Release Date: Mar 27, 2012
Record label: Mute Artists
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Club/Dance, Experimental Ambient
A good decade before DJs like Tiesto, Paul Van Dyk, and others began using the term to signify music that was a dreamy, well-polished, dancefloor-filling tonic, Throbbing Gristle members Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti were labeling their synthetic output "trance" in a way that would have been approved by William S. Burroughs, Brion Gysin, and others looking for that perfect hypnopompic state. The head trip was more LSD than ecstasy and the music more headphones than dancefloor, something post-millennium bands like Factory Floor returned to on their droney disco journey toward the heart of the loop.
When Factory Floor's Nik Colk Void announced she would be collaborating with Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti from Throbbing Gristle at last year's Mute Records curated Short Circuit festival, the sighs of baited breath from London to New York and back again turned into some sort of supersonic asthma attack. Throbbing Gristle have always existed in a time and space governed entirely by their own rulebook, Factory Floor have emerged via London's ravey-artsy warehouse party scene, albeit leaving a trail of flailing limbs and broken minds wherever they've dared to play. What would this meeting of noise terrorists old and new conjure up? The four 'pieces' - for wont of a better word - that make up Transverse and simply titled 'V1' to 'V4'.
Transverse begins like a heartbeat sped up. Through the next 40 minutes, that heartbeat rarely changes and never dies. Everything flows from it and is sustained by it. A solid pulse that soon beats its way into your unconscious. It's the mechanical process at the centre of the human experience. All ….
The peaks of Transverse, of which there are many, arrive when it's barely possible to detect a human hand at work amid the fracas. At times it sounds like a group of machines engaged in an uneasy standoff on stage, about to push each other over the edge. This is a live recording, captured on tape at Mute's Short Circuit Festival in May 2011, performed by Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti (Throbbing Gristle, Chris & Cosey, Carter Tutti) and Nik Colk Void (Factory Floor).
This collaboration between Factory Floor’s Nik Colk and Throbbing Gristle’s Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni seems strictly mechanical: machine-like nomenclature; retina-shredding monochrome artwork. While its four parts are structured around metronomic hiss and grind, they’ve conjured, if not human, then certainly raw, bestial barks within. ‘V1’ mixes the tense pace of a video game with the snarl of a mythical beast; ‘V2’’s animalistic yelps cut through a gradually detonating rhythm, which inverts to a hollow, backwards slurp on ‘V3’.
A wonderful sonic conversation between like-minded souls. Luke Turner 2012 Cross-generational collaborations are generally dispiriting, vampiric affairs, with the haggard elders attempting to suck the lifeblood of credibility from young flesh, and the naive youth thinking a blessing from the old guard will somehow validate their contemporary flimflam. Madonna’s recent cavorting with M.I.A.
"Launch me into space" - Nancy Whang/The Juan MacLean The attraction of a good gig venue to a young mind - whether debutante or dilettante - is obvious. (Or at least this is how it felt to me when I was about 15.) A pitch black room full of weird older people, all angry, serious or drunk. Grilles covering giant speakers, bunches of snaking cables everywhere, mixing desks, monitors, blinking red LEDs everywhere, banks of strobe lights, malfunctioning dry ice machines coughing out belches of fog, mixing with tendrils of cigarette smoke and a haze of stuff possibly even more exotic.