X-TG, "The Final Report"

Sunday, 02 December 2012 12:38 John Kealy Reviews - Albums and Singles
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cover imageReleased alongside Desertshore is the one and only original album by X-TG, The Final Report. Its title is obviously a nod to the various reports (final or otherwise) released by Throbbing Gristle in their lifetime and it is hard not to consider X-TG except as a continuation of Throbbing Gristle. As such, it is no shock that The Final Report is not a million miles away from the music explored on Part Two: The Endless Not nor The Third Mind Movements. The latter album in particular is a fitting reference point for two reasons: firstly, it was mainly the work of Chris, Cosey and Sleazy (i.e. X-TG) and secondly, it was made using the original Throbbing Gristle recordings for Desertshore as its source material. Much like The Third Mind Movements, The Final Report feels more alive and vibrant than Part Two did. The jams flow naturally and it sounds like a group enjoying each other’s company. Whether it redefines the musical landscape like The Second Annual Report or D.O.A. is another matter entirely but it certainly is a great album to listen to.

Industrial Records

Desertshore / The Final Report - X-TG

Musically, it covers a lot of the same ground as the bootleg recording of X-TG in Porto from 2010 though here the group sound more confident, striding through the pieces with purpose. Some of the issues I have with Desertshore in that it is too restricted by its source material or in getting as many participants involved as possible are null and void here. There is not a single unnecessary note or moment on The Final Report. While tracks like "Stasis" pump along with energy and force, others like "Breach" and "Trope" have that slinking menace that runs through Throbbing Gristle’s recorded output. The music on these pieces has an uneasy atmosphere which is both enticing and worrying as X-TG lure me in, lull me into stupor and then pull the chair out from under me. However, there is also some exciting (dare I say it) happy music that is not far from Sleazy’s work as The Threshold HouseBoys Choir or in SoiSong; "Um Dum Dom" sounds like it could have fit in with either project as opposed to X-TG and "What He Said" likewise occupies that same strange, wonderful space.

What is most remarkable about The Final Report is that it sounds like a live session with no added frills or extras but was in fact cobbled together from multiple sources. Sleazy had forwarded on parts to Chris and Cosey, the three had made some exploratory recordings shortly before Sleazy returned to Thailand for the last time and the album was finished by Chris and Cosey while they were working on Desertshore. It strikes me from the sheer power that lurks within The Final Report is that while Desertshore had to be done in order to gain some closure on Throbbing Gristle, The Final Report needed to be done because of its own will to exist.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 02 December 2012 23:09