In 1989, the German electro-disco group Gina X Performance released its debut album Nice Mover. The album is now considered a classic of the genre and a huge influence today on bands like Le Tigre and Ladytron; it’s just been reissued.
The band’s lead singer Gina Kikoine was quite the character. She mastered lesbian chic through her style and lyrics and frequently referred to herself as Gino. Her songs dealt with anything from sexual narcissistic fantasies to a strange desire to be James Dean. Then there was her detached, cold voice: one part droll Amanda Lear and one part droller Marlene Dietrich.
The band’s biggest hit was also its best and queerest. “No GDM” is a five-minute art house dance anthem inspired by Quentin Crisp’s The Naked Civil Servant (you can listen to the song at myspace.com/ginaxperformance). In his classic novel, Crisp searches for the ever-elusive “great dark man.”
Written by Kikoine and band keyboardist and producer Zeus B Held (he would later produce Dead or Alive and Transmission Vamp), “No GDM” is an unbelievably cool dance tune with edgy thoughts lurking in the smart, happy-go-luck synth and drum programming.
The sparkling metallic tinged intro slowly gives way to heavy beats. “Wanna be a great dark man/ Being but a lesbian,” Kikoine muses. “You are perfect/ You are sheer/ If you are a red-haired queer.”
Later she sings, “Yellow teeth between pink lips/ Eyeline shadow with a crazy look/ The jewel behind my lobe of ear/ Rouge on my face hides my beard.”
The song is outstanding and for some reason Kikoine’s Teutonic accent gives the serious words a tinge of goofiness. The vocoderized male voice chanting continually “No GDM” helps make it something special. The song never takes itself too seriously… or does it? That’s the joy of “No GDM.” “That’s life/ One dies/ C’est la vie/ Ma cherie.”