"Memories! You're talking about memories!"
We immediately hit it off - talking endlessly about films, the merits of John Barry or Martin Denny's arrangements, the aesthetics of gay vs straight porn, the why's & wherefores of programming in Basic, or the best place in London to get a decent ice cream sundae. Sleazy was the first person to give me an Abba album, in 1976 - and it being Sleazy it was of course a 'signed' copy.
Over the 30 odd years we knew each other mine and Cosey's relationship with him got closer as we grew older and spent more time together - lately comparing our various ailments and aches & pains, or the latest Apple gadget. There was (there is) nobody else on this little blue rock that I shared such disparate and diverse interests with, no one.
I last saw Sleazy about a week ago, just before he left for home to his beloved Bangkok. He was clutching a bag full of Apple goodies and he never looked happier or, ironically, healthier. He had new schemes and plans for X-TG's future and was looking forward to finishing the Desertshore project and playing us rough mixes of "his baby". He gave Cosey and me each a kiss and one of his infamous 'bear hugs', jumped in a waiting taxi and was gone… forever.
To quote the same movie three times (including the title):
"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain..."
"The light that burns twice as bright burns for half as long - and you have burned so very, very brightly…"
Our dearest beautiful Sleazy left this mortal coil as he slept in peace last night.
Words cannot express our grief...
Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson 1955 - 2010
Book of condolence at http://unklesleazy.tv
Statement by Chris Carter & Cosey Fanni Tutti , TG / X-TG
Peter Christopherson's final blog
Guardian Newspaper Obituary
independent Newspaper Obituary
Guardian Music Obituary
Announcement regarding Throbbing Gristle
- In the evening 27th October TG members and their associated managements received two emails from Genesis P-Orridge stating he was no longer willing to perform in Throbbing Gristle and returned to his home in New York.
Cosey, Sleazy & Chris have concluded that once more, and for the time being, Throbbing Gristle has Ceased to Exist, at least as a live entity.
Therefore, and with deepest apologies, TG must cancel their scheduled performance at Archa Theatre, in Prague, Czech Republic on 30th October.
It being too short notice to offer an alternative set.
In order not to disappoint fans of the old quartet, Cosey, Peter & Chris will perform live under the name X-TG at Arena Del Sole, Bologna, Italy on 2nd November & at Casa Musica, Porto, Portugal on 5th November.
We hope fans will appreciate and enjoy this new project and the trio is looking forward to performing exciting new and radical electronic musics together.
Full refunds are available at the point of purchase if required.
Industrial Records Ltd, London. 29th October 2010
• industrial-records.com • throbbing-gristle.com •
The misadventures of Chris Carter
For the last week or so I’ve been head down, hard at work building a custom sound generator for Cosey to perform with at the upcoming Throbbing Gristle shows (details at throbbing-gristle.com).
Things started out well, if a little slowly as I haven’t put soldering iron to component for quite a while. Anyway by Monday we had an unfinished but functioning box of sonic tricks that sounded pretty good to us. The penultimate stage was mostly cosmetic, with Cosey choosing the colour of various LEDs, buttons and the type of control knobs. On Tuesday I was finishing it all off and finally putting the last few components in place.
So there I was in the kitchen - no I don’t have an underground lair or mountaintop laboratory... yet, though I do have a snazzy white lab coat. So I’m drilling a small 3mm hole in a nice piece of vintage 1970s’ copper covered circuit board while holding it in place when (and this all happened in a split second) the drill bit snapped, the drill jumped across the board and continued drilling through the nail of my middle finger with what was left of the broken drill bit.
I can’t remember exactly what happened immediately following this mishap, it seems I went into shock from the pain, then passed out. Weirdly I remember standing in the kitchen looking at my drilled and bloody finger then the next moment I was sitting in our car on my way to hospital wondering how on earth I’d got there. That oddly dislocated feeling is how I imagine one would feel when time travelling or teleporting - well apart from the searing pain.
So after being administered the usual x-rays, bandages and meds in the A&E department, and endless waiting around, I was sent home with a diagnosis of “a nasty hole but no broken bones”. Next morning I got a worried phone call from the hospital - by a doctor who was supposed to have checked me over in A&E but for whatever reason didn’t - telling me to return immediately for more treatment as the x-rays showed my finger was broken. Well I could have bloody well told them that!
