Human Cross Records

Human Cross Records is a independent DIY CDr record label, that exists since 2001. After a long break again activate 2010.

Unseen Force

Label and mailorder operation dedicated to distributing Harsh Noise, Industrial Filth, Concrète Experimentation and Power Electronics with uncompromised vision. www.


Projekt is America’s premier independent label specializing in passionately intense introspective music across a variety of darkwave genres (ambient, ethereal, goth, dark cabaret, rock, darkwave, minimal electronic and more).

Abandonment label

ABANDONMENT is a small independent bulgarian NET/CD-R/TAPE underground label specializing in Industrial / Noise / Ambient / Experimental music. Our formats are on MP3 files (protected with Creative Commons License) and limited DIY CD-R/TAPE editions.


Analogik is a group of industry professionals committed to providing quality content and online resources in fields of electronic music, multimedia, visual arts, science, technology and culture.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Diamanda Galas [Special]

Diamanda Galas [Special]

Diamanda Galás (born August 29, 1955) is an American avant-garde performance artist, vocalist, and composer. Galás was born and raised in San Diego, California.

She was classically trained in jazz piano from an early age, training which reveals itself consistently throughout all her work. Known for her distinctive, operatic voice, which has a three and a half octave range, Galás has been described as “capable of the most unnerving vocal terror”. Galás often shrieks, howls, and seems to imitate glossolalia in her performances. Her works largely concentrate on the topics of suffering, despair, condemnation, injustice and loss of dignity. Critic Robert Conroy has said that she is ‘unquestionably one of the greatest singers America has ever produced.

She worked with many avant-garde composers including Phillip Glass, Terry Riley, John Zorn, Iannis Xenakis and Vinko Globokar. She made her performance debut at the Festival d’Avignon in France as the lead in Globokar’s opera, Un Jour Comme Une Autre which deals with the death by torture of a Turkish woman. The work was sponsored by Amnesty International. She also contributed her voice to Francis Ford Coppola’s film Dracula (1992) and appeared on the film’s soundtrack.

Her work first garnered widespread attention with the controversial 1991 live recording of the album Plague Mass in the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York. With it, Galás attacked the Catholic Church for its indifference to AIDS using biblical texts. In the words of Terrorizor Magazine, “The church was made to burn with sound, not fire.” Plague Mass was a live rendition of excerpts from her same-titled trilogy which began as a response/homage/indictment to the multitudinous effects of AIDS upon the silent class - of which her brother was a member. During the period of these recordings, Galás had “We are all HIV+” tattooed upon her knuckles; an artistic expression of disillusionment and disgust with the ignorance and apathy surrounding the AIDS epidemic. Her brother, who died during the trilogy’s final production, reportedly appreciated her efforts.

Susan McClary (1991) writes that Galás, “heralds a new moment in the history of musical representation,” after describing her thus: “Galás emerged within the post-modern performance art scene in the seventies…protesting…the treatment of victims of the junta, attitudes towards victims of AIDS…Her pieces are constructed from the ululation of traditional Mediterranean keening…whispers, shrieks, and moans.”

In 1994, Galás collaborated with Led Zeppelin bass guitarist John Paul Jones. The resultant record, The Sporting Life, while containing much of Galás’s trademark vocal gymnastics, is probably the closest she has ever come to rock music.

Galás also performs as a blues artist interpreting a wide range of songs into her unique piano and vocal styles. This aspect of her work is perhaps best represented by her 1992 album, The Singer where she covered the likes of Willie Dixon, Roy Acuff, and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins while accompaning herself on piano. For that album, she also recorded several traditional songs as well as the rarely heard Desmond Carter-penned version of Gloomy Sunday. Many of her selections both within and outside of blues repitoir have sometimes been categorized as ‘homicidal love songs’. She also focuses on the death penalty. One program of songs, “Frenzy”, has been dedicated to Aileen Wuornos and features the work of Phil Ochs and Hank Williams Sr.

Her latest song cycle is an interpretation of songs by Edith Piaf and Marlene Dietrich.

[Releted links]


Diamanda Galas - 1982 - The Litanies of Satan
Diamanda Galas - 1986 - The Divine Punishment
Diamanda Galas - 1988 - You Must Be Certain Of Devil
Diamanda Galas - 1989 - Masque of the Red Death
Diamanda Galas - 1991 - Plague Mass
Diamanda Galas - 1992 - The Singer
Diamanda Galas - 1993 - Vena Cava
Diamanda Galas - 1994 - The Sporting Life (with John P. Jones)
Diamanda Galas - 1996 - Schrei X
Diamanda Galas - 1998 - Malediction And Prayer
Diamanda Galas - 2003 - Defixiones, Will and Testament part 1 // part 2
Diamanda Galas - 2003 - La Serpenta Canta (Live)
Diamanda Galas - 2008 - Guilty Guilty Guilty (Live)

source: // //

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Shellac [Special]

Shellac (sometimes referred to as "Shellac of North America") is an American noise rock group composed of Steve Albini (guitar and vocals), Bob Weston (bass guitar and vocals) and Todd Trainer (drums and vocals). Although they have been classified as noise rock and math rock, they describe themselves as a "minimalist rock trio."

Shellac formed in Chicago, Illinois, in 1992 as an informal collaboration between guitarist Steve Albini and drummer Todd Trainer. Former Naked Raygun bassist Camilo Gonzalez sat in on early rehearsals and played on one song on Shellac's first single before permanent bassist Bob Weston, formerly of Boston's Volcano Suns, joined.

