Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson was a musical legend, one of the original members of Throbbing Gristle and an innovative musician in his own right. This live recording is an homage to the short film by Derek Jarman. The Art of Mirrors. Recorded before the end of Coil in 2004 and captured here on double vinyl.
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This ‘Homage to Derek Jarman’ is really a triple homage in itself. Obviously a cementation of the mastery of one of the original Throbbing Gristle noiser, the music by association contains the DNA of Jhon Balance and the theatrical patience of director Jarman himself, with whom Sleazy collaborated on final film ‘Blue’. In this way it reflects not really the people involved, but how they shook the artistic world, with a grandiose, prophetic feel throughout.
It’s hard to believe that this was recorded live back in '04, as a soundtrack for Jarman’s short of the same name. Everything seems so precise, so well produced that it is hard to separate from something like Ensemble by Jon Mueller’s Death Blues, a finely crafted piece for a full band. If this is indeed Sleazy alone then his ability to conjure shard-like prisms of spook sound was and probably still is unparalleled. This record is dirgey and dark, with slithering minor harmony intertwined with chanting, strained bass rumbles and the occasional twinkle of a keyboard. It is at this point that you wish that more films would have this sort of accompaniment. It’s sort of neo-classical meets industrial noise with the majesty of post-rock and weirdness of musique concrete in tow.
It would be interesting to play this along with Jarman’s ‘The Art of Mirrors’ and see how they sync up. But in this case it’s not entirely nexessary - the mood of the film is already laid bare in front of you in sonic black and white. As someone who hasn’t seen the film, even the tension of the climax brings vivid imagery to my mind, the thunderous low tones bubbling against subtle cyclic percussion to spell an impending revelation or doom. This record shows Sleazy at another, later peak in his career, a window into a time when the man was etching himself into musical legend.
9/10 Greg Dimond Customer review, 7th May 2015
You know anything Peter Christopherson works on will be challenging, thought provoking and ultimately a very rewarding listen. This double LP does not disappoint. Recorded live at L’Etrange Festival in 2004, this 1 hour long piece of work starts with mutations of bird song evolving into pulsing landscapes of sound, setting the scene for some cold dystopian landscape too far from the sun. As beautiful as it is sorrowful, as inspiring as it is crippling. As the journey develops a slow repetitive deep bass is introduced which adds a dark level of assured depth to the atmosphere. The next phase enters into a tribal song with intriguing beats and background noise, quite otherworldly and captivating. Essential listening which demands your attention – my recommendation - enjoy with a pair of cans and close your eyes. RIP Peter, thank you for your wealthy musical legacy.
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