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Carter Tutti Void – Transverse


Breath was bated at this, apparently, but not mine. I mostly dislike collaborations, even when I try to like them, even when I love the collaborators. Collaborations regress towards the mean, like motionless wrestling or mutual strangulations in the back of army trucks (a personal joke, one intended only for my future self to smirk about; sorry).

I blame everyone: Mike Paradinas and Richard James as Mike and Rich on the Expert Knob Twiddlers LP (the clue’s in the title,if you substitute ‘expert’ with ‘half-arsed’); the recent Burial and Four Tet releases (two singular visions transposed into some death-dull murk); Whitehouse with Nurse With Wound (smugly bad, the worst of both worlds) — I won’t go on, you can insert your unfaves here. There are inevitable exceptions (answers on a postcard to Freq Towers) but, mostly, the whole is less than the sum of its parts (see also ‘super’ groups).

This one is a little different. The parts don’t seem like parts at all. The fit between Factory Floor’s Nik Void and Chris and Cosey doesn’t seem at all forced and doesn’t diminish any of the participants. It seems like a genuine joint vision has emerged; one that sounds, if anything, a little better and more singular than any of their recent individual work. This is a genuinely new beast rather than a hastily-assembled Jenny Haniver. And the beauty of this release is that it’s as if we’re seeing the monstrous birth as it happened. Of course, we know that, really, this live performance, this pulse, has been carefully considered and worked out way before they come out on stage but the illusion of the birth is right there (fans of Throbbing Gristle will remember the anecdotes swotting back and forth about the genesis of “Discipline”) and very compulsive.

The four ‘movements’ (hate that phrase but it’s hardly ever been more apt) on display here show not just intentionality and purpose but a kind of hive mind (not Hive Mind) approach that works incredibly well. No one steps on anyone’s toes; instead they miraculously circle one another, adding splashes of colour or extra beats or extra drones or degraded vocals (I assume that’s Cosey). This is a really brilliant release in all senses of the word. It shines. It pulses. It keeps going until…

The only bad thing about it is that it could easily have been twice as long. 40 minutes doesn’t quite do it justice.


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