Psychic TV Best Ov: Time's Up

As a teenager working to hunt down Psychic TV releases in small town Ontario, I had a feeling Genesis P-Orridge and crew were making important music. Listening to these compilations that reflect on different, slightly overlapping time periods in the free floating project's 18-year history (’81 to ’99), it becomes clear just how far and wide their net of influence was cast. The impact of Psychic TV's musical teachings and preaching can be heard in the works of Underworld, Coldcut, many an acid house producer or Wax Trax industrial pop artist – and then some. Throbbing Gristle had played with synths, loops and drum machines alongside found objects to create experimental, gleefully anarchic, yet often beautiful sounds. When Genesis went solo-of-sorts and formed Psychic TV, he expanded on these ideas and formats, collaborating with many others to produce music moving from pristine pop, to minimalist electronic experiments and full-on acid house. Each Psychic TV album in effect distanced itself from the one previous. Best Ov: Time's Up rips and romps through some of their poppiest, most sing-along moments, drawing heavily from the mid-’80s with a few decade-later remakes and remixes. The perfect psychedelic pop of "Godstar," a tribute to Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones and PTV's biggest hit, leads the way, bridging the apparent gap from older releases to the band's note-perfect, absolutely wonderful cover of the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations." Throbbing Gristle's "United" became the much dancier "United ’94" and "Reunited," through remixes by P-Orridge and Sabres of Paradise respectively. "Papal Breakdance" gives a taste of PTV's interest in early hip-hop and electro while "Cadaques" is an achingly moving, minimalist piece from 1984’s rare A Pagan Day album, which somehow hints at what was to come when P-Orridge would concentrate on acid house in the late ’80s and early ’90s. This is where Origin of the Species, part two of a three-part double-CD set, comes in. This lovingly compiled package of words, photos, history and music is a must have for fans of Psychic TV and early house alike; it's not all great, but is an incredible history lesson in bravery and experimentation. The comp pulls together tracks from Jack the Tab, Tekno Acid Beat and Ultrahouse Ultradrug — releases originally passed off as compilations, but in fact the work of P-Orridge, Dave Ball (Soft Cell), Richard Norris (the Grid) and Larry Thrasher (PTV). Whether the pro-drug, pro-sex Moroder-inspired electro of the anthemic "Meet Every Situation Head On," the funky as hell "Kinda Groovy" or the fun slice of acid house "Disc-omen" is your thang, this one can't be slept on. (Cleopatra)