Shellac has a distinctive, minimalist sound based on unusual and urgent time signatures, repetitive heavy rhythms, an angular guitar sound, and Albini's surreal, bitingly sarcastic lyrics. Songs typically do not have traditional verse/chorus/verse structure and the arrangements are sparse, to the point where some describe them as "amelodic". Shellac's signature sound is often associated with their enthusiasm for vintage Travis Bean guitars, a rare brand of aluminium-based instruments, and the Interfax "Harmonic Percolator" distortion pedal. Albini is also known to use copper plectra and unique guitar straps that fit around the waist rather than over the shoulder. The band prefers the intimacy of smaller clubs and live appearances are sporadic.

Both Weston and Albini are renowned recording engineers, and use their preferred methods with Shellac. Albini prefers a very sparse, analogue recording sound with little or no overdubbing, and is meticulous about microphone placement and choice of equipment. This is reflected in Shellac's 'no-nonsense' approach to their own music, both in the studio and live.

Shellac are also renowned for their unconventional modus operandi. Touring is often an excuse for the band to take time away from their day jobs (Albini and Weston are both recording engineers; Trainer tends bar at Nick and Eddie in Minneapolis), as opposed to a means of promoting a recent record or even for financial gain. Indeed, Shellac do not have a "fixed fee" for performances like most bands, preferring instead to take the door sales minus expenses such as promotion, running costs and venue fees. They have also been known to ask venues to remove ticket charges, as they deem them unnecessary.

An early claim from the band was that all of their songs were about two of Steve Albini's favorite subjects: baseball and Canada. In actuality, Albini and Weston's songs often refer to a broad range of topics, from the highly emotional, to examinations of everyday minutiae. However, regardless of the subject, each song is presented in a deadpan, occasionally violent manner. An example can be found in the concluding tracks from the band's 1000 Hurts record. Although both song titles reference a mundane household object, these items are in actuality symbolic of a larger theme. Weston's "Shoe Song" deals with the realization of love and its subsequent loss, whereas Albini's "Watch Song" details irrational anger and aggression.

Shellac are known for their mercurial nature, which has produced some interesting records and events. A highlight of many live Shellac performances is the "question and answer" session offered mid-set, where members of the band respond in an off-the-cuff and at times jocular manner to questions shouted out by fans and hecklers alike. Notably, they recorded an instrumental album known as The Futurist for a modern dance troupe. Unwilling to grant what the band considered a sub-par recording a wider audience, they pressed approximately 700 vinyl LP copies of the music and gave them away as gifts to friends. The front cover was a list of the recipients, with the relevant name encircled, to combat the possibility that the personalized copy would be sold or given away. Shellac also played a Halloween show as The Sex Pistols, featuring former Jesus Lizard and Scratch Acid singer David Yow as Johnny Rotten.

In 2002, the band was also responsible for curating the All Tomorrow's Parties festival in Camber Sands, England. Among fans of independent rock, these weekends have achieved legendary status, and featured performances from some of the world's finest groups. Knowing that most of the audience had come specifically to see Shellac, the band went on first every morning as an incentive for the festival-goers to be up in time to see the other acts. Other acts included The Fall, Will Oldham, Nina Nastasia, Rachel's, Mission of Burma, Silkworm, Threnody Ensemble, Shipping News, High Dependency Unit, Arcwelder, Do Make Say Think, The Breeders, David Lovering, Blonde Redhead, Wire, Zeni Geva, Oxes, Flour, Smog, Cheap Trick, Danielson Famile, The Ex, and Dianogah. A CD of live tracks from this festival was released on ATP Records.

In December 2004, Shellac recorded a BBC Session dedicated to their longtime fan DJ John Peel. Peel had been an ardent supporter of the band and his death earlier in the year came as a great shock to the independent music community.

In 2005, Shellac were recorded playing "Steady As She Goes" in an abandoned house as part of the second installment of a film project called Burn to Shine, organized by Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty and filmmaker Christoph Green. This is the only available recorded video footage of the band playing live that has been officially released.

Shellac did not release any records between 1000 Hurts in 2000 and "Excellent Italian Greyhound" in 2007, but songs which were to appear on the latter record formed the mainstay of their live-shows in the intervening period - in particular, "The End of Radio", "Paco", "Steady as She Goes", "Be Prepared", "Genuine Lulabelle", "Boycott", and "Elephant" (formerly known as "Repeat The Lie"). Excellent Italian Greyhound is named in tribute to Todd Trainer's Italian Greyhound, Uffizi; it was released on Touch and Go Records in June 2007.

[Releted links]

Shellac - Uranus (1993)
Shellac - The Rude Gesture (A Pictorial History) 1993
Shellac - 1994 - Demos - pass:blm
Shellac - At Action Park (1994)
Shellac - The Bird Is The Most Popular Finger (1994)
Shellac - Terraform (1998)
Shellac - 1000 Hurts (2000)
Shellac - Excellent Italian Greyhound (2007)

Shellac & Mule 7'' Split (1997)
Shellac & Caesar 7'' Split (2000)

Shellac - (2004-03-29) La Maroquinerie, Paris /part1//part2/
Shellac - (1998-05-22) Live at bimbo san's
Shellac - 2002-04-19 - live at atp
Shellac - (2007-05-26) Bataclan, Paris /part1//part2/
for Live pass>

source: // // //

Flipper [Special]

Flipper [Special]

Flipper was founded in 1979 by Ted Falconi, Will Shatter, Steve DePace, and Ricky Williams. All were from early San Francisco punk bands, Rad Command, Negative Trend, and Sleepers, respectively.

