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THROBBING GRISTLE

Progressive Electronic • United Kingdom


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Throbbing Gristle biography
Founded in the middle of the 70s (by the freely improvised collective COUM transmissions), Throbbing Gristle is one the most notorious figures in the genesis and the development of Industrial power electronic music. Their original musical path is rapidly followed by a bunch of challenging combos such as SPK, Zoviet France, Einsturzende Neubauten, MB (?) Their pioneering work remains unique in the whole genre, delivering a sonic combination between hypno-minimal pulses, aleatoric sound manipulations, lo-fi synth chords and haunting disembodided / frenetic / convoluted vocal. their first album The Second Annual Report (1977) and 20 Jazz Funk Greats (1979) are considered as milestones of the genre. They feature mechanical pop grooves, unusual motorik rythms surrounded by an arsenal of tripped out epileptic depressive noises. Trobbing Gristle?s powerfully-noisy-theatrical experiments radically interact with a dense subversive imaginary dealing with the hybrid human cultures, the divided ego, Dystopia, fetishism, ultra-violence, sexual perversion, mass control and modern totalitarianism.

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Throbbing Gristle Bring You 20 Jazz Funk GreatsThrobbing Gristle Bring You 20 Jazz Funk Greats
Industrial Records 2011
Audio CD$20.95
$33.76 (used)
Heathen Earth: The Live Sound of Throbbing GristleHeathen Earth: The Live Sound of Throbbing Gristle
Industrial Records 2011
Audio CD$12.99
$23.00 (used)
Throbbing Gristle's Greatest HitsThrobbing Gristle's Greatest Hits
Industrial Records 2011
Audio CD$14.06
$14.99 (used)
First Annual ReportFirst Annual Report
Thirsty Ear 2006
Audio CD$129.35
$26.99 (used)
Mission of Dead SoulsMission of Dead Souls
Mute U.S. 1993
Audio CD$44.99
$7.17 (used)
RaftersRafters
Import
Eastworld 2011
Audio CD$4.15
$5.73 (used)
Journey Through a BodyJourney Through a Body
Import
EMI Import 2003
Audio CD$186.70
$28.70 (used)
D.O.A.: Third & Final Report of Throbbing GristleD.O.A.: Third & Final Report of Throbbing Gristle
Industrial Records 2011
Audio CD$12.99
$21.01 (used)
Second Annual Report of Throbbing GristleSecond Annual Report of Throbbing Gristle
Industrial Records 2011
Audio CD$19.84
$15.99 (used)
Throbbing Gristle: Greatest Hits (180g) Vinyl LPThrobbing Gristle: Greatest Hits (180g) Vinyl LP
Industrial Records
Vinyl$27.95
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THROBBING GRISTLE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

THROBBING GRISTLE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.49 | 17 ratings
The Second Annual Report
1977
3.68 | 16 ratings
D.o.A. The Third And Final Report
1978
4.02 | 24 ratings
20 Jazz Funk Greats
1979
4.09 | 6 ratings
Heathen Earth
1980
3.00 | 1 ratings
Journey Through a Body
1982

THROBBING GRISTLE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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THROBBING GRISTLE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 20 Jazz Funk Greats by THROBBING GRISTLE album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.02 | 24 ratings

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20 Jazz Funk Greats
Throbbing Gristle Progressive Electronic

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Bearing its ironic title and insincere cover (snapped at an infamous British suicide spot), Throbbing Gristle's 20 Jazz Funk Greats finds Genesis P-Orridge and gang combining more nuanced electronic industrial (compared with the rawer Second Annual Report) and disturbing lyrics to dynamite effect. Fusion fans expecting something more up their alley from the title may wish to step back and reconsider, but alternately anyone interested in exploring the origins of industrial music will find this one of the more accessible jumping-on points in the Throbbing Gristle discography - though with Gristle "accessible" is very much a relative term. You could even dance to some of this if you broke your kneecaps first.

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 The Second Annual Report  by THROBBING GRISTLE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.49 | 17 ratings

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The Second Annual Report
Throbbing Gristle Progressive Electronic

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Rarely has a band name done a better job of providing a snapshot of a group's sound. On their first release for widespread consumption, Throbbing Gristle present pulsating, ugly industrial soundscapes in a live and studio context. It certainly isn't for everyone - as a terrifying audience confrontation at one point amply demonstrates - but at the same time this groundbreaking material is a lo-fi, grainy snapshot of the birth of industrial music and has few if any precedents. This birth of a new sound is a minimalistic thing and those who prize pristine recording conditions will find its low budget production difficult to engage with.