So fast forward to Thursday... I’m in full-on ‘clearing up’ mode vacuuming, putting away piles of odds n’ ends, spare parts, unused components and attempting to get our kitchen back to normal - basically with one and a half hands.
I have this very nice Italian folding desk that was given to me in the 1970s’, I use it regularly for projects as does Cosey, Nick and many house guests. And although it has a plastic worktop it’s heavy because the frame is made from chromed steel. I’ve unfolded/folded this desk a hundred times but with one hand, and half a hand, it is not so easy. To fold it involves a flipping action so that it goes from being a regular desk to being a completely flat frame you can tuck away anywhere. So I flipped it... but being too concerned about catching my drilled finger in the frame that I didn’t realise my little finger, my pinky, was lying somewhere between the two halves of the frame. With a dull snap and a loud shout my finger was crushed and in a split second it was broken, within 4 hours it was literally black and blue.
Apart from cracking a rib in the 70s I have never broken a bone in my body, then I break two fingers in two days, what are the chances? Well according to the three doctors and half a dozen nurses I’ve seen this week both injuries are apparently classic DIY mishaps and they see things like that all the time, though not usually twice in one week.
In future I’ll be more careful (much more) and even though these are not massive injuries they are bloody inconvenient!
TG Promo Video
- Here’s a short TG video Cosey and myself put together in an afternoon. It is noteworthy for a few reasons:
• It's a promo video for Throbbing Gristle and the first as far as we are aware - well, officially at least.
• The footage is from the legendary - and as yet unreleased - TG performance at the Volksbühne in Berlin.
• It was compiled and edited in HD, another first for TG.
• It is the first video we have edited on our new MacPro.
Enjoy... and feel free to redistribute.
- To coincide with the re-release of ‘The Spaces Between’ vinyl album (see below) I’ve been doing quite a lot of interviews lately. Although be prepared for me repeating myself a little as some of the interviewees questions were quite similar. Anyway... as I get links to the online versions I’ll be posting them here.
Here are the first...More to come…
The Spaces Between Pre-Order
This is the Optimo press release:
Originally recorded between 1974 and 1978 at Industrial Records studio in London ‘The Space Between’ album was first released as a 90 minute cassette in 1980 on Throbbing Gristle's Industrial Records label. It wasn't until 1991 that it was again released by Mute Records on CD. Although tracks from "The Space Between" have appeared on numerous compilations since its release, the album has never been available on vinyl until now. This new vinyl edition on Optimo Music, now retitled ‘The Spaces Between’, doesn't include all the tracks of the original album but has been enhanced and remastered from the original two-track master tapes and has new cover artwork especially for this release. JD Twitch has this to say about the release; 'The original release featured 15 tracks. As I wanted to have a reasonably loud vinyl pressing, I have picked my favourite six to appear here (not an easy task to narrow it down). In addition there is a bonus track ‘Climbing’ which was recorded around the same time that was released by Coil's Geoff Ruston on his ‘Men With Deadly Dreams’ cassette in 1981. One of the first ever recordings to use an 808 drum machine, it still sounds as if it is from tomorrow. In my opinion, these are some of the key recordings in the history of electronic music. They were made using very basic equipment at a time when there was no blueprint for what electronic music could and should be. There is a beauty, an emotion and an imagination present here that is lacking in a lot of modern machine music. This music is as vital and wondrous today as it was four decades ago.'
All tracks have been remastered by Chris Carter in 2009 for this release.
Musically, it's an electronic soundtrack for a sleazy sci-fi movie, with moments of uplifting beauty combined with bits of claustrophobic mania. Amazing stuff.
‘The Space Between’ is also available here... kompakt.fm/releases/the_spaces_between
A change of direction… and some remastering
- Live Performance:
Well our schedule for live performance for the first half of this year is finished. We have some more events toward the end of the year but you'll have to wait a few more weeks for details on those.
