Archive for the Throbbing Gristle Category

Throbbing Gristle – 20 Jazz Funk Greats (Industrial) 1978

Posted in Music, noise, Throbbing Gristle with tags , on November 21, 2009 by noisenoisenoise

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I’ve made no secret on this blog about my love of a good compilation but the problem with buying a compilation and then leaving it at that  is that the  tracks lack their proper context. For instance listen to Joy Divisions She’s Lost Control on Permanent and then listen to it on Unknown Pleasures. The song just feels better, more complete when you listen to it on the original album. The other problem is that most compilations cherry pick at best and they don’t always reflect the bands best output. It’s only in the last week or two that I’ve re-engaged with Throbbing Gristle. Their compilation Greatest Hits made an appearance in the earlier posts on this blog and when I reread it now it does reflect how that compilation comes across but when I listen to the same tracks on this for some reason they have developed a new life.

This record seems t0 be viewed as an easy entry point into Throbbing Gristle’s work and that may well be right but this is still challenging stuff. Sure, Hot On the Heels of Love is still a late seventies electro pop song but the rest of it is far more sinister and strange. Even the poppier moments such as Persuasion and Convincing People are just plain creepy. The title track, Still Walking and Tanith are hardly songs. But is on the  epic Discipline where the industrial comparisons may have begun. If you were turned off by Greatest Hits then you may need to track this down. Suddenly I get just how good this band was.

 

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Nurse With Wound – Gyllenskold, Geijerstam and I at Rydberg’s (United Jnana) 2008)

Posted in Coil, Music, noise, nurse with wound, Throbbing Gristle with tags on July 6, 2008 by noisenoisenoise

This is the remastered re-release of Nurse with Wound’s 1983 album. In addition to the three original tracks this CD also has a reworked version of each of  the tracks. The reworked version was originally released in 1993.  This is my first exposure to Nurse With Wound. I quite frankly found their back catalogue intimidating (and fucking expensive) and I just had no idea where to start. Luckily that problem resolved itself when friends of mine turned up to my birthday lunch with this in hand. I had no idea they were Nurse with Wound fans and had no idea what to expect when I took this  home.  Nurse With Wound is basically Stephen Stapleton and friends and I wasn’t too sure whether this was going to sound more like Throbbing  Gristle, Coil  or Current 93. What I quickly discovered is that Nurse with Wound, at least on this record, sounded nothing like those bands. This is extremely weird tape loop experiments. It’s hard to say much more than that really. I can’t figure out how to explain the sounds on this. I suppose the  first track the  bizarrely titled Several off moments before prior to lunch could work as a sado-horror movie soundtrack. It’s creepy, unsettling and oddly compelling. 

The main thing that strikes me about this re-release is just how good it sounds. If you didn’t know that it was recorded in 1983 you’d be none the  wiser. This is a thoroughly modern weird, experimental record. Unlike their contemporaries this has aged very well indeed. It’s not going to be for everyone but I find it strangely listenable. I have no idea whether this is representative of Nurse with Wound and in some ways my desire to find out isn’t really there. I like this and have listened to it everyday since I got it a couple of weeks ago. Excellent stuff.

Coil – Scatology (Force and Form) 1985

Posted in Coil, Throbbing Gristle on September 15, 2007 by noisenoisenoise

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….. and Throbbing Gristle begat Psychic TV and Psychic TV begat Coil. And Coil doth said,”and we will make a record which is industrial with some quiet bits yet with noise.” And Dave did read the reviews and said unto himself, “I should buy that.” Dave didst purchase the record with a bum shewn upon its cover. And Dave didst listen to the record and said unto himself’ “Fuck this hasn’t aged well.” and he was right. It hast not aged well. In fact one shall say that it is the shite. And not in a comely way. And then Dave remindest himself, “thoust does not even like industrial music.” And Yea it was true. Dave didst find industrial music boring and pretentious. Much like this post really.

I’m sure this was good in 1984 but lordy I haven’t cringed my way through a record in years. There’s a kind of interesting slowed down version of Tainted Love at the end, but by the time you’ve got to that interest should have well and truly been lost.

Throbbing Gristle – Part Two: The Endless Not (Mute) 2007

Posted in Music, Throbbing Gristle on August 10, 2007 by noisenoisenoise

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The way some people crap on about this record you would think it is the second coming of Christ. Throbbing Gristle have reformed after 25 years. How fucking exciting. Their back catalogue has certainly not aged that well so here is their opportunity to become relevant to the noise generation. Do they get away with it? Yep…. well for the most part.

Let’s talk about the crushing disappointments first. Three of the first four tracks are pretentious, skin crawling bullshit. The first track Vow of Silence is a sub standard industrial track that goes thud thud thud, thud thud thud and Genesis P. Orridge drivels over the top with vocals that initially sounds like a gibbon high on crystal meth before giving way to a dreary little excuse for a noise track. Thud thud thud, thud thud thud. Heard it all before I’m afraid. The next track is a fucking joke. Rabbit Snare is a smoky, jazzy, noir-ish slab of crap. CRAP. Almost a Kiss is almost as bad. No scratch that it is as bad. Almost like the most appalling Crime and the City Solution cover band in the world. Six Six Sixties? Nah, Shit shit shitties more like it. These three startling representations of mediocrity make up Tracks 1,2 and 4 respectively. It’s fair to say that Part Two gets off to a bad start but it gets way better.

Greasy Spoon and Lyre Liar are great slabs of ambient, industrial electronica and well worth the price of admission. Above the Below is great. It’s like Double Leopards in its creepy inevitability. Look I could crap on about how great everything is from Track 5 on but you get the idea. Its ambient, it’s electronic, at times it’s industrial, it’s creepy and it avoids being the catatonic cringe-fest the opening few tracks threatened. Most importantly Part Two is relevant. Throbbing Gristle avoid being a parody of their former selves. Fuck it, their are some excellent moments on this and hands down it has the best closing track of any record I’ve heard for quite a while.

Throbbing Gristle – Throbbing Gristle’s Greatest Hits (1980)

Posted in Throbbing Gristle on July 18, 2007 by noisenoisenoise

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Oh the irony! A band that never had a hit calling their first compilation Greatest Hits. Throbbing Gristle have apparently reformed after 25 years and released a new record. The Wire review made their new venture sound promising so I bought it yesterday and one day, when I digest it, I’ll post my thoughts. In the meantime I thought I’d post on this compilation of Throbbing Gristle’s earlier output.

Greatest Hits compiles tracks from their DOA and 20 Jazz Funk Greats albums with a couple of singles thrown in for good measure. This is supposed to be a soft-landing introduction to the band credited as being the grandfathers of industrial music. Throbbing Gristle only existed (until recently of course) for about six years. In their time they produced unlistenable behemoths of noise which I assume is where the Wolf Eyes comparisons come from. So you can imagine my surprise when I gave this thing a go. Does anyone really need to listen to an avant garde version of Georgio Moroder (Hot on the Heels of Love)? I thought not. Greatest Hits lurches between electro-pop such as the cynical Kraftwerk parody, United and arty experimental tracks such as Tiab Guls which is their earlier track Slug Bait played backwards.To be fair it is important to remember that these tracks came out in the mid to late 70’s and for that time it must have been incredible stuff. Tiab Guls is a pretty unsettling experience even now. The vocal effects on Hamburger Lady must have been groundbreaking when it first came out. The real gem on this compilation is Six Six Sixties which has the feel of very early (no wave inspired) Sonic Youth.

Those looking for an “industrial” record will be sadly disappointed with Greatest Hits. There is stuff on this which has not aged well, but as a representation of early avant garde electronic music, its a fascinating document.

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