Chicago Unleashes “Electronic Sadism”

Electronic Sadism on CD: Old school indie packaging, baby.
(Photo courtesy of Turntabling Records.)

Turntabling Records has unleashed a new compilation of edgy electronic music by the likes of Paisley Babylon, Savior Noise, Thelema USA, Satan’s Tea Boy and other artists from the Windy City on Electronic Sadism: A Chicago Compilation. In an interesting twist, the label is offering two versions, one to appeal to new school digital aficionados and another for old school fans of packaging and product. The former is a 20-track iTunes download version of the album, the latter is a limited edition, 12-song CD sampler limited to 500 copies that were designed and completely hand-assembled by Joe Wallace. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.

As the label reports, “The 12 tracks available on the CD sampler are a strange mixture of Coil, Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire and Skinny Puppy textures. There are vintage-era industrial and ambient sounds combined with soundtrack-esque interludes, mellow meanderings, and nearly hallucinatory side-trips. But the ghost of the Marquis de Sade is always lurking nearby to bring you back to attention with a sonic blast of fury and chaos. The packaging for this CD special edition is deceptively LP-sized, right down to a poly outer sleeve. But make no mistake, this is a compact disc full of electronics, evil and doubt (as Brian Eno would say). Going from wildly chaotic to strangely danceable, Electronic Sadism is a great birthday gift for the old-school industrial music fan in your life. Anybody who wishes for the good old days of Throbbing Gristle and Test Department should have a listen to this.”

You can sample the download-only track “Speaker Damage Guaranteed” from the digital version of Electronic Sadism or listen to “Robes Off” by Thelema USA from the limited-edition CD. I recall writing about a lot of electro, industrial and noise artists back during the Nineties. With a revival of that decade’s pop culture just around the corner, the release of this CD is pretty well-timed. It’s not like these underground sounds went away, but they are poised for a comeback.

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