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 D.o.A. The Third And Final Report  by THROBBING GRISTLE album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.68 | 16 ratings

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D.o.A. The Third And Final Report
Throbbing Gristle Progressive Electronic

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars

As a fan of the industrial sounds of the latest Gary Numan sounds I had to try this dark and disturbing artist Throbbing Gristle and this album looked as good as any. Well, it was dark and disturbing but not totally unlistenable unlike other disturbia I have heard and avoided. TG begin this joyous romp into excess with printer data sounds of I.B.M and then move into a deep recurrent synth throb and manic caterwauling on Hit by a Rock. United is a 17 second ultra sped up version of a fairly decent 4 minute song. I prefer the long version but it is interesting that the band decided to speed it up out of recognition, though it would have been fun to slow it down back in the days of vinyl by hand spinning the disc.

Next is the Valley of the Shadow of Death which is an incessant synth drone and some odd taped conversations that are unintelligible but have some expletives and sounds in the background may be military effects. Not sure about what that is saying. Next is the Dead on Arrival that is really industrial sounding like machines in some kind of hospital. I like the synth patterns and overall atmosphere but there is not enough variation and someone tell P-Orridge to stop tooting like a maniac. Weeping is the next one and it is a morbid study in suicidal thoughts with lyrics that defy explanation "My arm is torn open like a wound, My universe is coming from my mouth, I spent a year or two, listening to you, Discrediting myself for you, You didn't see me on the floor weeping, You didn't see me lying by the door, You didn't see me swallowing my tablets, You can't look inside my eyes no more." The sounds on this are very weird and even remind me of Oriental plucking guitar reverberations and some off key violin screeches.

Hamburger Lady is a classic from Throbbing Gristle that I knew about even before I knew they existed as it is controversial for its portrayal of a lady mutilated and burnt and the term was how the police referred to the poor burns victim. The lyrics are morose reverberated by Genesis P-Orridge and the slices of guitar by Cosey Fanni Tutt are wonderfully dark. This is as dark as it gets for this band apart from Slug Bait which I care not to hear again. Hometime is an unusual atmospheric piece with some nice little girl talking but we hope she is safe, though the album cover has an unsettling look to it, especially the insert photo of the little girl lifting her dress. Of course the band are out to shock and we can add our own interpretations and as much as I try I cannot hear anything particularly odd about the girl's rantings, though that may be the point.

AB/7A is an excellent synth piece that motorvates along like vintage Kraftwerk and is certainly one of the more electronic passages of music on the album. E-Coli returns to grim moody themes with a pulsing synth, off key sustained toots and some eerie effects. Throughout this slow moving music is a lecture by some physician speaking of the effects of deadly bacteria. The mood is really brought down low after the previous bright synth driven track. It is remarkable how each track is completely different. Next is Death Threats which is a phone message of some bloke who wants to end the "industrial world" of the band, and some weird woman who wants to set some bad hoodlums onto P-Orridge for some reason; quite nasty really considering it is a real phone call from some deranged woman. Up next is Walls of Sound that is really a noise distorted with screeches and static, quite a kick in the guts after all the other tracks and again stands out as completely diverse from other tracks. Moving on to Blood on the Floor, which is droning vocals and a synth sound and mercifully is ended after a minute.

2 bonus tracks appear and they are both unsettling and perhaps did not make it to the 1978 album because they are so over the top. We hate You (Little girls) is a throwback to the album cover image. Can you imagine that girl sitting there and hearing this screaming maniac yelling their lung raw about how much they hate her.

At the end of the album I feel as though I have heard something that must not be ignored as it is so ground breaking and yet it was not really an enjoyable experience and purposefully so. This type of music exists and if you dig hard you can find some really disturbing stuff out there such as Nurses with Wounds, Frankie Suicide and this. Perhaps that is what the music industry needs to set it in its place. This off kilter music must balance out all the commercial music. It can't all be radio friendly commercial and it can't all be industrial noise; there must always be balance. Somehow Throbbing Gristle draw me in the way that The Residents draw me into their dark universe. I prefer The Residents for their humourous approach and the problem I have personally with Throbbing Gristle is not that they do not deserve recognition as artists breaking the barriers, but the problem for me is that the music is so tuneless, forgettable, weirdly morbid and deeply depressing. If that is the type of music you desire than this is the perfect band for you.