Ricky Williams, though a great singer, was too messed up, and was fired after about 6 months. He was replaced by Bruce Loose, who we consider to be an original member. Bruce was on the very first recording released by Flipper, which was a song entitled "Earthworm" on the SF Underground / Subterranean EP.

The most notable live show with Ricky Williams, or Ricky Sleeper, as he was known, was the show in which we were the support for X on their very first trip to San Francisco. It was at this show that Ricky scored a KO on Will Shatter while swinging a mic stand. End of show for Flipper.

Ricky left us with some good memories and the name Flipper. It was his idea to call the band Flipper, as he had named all of his many pets, Flipper, so too would he need for the band to have the same name, for no other reason than it was a name he could remember.

The band lineup was Bruce, Ted, Will, and Steve from 1979 until Will Shatter's untimely death in Dec. 1987. During this time the band released 3 singles and 5 albums. We picked back up again in Jan. 1990 with John Dougherty on bass guitar and released one single before being signed by Rick Rubin to Def American and releasing "American Grafishy".

John Dougherty met the same untimely death, and we found ourselves flying the missing man formation, once again. There was quite a long break this time. It would be more than 10 years before Flipper would reform.

It would take a call from CBGBs to get the band back together. Hilly needed our help to play a couple of benefit shows. We answered the call in Aug. 2005, with an old stand by bass player friend, Bruno DeSmartass of Bad Posture fame. We played the 2 CBGBs shows, the final show at the famed Olympic Auditorium in LA, a sold out history making event at The Fillmore in San Francisco, and a succession of other shows. These included a performance at The Toronto International Film Festival, a Paper Magazine Party in NYC, in which Moby joined us on stage for an epic rendition of Sex Bomb, and an Edward Culver punk photo book release party, as well as club dates on both coasts. Our friend Bruno left the band, on his feet and still breathing, in Sept. 2006. We had an opportunity to play the "All tomorrows Parties" festival in England which was being curated by Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, in Dec. 2006. Without a bass player we had to find someone.

There was one name at the top of the list that just had to be. Krist Novoselic.

We invited Krist to join us for the festival and a tour of England and Ireland with old friends The Melvins. Krist accepted the invitation to our great pleasure and the rest is history. The tour was a great success and great fun. We have played a number of fantastic shows on the West Coast and we are now focusing on a new album of songs.

[Releted links]

Flipper - Sex Bomb (EP) (1981)
Flipper - Ha Ha Ha (EP) (1980)
Flipper - American Grafishy (1992)
Flipper - Gone Fishin' (1984)
Flipper - Album Generic (1981)

source: //

Living Colour [Special]


During the 1980s, rock had become completely segregated and predictable; the opposite of the late '60s/early '70s, when such musically and ethnically varied artists as Jimi Hendrix, Sly & the Family Stone, and Santana ruled the Earth. But bands such as New York's Living Colour helped break down the doors by the end of the '80s, leading to a much more open-minded musical landscape that would eventually pave the way for future bands (Rage Against the Machine, Sevendust, etc.). The group (singer Corey Glover, guitarist Vernon Reid, bassist Muzz Skillings, and drummer Will Calhoun) first formed in the mid-'80s, with Reid being the only member with real prior band experience; he was a member of Ronald Shannon Jackson's experimental jazz outfit, and had recorded with Defunkt, Public Enemy, as well as issuing a solo album with Bill Frisell, 1984's Smash & Scatteration.

It took the fledgling band a few years for their sound to gel, as they honed their act at N.Y.C.'s famed CBGB's. But the group found an unlikely supporter in Mick Jagger, who took the band under his wing, produced a demo for the quartet, and helped them secure a record deal with Epic (just prior, Glover had to take a brief leave of absence from the band, as he landed a role in Oliver Stone's Vietnam War epic movie, Platoon). Living Colour's debut album, Vivid, was issued in the summer of 1988, yet it would take a few months for momentum to build. By the winter, the band's striking video for their anthem "Cult of Personality" was all over MTV, pushing Vivid to the upper reaches of the charts and to platinum certification. Living Colour also took home their first of several Grammy Awards, as "Cult" won Best Hard Rock Performance at the 1989 ceremony, and the band supported the release with a string of dates opening stadiums for the Rolling Stones' first U.S. tour in eight years that autumn.

Starting with Vivid and continuing on future albums, the band showed that rock could still convey a message (as evidenced by such tracks as "Open Letter to a Landlord," "Funny Vibe," among others). The quartet regrouped a year later for their sophomore effort, Time's Up, an album that performed respectfully on the charts but failed to live up to the expectations of their smash debut. An appearance at the inaugural Lollapalooza tour in the summer of 1991 kept the group in the public's eye, as did an EP of outtakes, Biscuits. Skillings left the group shortly thereafter (replaced by studio vet Doug Wimbish), as their darkest and most challenging release yet, Stain, was issued in 1993. Although it failed to sell as well as its predecessors, it retained the band's large and dedicated following, as Living Colour appeared to be entering an interesting and groundbreaking new musical phase of their career. The band began writing the following year for what would be their fourth full-length, but an inability to settle on a single musical direction caused friction between the members, leading to Living Colour's demise in early 1995.

