Throbbing Gristle

Throbbing Gristle
Kingston upon Hull, UK
Industrial, Post Punk, Experimental, Electronic, Noise
Years active
1975 - 2010

Throbbing Gristle were an English music and visual arts group, officially formed in September 1975 in Kingston upon Hull. With its members Genesis P-Orridge (born Neil Megson), Cosey Fanni Tutti (born Christine Newby), Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson and Chris Carter, they became widely regarded as the pioneers of industrial music. Evolving from the experimental performance art group COUM Transmissions, Throbbing Gristle made their public debut in October 1976 on COUM Transmissions exhibition Prostitution, and, the following year, released their debut single, “United / Zyklon B Zombie”, followed by an album, The Second Annual Report.

Further throughout their first stint, the band released several studio and live albums—including D.o.A: The Third and Final Report of Throbbing Gristle (1978), 20 Jazz Funk Greats (1979), and Heathen Earth (1980)—on their own record label Industrial Records, building the notorious reputation with their confrontational aesthetics; they included the extensive use of often disturbing visual imagery (such as fascist and national-socialist symbolism; pornography; stage lighting), as well as that of sound manipulation (various noises; pre-recorded tape-based samples), influenced by works of William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin.

Following the personal and creative differences, Throbbing Gristle announced their dissolution in 1981; the individual members went on to participate in other projects, such as Psychic TV, Coil and Chris & Cosey. The band was reformed in 2004 for a second stint, and released three more studio albums—TG Now (2004), Part Two, and The Third Mind Movements (2009)—before disbanding again after P-Orridge’s departure and Christopherson’s death in Autumn 2010; the band’s last studio project—a cover version of the 1970 Nico album Desertshore—was released in 2012 under the moniker X-TG.