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Stuff You Should Know About: Gina X Performance

If you don't know about this German arthouse electro-disco project from Cologne consisting of producer Zeus B. Held and lyricist Gina Kikoine, let me introduce you.


Figured I'd do a new category on this site for non-interview, non-podcast, non-playlist related things, Stuff You Should Know About. Gina X Performance released four studio albums in the late 1970s and early 1980s - Nice Mover, X-traordinaire, Voyeur and Yinglish. Their music was frequently played in North American and European dance clubs at the height of their popularity, with their best-known songs being "No G.D.M." (covered by Erasure as the B-side to their single "Blue Savannah"), and "Nice Mover".



Gina X Performance debuted their first single, Nice Mover, in 1978. According to the liner notes, their synth list is impressive and includes the Minimoog, Polymoog, ARP 2600, ARP String Ensemble, ARP Sequencer, and Sennheiser Vocoder.


In the late 1960s to mid 1970s, German artists experimented and drove the frontier of electronic music. Despite being isolated and largely working independently, they were driven by a common principle of seceding away from American and British rock, pop, and soul archetypes as well as embracing absolute political and emotional self-expression through electronically manipulated sounds. Tangerine Dream's experimentation with their 1974 album Phaedra for example, NEU! and Harmonia's fusion of rock and electronica with repetitive motor-like beats all emerged around this time. Of course there was also Kraftwerk! And get this, in 1975, according to Synth Britannia, Kraftwerk played their first British show and inspired concert attendees Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys (who would later found Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) to 'throw away their guitars' and become a synth act! You know how the rest goes. During the early 1980s, British artists like Gary Numan, the Human League, Soft Cell, Yaz, and Visage helped pioneer a new synth-pop style that drew more heavily from electronic music and emphasized primary usage of synthesizers.


Synths were becoming all the rage, all over, everywhere. To me, it makes sense that Gina X Performance was on the ever-so-slightly more experimental side of synth-pop, being from what you could consider the experimental electronic music capitol of the world. 1978's Nice Mover sounds a bit ahead of it's time. I will say the late 1970's is home to some of my favorite music ever - ahem, Giorgio Moroder's 1977 album From Here to Eternity, anyone?


Anyway, their last album, dubbed Yinglish, was simply credited to Gina X. The associated singles were covers of The Beatles's Drive My Car and Brigitte Bardot's Harley-Davidson.



Accompanied by J. J. Jeczalik on the Fairlight CMI, the band adopted a more accessible sound and image than on any of the preceding Gina X Performance releases


Worth getting into if you haven't already!