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Industrial Records

Industrial Records was established in 1976 by art/music group Throbbing Gristle. The group, fronted by Genesis P-Orridge[?], were to release their experiments in non-entertainment sound and multimedia through the label; in addition to a host of other artists on the periphery of the music business including Clock DVA[?] and The Leather Nun[?], plus outrage artist Monte Cazazza[?] and the author William S. Burroughs. One of the most incongruous releases on the Industrial Records label was a version of the blues standard Stormy Weather sung by Elisabeth Welsh[?], taken from the soundtrack of Derek Jarman's film The Tempest[?].

Industrial Records was perhaps even more important in P-Orridge's attack on the public consciousness than his band. Whereas contemporary Punk Rock bands were instantly co-opted into the music business, providing product for the teen-rebellion and fashion markets, Industrial Records output resolutely refused to compromise their stance, even to the audience they attracted.

Marketing was purposely anti-commercial, ironic and propagandist. P-Orridge pointedly noted that gratuitous content was a commonplace in entertainment marketing and questioned why his use of pornography, sado-masochism and genocide should be objectional in the light of their being a pointer to existing, and acceptable, ploys within the industry. Disturbing and thought-provoking imagery and packaging complimented Industrial Records output; TG's debut LP limited to 786 copies and came in bootleg packaging; a plain white card sleeve with glued-on xerox information strips; the Industrial Records logo a depiction of the chimney at Auschwitz death camp - industry at its darkest; the Woolworths[?] bargain-bin kitsch packaging of TG as pop niceguys, posing at a seaside scene in casual-wear on 20 Jazz Funk Greats (at Britain's number one suicide location!). Not content with a single live release, the label released a cassette box set '24 hours of TG'; documenting the first 24 TG live performances in their entirety.

The label served to provide a record of the industry of Throbbing Gristle and their label-mates and by the time of it's dissolution was one of the most successful British independent labels, boasting full-page ads in music weeklies and unfailingly selling out it's limited edition releases. Fittingly, a TG 'greatest hits' album was subtitled Entertainment Through Pain.

Throbbing Gristle disbanded in 1981, with P-Orridge moving on to form Psychic TV[?]. The Industrial Records label lay dormant for twenty years, although it's products, still popular to a niche audience, continued to be made available through material licensed to specialist independent label Mute[?] and others throughout the world. Then, in 2002, the label was reactivated for a special remastered re-release of '24 hours of TG' in a 24 CD box set format. Other releases are expected in 2003.

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