Shut-in sounds: 33 of the best industrial albums

Here's another musical round-up to keep you occupied while holed up in your pandemic command bunker. The Pitchfork title of this piece is "The 33 Best Industrial Albums of All Time," but homey don't play that horse race. Your mileage may vary. My mileage varies. What would you add to this list?

27 Chris and Cosey Heartbeat 1981 “Industrial music for us was about being industrious,” Cosey Fanni Tutti reflected of her time in the pioneering group Throbbing Gristle. “It wasn’t about industrial sounds.” Her point was proven when she and bandmate/partner Chris Carter formed a new duo after TG’s dissolution, veering away from the group’s harsh textures into lighter, more melodic territory. The music that comprises Heartbeat, their debut album, spans multiple genres—minimalist techno, spacey synth-pop, stretches of eerie ambience—while maintaining a rough, corroded edge. From the grinding pulse of opener “Put Yourself in Los Angeles” to the dazzling sci-fi title track, its vision and melding of textures influenced scores of electronic artists; it also provided a path for fellow industrial musicians to maintain their intensity while learning to lighten up and evolve. –Sam Sodomsky

20 Swans Greed/Holy Money 1986 Desecration, self-loathing, flesh, power: This is the scripture of Swans, the infamously loud and transgressive New York noise band led for decades by Michael Gira. By Greed/Holy Money, they had blown up their sound—two bassists, three drummers, the vocalist Jarboe—to become a chamber group of hulking, post-industrial aggression, marching against the bull market of New York’s cocaine decadence in the mid-’80s. Read the rest

Lose your mind in this new track from Cosey Fanni Tutti (Throbbing Gristle, Chris & Cosey)

Boing Boing friend Cosey Fanni Tutti of pioneering experimental/electronic/art groups Throbbing Gristle, Chris & Cosey, and Coum Transmissions will release a new solo album, Tutti, in February. This is her first solo record since Time To Tell in 1982. Above is the title track, a pulsing (throbbing?) soundscape of electronic rhythm, noise, and Cosey's glorious trumpet. Cosey composed these new tracks as the soundtrack to her autobiographical slideshow Harmonic COUMaction, part of last year's COUM Transmissions retrospective in Hull, England.

"Working on the COUM Transmissions exhibition also coincided with writing my autobiography - collating archive material and re-engaging with my past," Cosey told The Quietus. "My work is a continuum, the past feeding the present and vice versa. The album is an interpretation of my past and present, of my understanding the shifting perceptions of how they inform one another. One form creating another through a metamorphic process."

A gentle reminder about a not-so-gentle book: Cosey's 2017 memoir "Art Sex Music," is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of avant-garde music, performance art, underground culture, radical living, and female empowerment.

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