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Label & Cat.Number: IHAM Products / FOPI Nana 004 / LAT23
Release Year: 2008
Note: re-issue of MC from 1983, compiled by DAVID TIBET, "the missing piece of the jigsaw between COUM TRANSMISSIONS, THROBBING GRISTLE and PSYCHIC TV", lots of tracks (51) with rehearsal pieces, demo-versions, live-tracks, interviews, radio snippets, phone calls, conversations, etc., feat. GENESIS P ORRIDGE, PETER CHRISTOPHERSON, TG & COUM TRANSMISSIONS & PTV, ADI NEWTON, FRANK ZAPPA, CHARLES MANSON, MONTE CAZAZZA, etc. essential for anyone interested in the history of Industrial Music !!
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €13.00
More Info"Originally released in 1983, this stands as the missing piece of the jigsaw between Coum Transmissions, Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV. Scrapbook rehearsals, formative ideas, radio snippets, interviews and general nonsense. CD version original cassette release of the contributions of the many people that made up Throbbing Gristle, Coum Transmissions, Coil and Psychic TV, brought to you by FOPI. Features: Throbbing Gristle, Genesis P-Orridge, Psychic TV, Monte Cazazza, Peter Christopherson, Martin Denny, Joan Armstrong, Gary Gilmore, Adi Newton, Frank Zappa, Charles Manson, Alex Fergusson & Lynette Fromme (Manson Family)." [label info]
"This is a CD re-release of an album which originally appeared on cassette in 1983. 23 Drifts To Guestling was compiled by David Tibet of Current 93 fame and released by Nanavesh, an appreciation society for the pioneering industrial group Throbbing Gristle. Nanavesh produced three magazines, and the 23 Drifts To Guestling tape was their fourth and final publication.
Containing 51 tracks which add up to 64 minutes, 23 Drifts… isn’t a music album as such, although there are bits of music on it. Instead, it is a kind of audio scrapbook of the ideas, influences and people who contributed to the formation of Throbbing Gristle, COUM Transmissions, Coil and Psychic TV, containing excerpts from radio interviews, phone calls, conversations and TG rehearsals, as well as quotations from people who influenced TG in one way or another, such as exotic music maestro Martin Denny, whose track ‘Mumba’ is introduced by Genesis P-Orridge, Charles Manson and Lynette ‘Squeaky’ Fromme of the Manson Family, and art-world provocateur and prankster Monte Cazazza, who’s credited with the invention of the term ‘industrial music’. One of the funniest things on 23 Drifts… is the sixth track, in which Monte Cazazza robotically intones: "I am the slave of Genesis P-Orridge. There is no mind but the mind of Genesis P-Orridge. There is no truth but the truth that comes from Genesis P-Orridge. There are no lies but the lies that come from Genesis P-Orridge…”
Given Genesis P-Orridge’s later demonisation at the hands of the tabloid press, this is richly ironic.
Elsewhere on the album, you can hear such diverting curiosities as the phone call which set up the infamous TG performance at Oundle public school, John Peel introducing the TG single ‘United’ on his radio show, the Nazi anthem ‘Tomorrow Belongs To Me’ from the musical Cabaret rendered as a Cockney football chant, Charles Manson reminiscing about his dear old mum, death-row prisoner Gary Gilmore quoting Shakespeare, Genesis P-Orridge in conversation with Frank Zappa, and every now and then, odd bursts of the music of TG just to remind you of why all this stuff is so vitally interesting. The best music tracks are track 5, ‘Want You To Kil: TG In The Death Factory’, track 33, ‘Process: TG In The Death Factory’, and track 50, ‘Atom Bomb Whorle Ov Sound’, but 23 Drifts… is much more of a documentary audio archive than a music album. Track 24 is an excerpt from The Early Worm, Genesis P-Orridge’s first ever recording, made way back in 1967.
One of the central preoccupations of Throbbing Gristle throughout their recording career was the collection and dissemination of information, with the group offering a radical critique of the methods employed by powerful institutions within mainstream society to maintain a monopoly on information control, very much in line with Michel Foucault’s dictum that ‘knowledge is power’. When TG disbanded in 1981, they announced this with a postcard press release stating: “Throbbing Gristle: The Mission is Terminated… The archetype has been investigated, the information is stored."
The renewed availability of the material contained on 23 Drifts… is a useful and welcome addition to the documentation of Throbbing Gristle, offering valuable insights into this most important first-generation industrial band, and dedicated TG fans will find this a rewarding and entertaining listen. However, it’s unlikely to make very much sense to anyone who doesn’t already possess a fairly detailed knowledge of the history of TG. For those people, the best available account of TG and COUM Transmissions, the performance art group which preceded TG, is Simon Ford’s definitive biography Wreckers of Civilization (Black Dog, 2001), and 23 Drifts… could be considered a kind of accompanying soundtrack to this book." [JudasKiss]
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