Album Review: Desertshore/The Final Report by X-TG
Exceptionally Good, Based on 4 Critics
The Guardian - 100 Based on rating 5/5
Of all the bands who've staged reunions over last decade or so, perhaps the most vexing was that of industrial pioneers Throbbing Gristle. The four members' intention was presumably to see what new artistic paths they might forge together, almost a quarter of a century after they split acrimoniously. And yet reunions are almost unavoidably predicated on nostalgia.
Radically reworking a Nico album, Throbbing Gristle leave Genesis behind…On many levels, there is a heavy note of farewell hulking around this recording. Most significantly, it’s almost certainly the last notes we’ll ever hear from the 36 year old entity that is/was Throbbing Gristle. The groundwork recordings for their ‘reversioning’ of Nico’s 1970 LP Desertshore took place as a public ‘installation’ at London’s ICA during 2007.
Some bands employ what could be termed as an "antagonizer," a random element thrown into the frame to cause willful destruction. Einar Örn fulfilled such a role for the Sugarcubes, providing mazy spoken word rants that butted up against Björk's singular tone. Throbbing Gristle were a band of four antagonizers, an unlikely amalgam of headstrong individuals who somehow found space to work together.
At the live preview of some of Desertshore at Newcastle's AV Festival in March this year, there was in the room a sense of remembrance ritual for Peter 'Sleazy' Christopherson. As I wrote here, the set by Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti, film screenings and performance by Attila Csihar created "a portrait of who [Sleazy] was (and always will be): the questing spirit voice and adventurer, a great wit, a transgressive explorer. " It suggested that what was to come from the sessions then underway at Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti's Norfolk studio would have a significance beyond the mere practicalities of finishing off a friend's album.