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Terre Thaemlitz: K-S.H.E "Routes Not Roots"
- I. Khider

In e|I, final issue, May 2006.


Ever the politically charged producer cum social critic, Thaemlitz proves he can make serious topics like AIDS, transgenderism and hypocrisy in the queer community bump and groove. K-S.H.E is among Thaemlitz' most accessible releases, featuring several house and deep house cuts, downtempo and spoken word. "Hobo Train" taps into that groove as a gospel-inspired woman rails against high-unemployment, low wages and that grim reaper - inflation - to the refrain "sistah's work!" set to acoustic guitar, piano solos, clapping hands and a driving rhythm. "B2B" is nocturnal, homo-eroticized acid house where male voices rhythmically intone "brother-to-brother," while "Infected" begins with an ironic comedy skit on AIDS before launching into a high-energy, two AM funkified house rhythm. Some tracks like "Down Home Kami-Sakunobe" are instrumental housecuts with lament-ridden Memphis fiddle and Thaemlitz' signature piano accents. In a Thaemlitzian twist, these tracks are actually mulched from country and western tunes. The especially pretty, layered piano spread across "Head (In My Private Lounge, My Pad)" is interspersed with a ten-year-old narrating the discovery of a severed head on the side of the road, taking it to the lost and found and since no one claimed it, he got to keep it in his private lounge. The source of the child's voice? Terre at the age of 10. Also in this disc are interviews with Japanese transgendereds and a heart-rending account of Thaemlitz being mauled by a gang of Puerto Rican queens while out in drag in NYC, perversely recounted to a continuous laugh track. If you love house music and downtempo, K-S.H.E will rock your world and bump your rump, while tripping you in to issues of the world at large.