The death last night at age 55 of Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson in Bangkok,
Thailand is a major passing and relevant to this list, although this link
above may not well indicate why. He was a founder member of the English
group Throbbing Gristle, which arguably introduced the genre of industrial
music in 1975 and greatly assisted the current mania for "techno" and other
popular styles that incorporate electronics and recorded media.
Many on this list might find the music of TG extreme or unacceptable; it can
tend to be noisy, abrasive and often deals with distasteful subjects.
Nevertheless, their 1978 "Hamburger Lady" is a milestone in contemporary
music; they combined performance art, the avant-garde, bits of pre-existing
recordings, punk culture and electronics in a wholly new way. And while
their music may still stand way outside the mainstream it is now a
historical style; all of the original TG output falls well within our 20
year cutoff period for record reviews.
The illustration I often use to demonstrate how "recent" time is actually
further back than we think is to say that we are further away from Jimi
Hendrix than Hendrix himself was from Bix Beiderbecke. In the case of
Throbbing Gristle, we are in historical relation to their first concerts at
the ICA in London as they were to the rise of the Casa Loma Orchestra and
Duke Ellington appearing in "Check and Double Check."
TG had lately re-banded and were in the midst of a tour when member Genesis
P'Orridge decided to drop out of the group in October. TG was continuing
without Gen, but Sleazy Christopherson's death definitively brings an end to
this band, or at least it likely will. Christopherson was also a
photographer and one of the persons behind Hipgnosis, who designed album
covers for major rock artists such as Led Zeppelin in the 1970s, such as
"Presence." Christopherson was personally responsible for the cover art for
Peter Gabriel's first couple of solo albums.
Uncle Dave Lewis