the “shock factor”. It certainly puts it beyond merely interesting listening and right into intriguing.

One of the words I neglected to mention in those common descriptors is cold. There’s a couple of reasons for that – firstly, it happens to be one I don’t really agree with. Yes, electronica is rarely ‘organic’, and yes industrial elements tend to lend themselves well to the ‘coldness’ inherent in the mechanical; two things that can often see music of the genre feel cold. The other reason I point that out is that even if there are some older AL tracks that can earn that tag, there is no way possible I would apply it to The Human Animal.

The latest album arrives four years after previous album, Devour, Rise and Take Flight – those four years seem to have been quite well spent. According to the Android Lust website, The Human Animal is “a journey through the psyche of man, as man realizes the futility of living in the grips of ego and surrenders to seek answers within.” Even if you don’t get a good grasp on that concept, you’re unlikely to feel like the album is over your head – in a nutshell, The Human Animal is a very well executed, consistent and accessable album.

Taking a slightly different approach this time around, Shikhee spent some time on the streets and subways of New York, recording sounds that have been incorporated as “rhythmic and melodic elements“. More importantly, though, is the inclusion of live musicians during the recording process for the first time. Losing none of the trademark hard metallic edge, the entire album feels like a deeper, richer experience than much of what has come before it.

From the first few moments of the opening track, Intimate Stranger, you know you’re listening to an Android Lust album – Shikhee’s voice is unmistakable – but the sound has taken on some dirtier, grungier blues tones, which maintains the aforementioned gothic moodiness but also gives it a more prominent and wickedly seductive edge. (You know you’re hooked if you feel the urge to to sing a song like Rub Me Raw when out and about – it would be an interesting experiment to see how well other bus passengers would take to my vocal renditions of “Won’t you smother me ’til I’m sick of you / Crush me ’til I scream for you / Rub me ’til I bleed for you / Rub me raw“. I’m sticking to humming it for now).

There really isn’t a song on here that won’t get under your skin in a similar fashion. At times a little sinister (The Return), other times darkly bluesy with a cat-like fluidity (A New Heaven), and there is yet still moments that are murky and haunting (Flow (of Impermanence)). Android Lust really knows how to get into your head and seduce your darker side out to play, and The Human Animal will stalk you with every track in such a way as to make it impossible to resist.

But of course, why would you resist? In the words of Android Lust herself, it’s a sin not to want things.

You can listen to The Human Animal here, with option to purchase a digital copy, or better yet, buy a CD version here (a very nice deluxe package is also available).


I Sold My Soul For A Song

Quite literally. Just last night, in point of fact. Allow me to set the scene…

It’s the middle of winter here in good ‘ol Oz. I had spent most of the day engaged in what can only be described as dreary work in dreary weather. Photography is a wonderful art and playing dress-up can be awesome fun. Despite how kinky combining the two may sound, please believe me when I say that ironing clothing, dressing and undressing inanimate – though well-proportioned – objects, adjusting angles, fits, hangs, folds and so on, steadying the camera, perfecting the shot…  Over and over. Not so much fun.

So, at 1am I am sat at my computer, building the enthusiasm required to upload the day’s shots onto said computer to edit. Wind is doing the proverbial howl-thing outside, rattling my windows and knocking things over. At least, that’s what I presumed made that noise outside. I wondered if I should go and check…. At this point my life became like a stolen scene from a movie. Well, almost. Instead of going to check out the noise, tension building with each hesitant step as I inch closer to the source, only to have half the life scared out of me by some mangy cat leaping from a garbage can; then shrugging it off, sinking into a nice warm bath with a glass of wine, classical music up loud to soothe away the day, oblivious to the psycho slasher creeping closer down the hallway… No, my life isn’t even exciting enough for cliches. Also, I don’t have a bath tub. Or a long enough hallway.

Instead, lo-fi home-recorded black metal is fuzzing through my speakers, an ex’s mangy jumper is rolled up and shoved under the door in an effort to stop the cold wind rushing under, and I had a lukewarm coffee getting colder by the second that I forgot was lukewarm and took a sip from, splurted in disgust and subsequently bathed my slightly-less-mangy-than-ex’s jumper with it. Still, was quite happily procrastinating, surfing the net, checkin’ out…stuff. Then I decided to check up on the blogs I follow over at google.

And what should catch my eye?

Androist Lust.



From new album.

For a tweet.

I didn’t even think, I clicked the link and landed on the Twitter sign in page. Obstacle – I’m not a twitterer. It’s here that some of my senses return and gently remind me I’ve never once been vaguely interested in twitter, quite the opposite actually. Yet, Id and the persistent ‘gimme gimme gimme’ overrides sense and before I know it I’ve handed over all the required details. Here now, you have witnessed my demise as I can now be counted among the twittering massess. Damn, I’m so disappointingly cheap. (Or perhaps I should go for the obvious pun there and say ‘cheep’).

At least in exchange I now have God in the Hole.

A whole month early, even.


PS – At the time I grabbed it (several hours ago now) it said there were 24 downloads left, if you wanna check it out to see if it’s still available, visit here.

Oh… yeah… I would offer my world to be your oyster and all, but I doubt I’ll ever use it again. Unless I get another free song out of it.

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