Scott Sinclair is Company Fuck (or CxFx), which is a “one-man noisecore karaoke explosion.” While wearing gold (or pink) bodysuits with nerd glasses, the Berlin-based Australian artist does a parody-performance of a DJ, MC, singer, and dancer which, to me, is post-modern interpretive dance meets the new performance artist one-man band.
But anyway, Sinclair would beg to differ. He takes a trip through the history of hardcore, rave, and noise, not to mention destroying pop music in the same way it is brought into reality by unprofessional karaoke singers. In other words, what first began as a breakcore project went awry with improv—he claims he is incapable of making his own music, so uses “that of others”—and satirizes the music industry in the same way a contemporary artist would use institutional critique. Known to open sets with recordings of cheering stadium crowds in art galleries, one of his past albums offers 80 tracks in seven minutes. All in all, he sounds pretty much like the personification of the word overdrive.
Known to push the limits of taste, Company Fuck represents the future of karaoke, even if it is the kind of explosion we’re not used to. It’s as if the karaoke lyrics we typically see written on the screen act as a piece of interpretation which almost feels like a sport to this skinny character galavanting across the stage, whose prime purpose is to provoke. There's also a ton of feedback, tortured screaming, and dirty dancing. He calls himself “a live wireless music monster.”
Of course, you’re welcome to sing along. Here is an interview with the stylish karaoke art star who hates talking about style.
Noisey: What is your relationship to karaoke?
Scott: I consider karaoke to be a wonderful and absurd equalizer of musicians and the music industry. Let's say that a famous musician and his or her associates (producers, agents, A&R, stylists, drug dealers, and so on) spend an uncountable amount of time and energy to make one song a hit, and all that glamor and hype can all be instantly destroyed by a drunk guy with a microphone. I think it's a great way to bring pop music down to the level of us untrained, poor, drunk people.
What is the essence of Company Fuck?
The primordial goo and discarded skin tissue that is extracted from inside a noise-karaoke artist's golden unitard. A highly potent aphrodisiac, this "essence" has also been known to prolong life and cure the clap. The only side-effect is a complete loss of sincerity.
How did this "noisecore karaoke explosion" all begin?
My background is in improvised music and noise bands, but when I first heard breakcore, I thought at times it was like danceable noise music. So, Company Fuck was born as a breakcore project. Unfortunately, I soon discovered that I was unable to make any listenable/danceable tracks like many of the great producers out there, however I am comfortable with real-time improvisation, so I worked out a way to make improvised electronic music kind of in the "spirit of breakcore" but not limited by BPMs or rules of the "genre." Add a lot of noise, karaoke, and stupid costumes, and that's basically Company Fuck.
It’s sort of like hardcore noise, right?
Hmm, no. Company Fuck is probably quite softcore compared to some noise acts. And besides, the sounds are much wider than just noise. There is a lot of weird metal-influenced short music (Grindcore/Noisecore/Shitcore); extreme hardcore techno (Gabber/Speedcore/Extratone); plunderphonics and musical parody; and even some nods to cartoon music.
At what point did you decide to incorporate gold bodysuits into your performances?
After I figured out how to play my show wirelessly. I have no problem with laptop performances per se, but I wanted to take Company Fuck into sweatier, more high-energy territories which moved the focus away from the equipment and towards something more visually representative of the music. So regardless of where I am in the venue I'm controlling all of the music and singing at the same time, and the suit also helps to hide some of my secret technology. Also the suit is very tight, so it's easy to see my cock and balls. It's a very free feeling.
What else do you wear onstage? I saw the geek glasses, too.
What? A gold bodysuit with glasses isn't enough?! Hang on, is this a fashion blog? Can we go back to talking about music?
Is music a form of storytelling or has everything been said and done?
Are you trying to ask me if I think all current music is entirely derivative? Not at all. Even if producers are explicitly referencing the past, I have no problem saying that they are making "new" music. Post-modernism can eat a dick.
Why is it important to include parodies in your performances?
I'm incapable of making my own original music, so I recycle others’.
Why should the music business be satirized, in your eyes?
My view is probably not so different to anyone active in the art underground: the involvement of business in any artistic endeavor largely compromises the integrity and intentions of the true art. I mean, even just answering this interview has distracted me from completing innumerable masterpieces of anti-intellectual sarcasm! Also, I want to be famous and I am an insanely jealous, antagonistic bastard.
How do you do this?
Sing pop songs (badly) with lots of noise on them; copy superstar stage moves (i.e. “Put your hands in the air”); sexually harass your girlfriend/boyfriend while you stand and laugh; play recordings of cheering stadium crowds in mostly-empty galleries etc. It's all pretty stupid, really.
In your opinion, what are the best and worst karaoke songs of all time?
That's a tough one! We're talking about pop culture and bad taste here, so the lines between good/bad are very fine and are also constantly changing. For example, the music of the Black Eyed Peas is something of an embarrassment and will probably age terribly, however, somehow the solo Fergie stuff has a kind of endearing slutty charm to it. And just because a song is usually good or bad doesn't mean it can't be brought to new life (or be completely destroyed) on the karaoke stage. I've never cared much for Limp Bizkit, but I always enjoy seeing a pack of middle-class drunks repeatedly scream “I pack a chainsaw/I'll skin your ass raw.” Uh huh. But essentially, Company Fuck is a child of the 80s, so classic MTV hits and 90s dance tunes usually get me hard. George Michael's “Careless Whisper” is possibly the best song ever written, regardless of who sings it. The lyrics to Heart's “All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You” contain some surprising metaphors for fucking a hitchhiker and then secretly hiding the lovechild. And check out “Music” by John Miles. It leaves Total Eclipse Of The Heart for dead. Gloriously epic and astoundingly bad. I love it. The worst songs would have to be very sincere singer-songwriter fodder. Like The Beatles, I guess.
What are you working on next?
I have a split vinyl with Santisima Virgen Maria coming out soon on Omega Warfare Records with amazing artwork by Martin Lopez. I'm also working on a Gold CD which will be a parody of the framed Gold Records given to the big-selling recording artists. As a bonus to the whole shabam, there will be a series of limited edition Company Fuck dolls—each doll sings its own personal noise-karaoke song in a little golden bodysuit! It will hopefully be ready in time for Christmas. So, misanthropic noise-listening males: stay tuned and buy a Company Fuck doll for your crazy girlfriend this gifting season! Otherwise, I'll see you at the karaoke bar…
There seems to be a lot of Australians in Berlin doing cool strange stuff. Like this guy Anklepants, who wears a mechanical penis mask. Nadja always interviews the best people! She's on Twitter - @NadjaSayaj.