Album artwork for I’m Home, I’m OK EP

I’m Home, I’m OK EP Charlotte Bendiks

Release date: September 8, 2023
Cat No: OMDD 052
Barcode: 4250101460913
Digital Single
OMDD 052
If you in one way or another fall outside of the CIS male gender category, or know someone who does, chances are that you are familiar with the four short words that comprise the title of Charlotte Bendiks` newest record. “I`m home, I`m okay” is an all too familiar sentence for those of us who are on the losing end of societal structures that make violence the form of power, and that have had to develop safety systems to create a modicum of counterbalance. “I`m home, I`m okay” are the four short words that indicate that you or a loved one have arrived safely, to safety, or quite simply: Home. These four short words compile much of Bendiks` oeuvre and all three tracks on the record released on Glasgow based Optimo Music in 2023, deals with questions concerning belonging, becoming, and embodiment. For Bendiks, the question of arriving home safely is not only about the act of stepping over the threshold of the home, but also an issue of the body that takes you there. She often refers to her music as body-music, something that is obvious in the heavy rhythms she produces that rarely leaves a dance floor empty. However, body-music can also be understood as music that comes from the body, both intellectually and physically. As music that develops through a process of being a body in the world, of accepting one`s body, loving it and feeling safe in it – and in the world. The latter is perhaps the most difficult, and an issue Bendiks explores to the fullest. Understood this way, Bendiks` music operates on the threshold of embodiment and polemics. The tracks take you from pure bodily experience to strong social critique in a heartbeat, without losing any of their danceability. If you let your body follow the rhythms of the record`s final track “Steikesexual”, for instance, it is impossible not to be reminded of one of feminist critique`s most central tropes, namely that the personal is [always] political. Steikesexual is a hybrid word composed of a Northern-Norwegian slang word that is used to emphasize admiration or idolisation, and the English word for being sexual. In short, steikesexual is both an adjective and a verb. It is something a body can be and do. The track therefore carries with it this hybridity which on the one hand emphasizes sexual power and bodily agency, and on the other highlights otherness and being an outsider. The point that Bendiks is making is that the process of becoming in one ́s body is always both. By letting your body move to and be moved by music, the body always partakes in structures that reach beyond the dancefloor. This is explored further in the track “Leaving Diego”, where Bendiks also play on words. Diego could be a person (a body), but it is also a play on the words “the” and ego”. It is as if Bendiks here points to a body in transit. A body that is moving from one place or state, to another. In a sense, “Leaving Diego” is both an antithesis to and prolongation of arriving home to safety, it is about leaving one’s comfort zone, the familiar, in order to become a body that is steikesexual. Bendiksen often talks about home-work when she talks about her work. For her, home-work, like body-music, points to the mental and physical labor that bodies perform when going through transformative moments. It is about being aware and delving into the complexities of the moment. It is about paying attention to all the components that make up a body in space, whether it being societal, cultural or biological ones. Understood this way the record “I`m home, I`m okay” operates between the body and society, and new bodies, new stories and new categories continue to arrive.

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