Carter Tutti Void f (x) Industrial Records
Back in March, Cosey Fanni Tutti, one third of Carter Tutti Void, expressed in an interview with Wire that she “finds solace in doing really normal things”. Her husband, Chris Carter (the Carter of Carter Tutti Void…) nods his head, adding “the normality and mundanity of normal life works as a kind of safety net for us.” This more than anything reveals the fragility of these two artists whom have spent over four decades debasing the immaculate design of sound, tearing down the industrial infrastructure with their reckless pluck.
Throbbing Gristle, a collective so hellbent on digression you’d think they’d practically invented the concept of noise, disbanded in 1981. Since then, amidst temporary reformations, Cosey and Chris went on to perform as Chris & Cosey. Four Rough Trade records and a spew of collaborative releases later, the duo took a break from touring to concentrate on studio work. At the turn of the 21st century, they celebrated a reinstatement to the stage, performing under the name Carter Tutti. In 2011, the pair collaborated with Factory Floor’s Nik Colk Void at Mute label’s Short Circuit Festival. A live recording was released entitled Transverse under the name Carter Tutti Void. Thus completing the crass and abbreviated prologue
to this, f(x), the trio’s first proper studio album; something that feels like an endless inhale, like the sound your lungs would make as you slowly hyperventilate.
Back on Throbbing Gristle’s own Industrial Records imprint, Carter Tutti Void structure six long moments of caustic discovery through muted percussion and heavily processed vocals. It surmounts to something akin to if the Replacements were slowed down by 4000% and accompanied by a reevaluation of a Tangerine Dream film soundtrack. Specific track names are obsolete, opting for that familiar mysticism synonymous with Chris and Cosey’s artistic output over the years. There is no order, no formation, no regimen. Instead, Carter Tutti Void ask for your brain to leave its shell and yield to the jump scares of electronic nihilism.
And there is a curious therapy to this sort of misrule. Around the 30-minute mark, you seem to forget your surroundings. The group’s use of heightened reverberations and industrial rhythmic patterns almost becomes a husk of lead that rattles your perception of certainty; an audacious claim, which out of the safe hands of Carter Tutti Void would be just a sprawl of inept ataxia. They wield the abrasion of Factory Floor, filtering it through a masonry of metallic guitar work. They dismantle roles familiar to previous Chris and Cosey records, reforming one another to align with the inclusion of Void. As a three-piece, their contributions are mammoth yet the sounds are overtly minimal. With Transverse, the group were almost restricted by their desire to entertain a live audience. With f(x), they are able to play upon their restrictions, shattering constraints, changing the studio space in to a core of dissonance and (dis)harmony.