They didn’t invent punk, heavy metal, or ska. They invented performance tampon. (officially they are credited with inventing Industrial Music, but nobody knows what that means)
“Wikipedia defines industrial music as “a style of experimental music that draws on transgressive and provocative themes,” which could mean a number of things, save for the fact that we know that the slogan “Industrial Music for Industrial People” was coined for the band Throbbing Gristle’s Industrial Records label, and for that Throbbing Gristle should be considered the original industrial band”
- Abrasive, aggressive, and antagonistic, Britain’s Throbbing Gristle pioneered industrial music; exploring death, mutilation, fascism, and degradation amid a thunderous cacophony of mechanical noise, tape loops, extremist anti-melodies, and bludgeoning beats, the group’s cultural terrorism – the “wreckers of civilization,” one tabloid called them – raised the stakes of artistic confrontation to new heights, combating all notions of commerciality and good taste with a maniacal fervor.
- Formed in London in the autumn of 1975, Throbbing Gristle consisted of vocalist/ringleader Genesis P-Orridge, his then-lover, guitarist Cosey Fanni Tutti, tape manipulator Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson, and keyboardist Chris Carter. A performance art troupe as much as a band, their early live shows – each starting with a punch clock and running exactly 60 minutes before the power to the stage was cut – threatened obscenity laws; during their notorious premiere gig, P-Orridge even mounted an art exhibit consisting entirely of used tampons and soiled diapers.*
Although I’ve never listened to a whole one of their albums because I’m too softcore, their creative ethic shapes every post I do on Steemit.
Sometimes I have ideas for performances in the shower. Today I thought up “Parrot reverse death drop” which would start with the screeching from a flock of parrots put through a white noise filter while a man in a straight jacket, his mouth filled with used tampons, screams “Insertion” through a drainpipe and another man urinates on his head. After four minutes there would be a loud bang and a parrot would screech “Polly” followed by two minutes of silence
- Throbbing Gristle’s confrontational live performances and use of often disturbing imagery, including pornography and photographs of Nazi concentration camps, gave the group a notorious reputation. However, the group always maintained that their mission was to challenge and explore the darker and obsessive sides of the human condition rather than to make attractive music. Throbbing Gristle made extensive use of pre-recorded tape-based samples and special effects to produce a distinctive, highly distorted background, usually accompanied by lyrics or spoken-word performances by Cosey Fanni Tutti or Genesis P-Orridge. Though they asserted they wanted to provoke their audience into thinking for themselves rather than pushing any specific agenda (as evidenced by the song “Don’t Do As You’re Told, Do As You Think” on Heathen Earth), Throbbing Gristle also frequently associated with the anarchist punk scene.
One of my favourite things about the band is their album covers – hell they were funny:
Ready to hear some now?
Throbbing Gristle – What A Day
“I honestly believe this is the single greatest piece of industrial music ever produced”
“You can twerk to this”
“For those who don’t know, the cover shows the band at Beachy Head, a high cliff and a notorious suicide spot”
“I like the cover, it’s subtlety uncomfortable, like, you don’t see anything bad to begin with, but your subconscious knows something is wrong”
“The 1st time I heard this was after my 1st trip on magic mushrooms…it scared the hell out of me :)”
“Every single time I have an overwhelming day, without fucking fail, this song pops into my head”
“I wake up each day and toss on a Throbbing Gristle record. Hell of a way to start a day”
What has come over you? – feel free to to comment, and don’t be afraid to threaten obscenity laws!
PS. Throbbing Gristle have reformed (warning – do not watch this video if you can’t handle the jandle)
Every gender studies professor in England is raving about this and saying you don’t have to let being born a man prevent you from becoming the woman you were meant to be. (I know I occasionally make things up, but not this time)