ARTIST: Various Artists
TITLE / format : We Hate You: A Small Tribute to Throbbing Gristle / CD + 7"
LABEL: Jazzassin, PO Box 1402, Leangen, 7002 Trondheim, Norway

John Eden

In the world of industrial music those who remember the past seem condemned to repeat it. Post-modernism means that everything is up for grabs, at least in theory. In practice it often means that all the good ideas get drowned in waves of self-referential irony. How long before there's a "No-Way-Sis" covers band doing versions of early-eighties Psychic TV, Current 93 and Swans? The ultimate irony is that there's been a twofold tribute to Throbbing Gristle going on since they split in 1981. Their most interesting legacy consists of people who have applied their ideas and theories to their projects - and that applies to video makers and hackers just as much as it applies to musicians like Coldcut, Andy Weatherall and countless others. The other legacy is the massed legions of white boys in their bedrooms with a load of books about mass murderers and some distortion pedals, some of whom are represented here. That said, this is a pretty good package. You get a nice clear vinyl 7", a full-length CD and a booklet, all in a 7" sleeve that's designed to look like TG's "Mission of Dead Souls". Like most compilations it's patchy, but there are some great/engaging/funny tracks from Aube, Kapotte Muziek, Merzbow, Illusion of Safety, and Eugene Chadbourne. Needless to say there is also some absolute tosh from Anus Presley (a hur hur hur.), Bilge Pump (oh stop it, my sides will split), Jarboe (surprisingly) and Mourning Cloak. Two decades after TG the terrain has changed. There are still people doing innovative things with whatever equipment they can lay their hands on, but it usually isn't noise (and TG were much more than that).The Information War that they talked about is still being fought, but new tactics are required. In the next decade the issues will be about who has access to technology, and how we deal with the massive amount of data that is now (potentially) available to the more fortunate of us. Compared to that, some plonker shouting the lyrics to "Something Came Over Me" over a Casiotone in Stoke on Trent really isn't worth your time