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November 7th, 2012 ROBERT HAM | Music Stories
 

Primer: Psychic TV

music_genesis_3901IMAGE: Marie Losier
Formed: In London in 1981.

Sounds like: The quick rush of a DMT hit expanded to sometimes-epic lengths. 

For fans of: Throbbing Gristle, Coil, 808 State, Brion Gysin, William S. Burroughs, Timothy Leary.

Latest release: Silver Sundown Machine vs. Alien Lightning Meat Machine, a newly released 12-inch single featuring a track that melds “Silver Machine” and “Hurry On Sundown,” songs originally recorded by space rockers Hawkwind.

Why you care: There’s a case to be made for connecting the ever-morphing membership and sound of Psychic TV with the changes the band’s leader, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, has made to his person. Over the course of its existence, Psychic TV has taken on neon-colored psychedelia, proto-acid house, dusted punk and pure noise, while enjoying contributions from the members of Soft Cell; Love and Rockets’ Daniel Ash; Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner; writer Douglas Rushkoff; and P-Orridge’s former Throbbing Gristle bandmate, the late Peter Christopherson. During that time, P-Orridge has been slowly going through a physical transformation, via plastic surgery, into someone who is “gender neutral”—a move meant to make his features as similar as possible to that of his sadly deceased partner, Lady Jaye P-Orridge. It’s that willingness to experiment, and to put absolutely every part of himself into his art, that has made P-Orridge’s efforts as Psychic TV such an enthralling project over the past three decades. Granted, a project that far-reaching doesn’t always coalesce—the ’90s were particularly unkind to the band—but when the pieces do fall into place, as with this current incarnation, it’s ecstatic.  


SEE IT: Psychic TV plays Rotture, 315 SE 3rd Ave., with DBC, King Dude and Vice Device, on Saturday, Nov. 10. 9 pm. $18 advance, $20 day of show. 21+.

 
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