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Swans - Filth (Remastered vinyl reissue)


Perezvon
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To Be Kind was already one of my favourite releases this year but it's not over : Swans are fucking remastering their 1983 debut album Filth, which I couldn't describe better than its own title does. Sadly for me it's a vinyl reissue, but maybe they'll make a digital edition too... I guess... Pls... Anyway it's coming on oct. 28th.

 

Some words for Mr. Gira himself about this ballsy record :

This is all slabs of sound, rhythm and screaming/testifying. What more do you need? In a way, it was a reaction against Punk (and just about any other music you can think of), and the conservative notion that 3 chords were somehow necessary. I used to deny it vehemently at the time, but No Wave (I “hated” that scene too, for some reason I can’t remember now) played a big role as the germ from which this music grew, along with The Stooges and Throbbing Gristle, of course. I wanted Swans to be “heavier” though – I wanted the music to obliterate - why, I don’t remember! I think it just felt good. Live, we used two basses (playing utterly unmusical chords that were stabbed and left to sustain or sometimes hit in staccato or opposing rhythms), drums, a “percussionist” that slammed down on a metal table with a metal strap, crude cassette loops of various sounds/noises (usually some kind of undefined ROAR), and Norman Westberg’s glorious sustained and screaming guitar chords. It was pretty elating to play live – for us. If 100 people showed up (which would have been a huge audience at the time – 20 was more the average), 80 were guaranteed to leave by the second song. Somehow that tension – contempt or indifference from the audience – was nourishing, so we kept going.

Here’s some music I was listening to at the time: Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV, The Stooges, Brian Eno, Teenage Jesus And The Jerks, DNA, The Contortions, Glenn Branca, Black Flag, early Pink Floyd, This Heat, Kraftwerk, The Germs, Cabaret Voltaire, Can, Public Image LTD., SPK…

 

 

oh doggg

 

I hope the remastering doesn't make it too clean, but I highly doubt Swans would ever do this.

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  • 2 weeks later...

would love to pick this up but i really don't trust young god at this point. my initial copy of to be kind was scratched all over and completely fucked up so they sent me a free replacement which they obviously didn't care to check because it was just as damaged. really disappointing.

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Ah, that sucks man. I'd say this is more the fault of the couriers than the label though? Or was the vinyl scratched over?

Anyway, everytime I see Gira / Swans I can pick up their latest stuff, so when I see them again in november I'll get this and just pick out a neat copy :) I already bought the shirt with this artwork this friday! While on the subject: the Swans gig this weekend was a mindblowing experience, I felt completely serene and relaxed after having my head bashed in for 2 hours (although it wasn't a particularly hard set, and I didn't recognize one single song). People were dancing like idiots or standing like entranced zombies, I was somewhere in the middle.

About this album: I was brought up on Godflesh, and when I discovered Swans I completely neglected the older stuff like Filth. Everyone was always rambling about how Godflesh was inspired by Swans, but I didn't hear it... Only a year ago did I hear Filth and it all made sense. I lost some respect for Godflesh while Swans gained some.

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  • 7 months later...
  • 5 weeks later...

Opted for the 3xCD set in the end.

Had never heard Filth before, so after my first play through I can safely say it sounds like a Swans album from 30 years ago.

 

Brilliant! The tracks are shorter but the dirt is all there. Weird hearing Gira's voice being quite youthful but screamy.

 

The other discs are some EPs from the same era, plus demos and and there is a live recording too.

 

They do like their limited editions and plush packaging, I'll give them that.

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