Throbbing Gristle were an English music and visual arts group formed in 1975 in Kingston upon Hull by Genesis P-Orridge, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Peter Christopherson, and Chris Carter. They are widely regarded as pioneers of industrial music. Evolving from the experimental performance art group COUM Transmissions, Throbbing Gristle made their public debut in October 1976 on COUM exhibition Prostitution, and released their debut single "United/Zyklon B Zombie" and debut album The Second Annual Report the following year. Lyrical themes mainly revolved around mysticism, extremist political ideologies, sexuality, dark or underground aspects of society, and idiosyncratic manipulation of language.
The band released several subsequent 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 a reputation with their transgressive and confrontational aesthetics; they included the extensive use of disturbing visual imagery (such as ironic fascist and Nazi symbolism and pornography), as well as that of sound manipulation (noise and pre-recorded tape-based samples) influenced by works of William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin.
Throbbing Gristle dissolved in 1981 due to interpersonal differences; the individual members went on to participate in other projects, such as Psychic TV, Coil, and Chris & Cosey. The band was reformed in 2004, and released three more studio albums—TG Now (2004), Part Two (2007), and The Third Mind Movements (2009)—before disbanding again after P-Orridge's departure and Christopherson's death in November 2010. P-Orridge later died in March 2020. The band's final studio project, a cover version of the 1970 Nico album Desertshore titled The Desertshore Installation, was released in 2012 under the moniker X-TG.
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Genesis Breyer P-Orridge from The Quietus
Cosey Fanni Tutti from The Quietus
Chris Carter from The Quietus
Genesis P-Orridge: fantastic transgressor or sadistic aggressor?The Guardian (December 2018)
Genesis P-Orridge on destroying preconceptionsThe Creative Independent (December 18, 2017)