If you were one of the many that got to see us performing - either solo or as Carter Tutti you'll be aware how much we've changed our live sound this year. In fact everything we've done in the last 9 months or so has been entirely instrumental and electronic - and on most occasions about 50% improvised. We are really enjoying this change of direction and instrumental emphasis and from the feedback we've been getting so do many of you. At the moment we're pretty much making this up as we go along and we are not entirely sure how it will all work out. But we have also been doing a lot of new recording using the same techniques we've been using on stage so expect to see some new Carter Tutti releases later this year.
I am about to start remastering our early Chris & Cosey catalogue for vinyl. This is quite an undertaking as I'm not only tweaking the audio - from the original master tapes - but I'm also reconstructing the cover artworks from what remaining negatives, print films and parts that still exist or aren't lost. Which to be honest there isn't that much of around anymore - which alone should make it an interesting project. All being well we are hoping to get these re-releases out before the years end...
watch this space.
Performing at Acusmatiq Festival
- Myself and Cosey Fanni Tutti will be performing a version of our new live audio/visual improvisational piece ‘Harmonic Coaction’ at the Acusmatiq festival in Ancona, Italy on the 31st July.
'Harmonic Coaction - Part Two'
A live audio assimilation of person place and time.
'Harmonic Coaction' is a series of sound works constructed from audio field recordings relating to the performance site. The work is created live in situ using those recordings as key components, deconstructing and manipulating the sounds in juxtaposition and harmony. The accompanying visuals consist of images inspired by the site to create an audio visual continuum.
Link to sound excerpt of previous 'Harmonic Coaction - Part One' performance.
Some shots from the trip are here:
Performances & Exhibitions
- Cosey and myself have been rushed off our feet for the last few months - remixes, my Dirty-Carter project, Cosey Complex, numerous exhibitions, Cosey’s Tate Modern solo performance and our up-coming audio/art performance in Brescia, where Cosey is also exhibiting new works and doing an ‘in conversation’ in Faenza. More details on the CARTER TUTTI site
When we return to the UK next week we are taking a few days off before completing some other outstanding projects, which includes remastering some of our early Chris & Cosey back catalogue for vinyl reissue later this year.
This Train... by chris_carter
While Waiting by chris_carter
I've just realised these audio clips are in Flash format- my apologies. As soon as it's technically possible I will try to replace them with a mobile iFriendly format. See above
First Dirty-Carter Performance
John and myself will be participating in another Dirty-Carter workshop and performance at STEIM in Amsterdam between June 01 and 03 and if enough interest can be found we will stage the project at other locations later this year.
I have posted some photos of the Dirty-Carter rehearsals and performance on my Flikr pages, follow this link to view them:
Dirty-Carter on Flikr
There's also a short review and interview with me & John here:
Chris Carter and Dirty Electronics Live Performance
Tickets: £8/£5 concessions.
Booking: To purchase tickets please call the Box Office on 0116 242 2800
or Book Online at http://www.phoenix.org.uk/index.php?cms_id=287
Box office closed.
New ‘Guest Mix’ on Vessel
Cosey Complex Photos
Dirty Electronics with Chris Carter & John Richards
- In a collaboration project with John Richards Dirty Electronics Ensemble I will be participating in two experimental electronic music workshops and performances in April and June this year.
The first is at De Montfort University, Leicester in the UK - April 27-30 and the second is at STEIM in Amsterdam, Holland - June 01- 03.
The workshop project is to build a specially designed DIY Dirty Electronics experimental music instrument and perform with it as an ensemble. The instrument will feature an original copper etching artwork and circuit concept by me and has been designed and built by John. Expect random sequences, distortion and noise coalesce in a unique hand-held instrument the size of a postcard. Anti-Social noise for all!
More details and some photos soon... but in the meantime follow these links:
Parallel Voices 2010 - Missing Link
Parallel Voices 2010 - MISSING LINK on 18th March at the Siobhan Davies Studios in London.
Also taking part will be: Blixa Bargeld, Carsten Nicolai and Ben Borthwick.
