CHANDRA with Bile Sister, Sexy Merlin, New Chance and Invisible City DJs
Transportation is the time-traveling vehicle of Chandra Oppenheim, a 12-year-old fronting a hair-raising post-punk / mutant-disco outfit. The year was 1980, and the setting was Hells Kitchen, New York, at the anomalous intersection of art and music. As the daughter of eminent conceptual artist Dennis Oppenheim, Chandra showed considerable promise as a songwriter and performer from the age of 7. This inspired New York noisemakers The Model Citizens later transforming intoThe Dance to approach the young firestarter and become her backing band.
With Chandra penning the songs lyrics and vocal melodies, her adult accompanists laid down abrasively propulsive grooves,lending their recordings a singular sound. Rubbery bass lines, resonant organs, razor wire guitars and the spectral dub echoes of the melodica are driven by Chandras commanding vocals. Imagine a tweenage Lizzy Mercier Descloux or the schoolyard jump rope chants of ESG stripped to their skeletal essence. Little did she know, this was an electric time and place! Only a childs imagination could fathom sharing a rehearsal space with Madonna or a stage with The B-52s. But Chandra was no typical girl --- she was no Kate!
Lyrically, Chandras songs reflect the day-to-day dualities of the people and events in an off-kilter life. Adolescent vs. adult. Artist vs. individual. New Wave vs. No Wave. All the boys stare at the girl with blonde hair. Her words are concrete, simple and repetitive, inciting a conceptual reaction to the pure poetry of inner monologues from a creatively unshackled child. Without a single effects pedal, Chandras clean, multi-tracked vocals prove that musical trips can start by going backwards and gazing within. Transportation takes the listener to faraway places with raw emotions expressed free of affectation. This record is both a fountain of youth and a vessel of transformation, traveling beyond age or time.
The original Transportation EP was released in 1980 by ON / GO GO Records, the bands own imprint, and has since become a long-lost cult classic. Cantor Records is proud to reissue the four-song EP with the addition of four unreleased songs by The Chandra Dimension Chandras touring band comprised entirely of teenagers. The cherries on top are a rarely seen 1980 music video for the Transportation standout Concentration as well as three unreleased demos, unveiled exclusively with this reissue. Following a previous 2008 pressing, the perpetually out of print and highly sought after release is available on vinyl once again.
Chandra will make a rare live appearance for the Toronto release show at Double Double Land on October 17, 2014. Chandra will take the stage with Bile Sister for a performance of songs from Transportation, along with sets from Sexy Merlin, New Chance and the Invisible City DJs.