In the wake of Living Colour's split, all of its former members pursued other projects. Reid issued a solo album, 1996's Mistaken Identity (as well as guesting on other artist's recordings), while Glover attempted to launch a career as a solo artist, issuing the overlooked Hymns in 1998 and finding time to appear as a VJ on VH1 and acting in the 1996 movie Loose Women. Calhoun and Wimbish remained together and launched a new outfit, the drum'n'bass-inspired Jungle Funk, who issued a self-titled debut release in 1997 (Wimbish also issued a solo album, Trippy Notes for Bass, in 1999). With Living Colour out of commission for several years by the early 21st century, Calhoun and Wimbish teamed up once more with Glover in a new outfit, Headfake, playing often in the New York City area. A few days before Christmas in 2000, Headfake played a show at CBGB's, and were joined on-stage by Reid, which led to rumors of an impending Living Colour reunion. In 2003, Living Colour returned with a deal with Sanctuary and their most experimental release to date, Collideøscope. Two years later the rarities collection What's Your Favorite Color? was released, followed by Everything Is Possible: The Very Best of Living Colour in 2006.

[Releted links]

LIVING COLOUR - VIVID (1988) (download)
LIVING COLOUR - TIME'S UP (1990) (downloda)
BISCUITS (1991) (download)
LIVING COLOUR - STAIN (1993) (download)
/part1/ /part2/
LIVING COLOUR - SUPER HITS (1998) (download)
LIVING COLOUR - LIVE AT CBGB'S (2005) (download)
LIVING COLOUR - Everything Is Possible Very B (2006) /part1/ /part2/


LIVING COLOUR - Live U.S.A. 1989/90 /part1/ /part2/
LIVING COLOUR - Live Jazzfestival Willisau 2 (2003) /download/
LIVING COLOUR - Live in Amsterdam - Paradiso 2004 /part1/ /part2/

source: // // //

Friday, March 27, 2009


Decoder (1983) - Soundtrack

"information is like a bank
our job is to rob that bank"
----------------------- Genesis P-Orridge in Decoder

In 1983, Dave Ball (Soft Cell) & Genesis P-Orridge (Psychic TV), along with other artists such as FM Einheit (Einstürzende Neubaten) and Matt Johnson (The The) provided a soundtrack for a German film, 'Decoder', that starred William Borroughs, Christiane F, and a cameo from Genesis P-Orridge.

Hamburg, 1983. F.M. is a youngster leading an idle urban life, totally alienated from his environment, and only active when making “sound experiments” in his home studio. Christiana, his girlfriend, works in a peepshow on Reeperbahn. A chronically depressed customer is infatuated by her and tries to get more closely acquainted. The relationship between F.M. and Christiana is cool and distant, except for the moments at breakfast, when they share the muddled visions of their dreams.

One day F.M. suddenly wakes up to the surrounding reality, as he notices how the inconspicuous background music at a hamburger joint may have some connection with the junk food. It dawns on him that muzak is designed to control and brainwash the masses, not unlike lobotomy. On top of its paralysing effects, muzak is also laced with subliminal messages. F.M. decides to go back to the bar and records the muzak for his own purposes. He starts to develop a form of “anti-muzak” in his studio, by playing the original material backwards, or at a wrong speed, or by mixing it with interfering factors like sounds of street riots or squealing frogs.

In a dream of his F.M. receives support for his one-man war from an old shopkeeper (William Burroughs) selling electronics spare parts. He gives F.M. a disassembled cassette with the advice “This is all you need!” While wandering around the city, F.M. runs into members of a shady cult, “the pirates”, who have taken over an abandoned building in order to practice their nocturnal rituals of “black noise”. The core of their high priest’s (Genesis P-Orridge) message is: “Information is like a bank. Some of us are rich, while others are poor. It is our mission to rob that bank�” F.M. and the pirates decide to co-operate. They perform terrorist attacks in Burger Kings and McDonalds, armed with cassette players and anti-muzak. The customers get sudden nausea attacks and start rushing to the exits�

The action continues around the city, until the mighty Muzak Corporation intervenes by sending agent J�ger to track down the tape terrorists. Things get complicated when F.M. finds out that Christiana’s secret admirer and regular peepshow visitor is none other than J�ger himself. All the while, F.M. and the pirates keep copying more anti-muzak cassettes and distributing them to people in the streets. Mass hysteria and general chaos ensue�

Der Zeitgeist
A trashy little low-budget underground movie, Decoder reflects the zeitgeist of its time. The 1984 of Orwell is imminent, and apocalyptic signs can be seen everywhere. In Decoder, muzak represents indisputable evil, the totalitarian, multinational brainwashing masked under an anonymous, seemingly neutral fa�ade. Or, as the producers so succinctly put it: “Decoder shows that film can be more than two dimensional pictures plus the spoken word. Before the script writers Maeck, Muscha, Schaefer, Trimpop started to shoot in slums and fast-food chain-stores they did quite some research on the phenomenon of muzak: music recorded with special filtering and mixing techniques for stimulating productivity and employee morale as well as the comfort of the consumer, used by big industries, warehouses and department stores, restaurant chains and hospitals. This art product of doctors, musicians and marketing experts is only known as background music, whose subliminal effects no one is usually aware of.”

