Genesis P. Orridge

Genesis P. Orridge died on Saturday aged seventy sending further ripples through social media,tributes to another important figure from the fringes of popular culture gone. Genesis leaves a complex legacy. The work left behind is important, it changed the way many people saw the world and inspired them to do things themselves. Genesis as the founder of COUM Transmissions in Hull in the early 1970s making radical, confrontational and subversive art. Throbbing Gristle’s back catalogue and their influence on post- punk, industrial, acid house and beyond is widely acknowledged. They were castigated as ‘wreckers of civilisation’. The four-piece group- Genesis, Cosey, Sleazy and Chris Carter- made pioneering music, using synths, homemade devices, FX, noise, samples, found sounds, spoken word, all aspects that became commonplace. Psychic TV were an group who wanted to unite music and video art, leftfield pop and psychedelia and in Godstar, Genesis’ tribute to Brian Jones, made one of those records that was always floating round the ether in the second half of the 80s.

Godstar

Genesis played a key role alongside Richard Norris in making Jack The Tab, an album that is often seen as the first British acid house record. Andrew Weatherall said that the arrival of house and techno didn’t surprise him at all because he’d already heard Throbbing Gristle, he knew from their records what the future sounded like.

This track is a live performance from San Francisco in 1981, their final show before their initial break up and released on an album called Mission Of Dead Souls.

Persuasion U.S.A.

This one, a just over a minute of distortion and noise, was from their debut album in 1977, The Second Annual Report.

Industrial Introduction

In her autobiography Cosey Fanni Tutti makes several accusations about Genesis’s abusive behaviour, accusations he denied. She says he threw a concrete block off a balcony at her while she was sunbathing, again something he denied. At the very least he doesn’t come across as a very nice person, moody, controlling and manipulative. Cosey and others have questioned his business practices, which often left them out of pocket to his benefited. Maybe this isn’t the time to go through all of this. The deaths of people who are flawed and complex can be difficult to get a handle on. RIP Genesis.