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 Heathen Earth by THROBBING GRISTLE album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.09 | 6 ratings

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Heathen Earth
Throbbing Gristle Progressive Electronic

Review by Dobermensch

4 stars A super dark album that begins with a deeply unsettling coronet played through a strange flanging effect unit. The gates of hell then open up as Genesis P. Orridge opens his big blubbery dead pan lips.

This LP is very much of its time but carries one hell of a punch even in 2013. Recorded live in the studio with a youthful John Balance (of future 'Coil' fame) looking on in admiration, I still have the rotten quality video of the event itself and therefore have a somewhat biased view towards this recording. It's an unhealthy, sexually deviant, dark and foreboding state of affairs. The audience in the studio look as awkward as the band as all keep their heads down in what could be mistaken as embarrassment. What is created is one of the darkest and most threatening albums I've ever heard.

Thrashing electronics and massively deteriorated guitars batter about wildly as P, Orridge delivers his vocals in that 'lifeless zombie' like manner that he is renowned for. The only lead vocalist with a dead soul. You've only got to look at his face - even when he smiles he looks like he's smelling a crate full of dead fish.

Large echoing effects are used on all instruments during 'The World is a War Film' in which events turn much darker. Incessantly doomy vocals are at the forefront with talk of impending catastrophe and armageddon spouting from Genesis P. Orridge in one of his more bellicose outpourings. It's all wonderful stuff where the lyrics include the unforgettable 'The human race is disgusting, a disgusting race to be eaten by flames'. These are words that have stuck in my mind for 25 years.

Thankfully there's a bit of respite with Chris Carter on keyboards playing the very electronic 'Dream Machine' as all sorts of electronic tweakery play about in the background. All four members played equal parts in 'Throbbing Gristle' from beginning to end. There was never a case of vocalist takes centre stage. In a way I think that's why they were so successful.

There's some weird vocal play on 'Still Walking' where very dodgy sexual antics are described but are so warped that it's difficult to tell exactly what's being said.

R2D2 makes a star appearance in 'Don't Do As You're Told' which appears to have been written for the Droid hospital scene in 'Star Wars'. Big stomps of electronica repeat themselves as airy coronet floats about the damaged robots entrails. The dead vocals of Genesis P.Orridge work a treat. He sounds like a spectre and I think that helped Throbbing Gristle in many ways.

Throbbing Gristle were a band where all four disfunctional members performed as a perfect team, in the right time, in the right place.

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 20 Jazz Funk Greats by THROBBING GRISTLE album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.02 | 24 ratings

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20 Jazz Funk Greats
Throbbing Gristle Progressive Electronic

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Seems like our Progressive net is getting wider these days, and bringing up some odd fish. Throbbing Gristle, in a Prog Rock forum? Good grief, who's next: Alan Vega and Suicide? (On the other hand, why not?)

Throbbing Gristle scared me in my sheltered adolescence, and even now, as a more worldly-wise adult, I still feel uneasy in their company. The band's transgressive audio-visual ethos was akin to lifting a rock and seeing the writhing mass of creepy-crawly things beneath it: all part of the rich tapestry of life, but hardly something you want your nose rubbed in.

Their 1997 studio album is probably the quartet's most accessible effort, but with this group that's a relative measure at best, and it doesn't extend too far beyond the parody cover art and title track: a rinky-dink robotic pop rhythm, complete with groovy, whispered interjections like "yeah..!" and "nice!" Just a touch of ersatz beatnik humor to brighten an otherwise nightmarish soundscape; some editions of the album telegraphed the punchline by adding a naked corpse to the faux-'60s cover photo.

But don't be fooled. Throbbing Gristle was notorious for exploring the darker recesses of the human condition, operating in a dark industrial netherland of post-punk electronics. The German bands that inspired them (KLUSTER, early KRAFTWERK, the first TANGERINE DREAM) were formed in reaction against the horrors of their collective past. But groups like TG embraced those same terrors as a way to confront our darker impulses, without flinching. Torture, genocide, pornography, disfigurement, etc...all set to a throbbing mechanical backbeat, with atonal brass accents, eerie tape effects, and soulless vocals conjured from somewhere beyond the grave.