Decoder still manages to baffle today. It is, at the same time, (inadvertently) comical as well as haunting. Its political views on society are extremely black-and-white but undeniably strong as a bleak vision of the world to come. The film combines the instability of the two German nations and the nascent political activism, with Burroughs’ theory of “the information war”. And, as so many times before, reality surpassed fiction. The film crew shot parts of the movie in West Berlin and planned to plant actors with cassette players among the protesters against Ronald Reagan’s state visit, with the intention of editing the footage to create the impression that it is F.M. and his cohorts who are organizing the provocations in the streets. Once on location, they noticed that “audio terrorism” was already being practiced by the local anarchists, who had duplicated and distributed tapes full of frantic sounds of battle from war zones, sounds of descending helicopters, random gunfire and the like. “They put tape recorders in windows, and if you’re in the street and you hear all these noises and you don’t know where it’s coming from and you think where is that fucking helicopter, where is that shooting coming from? People got confused and angrier. It actually worked. They even busted tape recorders. They confiscated 200 tape recorders. It was really funny,” writer/producer Klaus Maeck told Vague magazine in 1984.

Glowing in colours of green, red and pallid blue, Decoder was pieced together by a bunch of enthusiastic first-timers. As Maeck reminisces: “Everybody did everything.” The screenplay was put down to Maeck, Trini Trimpop, and Volker Schaefer. The fourth member of the collective, Muscha, ended up as the director only one day before shooting began, “since he was the loudest and most secure in directing people.” The casting is interesting, to say the least: F.M.Einheit (of Einst�rzende Neubauten) in the leading role is phenomenal as the decadent kool kat. His tired girlfriend is played by Christiane Felscherinow, the original inspiration for the movie Christiane F. (dir. Uli Edel, 1981). The laconic New York actor Bill Rice is the face of the sorely tried muzak detective, whereas Genesis P-Orridge (of Throbbing Gristle / Psychic TV) makes a splendid cameo as the disturbed high priest.

On the trail of boy scouts
Film historian Jack Sargeant sees Decoder as a direct continuum in the beat tradition of Ron Rice, Jack Smith, Robert Frank, Antony Balch and their ilk. With the film The Cut-Ups (1967) directors Balch and Burroughs illustrated their theory and method of random cut-ups, and the result was sheer cinematic terrorism. It is practically impossible to follow the movie � instead, it “sends a message directly into the collective subconscious.”

Decoder takes the concept even further and delves into it with the means of a fictional story. In his novels The Job (1970) and The Revised Boy Scout Manual (1970) the beat icon Burroughs had already introduced his ideas of sounds as potential weapons of political struggle and the technical instructions for that particular brand of terrorism. Despite its brevity, Burroughs’ appearance in Decoder proves to be a key scene, as the whole movie is an implementation of the author’s idea: “Young people in the West have been lied to, sold out, and betrayed. Best thing they can do is take the place apart before they are destroyed in a nuclear war.” In Decoder, Burroughs’ The Wild Boys (1971) have been updated as characters in the post-punk and industrial scene in Berlin. One last matter of curiosity: beat painter Bryon Gysin’s mind-expanding Dreamachine also makes an appearance in Decoder, as F.M. gets acquainted with it in a rite of passage for the black noise cult.
- - -
From here the invistigation will progress chronologically, tracing Burroughs' views and influences on (as well as his pre-empting of) the punk movement, his tape recorder experiments and the importance of his sonic theories, known as ‘The Invisible Generation' concepts, which went on to spawn the birth of industrial music and bands such as Throbbing Gristle (1976-1981) whose focal member, Genesis P-Orridge, had an instrumental role in the latter days of Burroughs life. This links to the German independent film Decoder (1984), which features both Burroughs and P-Orridge and is heavily thematically influenced by Burroughs, in particular Electronic Revolution .
- - -
A film with the simple story subject of a man who wants to oppose the ever present muzak in a hamburger restaurant and other places deserves any credit it can get, surely if it has been made into this remarkable and very stylistic German cult films of the 80's. Inspired by W.S. Burroughs, who also has a cameo, the makers came up with a very tense, very good edited and very rhythmic film that invites the viewer not only to watch, but also to feel the poetry of the film. There is the wonderful cinematography by Johanna Heer, giving in general the film a steal blue colour. Variations are made for the different characters and different situations. In an interview producer Klaus Maeck may have said that to him this style seemed to be exaggerated, I think that the film could not have done without this cinematographic style.
Then there is the very good music that accompanies the film, and adding to the rhythm of the film. The script, simple as it may be, is well written, although there are a couple of flaws, the main being that it takes too long. But do not expect a linear told story, this is not that kind of a film; you have to carefully study and interpret every image to know what is going on. This does not mean that the makers were not able to tell a story, it is part of the overall poetic style: the viewer has to go through this film. Though the acting may not be of greatest importance as the filmed image is main story teller, some of the acting should have been much better. With all due respect to Christiane F., she never comes further than saying her lines. Bill Rice as the undercover agent is the best and seems to have walked out of a Raymond Chandler novel.

The riots you see are actual riots the makers made use of. The riots accompanied President Reagan's visit to Berlin. After seeing this film you probably will not enter any hamburger restaurant again, which to me may be the strongest reason to watch the film. I recommend this to the discriminating film buff. What a pity that this team never produced another one.

