Kate Wax – Beetles & Spider

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  • One-time Felix da Housecat collaborator and member of Switzerland’s own Mental Groove Records (home of Water Lilly, Crowdpleaser, Plastique de Rêve, and St. Plomb amongst others), Kate Wax is a 27-year-old ex-graphic designer and self-proclaimed Eurasian princess (who isn’t, really?) who now channels her creativity through a different set of machines. She released a first album last year (‘Reflections of the Dark Heat’), and now, Output is borrowing one of its tracks for this, a limited edition 10” single. A-side ‘Beetles & Spider’ (which you might already know, in its Roman Flügel-enhanced form, from the last Fabric mix by Tiefschwarz) and exclusive B-side ‘Choose They Croon’ are actually pretty similar: creepy comedown lullabies with broken beats and spooky lyrics. You can’t really dance to them, but you sure could spy on an ex with this playing in the car. Wax usually sounds like an off-beat Peaches (e.g. ‘Bad Girl’ or ‘Girlforce’, from her 2004 EP), but on this release, these angular electro-pop oddities are reminding me of what PJ Harvey tried to do on her so-called “experimental” and infamous synth-driven album ‘Is This Desire?’ Wax’s voice is as impressive, but in the end, you can’t help feeling this is all pretty disengaging, obviously well-designed but ultimately ice-cold.