I’m very pleased to announce that Drew Daniel’s excellent book about Throbbing Gristle in the series (no.54) is now on sale at Amazon and many many other places.
From the back cover:
“Just as the album cover flickers uncomfortably between extroverted, collective celebration and introverted, solitary withdrawal, the eleven songs bound by this image pinball unpredictably between group creativity and solo outbursts, between glossy pop and hastily scribbled improvisation, alternately firming songs up into solid structures and dissolving them down into a miasma of textures, moving backwards into pastiche and forward into futurism. Poised at the edge of the abyss, it’s a record that can’t make up its mind whether to jump or hold on.”
Previous writings about Throbbing Gristle have tended to dissolve into lurid half-truths about deviance on and offstage; their actual recordings, lyrics and images have received comparatively slim analysis. Here, Drew Daniel creates an exploded view of this album’s multiple agendas. On 20 Jazz Funk Greats, Throbbing Gristle modeled a critically new and highly promiscuous way of relating to or inhabiting musical genre – where punk rock was passionate and direct, TG were arch and mysterious, perverse and cold. Including original interviews with all the members of the band, this is a fascinating study of a highly unusual and enduringly influential group.
Drew Daniel is one half of the acclaimed electronic group Matmos. He teaches in the English Department at Johns Hopkins University, and lives in Baltimore.