[ Releted links]
- Decoder Homepage
- download movie
- More links for downloading movie

[ Video]
[Decoder [1984] full movie on youtube]
[Decoder - William S. Burroughs and Christiane F. ]

Decoder (1983) - Soundtrack
(Download from Rapidshare)


muzak for frogs

Dave Ball / Genesis P-Orridge

three orange kisses from kazan
Matt Johnson / The The
© CBS records 1982

Dave Ball / Genesis P-Orridge
voices: Christiane F., W. S. Burroughs
text from "macbeth" & the LP
"nothing here now but the recordings"

main theme
Dave Ball / Genesis P-Orridge

sex & the married frog
Dave Ball / Genesis P-Orridge


voice: Genesis P-Orridge

muzak decoding
dream machine
FM Einheit / John Caffrey / Alexander v. Borsig

compressed metal
Einstürzende Neubauten

main theme - finale
Dave Ball / Genesis P-Orridge
sax: peter horn


Throbbing Gristle [Special]

Throbbing Gristle [Special]

Like their mid 1970's contemporaries, The Sex Pistols, Throbbing Gristle exploded into being amidst a blitz of controversy and banner headlines. Convention, it seemed was running for cover in the face of their all out attack. But whilst punk's campaign to shock the music industry that spawned it lasted but a few hectic years, Throbbing Gristle's assault took the form of a sustained approach that was a much more calculated affair.Throbbing Gristle (Northern slang for an erection) was officially born in 1976 primarily to provide sonic support to the Hull based Coum Transmissions, a performance art collective formed by Genesis P-Orridge with his then partner Cosey Fanni Tutti. By the time of their infamous exhibition Prostitution, at London's ICA in October 1976, Coum had largely succeeded in it's aim of confronting and confounding all expectations within the visual arts and were seeking a new target for their actions. The addition of Peter 'Sleazy' Christopherson, a young graphic designer with a passion for all things perverse and Chris Carter an electronics enthusiast capable of building his own synthesizers and keyboards, provided the requisite personnel to create the traditional number of 'a band'. As a quartet TG were then fully equipped to begin a methodical deconstruction of their next target.....the music business.

First came their reinvention of the live rock show with Genesis and Cosey bringing their art gallery honed presentation and audience confrontation skills, to the traditional format of 'the gig'. If rock concerts were ultimately performances by recognisable rock groups using the show to promote material that they currently had available as albums and singles, then Throbbing Gristle's early live shows were a very different affair. Back then there was certainly no product to shift so TG used this platform to educate, inform and subert instead, The live sound of TG in full flow was often characterised by improvised banks of blank electronic sound emanating from equipment that Chris and Sleazy had built in order to generate the loudest noises possible. Their kit was augmented by tape machines, mistreated violins, cornets and the cheapest lead and bass guitars on the market, with the whole lot then fed through varying amounts of processing effects and mixed live from the stage.

Genesis often became a parody of the recognisable rock front man, adding vocals which when they weren't resembling primal scream therapy, sounded like direct threats to the audience or weedy, reedy little songs about news stories, sex, violence and things that just came into his head at any given moment. Later TG live shows often reworked the Coum Transmissions concept of challenging the relationship between the performer and the audience to create new levels of extremity. For some performances, blinding Halogen lamps were pointed at the crowd at others strobes flashed constantly and a huge wall of mirrors at the rear of the stage forced the audience to confront themselves. Films often played an important role too and it was not unusual for medical operation footage or hardcore sex loops to feature in the performance. In this state of confusion Genesis sometimes succeeded in provoking the crowd into action. TG's audiences went wild attacking, each other, the band or the building they were in as some kind of cathartic release from what they were experiencing. The extremity of every aspect of a live TG show meant that their own epithet 'Entertainment Through Pain' probably remains the best description of these unique events. The next step in their media barrage saw TG turn their attentions to the creation of a record label and Industrial Records was established in 1977 at the Martello Street art space where Cosey and Genesis rehearsed. This suitably bleak and unglamorous part of Hackney, London gave Throbbing Gristle an HQ from which to mass-produce their records as an extension of their manifesto and as if they really were an industrial commodity, like cars.

In November 1977, Industrial Records released TG's debut album, The Second Annual Report Of Throbbing Gristle in a plain cardboard sleeve that represented the polar opposite of the lavish gatefold artwork which major record companies were commissioning at the time. Similarly far removed from the lavish excess of progressive rock whimsy, the records title alluded to the boredom of business documents and government departments. Rather than far off worlds and places, this record seemed to represent the colder realities of the times that had produced it. Hidden inside this plain sleeve was a sticker that proclaimed' 'NOTHING SHORT OF TOTAL WAR', and another which featured a lightning flash that was to become TG's logo. Despite it's vaguely fascistic connotations it was said to represent "the short-circuiting of control". For the Industrial Records logo, a cold black and white image of the ovens at Auschwitz was reproduced and another slogan announced that it was 'MUSIC FROM THE DEATH FACTORY' prompting outrage from some and deep discussion about our relationship with such imagery in others. On the record itself Throbbing Gristle's subversive wit is everywhere. Standard record industry procedure at the time was to develop artists over a course of singles and LPs until the release of a 'live in concert' album featuring versions of tracks their audience had come to know and love.

