Psychic TV


Tarot Ov Abomination

Psychic TV - Tarot Ov Abomination ©1993 Splinter Test B
1. The Wanderer
2. Tarot Ov Abomination

Showcasing some of Psychic TV's more ambient and sonically softer side, the two track Tarot ov Abomination is a gentle meandering ride through the countryside that makes up Genesis P-Orridge's creative mind. The release is over seventy minutes long, providing quite a bit of music for only two songs. "The Wanderer" is the soundtrack to a 1990 film of the same name. The nearly fifty minute track does precisely what its title suggests: it wanders. The second song, "Tarot ov Abomination" is a bit more structured, relatively speaking. More specifically, it features a dramatically recited narrative over a calm background. There is a certain mysticism hinted at within this song.

Tarot ov Abomination is not exactly a release for those with short attention spans. "The Wanderer" takes several listens before one realizes the expansiveness of the music. The album is one of the better representations of the ambient explorations of Psychic TV and gets a strong recommendation.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 03/2006

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Hex Sex - The Singles Part I

Psychic TV - Hex Sex - The Singles Part I ©1994 Cleopatra
1. Roman P.
2. Good Vibrations
3. Hex Sex
4. Interzone
5. Godstar
6. Je T'aime
7. Supermale
8. United 94
9. Paple Breakdance
10. Magik Defends Itself
11. Love War Riot
12. Eve Ov Destruction

Creeping out of the ashes of Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV has been churning out some of the most mind bending and strange music since the early 80s. Led by Genesis P-Orridge, Psychic TV's ever mutating and shifting existence has churned out dozens upon dozens of releases, from live recordings to remixes to collaborations to obscure 7" singles. If one decided to begin collecting Psychic TV and related merchandise, no doubt one would need a six figure income and a dedicated line to Ebay.

Fortunately for the less committed among us, various compilation CDs have been released along the way, allowing a tentative dip into the LSD laced waters of Psychic TV's bizarre ocean. For instance, the releases that finally conscripted my interest in Psychic TV are Cleopatra's singles compilations: Hex Sex - The Singles Part I and Godstar - The Singles Part II. Hex Sex was issued in 1994, compiling a variety of some of Psychic TV's more "poppy" tunes, all things being relative. "Roman P.", "Godstar" and the deviant cover of "Good Vibrations" are all certainly catchy, but performed in such an off kilter method that you feel as though you just stepped through the looking glass into a thoroughly demented dimension. At the same time, there is something infectious about the likes of "Roman P." (Volkswagon agrees, as they used the song in a commercial. I suspect they were simply attempting to co-opt counterculture to push Passats onto consumers, but perhaps their ad department also realized the song is pretty darned good.)

Hex Sex constantly dwells just outside of one's paradigms of music, suggesting that perhaps drugs are necessary to completely assimilate the works of Psychic TV (as a disclaimer, I wouldn't know since I've never tried drugs, outside of caffeine and alcohol). To some degree, fans of 80s Wax Trax and industrial music will feel right at home here.

Psychic TV's daunting back catalogue and widely varying quality of material may put off some new listeners, but once you find the right diving-in point, their music is rewarding while disturbing. Hex Sex offers one potential starting point and does a fine job of initiating neophytes into Genesis P-Orridge's highly peculiar universe.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 03/2006

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