The first band ever to be called “industrial,” Throbbing Gristle’s confrontational live performances and use of disturbing imagery, mixed with pre-recorded tape samples and special effects, created a distorted sound performance, quite ground-breaking in its time. Spinoff bands Psychic TV and Chris and Cosey continued to shock and beautify into the 1980s.
Post-Punk Noise Transmissions
Throbbing Gristle were an English industrial, avant-garde music and visual arts group that evolved from the performance art group COUM Transmissions. The band consisted of Genesis P-Orridge (born Neil Megson – bass guitar, violin, vocals, vibraphone), Cosey Fanni Tutti (guitars, cornet, vocals), Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson (tapes, found sounds, horns, piano, vibraphone, synthesizer), and Chris Carter (synthesizers, tapes, electronics).
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Psychic TV – Unclean
In its day, the racket Throbbing Gristle made was unlike anything heard before. It was allied to grim visions of Nazi death camps, serial killers, urban decay and imminent apocalypse. Today, their sound and iconography have been assimilated into the mainstream. Rock stars call themselves Marilyn Manson, arenas are filled by bands making a punishing noise and record shops devote acres to “industrial music,” a genre whose title Throbbing Gristle coined. — The Guardian
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Throbbing Gristle – Discipline
The curious few who were lucky enough to have bought Throbbing Gristle’s 20 Jazz Funk Greats when it was originally released in 1979 were in for a treat. Possibly one of the most subversive albums of all time, the cover features the band posing in a pastoral field of wildflowers near a cliff’s edge, warmly offering the possibility of ’70s jazz funk that lay inside. Rather than easy-listening hits, the listener would soon discover they had purchased an album of pounding industrial vitriol from the “wreckers of civilization.” The cliff the band was standing near was an infamous English suicide spot. — The Atlantic
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European Rendezvous (1984) was a follow-up to the Elemental 7 release by Throbbing Gristle spinoff Chris & Cosey with the pair performing under their Creative Technology Institute name. The visuals are a collaboration with John Lacey while the music was recorded live during their 1983 tour of Europe.
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