TG turned this practice nicely on it's head by choosing to make one side of their first official release a selection of primitive and extremely rough live recordings of just two tracks, "Slug Bait" and "Maggot Death". The second side of the LP being completely given over to a live improvised piece that had been the soundtrack to Coum Transmissions film "After Cease To Exist". Side one of The Second Annual Report Of Throbbing Gristle was recorded using a cheap cassette recorder with a condenser microphone, a technique that was somehow perfect for capturing the rawness of their sound but one that was certainly at odds with major record companies' struggle for greater quality and listener immersion at the time. This technique compliments TG's live sound perfectly with even it's digital journey onto CD not distracting from the power of this sound. Side two is more professionally presented having been mastered on a reel to reel. Few who have chanced across this record with it's peculiar presentation and totally intriguing sonic content, have ever forgotten it or failed to be intrigued by the improvisational techniques through which it came to be made. This record did not just launch a new sound; it launched a whole genre of music that travelled the world and that rather fittingly came to be known as Industrial. Wisdom had it that every record company must release a single to promote an album, and Industrial Records were no different in this respect, except for the fact that their single featured two 'tracks called United and Zyklon B Zombie and neither track had been featured on an LP. Wrapped in a sleeve that saw a development of Industrial's cheap yet highly effective black and white aesthetic United/"Zyklon B Zombie was a swipe at all that conventional pop music was meant to be. A primitive electro-pop backing and cheap drum machine supports a cross between a bored love song and something from the football terraces. Still courting controversy Zyklon B Zombie takes the first part of it's name from the gas used in the concentration camps and is a nosily thrashed counterpoint to the whimsy of the stab at pop music on the other side.

Throbbing Gristle's playful record industry parody was taken to new heights with next Industria Records release, 1978's D.O.A The Third And Final Report Of Throbbing Gristle. At the time it was possible to take a record to the counter or listening booth of a record shop and have it played, the assistant usually choosing the first track on side one as best way to lead the listener in. TG realised this and opened D.O.A The Third And Final Report Of Throbbing Gristle with I.B.M a series of bleeps and tones from a found cassette tape that had been sent to them. The logic here was that if the listener could cope with track one side one, the rest of this extremely diverse and challenging LP would definitely appeal to them! TG's love of parody and deconstruction is at it's most wilful on this record. Progressive rock superstars at the time had taken to recording solo albums as "personal" and Throbbing Gristle certainly did not want to miss out on this trick. Each member reveals their own aural pleasures in a selection of solo compositions that help mark DOA as TG's most varied release and one that ultimately flies in the face of the critics who had dismissed TG as purveyors of the monotonous dirge. Chris Carter delivers the amazing AB/7A a timeless piece of superbly crafted synth pop with more than a touch of Krautrock about it. Peter 'Sleazy' Christopherson opts for using disturbingly hypnotic found sounds on Valley Of The Shadow Of Death", where as Cosey Fanni Tutti's Hometime captures the contentment of kids innocently playing at the end of a day.

Genesis P-Orridge brings his track Weeping, a haunting work that sounds like it's title through the use of four violins and a space echo to achieve it. Industrial, almost realising the error of their ways chose to include the single United' on 'D.O.A', except that it is recorded from a tape running so quickly that it is reduced to a few squeaky seconds of record time! Despite 1978 bringing unexpected artistic and a somewhat against the odds commercial success, personal relationships within TG were not in good shape. Cosey Fanni Tutti's long-term relationship with Genesis P-Orridge ended and she began a new one with Chris Carter. Luckily for music lovers everywhere TG continued with it's quest to subvert all that they surveyed and by 1979 Industrial Records and Throbbing Gristle had even healthier record sales and a burgeoning international fanbase. With so many people hungry for a slice of Gristle, Industrial Records established their own take on the fan clubs that were so popular with UK teens at the time. Promotional materials became marvellous parodies of conventional record company artist photographs and the group produced truly ironic merchandise. TGHQGB as the office at Martello St came to be known, began to issue Industrial News, a newsletter that fed their fans fevered desire to keep up with their favourite band and ceaseless appetite for their earth shattering, life changing live performances. Industrial News became an opportunity for TG to share their myriad interests and obsessions with like-minded souls anxious to discover just what made this group of strange individuals tick. Perhaps not surprisingly, TG had become something of a social focus for those who felt alienated by the norm and soon their fans were collaborating with each other to the point that by the late 1970's a lively Industrial Music scene had developed.

