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Factrix - Artifact

In many ways Factrix belong to the original industrial culture vanguard headed by Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire in the UK, and represented by the likes of Z'ev, Mark Pauline's Survival Research Labs, NON and documented by the pioneering punk tabloid Search & Destroy (the formative publishing venture that latterly grew into the Re/Search publishing house) in California, USA. Monte Cazazza the infamous prankster, performance artist and TG Control Agent who codified a genre with the 'industrial music for industrial people' slogan was a floating member of Factrix, alongside Cole Palme, Joseph Jacobs, and Bond Bergland. Their few releases together with the previously unheard Factrix demonstrate that Factrix are deserving of more than a footnote in the history of industrial music.

It's perhaps not surprising upon listening to Artifact that the protagonists were heavily into psilocybin. Artifact displays a potent blend of sprawling guitarlines, taut bass and the industrial use of electronic rhythms -often provided by their sound wizard Tommy Tadlock. There's was a seeking of possibilities, a search for a black hole of sound. Experimentation derived from altering technological devices (amputated bass, various tape treatments) cajoling instruments in an effort to slip into a swirling vortex. It's a bad trip from the sunny climes of California.

Factrix left only a small body of recorded work (particularly on the Adolescent and Subterranean labels) and Artifact compiles a selection of studio cuts (including the album Scheintot in its entirety) together with an intriguing selection of unknown material culled from outtakes, live shows and unreleased demos including a rough reworking of the Velvet Underground's 'Beginning To See the Light', a live track (featuring Christian Marclay on turntables), and a Manson track. Monte Cazazza's presence is all over Artifact most notably on 'ProManSon' (from the split album California Babylon) which features his familiar tones but the unhinged and improvised squall heard to best effect on the unheard Factrix disc could also lay claim to be a direct influence on the likes of Sonic Youth and the New York guitar-noise scene.

This package with cover artwork from Ruby Ray (an early contributor to Search & Destroy) and booklet artwork by Monte Cazazza has been produced with the resolute care and attention of Michael Moynihan - there's copious liner notes, archival research and photos with a masterful grasp of aesthetics that are truly fitting for this reappraisal of this largely forgotten and underrated group. BTW: we'd be keen to hear what the former members of Factrix did next. For more information go to www.tesco-germany.com or www.tesco-distro.com