Compulsion | PO Box 19577 | Kilbarchan |Johnstone | PA10 2WX | Scotland | UK

Psychic TV - Live in Berlin I

Psychic TV - Live in Berlin II

Concurrent to Mute Records Throbbing Gristle reissue schedule, Voiceprint in the UK are busy reissuing the legendary and record breaking series of live albums by Psychic TV. During the 1980s Temple Records, home to Psychic TV, began a series of live releases aiming for 23 releases in a year. They never managed to reach the elusive number 23 before Scotland Yard came-a-knocking on the Brighton home of the P-Orridges, sending them and their children into forced exile. With the original vinyl versions long out-of-print Genesis P-Orridge has secured a deal with Voiceprint allowing them to reissue the live legacy of Psychic TV on CD.

Live In Berlin I and Live in Berlin II are the first fruits of this relationship. Limited to 1000 copies each they catch the idiosyncracies and musical versatility of Psychic TV. Despite less than a month between the recording of these they capture Psychic TV at two very distinct moments.

Live in Berlin I is prime acid house era Psychic TV. A frenzy of trance like beats, samples and piano stabs. Perhaps the most physical PTV music with Gen launching vocal diatribes. The majority is culled from Towards Thee Infinite Beat although a version of 'Terminus' does surface. I must confess that I'm not a lover of this period of PTV but Genesis proves to be an entertaining raconteur and this is a wonderful document of the era.

Live in Berlin II is hard acid rock dance music paying homage to a multitude of influences including Lou Reed, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and the Beach Boys. Live favourites include a renditon of the Velvet Underground's 'What Goes On?' that segues effortlessly into Barry McGuire's 'Eve Ov Destruction'. There are loose pastiches of the Rolling Stone's 'Paint It Black', and the Beach Boys 'Good Vibrations' and interpretations of early Psychic TV tracks such as 'Twisted' and 'White Nights'. Some eloquent papal bashing (you can't beat it, can you?) precedes 'Papal Breakdance'. Of far greater import is the versions of 'Candy Says' more poignant given the resexualisation of Gen as Genesis Breyer P-Orridge.

These recordings date from 1989 and for these performaces Psychic TV were Matthew Black, Fred Gianelli, Daniel Black and Genesis P. Orridge. Both volumes were originally issued on CD, but for the Voiceprint reissues they have been reset in the distinctive black, white and red graphics.

Both these discs, particularly Live In Berlin Volume 1, suffer from their close association with acid house, but it's testament to their belief that these were reissued at all without some serious editing. At times with Psychic TV, the underlying ideas were far more important than the actual product. The intent was always honourable even if the mechanism was patently flawed at times. I'm already looking forward to revisiting some of the other volumes in the series. Voiceprint should be congratulated as these are great with new sleeves notes by Genesis P. Orridge. A reissue of A Hollow Cost under the banner of Thee Majesty, Gen's current project, is imminent.

PTV3 (featuring author Douglas Rushkoff on keyboards) materialised in December with a performance at Tonic in NYC. For more information go to or