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Throbbing Gristle - 20 Jazz Funk Greats CD (album) cover


Throbbing Gristle


Progressive Electronic

4.16 | 45 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
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?

Dobermensch | 5/5 |


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