Disturbing stuff, but...well, you decide. If nothing else, the band offered a challenging antidote to all those vapid synth-pop superstars hogging the limelight at the dawn of the 1980s. For the best effect, play the album late at night, with all the lights off. But hide the knives first.

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 Heathen Earth by THROBBING GRISTLE album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.09 | 6 ratings

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Heathen Earth
Throbbing Gristle Progressive Electronic

Review by Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum Admin

4 stars Killing monotony

This Throbbing Gristle album takes the riveting and heathen antics of the band and throws them into the very heart of the production. TG were always about metal, sweat, blood and sex stuffed together in one big hairy ball of uncomfortable silence and unnerving screeching. On Heathen Earth the band has invited a huge gathering of close friends and degenerates to come join them in the studio for a good wank and maybe a couple of beers. I am not kidding here, because this gig was also recorded onto film - showing these night creatures in full floral power watching porn on a TV residing comfortably up on stage...

The music itself is as creepy and industrial as ever - with Cosey Fan Tutte's cornet sounding particularly lonesome and beautifully dreary. That thing slices through the airwaves like a sharp dove! Then when you pair it together with the tumultuous electronics that more than anything sound like the ghosts of dead bees, the cornet suddenly turns supernatural and free - clinging onto every invisible surface within the music like some sort of sonic glue. So beautiful.

The main proponents of these two cuts are the dark universe of one Bill Burroughs, Captain Clark the ferry man, the number 23 and every little thing you can think of crossing these nonsensical things in an endless array of loony tirades. This is surely the real McCoy, and if you are sitting out there thinking about that crappy Jim Carrey movie with all the freakishly weird occurrences featuring the number 23 - then throw it in the river instantly, lock yourself in a darkened room for a day and play this thing over and over again. 23 will never have the same meaning again and you may have developed a fear of electronic music that sounds like it was made to woo old warehouses.

Apart from the obvious cling clangy ingredients of any Throbbing Gristle album, there is still that omnipresent power hiding underneath it all. Some kind of provocative presence that laughs at death with eyes full of madness and a big frothing smirk on its face... Heathen Earth is no stranger to this particular trade, if anything, I'd say that it stands as one of the band's most artistically successful statements. Taking the grey and monotonous cement reality of the 1980s and adding soar thumbs and blood red colours in shimmering static television noise. It's about infusing life in the worthless - resurrecting the alarmingly safe and twisting it around into something altogether more rambunctious and perverted. French kissing the vicar and painting his house gorgeously pink.

To most people, I figure Heathen Earth will come off as music without any real course - a journey into a world of melted signposts where every road and significant land mark remains utterly blurred and unrecognisable....... That is essentially the truth, but then again this blurry world view, where things seem stranger than fiction, was also what some of the psychedelic 60s bands were trying to hint at as well - taking ordinary household names and everyday objects - spinning them around and mystifying them through the power of music. Well, that is exactly what this music is about. Sure, you get fed a stark black industrial universe with hovering smouldering lava oozings of synthesised sound, babbling insane ramblings and those effervescent cornet touches, yet everything is still rooted in that grey everyday world of never-ending white striped roads, cracked windows and eroding houses that stink of death and old mattresses...

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 20 Jazz Funk Greats by THROBBING GRISTLE album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.02 | 24 ratings

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20 Jazz Funk Greats
Throbbing Gristle Progressive Electronic

Review by Dobermensch

5 stars Sounding like a personal death threat, the incongruously named '20 Jazz Funk Greats' is a sleazy, hot and dirty album that is far easier on the ear than any of their previous recordings. There are actual tunes! Yes... can you believe it, TG recording songs you can actually sing along to. Well I never.

The sleeve should be enough to give you the creeps, with the strangely attired band members standing over a dead body at Beachy Head - suicide central - in England. The body may be deleted on the cover... but it's not in the black and white inner sleeve. You'll be glad to know that there's no jazz and no funk whatsoever on this album. You will however get a primitive industrial feel to proceedings, mixed up with lots of electronics and just about everything played being squashed through filters and effects.

None of the TG nastiness has dissipated. It's just awash with better production making this a bit more user friendly than most of their LP's. Kraftwerk's 'Trans Europa Express' is given an outing on 'Still Walking'. (Jeez - Kraftwerk pop up everywhere don't they?) This is a bit less experimental than my favourite of their albums '3rd Annual Report' -but it's by no means inferior. In fact it's probably the best entry point for any new listener. There's a lot more electronics present and more care seems to have been made over the actual recording.

