The Best of Pigface


Martin Atkins is the solid center around which anarchy swirls. From his days as skin-pounder in Public Image Limited to his latest incarnation in The Damage Manual, Atkins has always had his finger on a musical vein that doesn’t so much pulse as it throbs. His greatest outlet has been the collective known as Pigface. Formed around the bedrock of Atkins’ drumming and production, the “group” has seen visits from such luminaries as M. Gira to Black Francis, Trent Reznor to David Yow, not to mention Flea, Chris Vrenna, and Steve Albini.

The music of Pigface combines the best elements of industrial, hard rock and techno into a brew that is best experienced at extreme volume. Built on Atkins’ right foot — which with every kick drum smash is an homage to Zeppelin’s John Bonham (in fact, most every song features the drum pattern from “The Ocean,” as does most of today’s heavy music) — with layer upon layer of samples, guitars and tortured vocals piled atop. This “best of” release, which Atkins calls the idea of “absurd” in the liner notes, is a two-disc package that gathers previously hard to find or lost bits all in one head melting package. Disc one features 13 cuts from the groups previous releases; such greats as “Kiss King,” “Chickasaw,” and “Fuck It Up.” Disc two snags remixes, live tracks, and aural oddities such as an interview with Atkins and radio ID blunders, making it a must have for fans.

Pigface may well not be to everyone’s liking — which is to be expected, given the cast — but they have consistently created a musical experience unlike any other, driving, relentlessly innovative, and dangerous.

Invisible Records: http://www.invisiblerecords.com

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