Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Psychic TV - Godstar:Thee Director's Cut

Psychic TV
Godstar:Thee Director's Cut


Released 2004 on Temple
Reviewed by Jasonaparkes, 12/08/2006ce


Disc 1:
1. Godstar (Monterey Pop Festival Mix)
2. Being Lost
3. Godstar (Ready Steady Go Mix)
4. Amazing Vibrations
5. A Mind Blown is a Mind Throne
6. As Tears Go By
7. Godstar (Tangiers Mix)
8. Thee Starlit Mire
9. Je T'Aime, Moi Non Plus
10. Southern Coumfort
11. Just Like Arcadia
12. Thee Dweller
13. Over Painted Smiles (Mysterious Well)
Disc 2:
1. Abstract Reality
2. We Kiss
3. Godstar (Cotchford Farm Mix)
4. Baby's Gone Away
5. Roman P
6. Good Vibrations
7. Eve Ov Destruction
8. Godstar (the Brian meets Bryin Mix)
9. Brian Gysin Interview with Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Throbbing Gristle were an obscure name in a Mute-catalogue that came with a Depeche Mode 12", one of those culty names that sounded otherworldly like Non, Coil & Einsturzende Neubauten. Sadly too young for TG, the first work I'd hear associated with Genesis P-Orridge would be the single of 'Godstar', the #1 indie hit single that I borrowed alongside some Cramps, Half Man Half Biscuit & Fall records from someone above me at school. I guess the Brian Jones-association seemed cool as I lived in Cheltenham at the time and my father was a few years younger - there's a mythic book somewhere in my parents' home that apparently has Brian's name in a line or two up from my fathers. I've never found it - they've probably thrown it out (loved the book 'In the Sixties' by Barry Miles which opens in Cheltenham & mentions Jones)...'Godstar' was always a favourite and the next records from the Gen-P world I'd hear would be 'Jack the Tab' and then an older friend's copies of 'Force the Hand of Chance' & 'Dreams Less Sweet', alongside Gen's contributions to Dave Ball's 'In Strict Tempo.' I guess this is why I see Gen-P more as a pop-artist than someone in the avant-garde dressed up in Nazi equipment injecting things in his testicles and firing fear-inducing sounds at Gypsies he'd fallen out with. 'Force...', 'Dreams' & the material released posthumously here seem to be pop, but approached from a different angle. The avant-mainstream then - the sleevenotes from the artist him/herself are probably quite helpful - detailing how 'Godstar' was almost a hit - 1986 could have seen 'Godstar' on TOTP in the same year as 'Sinful' or 'World Shut Your Mouth' !!

Psychic TV obviously lost their way, releasing loads of live albums and compilations - sullying and confouding their back catalogue in a similar way to The Fall (perhaps PTV should reissue definitively like MES to put things right?). 'Godstar: Thee Director's Cut' offers up a soundtrack to an as yet unmade film concering Jones, showcasing material from 1985 as it was intended if business and other things hadn't got in the way. There are elements here that would become developed in the Acid House/Fred Gianelli years. The sleevenotes here suggest Gen-P is looking to tap back into this direction - a new PTV3 album featuring Gibby Haynes & a bloke from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs is mooted and described by GBP as "Dark Side of the Moon for the 21st Century." I'll certainly be attending the PTV3 tour - strange that new material from both of GBP's main bands are releasing new material...

This two disc set, with an interview with cut-up figure & Burroughs' associate Brian Gysin and great photos and sleevenotes , seems to put history right. There had been some acts making records in the 1980s that were very Sixties-influenced - 'Kilimanjaro', 'Porcupine', 'Blue Sunshine', 'Fried', '25 O'Clock', that Paisley Underground stuff - so this was part of that cycle a bit forgotten now. P-Orridge and his cast (which included Soft Cell's Dave Ball & Industrial Records associate Monte Cazazza) like the multi-remixes of FGTH & Sudden Sway were looking towards the remix-culture that would develop further over the following years around various dance scenes,e.g. acid house/rave (the 'version' in dub is probably the first example, though I've read that a version of Miles Davis' 'Black Satin', 'The Molester' was another proto-example of the remix, as were those 'Metal Box'-era singles by PIL). Here we get several versions of the title track (the 'Ready Steady Go' mix sounds like the 7" I probably have on an old C-90 somewhere) - 'Amazing Vibrations' is an enjoyable spin around 'Good Vibrations', which is covered wonderfully on the second disc - no doubt the link via Dennis to Manson was appealing. The 'Monterey' version of 'Godstar' does have a hint of the keyboards at the time - think Colourbox's 'Unofficial World Cup Theme' or Kasabian's new single - though the blissed out acoustics and female vocals could be argued to be a precursor for MBV's 'Soon'?

'Being Lost' has similar drums to those used on the then-bootlegged 'Smile', while tracks like 'A Mind Blown...' & 'Abstract Reality' relate more to TG or the second LP issued with 'Force the Hand of Chance'. The version of 'As Tears Go By' is suitably minimal, sounding very hip-hop and even a bit 'Word Up'!! Enfant terrible and then cult concern Serge Gainsbourg is invoked on the cover of his most famous track, PTV nodding back to certain key things from the 60s - the mood is altered with 'Southern Coumfort', whose title nods back to Coum Transmissions and another dense and disturbing soundscape, not far from the work of J.G Thirwell, especially something disturbing like 'Diabolocus in Musica' or 'Anything (Viva!).' The mood is altered with the fantastic 'Just Like Arcadia', which sounds not unlike the Fall in the early 1990s!! It should be pointed out that this version of PTV seem kind of influential - shortly after C-86 act Primal Scream would try and be Love and a few years later would release the critical fave and influential 'Screamadelica.' Shame that most things on that had been achieved here - the blend of electronic 'dance' music, psychedelia and The Stones. Bobby Gillespie even gave good interview in the late 1990s regarding the Sharon Tate Murders (in relation to an article on Neil Young's 'On the Beach/Revolution Blues') that sounded like he'd listened to 'Roman P' here too much. The recent Australian act Black Cab recorded the not bad 'Altamont Diary' recently, a record that tried to be contemporary sonically and tap into that 1960s past at the same time - to a degree it succeeds, but could it exist without this record? The version of 'Eve Ov Destruction' here serves as a model for Black Cab's take on 'New Speedway Boogie' (Black Cab generally sound like late 90s Prml Scrm, Death in Vegas & a little DJ Shadow/Sidewalking-Mary Chain). & as Gen-P appeared in 'Dig!!', I'm sure that the Dandy Jonestown Massacre took in the contemporary take on the 60s era here. Luke Haines and Denim nodding to the 1970s might even come from the approach taken to the 60s here?

& the vocals from Gen, which are extremely poor on songs like 'United' & 'Something Came Over Me', are actually decent throughout - he reminded me a lot or Peter Perrett and Lawrence from Felt/Denim for some reason! A song like 'We Kiss' is kind of gorgeous, a friend I lent this to thinks the vocal style here was an influence on Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields. Maybe??? I'm not sure whether the film will ever turn up, it can be worse than the recent 'Stoned' (only worth watching as a comedy like 'Velvet Goldmine' or 'The Doors', though Paddy Considine is always great to watch), but this album more than stands up by itself. Alongside 'Force...' and 'Dreams...' it seems to me a vital trilogy from a band/artist who got a bit lost in subsequent years - I wonder if they've found themselves as PTV3?


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