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Jean-Louis Costes is a French noise musician, performance artist and film actor. Costes has been described as the French version of GG Allin, though unlike Allin’s rudimentary brand of hardcore punk, Costes’ music is largely synth-driven, relying heavily on looped beats, overmodulated vocals, and random outbursts of screaming and glitch fills.He was once married to Lisa Crystal Carver with whom he performed in Suckdog. He helped write the backing music for the “noise opera” music of the Suckdog Circus. His albums include Hung by the Dick from Nihilist Records. He appeared in the controversial film Irréversible (2002) and Life Pornography (2003). In 2003, he performed an “Opera” entitled the Holy Virgin Cult across the United States with two other performers credited as “Tristan” and “Nesi.” The performance was approximately 90 minutes long, with three distinct acts and shorter vignettes, and followed a prerecorded soundtrack. Each act began with the performers dressed in elaborate costumes; priests and a nun, a salesman, child and a housewife, Ancient Temple-Goers or Gods, and ended with all three actors nude and performing simulated and semi-simulated social taboos, scaring audiences with a barrage of apparent flung feces, urine, blood, tortured screaming, public sex and religious symbolism. The performance was written by Costes, based on his childhood in France. In 2007, Costes and Lisou Prout completed the “Les Petits Oiseaux Chient” (English: Little Birds Shit) tour across the United States and Canada.
Costes is considered as one of the first punk-DIY French artists, self-releasing dozens of tapes and CDs from the early ’80s to nowadays. His discography is surprisingly rich and outlandish, melding experimental, spoken word, electronics, sometimes hip-hop or metal, often parodying the French variety-song culture. It consists of sixty or so albums, some recorded in English, German or Japanese.
In 2015, a show played on a grand piano was released as his first live album, Le fantôme d’Archie Shepp (Archie Shepp’s ghost).