Android Lust is a one-woman industrial music act, produced by Shikhee Khan. It's been around since 1996 (the year of Shikhee's first demo), although it didn't receive much acclaim until the release of the album The Dividing in 2002 on the indie Dark Vision Media record label. Projekt Records noticed and signed Android Lust, which is really where most of its fame comes from.
Prior to signing with Projekt, Shikhee assembled a demo entitled Foreign Body in 1996, which was self-released. It, in turn, caught the attention of Tinman Records, who released the first AL album, Resolution, in 1998, and its follow-up remix disc, Evolution, in 1999. These releases lead to AL signing with Dark Vision Media to release the lead single, The Want, from a new album, The Dividing, in 2001. The success of The Dividing brought Projekt into the picture, and they re-released it (as an enhanced CD, which included a video and a photo gallery) to a wider audience. AL has been with Projekt since then. A follow-up to The Dividing came with the remix disc Stripped & Stitched (2004), the single Dragonfly (2005), and Devour, Rise and Take Flight (2006), AL's newest major label release. At least, inasmuch as Projekt is a major label. The albums that followed, 2010's The Human Animal and 2013's Crater Vol. 1, were released through Shikhee's own label, Synthellec Music.
I know no remedy
I know not how to cease
this feeling of hate in me
I just want to see you bleed
The success of the Projekt releases brought notice from MTV, of all things, when they started featuring the track "Stained" from The Dividing in 2005. "Stained" is a razor-sharp, musical death threat against a diseased, promiscuous, unnamed former lover; the chorus shouts "I just want to see you dead!" MTV featured the video for this song, directed by noted videographer Dan Ouellette (who has also worked with David Bowie and The Birthday Massacre), on its staple shows The Real World and Road Rules, and on its late-night 120 Minutes, and on the MTV Australia show Rage. This exposure lead the producers of CBS' prime-time drama NCIS to feature the song (even saying the band's name during one episode) that same year. NCIS went further and put out a soundtrack, including not only "Stained" but also "Hole Solution". I guess the inclusion of prime time TV's favourite goth, Pauley Perrette, in the show's cast also influences the show's music.
This is to say nothing, of course, of the track's popularity in goth clubs around the world, which was considerable. This culminated with a live appearance at Convergence XI in Seattle in 2006. Convergence is an annual net.goth convention/festival.
Shikhee produces her industrial apoplexies with Apple computers, MOTU Digital Performer, Reaktor and Access Virus, a Korg Z1, a series of Neumann TLM 103 microphones fed through a Great River preamp and an Empirical Labs Distressor. She has such a fondness for her MOTU that she named her cat after it. (This was probably all outdated at the time I wrote it... but regular updates about preferred equipment are difficult to come by online.)
I know what I want
I want to stop seeing red
I know what I want
I just want to see you dead
I don't want your explanation
I really couldn't care less
I've got my own reminder
this scar across my breast
you are a faker anyway
ever up for a quick release
infect everyone around you
cover up your own disease
Shikhee herself was born in Bangladesh sometime in the 1970s. Due to the political termoil there, her parents sent her to England for schooling. She moved to New York City in 1999 and lives there as of this writing.
Her live shows are accentuated by her extensive body art; not tattoos or piercings, but black tribal patterns painted on her body before each performance. The mood this effects is one of a swirling, ghostly mass at night, kind of like the phantom in the film The Grudge. You can see this artwork for yourself in the video for "Stained."
Though it's just Shikhee in the studio, she employs a couple of musicians for live shows: drummer/keyboardist Christopher Jon and bassist/guitarist Bret Calder. And thus far, her video output ("Stained" and "Dragonfly") have been directed by the aforementioned Dan Ouellette. Both videos and some live stuff can be found, iPod-formatted, on androidlust.com.
Despite her image (big stompy boots, black everything, masks), she rejects the "goth" label (like many of those it's applied to), which is just as well because her music tends more toward industrial than goth, although Devour, Rise and Take Flight features more guitars and live drums than her previous output and you could, if you were so inclined, consider it goth.
Discography (album releases in bold text):
- Foreign Body — Demo 1996
- Resolution (out of print) — Tinman Records 1998
- Evolution (remix CD; out of print) — Tinman Records 1999
- The Want (CD single; out of print) — Dark Vision Media 2001
- The Dividing (out of print) — Dark Vision Media 2002
- The Dividing (enhanced CD) — Projekt Records 2003
- Stripped & Stitched (remix CD) — Projekt Records 2004
- Dragonfly (CD single) — Projekt Records 2005
- Devour, Rise and Take Flight — Projekt Records 2006
- Resolution - Collector's Edition Box Set — Synthellec Music 2009 / 250-copy limited print run
- Contains the out-of-print CDs Resolution and Evolution, a third CD containing unpublished songs from that era (1996-98), a poster, a pewter pin, a bumper sticker, photographs and an exclusive t-shirt
- Rarities, Demos & B-Sides — Synthellec Music 2009
- The Human Animal — Synthellec Music 2010
- Crater, Volume 1 — self-released 2013
In 2012, Shikhee used Kickstarter to draw funds for a producing a new album and was successful in raising the amount of money needed. Approximately four times as much as the goal of the fundraiser, actually. Crater, Vol. 1 was released on January 29, 2013.
Finally, it should be noted that the official Android Lust website is kind of a project of its own; it has loads of stuff about the band, a store, documentary videos, music videos and a lot of other interesting stuff. Definitely check it out of you like the music.
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