Next month will see Mute Records unleash House of Illustrious, a monstrous looking 10 CD boxset of material from Vince Clarke and Martin Ware.
Trevor Jackson’s recent Metal Dance compilation offered a timely reminder of the power, poise and intensity of the 1980′s finest industrial electronic music. While almost faultless, there was one glaring omission: a lack of material from arguably the greatest of all industrial synth-punk bands, Throbbing Gristle. For those with a passion for the dark, often metallic synthesizer tones, thunderous basslines and concrete-grey atmospheres associated with post-punk industrial music, Throbbing Gristle were always the poster boys and girls of a generation. Their music – experimental, challenging and in-your-face – sounded like it was beamed-down from another planet, possibly using dusty Cold War-era machinery fashioned in the deepest backwaters of rural Siberia.
Last May Mute Records took over Camden’s Roundhouse as part of the Short Circuit festival. Many of the label’s biggest names were there, but by far the most interesting performance of the night came from the union of Throbbing Gristle’s Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti, and Factory Floor’s Nik Void; billed as Carter Tutti Void, the trio performed in the venue’s tiny studio theatre. On paper it was a dream collaboration; through their work in Throbbing Gristle and as a duo, Chris & Cosey (or Carter Tutti as they primarily perform now) are pioneers in both industrial music and the synthwave sounds of the 80s. Void meanwhile is guitarist in Factory Floor, one of the few bands of the past 30 years who’ve come anywhere near filling the void left by Throbbing Gristle.
The results were even better than the collaboration suggested; Juno Plus scribe Scott Wilson was there to see the original performance, and he noted at the time that “Void seemed to work almost telepathically in unison with Tutti and Carter, which was particularly impressive given the 30 years of experience the couple have working with each other”. Carter manipulated brittle rhythms with a table laden with gear flanked by Tutti and Void, whose guitars created sounds with what Wilson described as a “uniquely metallic quality” which were as “compelling as anything that could have been created by a synthesiser”.
In January it was announced by Mute that the live performance was to be released. Titled Transverse, the word means, quite literally, two things crossing each other; it’s an apt encapsulation of the collaboration, which brings two generations together, each offering their own perspectives on the industrial sound, with artwork that captures the hypnotic nature of the music itself. With the release imminent, Scott talked to all three on the phone to ask them about them about the project…
A chance to indulge in Transverse, the forthcoming and quite exciting collaborative album between Throbbing Gristle duo Chris Carter & Cosey Fanni Tutti and Factory Floor’s Nik Void is afforded thanks to Mute Records, who have just slipped out an edited version of the third track on YouTube.