HYENAZ: Creatures of Ritual
Never content to remain static, electronic duo HYENAZ are creatures with their skin peeled off; their music is the juice that flows from their excoriated body. Comprised of Kathryn Fischer (also known as the performance artist Mad Kate) and Adrienne Teicher (recently reborn as the artist XIL), HYENAZ are passionate about electronic music and performance as a tool of political and personal transformation. In their debut self-titled album, the pair imagines themselves as hyenas manifest as transgender humanoids, scavenging on the edges of apocalypse, building bodies and identities from the civilizations detritus. Mirroring this fantasy image are the practices they deploy intensive field recordings from their environment transformed into aural landscapes both jagged and lush. Now bursting forth with their second album, the mystical and fierce CRITICAL MAGIC 비평적 마술, Hyenaz engage postmodern spirituality and Korean cut/ups to create a work which is sonically refreshing: the electronic dance album as a singular cohesive spell.
HYENAZ live experience a wholly immersive journey into the raw power of the physical body, visionary costuming and digital art pushes their electronic soundscape into territory largely uncharted by other producers. “Our albums cast a sonic atmosphere which stands on its own and becomes integrated into the listener’s own context that we don’t wish to control” says Mad Kate, in response to being asked about live versus recorded music. “The live experience, however, is pure potential for transformation and physical interaction. If just one person feels moved, we know we have made some small impact, bridged a border between self and other.”
“We encounter our audiences not only aurally, but physically,” says XIL, “and hope that this can begin to heal the deep cultural trauma that our bodies and minds are woven into. We draw on magic in our work, in particular the Chaos Magic paradigm, which provides a ritual framework of action-intention that accords with our identities as queer bodied, post-capitalist, free-movement, pacifist artists. We struggle to overcome this dividing of bodies through our music and cultural output because it is vital for our futures as interconnected selves.”
HYENAZ have opened for Peacheswho called them a “performance monster duo” in her 2015 article in The Guardianand were part of her 2016 curation at Sled Island Music and Arts Festival, Canada. They have also supported Telepathe, Planningtorock, Bonaparte, performed live at Berlin’s world famous techno mansion, Berghain, and have been energetically touring the world, from South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas, to the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, to MIDI Festival Shanghai. Most recently they remixed Paula Temple’s track “Gegen” to raise money for Berlin based asylum seekers.