Slow News Day
Hang on a minute... there seems to be a lot of police in the station for a Monday morning, usually there are none. Oh they've got sniffer dogs too, and here come some more police in flak jackets with sub-machine guns, and those guys at the end of the carriage must be spooks or plain clothed cops - well they're definitely not civilians, civilians don't usually wear those single earpieces. And that woman coming down the aisle wearing a dark suite and a humorless expression has a pistol peeking out from under her jacket. OK, so the carriage we're sitting in at the front of the train - the 10.55 from King's Lynn - is basically swarming with constabulary, uniformed or otherwise, who are giving everyone the once over.
It wasn't ‘that’ unusual to see activity around our little train station. Living in this part of Norfolk we've got used to seeing the odd dignitary, or celeb. I would think it's much the same in many English rural towns with picturesque views, castles and quaint tea rooms. We get a a couple of movies and a few TV shows shot around here each year and it’s not unusual for the odd actor and politician dropping by. I even saw Al Pacino once, sauntering around the market - surrounded by 'minders'. And of course everyone around here has seen Stephen Fry shopping in town at some time or another, he's a local. I know it’s probably hard to believe - and I’m not blowing our own trumpets here (well not much) - but me and Cosey even get recognised and stopped for autographs in town at least a couple of times a year: see... I told you it was hard to believe? But I suppose our inconspicuous market town's biggest claim to fame must be our famous neighbour: HM Queen Elizabeth II, whose winter residence Sandringham is a couple of miles up the coast road.
So we're waiting on the train putting two & two together and thinking it will probably be Prince Philip (HMQ's hubby) going down to London again, we've seen him plenty of times... so no big deal. Or maybe it's some terrorist related exercise or other, who knows? But the train is ready to go and we're all just sat there waiting with restless flatfoots in abundance, when this petite, white haired figure in blue, wearing a silk headscarf bobs past our window and ducks into the (only and empty) 1st Class compartment in our carriage. The passengers (well those who saw her) do a double-take and the penny drops and everyone is like "oh... right, that's what all the dogs and bodies and hardware were for". The scenario was vaguely surreal to say the least.. we were to be accompanied on our journey by the Queen of England and her Royal entourage.
Once we'd set off, well we'd set off... that was that. It seemed mildly inconvenient with all the plods everywhere: eyeballing, taking up seats and wandering up and down and generally lounging to attention outside the 1st Class compartment - although unfortunately I saw no marching and saluting, is that inappropriate on a train? Maybe... anyway a few people joked that we'd bound to be on-time (ha ha!) and that the driver seemed to be driving the train a bit smoother than usual (is that even possible?), then - as you do on a 90 minute journey - we checked our emails and went on Twitter and of course we did a few Tweets about HMQ - as you would - and thought little more about it really. Although... it was fun ‘gun spotting' the plain clothed cops who went up and down the aisle. "he doesn't have one, she has a big one, he has a small one, that guy looks like he has two".
About 30 miles down the line we stopped at Ely station and a family of Americans got on board - we have a lot of 'US cousins' in this part of England, because of all the US air bases around here in East Anglia, so it was not an entirely unexpected addition. They sat next to me and Cosey - actually they sat down on either side of us - and were all gushy and full of "OMG! we just saw the Queen of Enger-land in the front compartment" and "it can't be the Queen of Enger-land, what's she doing on the 10.55 from King's Lynn?" Good question. Then the conversation went along the lines of: "why doesn't she go by State limo? why doesn't she fly to London - surely she has her own jet, like Air Force 1? or in her own helicopter, or her own train, surely her own train carriage?” All perfectly reasonable questions but we only knew the answer to one: she used to have her own train but stopped using it long ago due to 'Royal cost-cutting', or something, but don't quote me on that it could just be an urban myth. But their best quote had to be: "I've lived my whole life and never seen a US President in the States, I come to the UK and The Queen of Enger-land is on the first train I get... wait till I tell the folks back home". Cosey pointed out that as Britain is much smaller than the USA the the odds of bumping into Royalty were much higher here, which kind of went over their heads. But they did seem quite concerned that our dear old HMQ was traveling by public transport. So we told them not to worry as she was on a train full of highly trained armed guards and sniffer dogs to look out for her. But the 'sniffer dogs' comment got them worried about 'terrorist threats' and that maybe the train would be a ‘terrorist target’. So we let them worry and went back to our emails and Tweets. Until... they decided this was a Kodak moment, a photo opportunity not to be missed. Out came the cameras, flashes popping and, as we were only 5 or 6 rows from Her, not very discreet. Of course we got a visit from a stern plain clothed plod, who takes the two adults to one side for a wrist slapping and a dressing-down, and we overhear 'disrespect' and 'privacy' bandied about. All very funny - well it was for us at least.
