NTSC / MUDO – GRISTLEISM is a tribute to Throbbing Gristle by Dwid Hellion (Integrity, Psywarfare) and Iggor Cavalera (Sepultura, Mixhell, Cavalera, Petbrick, Soulwax). A limited edition cassette version of NTSC / MUDO – GRISTLEISM is out on Tartarus Records today. Below find our interview with Dwid and Iggor about this very special project, as well as our exclusive stream of GRISTLEISM…
As teenagers in the underground music scene, did you understand Throbbing Gristle’s sonic output? Or did it become more clear to you as you got older?
Dwid: TG felt like an exciting evolution of what punk-rock should have become. I love the diversity of TG, every track would be from a different perspective/direction. I love their painterly quality, the roots in Dadaism and Surrealism, the confusing danger of incorporating serial killer logic alongside sugary electro pop. As a boy, I did not fully understand their technique, but I thought that they understood some of the concepts. Or at least, I understood how I interpreted their concept. For me their approach to music was more like an approach to making artwork. While still following the construct of acceptable music in framework. Yet, using sounds and instrumentation which were extremely unorthodox for their time. TG dramatically expanded the playing field for music. Opening up new worlds of possibility Their influence permeated into so many different musical genres, and even created new ones. TG actually coined the term, “industrial music” -with the help of their friend Monte Cazzazza and his wonderful insight. Like punk, industrial eventually was adopted by the mainstream and inevitably morphed into something far different than intended and became much more acceptable to the masses.
Iggor: I always had a huge interest in what “grey/normal” people would call “weird music” and TG was definitely one of the best at it. To be honest, as I grow older TG becomes even better.
Where did the idea for this project come from?
Dwid: Iggor and I both own these limited edition Throbbing Gristle “GRISTLEISM” collector boxes that TG officially sold about 10 years ago. The GRISTLEISM box is like a “buddha box”, a self contained, small plastic box that has several TG audio tracks saved in its memory and is capable of playing music. It has a built in speaker and it was probably intended as a novelty merch item. This small audio toy allows its user to play TG audio tracks back with the bonus feature of some minimal controls which allow warping / manipulation of the tracks for reinterpretation playback and personal entertainment. Iggor and I are old friends and for about a while, he and I were actually neighbors living on the same street -only a few houses apart here in Gent, Belgium. During one of our many hang-outs, one of us brought up the potential possibilities that these GRISTLEISM boxes offered and so we started riffing ideas back and forth. Eventually, we pondered, “wouldn’t it be interesting to remove the speaker from the GRISTLEISM and have a direct output that would allow manipulation of the tracks with a variety of external effects?” . . . So we set out to destroy our collectible (and rather valuable) TG toys! Mangling them into a new type of Frankenstein’s monster for sonic experimentation. My wife, Stephanie and I recorded our side of this TG reinterpretation project under the name of her music moniker, NTSC (Noise.Terrorist.Social.Club) and Iggor recorded his side as one of his projects called MUDO.
If you could go back in time and have a conversation with Genesis P-Orridge, what would you ask him?
Dwid: I was fortunate enough to have met Gen a few times. Usually, the conversations revolved around the Process church, mutual friends and of course, professing my love towards TG and for Gens incredibly creative artistic mind.
Iggor: Unfortunately I never had a chance to meet Genesis, but it would be cool to have a conversation about the early days of COUM Transmissions .
What emotions will the listener come away with after listening to NTSC / MUDO – Gristleism?
Dwid: My hope is to simply pay homage to Throbbing Gristle. TG is an energy and spirit which lives on beyond the band itself. I wanted to create a new perspective on their music that could work as a tribute to Gen and to TG for all the years of imagination that they gave to this world.
Iggor: I agree with Dwid 100%.
Talk to us about your creative process on this project. What environment did y’all create in?
Dwid: I opened the case of my GRISTLEISM with a small screwdriver and removed the speaker and wired in a ¼” jack so that it would allow the box to interact with a variety of effect pedals. Stephanie and I then used several pedals to mangle the TG sounds. These are the pedals that I can recall using: NEMO delay (error instruments, NL), Broken Tape simulator (error instruments, NL), Geiger counter pedal (WMD, USA), C.U.N.T. pedal (Gen Thalz, PH). This all took place in my home studio in Belgium and was recorded into Logic Pro via my laptop.
Iggor: I took the Gristleism box to my studio in London, and did a few live improvised sets using the “Gristleizer Modular” designed by TG’s Chris Carter, a bunch of synths, pedals and had my wife Laima recording all.
What Throbbing Gristle album had the biggest impact on your life and why?
Dwid: All of their albums inspired me. I would say the one that maybe stands out more than the rest was a 7” I had that came in a camouflage printed plastic poly bag. Aesthetically, it blew my mind. Similar to how G.I.S.M. “MAN” had that excessive detail of screen-printing anatomy layers onto the poly bag for their 12”. I love records that feature those extra artistic details.
Iggor: Probably “D.O.A. The third and final Report”, from “Hamburger lady” to “Blood on the floor” there are so many amazing sounds and songs.