Lords of Acid
Lords of Acid
The Lords of Acid are the darlings of the European rave scene because of their sexually provocative recordings and performances. Since their emergence in 1988, the Belgian techno group has been shrouded in mystery, and most details about the band are unconfirmed rumors. The mystery and overt sexuality are an integral part of the hype surrounding the band, and they prefer to communicate through their recorded music and live performances. Thus, few details have emerged regarding the Lords of Acid in the United States, and they are commonly known as publicity shy. As a result, their image is somewhat of a detriment for the crossover to the United States, where the techno/rave scene is not as prevalent as in Europe. After releasing many singles and EPs, the band released their first full length album, Lust, in 1992.
Their style is described as techno/guitar music with a signature fast electronic beat that overpowers everything else. The songs are interspersed with coy, teasing sexual vocals and electric guitar. Techno music’s sound is oftentimes the outcome of the producer’s input rather than the band’s musical ability, and the result is usually more of a studio product than a live sound. Nevertheless, the Lords of Acid are famous for their live shows, characterized by sexually suggestive costumes and performances.
The Lords of Acid’s sound is the product of their producers Praga Khan, who was a popular disc jockey in Belgium, and Jade 4U. The pair, along with Oliver Adams, are prominent in the Belgium techno scene and work on multiple music projects. As innovators in the field of techno music, they perfected the Belgian sound known as New Beat. This method of production involves slowing down a record from 45 RPMs to 33 RPMs, thus creating a new sound with a deeper bass. Khan also added keyboards and a drum machine and sometimes played one song over another. This sound became so popular in Belgium that it was dubbed the Belgium Sound. Subsequently, Khan formed the record label Antler-Subway to release his music.
The trio work out of their studio in Aarschot, northeast of Brussels. Besides producing the Lords of Acid, they work on many side projects as producers and songwriters. Khan and Jade also belong to a popular techno band called Digital Orgasm, and Khan and Adams work on a project called Tattoo of Pain. Because Khan and Adams are a well-known production team, Virgin records hired them to produce an album for the video game Mortal Combat. Furthermore, their song, “Techno Syndrome,” was the lead single for the Mortal Combat movie soundtrack.
In 1988, the band’s breakthrough single, “I Sit on Acid,” pushed the envelope with its sexually explicit language. In this song, vocalist Lady Galore seductively recites provocative lyrics. These enticing lines are set to a driving techno beat and became a runaway hit on the European rave scene. Trouser Press Guide to ’90s Rock called the single, “the group’s best mock-libidinous anthem.”
Shocking sexual lyrics are the Lords of Acid’s trademark, and their list of hits are a parent’s worst nightmare. They include “The Crablouse” (a tribute to venereal disease), “I Must Increase my Bust,” “Rough Sex,” and “Marijuana in your Brain.” The lyrics of “Rough Sex” include, “Don’t think about love, bright moons, wedding bells, silent whispers, I think about pure sex, deep sex, hard sex, rough sex.” Even more startling are the words to “I Must Increase My Bust.” The vocalist explains, “I am obsessed with tits, as I grew older I made up my mind, I’d get me the biggest ones I could find, If you want to drown your man in your lust, you must increase your bust!” The band’s overt references find a wider acceptance in Europe, where nudity and open sexuality are more commonplace than in the United States. Lady Galore (Ruth McCardle), the frontwoman and only British member, serves as the provocative cornerstone for the Lords of Acid’s image. A beautiful blonde with a coy, teasing voice, her allure contributes as an integral part of the band’s success. Lady Galore, who stepped into the shoes of former frontwoman Nathalie Delaet, is
Members include Shai De La Luna , keyboards, vocals; Doggy Dave, bass; Ehran, guitar; Lady Galore (Ruth McCardle), lead vocals; Mcguinness (Kurt Liekens), drums. Former members include Nathalie Delaet , vocals and songwriting, and Lord T. Byron (Frank Vloeberghs), bass. Producers include Praga Khan and Jade 4U.
Formed in Belgium in 1988, the band released the single “I Sit on Acid” on Antler-Subway, 1988; the full length album Lust debuted in 1991; Voodoo-U, 1994, reissued 1996; Our Little Secret, 1997.
Addresses: Record company; —Antler-Subway, c/o Never Records, 7 West 22nd St., New York, NY 10010.
known for her flamboyant stage performances, which include multiple costume changes, salacious sex appeal, and simulation of some of the suggestive lyrics.
Europe’s music scene is predominated by electronic, or techno music. Raves are gigantic clandestine parties, featuring driving techno music emanating from enormous sound systems. In addition, party goers are frequently under the influence of illegal stimulants. A typical rave is held illegally in a giant warehouse, and the address is a closely guarded secret. Raves usually start late and continue until the next daylight or until the police end them, with music and drugs as the main attraction. The Lords of Acid’s music fits this scene, feeding into the rave frenzy.
Enter Rick Rubin, well known producer, impresario and owner of American Records. Rubin championed their cause, signing the Lords of Acid to his label to re-release their album, Voodoo U. Moreover, he provided them the opportunity to develop artistically, without censorship. The Voodoo U album was released in the United States with the sexually provocative cover drawn by independent rock artist Peter Coop. The album cover was controversial, featuring a cartoon drawing of a cave full of nude she-devils performing various sexual poses. Of course, the cover was banned from over half the record stores in the United States and prominently carries a parental warning label. Progressive independent record stores use strategically placed price tags to cover the obscene portions, and a second cover was made to placate the major record store chains.
After a very long hiatus and unofficial talk of a breakup, the Lords of Acid released a new album called Our Little Secret in July 1997. This release was preceded by the single, “Rubber Doll.” Both releases are on the producer’s Belgium label, Antler-Subway. Lineup changes were rumored, but the label made no formal announcement. This is not surprising, considering that most current and previous members have worked under pseudonyms and never release any personal information.
Singles and EPs
“I Sit on Acid,” Antler-Subway, 1988.
“Hey Ho!,” Antler-Subway, 1989.
“Take Control,” Antler-Subway, 1991.
“Rough Sex,” Antler-Subway, 1992.
“I Must Increase My Bust,” Antler-Subway, 1992.
The Crablouse (EP), Antler-Subway, 1994.
“Do What You Wanna Do,” Antler-Subway, 1995.
Lust, Antler-Subway, 1991; reissued on Antler-Subway, 1996.
Voodoo-U, Antler-Subway, 1994; reissued on Antler-Subway, 1996.
(With others) Mortal Combat (soundtrack), TVT, 1995.
Our Little Secret, Antler-Subway, 1997.
Robbins, IraA., editor, The Trouser Press Guide to ’90sRock, Simon and Schuster, 1997.
Additional information for this profile was obtained from Never Records, 1997.
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