Lords of Acid
with Thrill Kill Kult, BlownLoad, DJ Death Wish
8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 4
In the cross-cultural wasteland of YouTube comments, it's not hard to find social-mores-bending sexual comments floating amongst the detritus of mind-numbing idiocy. However, under a clip of Lords of Acid's "I Must Increase My Bust" — a concussive acid-house track that turns a Judy Blume line into a war chant — is one response so outlandish and scuzzy that it deserves to be repeated in print. Some six months ago, RymvTheGod took it upon himself to announce, "It's very easy to masturbate while listening to this band." When this remark is passed to Maurice Engelen, the creative overlord of Acid, he cracks up. "Should I take that as a compliment or what?" he asks out loud before deciding that this stranger's declaration is actually flattering.
The bulk of Lords of Acid's output stems from succumbing to sexual desires. Founded in 1988 and producing intermittently since, the Belgian trance-techno-rooted outfit engaged with sex in its first single. "I Sit On Acid" begins with a singsong female voice requesting, "Darling, come here/ Fuck me up the—" before breaking down into a pounding, otherworldly melody with one verse rhythmically repeating, "Sit on your face/ I wanna sit on your face."
Every Lords of Acid track is a new trip to a fantasyland where the fuel for the kinetic synth and cocksure vocals is the pursuit of an orgasm. Song titles like "Rough Sex" and "Nasty Love" make this trait obvious, but a quick scan through Lords' discogrophy turns up tracks like "Gimme Gimme," which includes a come-on ("You are so kinky and obscene") before getting to what the narrator really wants: "Gimme gimme what I want / Six nights full of love bizarre."
Even without the lyrics, Lords retain a virile spark.
"It's a sleazy beat. It's arousing, exciting music," says Engelen of the sound he masterminds. Engelen initially focused on sex because of the hypocrisy he felt surrounded frank sexual discussion.
"Everybody is doing it, but when you talk about it, you have a problem. I had the idea, ‘Why not sing about it?'" Lords even apparently provide a sort of aphrodisiac. "A lot of people said that listening to Lords of Acid opens up their sexual world in a different way," says Engelen. There's one key to his sexed-up music that he insists can't go omitted: "In 1994 or 1995, when Lords of Acid became extremely popular in the States, a lot of American bands tried to copy Lords, but they forgot the most important thing: the humor," says Engelen. "When you don't put the humor in there, it gets dark and over-the-top. Because the humor is in there, we get away with it and have the possibility to play outrageous shows."
Engelen estimates that 90 percent of his lyrics are comical, pointing to "Rubber Doll" (in which a guy gets attached enough to his sex toy to take it to Thanksgiving dinner with his family) as an exemplar of this approach.
Despite the inundation of sexual imagery, he emphasizes that nothing he's written is legitimately filthy. "I don't talk about perversion — just sex," says Engelen. "It's the most normal thing in the world, and everybody has the right to experience sex in their own way. That's the only natural drift that keeps the world going. It's a fun thing."[email protected]