Pop: Techno crew's good vibrations

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Indy Lifestyle Online
"I think you guys are better for a sex group than America," praises Ross Harris, from California's horny-techno frolickers Sukia, on the blower. "All those adverts in the telephone boxes! When I was over there and had to call my wife at home, the walls of the box were plastered with naked women busting their backsides at me," he adds, amazed. Sukia are on their way back to Britain, to tour with veteran moodsters Stereolab. The Anglo-French Stereolab are reserved and resolutely indie, while Sukia - named after a comic book lesbian vampire - jump up and down in silly cartoon character masks and indulge in slutty club-culture grooves, so the contrast should prove bizarre. Sukia have found, however, their sense of humour is perhaps, not to everyone's taste.

"We had a great time in London, but we almost got arrested," confesses Ross. "Me and one other member of the band, Craig (Borrell, the horns, rapping and samples guy) were wearing leather jackets and were talking to these two boys in striped sweaters - I think that's what the problem was. A woman said she was going to call the police. They came, but they went straight past us and after the boys in the sweaters, and the rest of the band also got questioned."

But Sukia are not on the look-out for real trouble. They are more interested in rampant silliness, and dare I say it, good vibrations on record, including album Contacto Espacial Con El Tercer Sexo for Mo Wax. The exotic, hedonistic techno was so cool it proved a deep inspiration to Beck around the time he was writing his last album. Ross is obsessed with setting 1970s-orientated raunchiness to synths, something which may or may not have something to do with an unusual childhood as a child star. At 10 years old, he played the innocent cherub being propositioned in Airplane! He also starred in The Love Boat and, Little House on the Prairie. But back to the present. The trek back to British shores coincides with the release of single "Gary Super Macho", Gary being the, um, lesbian vampire's gay manservant. The track, a veritable zoo of panting females, eerie samples and slick techno manoeuvres, has four mixes, including one by The Dust Brothers. "You know what? I don't like any of them," says Ross. "We asked the Dust Brothers to pump it up, make it bombastic." Oh no! So you're disappointed? "It's all right," he adds, graciously. Thankfully he has a few more fulsome eulogies for us. "We didn't want to go back to the rest of Europe, we just wanted to be with you guys with the phone booths."

25 Sept The Cockpit, Leeds (0113-244 3446); 4 Oct Shepherd's Bush Empire, London W11 (0181-740 7474)

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