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Throbbing Gristle – The Second Annual Report / 20 Jazz Funk Greats / A Taste Of TG

Mute

Marking four decades since Throbbing Gristle gave the world industrial music and a sharp shock to the system that made the punk rock scene exploding around them seem tame and backwards-looking by comparison, Mute are releasing anniversary editions of the band’s key albums.

The Second Annual Report

Throbbing Gristle - The Second Annual ReportThat splash of cover’s corporate blandness gives you little idea of the dirty pearls actively seeking your disapproval inside. 1977 wasn’t really ready for the lo-fi pleasures this had to offer – “Slugbait”, “Maggot Death, “Cease To Exist” – this wasn’t about peddling rosy futures, but seeding the capitalist utopia with unsettling truths.

Forty years on it still manages to get under your skin. The blank accelerations of the opener, that alienating tonal drag

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Throbbing Gristle – 20 Jazz Funk Greats

Industrial

OK, quickfire ‘proper review’ bit – lovely re-issue with lovely packaging all put together in a lovely way with some additional pictures, re-mastering, general loveliness, a lovely essay from Jon Savage and a lovely live show being lovely. Worth buying? Oh yes. Very much so. Perhaps their most commercial record, which is a relative term, and has a lovely mix of the very studio-y 20 Jazz Funk Greats and a very lovely show live CD. Lovely.

I think it was said around the time of the TG24/ TG+ CD re-issues that Throbbing Gristle were two bands – there was the studio band with the headphone-friendly, queasy stereo pans and weird echo processing, and the bleak, grinding horror of their live shows. I’ve not got TG24 but TG+ is a really difficult listen. It’s not bad, but it’s unrelenting. Really gruelling to

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Throbbing Gristle – The Second Annual Report/Throbbing Gristle’s Greatest Hits

Industrial

Following the final termination of Throbbing Gristle, the surviving members have revived Industrial Records with the aim of presenting their recorded legacy with all the care and attention it deserves. Each of the studio albums have been lovingly re-mastered by Chris Carter and are repackaged in lovely card sleeves. All the CDs come with a second disc, selecting live highlights from the period of the respective album, along with any stray singles.

> Print this

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Throbbing Gristle – D.o.A: The Third and Final Report of Throbbing Gristle.

Industrial

…right, so I’ll get the actual review part out of the way, assuming someone’s reading this from either the perspective of not knowing Throbbing Gristle or is interested in what’s new in this re-release/re-master. This shouldn’t take too long, don’t worry. First – if you don’t know TG, and you’re in any way interested in early industrial music – that is, the variety that wasn’t a pale, cock-heavy, boring version of metal for sexless turds loosely based on a crap simulacrum of 80s electro-pop – you should get one/all of TG’s re-issues (and this is as good a place to start as any). If you’re interested in where sound-art, home-made electronics, noise, found-sound, experimental music, techno, sound-collage [etc etc] come from, TG are what you need. I don’t necessarily think they’re originators of a lot of those things, but in terms

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Throbbing Gristle – Heathen Earth

Industrial

OK, having not been born until 1971, I was a bit late to the Throbbing Gristle party. By the time I discovered them in the late 80s, they were long defunct, the mission having terminated several years before. So when they did reform, I was cock-a-hoop (do people still say “cock-a-hoop” anymore?), and by the same token I was greatly saddened by last year’s tragic death of Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson. But my first memory of Throbbing Gristle’s actual music (as opposed to the legendary tales of their live shows, imagined lifestyles, ideologies and controversies) was the album Heathen Earth. Sitting around a home-made dreamachine at my mum’s house (it took us fucking AGES to find a record player that would still go at the right speed, even back then) listening to it with eyes closed and wondering why we hadn’t all

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Throbbing Gristle (live)

The Astoria, London 16 May 2004

Throbbing Gristle not playing a live gig (Click for larger image. Pic: Simon Leigh, www.simonleigh.com)Twenty-three years, man. Twenty-three (of course) years since (when I was way too small to appreciate this shit) the colossal monster of sound known as Throbbing Gristle last stomped its way through a live venue. The mission was terminated? or was it? Cut to NOW. A bunch of people, all of whom knew it was too good to be true that the legendary THROBBING FUCKING GRISTLE had overcome their differences and were actually headlining an entire fucking festival – at a holiday camp in Camber Sands, no less – had their hopes dashed as the whole event was cancelled two weeks before the scheduled date. But then? TG announced a one-off “live recording session” (I shouldn’t say “gig”, even though what transpired would prove me right?)

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