03 October 2011

Trying to avoid burning out

Well after many months of intense work (February to September!) the remastered Throbbing Gristle albums have finally been completed and have gone into production (see the TG website for release dates).
We decided very early on (even before dear Sleazy passed) that the albums would be remastered and rereleased specifically for each format - Vinyl, CD and DDL. So each of the five vinyl albums comes with an 8-page booklet, as do the five double-CD editions - which include different 8-page booklets to the vinyl. The five digital albums also include 6-page PDF booklets, which are different from the vinyl and CD booklets. So as you can see, this project meant the not inconsiderable task of remastering 20 different album masters, compiling, editing and laying out 100 pages of graphics and photos, and reconstructing (visually remastering) fifteen different 20-year old album covers.

In the past this amount of workload for this type of project would have been split between myself, Cosey, Sleazy and Mute (as with TGV, TG24 etc.). But having left Mute last year, and with Sleazy refusing to work from the afterlife, Cosey and myself decided to undertake the bulk of the work ourselves. Although I guess you may be asking yourself why didn’t we ‘farm out’ some, or all of the work to an outside design/production company? Well there are a number of issues to consider that would be familiar to anyone running an independent label. Obviously a major factor for not using an outside company (or even friends/acquaintances) would be the considerable additional costs for so much high quality production work. But also… historically TG (and Chris & Cosey) have functioned independently in as many areas as possible and between us we have acquired an extensive skill-set to cope with producing these kinds of projects. In fact you name it and one of us has probably done it, or would be willing to learn how to do it. But… this approach also has its drawbacks, as we’ve become ‘control freaks’ and any work we do assign to outsiders or non-TG-extended-family ends up going through endless revisions, tweaks, adjustments and rewrites… or is just rejected. Years ago we realised that for the majority of what we ‘do’ it’s often a lot faster and more cost effective in the long run to just “do it yourself”.

Which brings me back to the TG catalogue. Because, the remastered albums aside, there are still a few choice projects left to be released on Industrial Records from our reacquired Throbbing Gristle archive. The first of these will be TG’s Desertshore project in 2012, which me and Cosey (and a few friends) have been continuing to work on this year, between the TG remastering. Hopefully in 2013 we should be in a position to release the ‘TG in Berlin’ project (recorded 2005-06) and recordings and videos from our TG 2009 USA tour.

Well now I say ‘hopefully’ because Cosey and me also have to factor in our own non-TG projects, which are many. Even without all the TG work we’ve done, this year has been unbelievably busy for us - with Chris & Cosey and Carter Tutti performances, projects, collaborations and remixes and of course Cosey’s own successful Art career. Basically what I’m saying is be patient and bear with us, we’re doing the best we can but we’re only human and are trying to avoid burning out to soon.

btw: Genesis’ contribution to the ‘TG Remastered’ project was to offer some photos from his archive, which we agreed to… but he sent us nothing.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by Chris Carter are his alone and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Industrial Records Ltd.