Best Ov: Time’s Up
Yep, it’s a greatest hits package. But for the first time ever, I will defend the validity of this compilation disk. With Best Ov , Cleopatra has catalogued Psychic TV’s finest moments all on one record, along with hard to find remixes and rarities. The timing couldn’t be better, it’s 1999, we are poised on the brink of apocalypse and Genesis P-Orridge is entering a new artistic renaissance. I assume the title of the album is a riff off the recent “Time’s Up” event homecoming Genesis held in London, which featured performances by Quentin Crisp, ? and the Mysterians, and a Psychic TV regrouping. This album comes on the heels of Genesis’ brilliant collaboration with Merzbow and the promise of more aural disorder.
Best Ov serves as one last long look back to an era of fantastic pop perversion. There’s two different versions of the crucial Brian Jones homage, “Godstar,” and its twisted B-side “Roman P.” Breakthrough hit (I swear) single and Beach Boys cover “Good Vibrations” still shines through with its sugary sickness. Therein lies the key to the beauty of Psychic TV — Genesis and Peter Christopherson turned their back on the extreme noise of Throbbing Gristle and instead composed magickal pop hits that oozed palpable menace. There were even a couple of surprises for me: “Guiltless,” which placed a fresh-from-Soft-Cell Marc Almond against a woozy orchestral backing, and “Suspicous,” as close to Motown/Stax as Psychic TV would ever get. The remainder of the record is taken up by quirky remixes and rare b-sides, none of which tarnish the Psychic TV quality-control reputation.
Though for me, Best Ov was a case of preaching to the converted, it can be an excellent introduction to or a fond reunion with a man who is hitting his creative prime. Again.
Cleopatra Records, 13428 Maxella #251, Marina Del Rey , CA 90292