This isn't as visceral as past Throbbing Gristle but if anything it's their best release to date. You actually get musical 'hooks' to grab on to. An unforgettable album that sounds very much as though it was recorded in '79 with all the grime and grayness inherent in scabby Britain at that time. Ideological chunks of splinter band 'Coil' are starting to appear throughout.

As usual Genesis P-Orridge sounds like his soul is dead. A ghost with no heart and lifeless corpse-like eyes as he delivers his vocals in the most deadpan of manners. Still, he's always good for a laugh is old Gen. Actually he's not - take a look at him now on google images .... Arrghh! What the?.... Cozy Fanni Tutti does TG disco beat on 'Hot on the Heels of Love' which swelters at 90˚F. This is as commercial as they got, but it still sounds filthy with all those cracking whips.

Genesis P-Orridge delivers the one heavily sexually dodgy number with 'Persuasion'. It's probably best I don't talk about this on the Archives or I may be banned for life. No... I'm being serious...

These are not folks you'd want to introduce to your parents. God knows what would come out of their mouths. You'd be a bag of nerves sitting there, fidgeitting, twiddling your thumbs waiting for something awful to happen.

The continually creepy and degenerate '20 Jazz Funk Greats' is all the more disturbing because you get the idea that they weren't trying to be controversial at all.

You'll either find this album repellent or captivating. I'd set out to give this 4 stars but... hell's bells after 50 minutes of hearing this loveless recording for the 100th time I think it deserves the full whammy!

And blimey! doesn't Cozy look hot?

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 The Second Annual Report  by THROBBING GRISTLE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.49 | 17 ratings

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The Second Annual Report
Throbbing Gristle Progressive Electronic

Review by Dobermensch

2 stars Hot on the heels of the recently ceased to exist performance group 'Coum Transmissions', newly formed Throbbing Gristle released their 'Second Annual Report' in '77 with a miserly run of only 785 vinyl copies. 15 years later good old 'Mute Records' released 6 of their earlier recordings on cd which got me into their music.

'Second Annual Report' is not very good if truth be told. The recording is awful. The first side is recorded direct to tape and the second side, a marked improvement, is made using using reel to reel.

A filthy, repugnant recording as you'd come to expect from these idiosyncratic reprobates. Of particular notoriety is the second track 'Slug Bait', which is full of grotesque visions of murder, flesh and pain. Fuzzy bass, scratchy droning guitar and simplistic drum machines are at the fore. It may be rubbish sounding these days, but at the time this spawned a hundred wannabees who went on to create the genre now known simply as 'Noise'.

Unlike the brilliant '3rd Annual Report' this is much more Lo-Fi and gritty. There's so much effect heaped upon everything that it kind of disguises the fact that its actually a very poorly conceived and recorded album. If anything, it sounds like the soundtrack to the original 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' but more muffled.

'After Cease to Exist' is a 20 minute Charlie Manson inspired improvisation that just seems to drag on forever using warped echoing guitars, strange sound effects, warbling vocals and occasionally pulsing bass.

Even the much improved, somewhat 'poppy' and enormously better recorded bonus single "United" can't lift this one above two stars I'm afraid to say.

And surely to goodness they might have come up with a better sleeve? It's utter rubbish! One of them was a graphic designer after all...

Much better was to follow. This one is mostly for fans.

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 D.o.A. The Third And Final Report  by THROBBING GRISTLE album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.68 | 16 ratings

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D.o.A. The Third And Final Report
Throbbing Gristle Progressive Electronic

Review by Dobermensch

5 stars Oh well, I guess it's official then eh? Throbbing Gristle are now 'Prog'. I never thought I'd see the day!

'Third Annual Report' is one of their best efforts but if you're unsettled by the sleeve, you definitely don't want to see the calendar girl inside. Now that's 'Dodge City Jail Bait' if ever I saw it.

Throbbing Gristle were one of the more adventurous outfits of the 70's comprising four very different musical personalities. At the helm was Genesis P. Orridge with his dead, empty soul and almost ghost-like vocals. Keyboard creator Chris Carter, a self proclaimed lover of Abba. Cosey Fanni Tutti - Soft core porn model and performance artist. And lastly poor old Pete Christopherson who died recently - tape manipulator and electronic percussion master.