Industrial Records flirted with the idea of becoming a 'proper' record label when in 1979 it started signing and releasing work by artists of a similar persuasion to TG on both vinyl and the and popular audio cassette format. The label was responsible for a series of releases by artists who then went on to become extremely influential in their own right. Industrial released the first records and tapes by Cabaret Voltaire, Clock DVA, Monte Cazzaza, SPK, The Leather Nun, Thomas Leer and Robert Rental and perhaps more amazingly, Stormy Weather, a single by the jazz singer Elizabeth Welch (the song featured in Derek Jarman's film 'The Tempest') an LP of William Burroughs own tape recordings and just in case anyone was beginning to think that things were getting a bit predictable, a pop single by a teenybopper called Dorothy! The cassette format certainly proved to be popular as it was cheaper to produce than vinyl and being extremely easy to reproduce meant that it represented the perfect medium for the release of 24 Hours Of TG .The group had rather sensibly recorded every single show that they had performed up to this point on cassette and were able to offer sets of these for sale, packaged in a stylish branded attach� case. Even a brief dip into 24 Hours Of TG, reveals a constantly shifting presentation of riffs and vocal themes that by 1980 had become aural standards like ideas that become full blown obsessions. It is rare that any artist makes everything that they have recorded available to their audience for fear of displaying their imperfections and in doing so with 24 Hours Of TG, Throbbing Gristle allowed an insight into the evolution of an experimental band that will probably remain unique. TG often amused and bemused in equal measure and never more so than at the end of 1979 when they released 20 Jazz Funk Greats the album that remains their most accessible. The cover shoot saw the group rent a Range Rover and drive to Beachy Head. a suicide hotspot to pose in casual gear like a proper band with the expensive car in the distance behind them. It's an amazing cover and who can guess at the confusion it must have caused the unsuspecting. Similarly the tracks on 20 Jazz Funk Greats feature examples of music that is the closest that TG ever got to writing 'proper' songs, albeit songs like Persuasion which features one note monotonously repeated throughout. 20 Jazz Funk Greats also has 'Hot On The Heels Of Love' Cosey's debut vocal track and catchy disco rhythms that are punctuated with the by now famous TG noise. By 1980 Throbbing Gristle felt that the next logical step was to record a proper high quality live album and where better to record a TG live LP? Why in the studio of course! The recording took place in front a video camera and an audience of invited friends, associates and collaborators from around the world. Heathen Earth was improvised during the course of the session and remains a truly magnificent example of the dynamic range of the TG sound. It's all here in the searing guitar sounds, Cosey's cornet and marvellous voice on the Chat Up Lines segment, Genesis's sinister tales Chris Carter's essentially catchy synth sequences and Sleazy's voltage surging filter sweeps. Industrial Records went on to release one of the first ever retail video cassettes of the Heathen Earth recording together with another of an unlikely performance at Oundle Boy's School. By 1981 TGs mission to subvert the music business and the minds of it's audience seemed complete. A couple of single releases followed and then after a concert at Kezar's Pavillion in San Francisco during April 1981 the TG mission was terminated and the extraordinary figures who had manage to transform so much and so many whilst using the name Throbbing Gristle, went their separate ways.

A slew of record releases followed in their wake including a final studio LP Journey Through A Body and a soundtrack to the Derek Jarman film In The Shadow Of The Sun as well as a live recording of their final performance in Mission of Dead Souls. Countless bootlegs and reissues continue to surface even to this day, some sanctioned some not. Much has happened since their demise. 'Sleazy' Christopherson and Genesis P-Orridge, briefly joined forces after TG to create Psychic TV, a pseudo cult with Sleazy' later leaving to create COIL with his PTV partner John Balance. PTV went on to experiment with pop music and dance culture until Genesis P-Orridge left the UK for America. He now works under the guise of Thee Majesty creating art and mischief as well as music. COIL have continued to be a genuinely original experimental organised unit.. Cosey Fanni Tutti and Chris Carter soon became Chris N' Cosey a pioneering electronic duo who have investigated all aspects of rhythmic and landscaped sound. Despite the fact that more than 20 years have now past since Throbbing Gristle went their separate ways the sheer volume of their audio legacy means that they are rediscovered time and time again, going on to influence and inform in the same that they did between 1976 and 1981.

A recent CD of Throbbing Gristle remixes has demonstrated just how influential the TG sound has and continues to be, even on the most commercially minded artists. Plans also remain firmly in place to reunite the members of Throbbing Gristle on stage, an event made all the more likely through Mute records tireless desire to make more of their back catalogue available than ever before. This prospect became one step closer in 2002 with the release of the (now deleted) limited edition CD version ofTG24. This event saw the quartet happy to be together for the launch of this release. In a gallery displaying objects and ephemera from their astounding career, TG seemed keen to create that final artistic footnote so maybe; just maybe, the mission has been reclassified.

Watch this space and prepare for further transmissions Throbbing Gristle.

[Releted links]

Throbbing Gristle - The Second Annual Report (1977)
Throbbing Gristle - Live At The Rat Club The Valentino Rooms (1977)
Throbbing Gristle - D.O.A. The Third And Final Report (1978)
Throbbing Gristle - Pastimes/Industrial Muzak (1979)
Throbbing Gristle - 20 Jazz Funk Greats (1979)
Throbbing Gristle - Live Butlers Wharf, London. 23rd December (1979)
Throbbing Gristle - Funk Beyond Jazz (1980)
Throbbing Gristle - Heathen Earth (The Live Sound Of T.G.) (1980)
Throbbing Gristle - Dimensia In Excelsis (1981)
Throbbing Gristle - Once Upon A Time... live at Lyceum (In England) (1981)
Throbbing Gristle - Mission Of Dead Souls- The Last Live Performance (1981)
Throbbing Gristle - Journey Through A Body (1982)
Throbbing Gristle - In The Shadow Of The Sun (1984)
Throbbing Gristle - Cd1 (1986)
Throbbing Gristle - The First Annual Report Of Throbbing Gristle (2001)
Throbbing Gristle - Mutant Throbbing Gristle (2004)
Throbbing Gristle - Now (2004)
Throbbing Gristle - Exclusive & Elusive (2007)
Throbbing Gristle - Part Two - The Endless Not (2007)

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