Published Mar 28, 2018There's a funny moment in a new Q&A feature in Andy Warhol's Interview about Chris Carter's first new album in 17 years. Asked about the resurgence of modular synthesizers in electronic music, the industrial music icon politely explained that since he's been using one since the mid-1970s, it's not that big a deal to him. It is good to have him back.
For the uninitiated, Carter was a founding member of the legendary Throbbing Gristle, with Genesis P. Orridge, Cosey Fanni Tutti and the late Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson. The band split in 1981, at which point he and Cosey continued to work together as a duo. The 65-year-old was in his 40s the last time he put a record out.
The new work will be well received. The 67-minute album features 25 remarkably accessible tracks. Carter played a significant role in the pioneering of what would eventually become electronic pop music in the hands of contemporaries like Cabaret Voltaire and Soft Cell.
Carter stood firm on the fringes of that scene, producing some of the best industrial music of the period. Call it electro-pop for people who don't like pop.
That's precisely what he delivers on Chemistry Lessons Volume 1. A couple of tracks, "Blissters" and "Tangerines," would sound at home on an Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark album. Most of it though is darker, with plenty of the industrial touches he's well known for.
Carter has also incorporated treated vocals he's field-recorded from a variety of sources. It adds real dimension to the album. Check out "Cernubicua" for the best example.
As the title suggests, we may not have to wait another 17 years for Carter's next release. He has plenty of new material that didn't make the cut so he should be ready for Volume 2. (Mute)