Carter Tutti Void – Issue 16


Returning with a second longplayer, the legendary Throbbing Gristle duo of Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti again hook up with Factory Floor’s Nik Void and turn in one of the albums of the year. We get an invite to chew the fat over a cuppa round their kitchen table
Words: Kris Needs

One afternoon in early 1978, I stood with Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti gazing through the kitchen window of their terraced house in Hackney, east London. Trains thundered frequently over the nearby railway bridge and Throbbing Gristle’s Death Factory loomed a threatening walk away in nearby Martello Street.

What had once been another street running behind the house was now a derelict bomb site, but they took great delight in pointing out the distinctive TG lightning flash defiantly sprayed amid the National Front graffiti on a crumbling opposite wall. At that time, Throbbing Gristle were the most dangerous band in the UK, punk-struck as it was. Their 1977 debut album, ‘Second Annual Report’, had been an unexpected success, selling out of its first pressing of nearly 800.

On an autumn afternoon nearly four decades later, I’m visiting Chris and Cosey again, this time to talk about their new outfit Carter Tutti Void, and we’re looking through another window at a very different view. Over 30 years ago, determined to bring up their son Nick in a better environment, the couple left London for a quiet Norfolk village and set about renovating an abandoned former school. Instead of Hackney’s urban wreckage, our gaze is greeted by a rich, green lawn stretching to the old school’s now converted toilet block, which is framed by flowering trees and Cosey’s vegetable garden.

Pastoral calm surrounds this idyllic domain, which still sported blackboards on the walls when they moved in and began turning it into their new home and the nerve centre of their activities ever since. The only surviving blackboard is now used for works in progress. Today it’s covered with paper to hide the top secret project they’re working on.

The front room is sparsely furnished but comfortable, housing a spectacular cabinet of toys and memorabilia Chris has acquired over the years, from Daleks to Kraftwerk promo items, while Cosey’s collection of cat ornaments are spread over an adjoining sideboard. To the right is their studio, where Chris, Cosey and the third member of Carter Tutti Void, Nik Colk Void from Factory Floor, create their music. Although Chris has sold his original 808 and other analogue antiquities, he still boasts a formidable electronic arsenal, including the Machinedrum that provides the beats on Carter Tutti Void’s new album, ‘f (X)’, the first non-Throbbing Gristle release on the fabled Industrial Records since 1981.

Read the full feature in the November Issue of Electronic Sound

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