As predicted by the wags at the beginning of the journey we did actually arrive on time at Kings Cross, and came to an unusually gentle halt, definitely none of the usual lurching and stalling. But once we'd disembarked we were all held on the platform by a line of police while HMQ - now looking all spick and span and sans head scarf - toddled off to a waiting limo outside the station.
There is no point to this story - well it's not even a story, more an anecdote - I'm just relaying what happened on one of the slightly more interesting trips we regularly take to London. But to bring this tale to an end... the next day The London Evening Standard decided to run a quarter page piece on our trip with HMQ: 'Her Majesty's close encounter with industrial anarchy' (LINK). They mention the Tweets (word for word) and lie about attempting to contact me and say “how tame they look nowadays”. WTF? They also refer to me as a "rocker & DJ" - which is very funny because anyone who knows me would agree that the "rocker" tag is about as inaccurate a description of me as you could make. But I'm still trying to figure out though why they decided to use an ancient photo of Genesis in a piece about me and the Queen. Unless it's some ironic reference to another old queen!
So now I'm taking a few days off from coding HTML - I also just did some updates to my CCCL site, Cosey's site and the various TG sites too - because later this week I begin tackling the Carter Tutti/C&C website - which is long overdue a major overhaul and restructuring and which is probably at least three times as big as my own site!
While I have still to decide on the final layout and design - this layout is more of a 'holding page' - it is liable to undergo some changes in appearance and content and may even disappear occasionally. But please bear with me and it will eventually all get sorted.
Looking for an EMS Synthi
For some time now, well since I sold all my analogue and modular synths back in 2007-8 - a moment of madness I'm still trying to live down - I've been hankering after another EMS Synthi... specifically a Synthi AKS, or Synthi A. I used to have an EMS Synthi VCS3 back in the mid-late 70s' and I loved it, but had to sell it just before we started TG (that's another story).
Since selling much of my old analogue gear last decade I've been looking to buy a self-contained analogue synth that I could travel with and the Synthi AKS would be ideal for my purposes. I've come across a few over the years, some utterly knackered (technical term), some pristine and some outrageously overpriced but I've always missed out in some way on a sale. The market value of EMS synths has risen exponentially over the last 10 years and some currently go for crazy prices, usually in bidding wars on eBay. Where frankly these things can get totally out of hand in the heat of the moment. Which is typical of most auctions I've attended, virtual or not. When I was in LA a couple of years ago my friend Lustmord mentioned that he was selling his Synthi AKS but at the time I wasn't in a position where I could make a decent offer for what was a really nice unit. As is happened he sold that AKS last year for $7k, on eBay. Like I said, some sell for outrageous prices.
Well I think i've waited long enough now so I'm putting the word out there that I'm 'seriously' looking to buy a Synthi... though I can't go to $7k and I don't really want to bid on eBay but I will consider most sensible proposals for a decent unit. Also I'd rather buy from the UK, or maybe Europe, but no further.
Update 1: 26th January 2010.
As I am now on Robin Wood’s waiting list for a new Synthi A I’m no longer actively looking for a second-hand Synthi. See this post: chriscarterchemistrylessons.blogspot.com/2010/03/my-little-synthi-aks.html
Update 2: 8th January 2016
Well… today I got a very nice email from Robin Wood informing me that I would get one of his new Synthi A builds by the start of 2017. I can even specify what modifications/additions I would like included.
Watch this space…
Equipment brochure scans
So yesterday I took some quick shots of a few sales brochures with my DSLR, from above, and the results are quite good.
I've published the first batch up on my Flikr pages but as there are so many (probably well over a hundred) and the process of copying/shooting, then trimming and uploading is quite long-winded I won't be doing any more until the later part of 2010. You could say this is a primer for what is to come...
BROCHURE SCANS HERE
Looking back, while moving forward