Release Date: Apr 3, 2007
Record label: Mute
Genre(s): Electronic, Industrial
About five years ago, one quarter of Throbbing Gristle, Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson, reflected on the chances of the industrial pioneers reforming. He did so with a distasteful shudder, which seemed appropriate, given that provoking distasteful shudders was one of the things that Throbbing Gristle were fantastically good at in their late 1970s prime, with their grinding, churning noise, their quasi-fascist imagery and their lyrics about child murder, concentration camps and serial killers. "The very idea of repeating what happened back then," he blanched, "fills me with absolute horror." So news of Throbbing Gristle's reformation in 2004 came as a shock, and not merely because of Christopherson's apparent distaste.
Why is it in 2007 that Throbbing Gristle -- the once-feared monolith of cultural warriors from the outlaw zone -- no longer sound frightening, disturbing, or, for the most part, even interesting? Certainly the industrial music and technology they pioneered has come so far as to implode and leave behind it a trail of diehards clamoring for more, but more of what? It's true that Coil, Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson's project with the late John Balance, was a far more unsettling unit, picking up from where TG left off and taking it into the black light of the void. Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti's solo and joint projects with electronic and electro-acoustic music resonated with dancefloor crowds as well as art students, and continue to move ever so carefully quietly and decidedly forward in their sonic research. Genesis P-Orridge (now "Breyer P.