Throbbing Gristle were a real rag-tag outfit who didn't fit any genre at the time. They were as 'outside' as you could get.

'Third Annual Report' is their most diverse album. Chopping and changing from one style to another beginning with the 'Kluster' like intro, followed by the punk-like - 'Hit by a Rock' before being thrown straight in to the hard hitting foul mouthed audio recording of some English hoodlums on a street corner. 'Dead on Arrival' is proto industrial in the style of 'SPK' and is very unlike anything else on show in 1978.

Ahhh... these truly were the good old days when some artists could produce whatever the hell they liked and sod the consequences. It just goes to show that in the long run, doing your own thing pays off.

Mr Dead Pan P. Orridge sings (or whines- as many would claim) the rather miserable 'Weeping' while playing a distorted old violin that sounds as though half the strings are missing.

Honestly, there are barely two tunes on 'Third Annual Report' that sound as though they're played by the same band. However, ALL of them have that dirty, seedy, hot and sweaty feel that Throbbing Gristle somehow always managed to conjure up.

'Hamburger Lady' is rather gross and very intense with swelling, throbbing electronic drones, as we're put through the mill listening to an account of a serious burn victim.

There's some light relief with Cosi Fanni Tutti's 'Hometime' - with a small girl muttering about bunny rabbits and sand pits, accompanied by spacey guitar and massively reverbed effects. Chris Carter cheers this strange, disturbing album up with the purely electronic and upbeat 'AB/7A'. There's more filthy doom and gloom with 'E-Coli' which has those creepy violins screeching in the background along with guitar strings that sound like they're bent at right angles as a Doctor explains the effects of this bacteria.

'Death Threats' are actual recordings from their home phones!. I'm not surprised they had so many enemies. 'Five Knuckle Shuffle' has the classic TG sound and is the most representative song of the band on this album... An odd repetitive electronic beat, with rambling shouty vocals, sound effects and hugely distorted guitar all thrown right in your face.

Definitely not for the faint hearted or fans of 'Genesis' or 'Yes'. I call it a masterpiece for the simple fact that there's nothing else like it. Hugely original and influential in as much a way as Kraftwerk were to electronics.

A really dirty repulsive little album that hits all the right buttons with me.

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 20 Jazz Funk Greats by THROBBING GRISTLE album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.02 | 24 ratings

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20 Jazz Funk Greats
Throbbing Gristle Progressive Electronic

Review by thellama73
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

4 stars Throbbing Gristle are frequently and quite correctly credited for inventing the genre we commonly know as "industrial." Their abrasive, post-punk, nihilist noisemaking ushered in a whole generation of lienated misanthropes who felt they could relate to machines better than to their fellow human beings. After several albums of relentlessly abrasive material, however, TG decided to go another direction on "20 Jazz Funk Greats." The title is obviously tongue in cheek, but there is a grain of truth behind it. This is certainly TG's jazziest, as well as their funkiest record. Most of the tracks are laid back and subtle. hey are still just as menacing as ever, but this time the threat is more akin to being slowly poisoned rather than stabbed in the face.

Chris Carter's subdued electronics, trending ever closer towards straightforward dance music are heavily utilized here, but everything sounds far away and cloaked in a mysterious English fog. Geneis P-Orridge is as creepy as ever with his deadpan ramblings, the standout being the genuinely disturbing "Convincing People." One track entitled "Exotica" gives a clue to the inspiration for the album. There is indeed an element of Martin Denny and Les Baxter's method of creating evocative palettes designed to take the listener away to distant and exotic locales, although here this time it will not be anywhere so safe and welcoming as Polynesia. There's even a vibraphone to complete the tribute.

My favorite track on the album is the borderline mainstream "Hot on the Heels of Love." It is a perfectly produced slice of rhythmic electronica that could easily have been a club hit. It also features the all too rarely heard oice of Cosey, the groups only female member, breathily repeating the words "hot on the heels of love / waiting for help from above" in a tantalizing whisper.

"20 Jazz Funk Greats" is not Throbbing Gristle's best work, but it is an easy jumping off point for beginners, who might be a little intimidated by the band's more aggressive material. More importantly, this is the album that really shows just how influential TG were. Together with Kraftwerk (and maybe Tangerine Dream and Gary Numan) this album played a defining role in shaping the sound of modern electronica.

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