Chris & Cosey, one half of Throbbing Gristle, released their first two albums as CTI (Creative Technology Institute) in 1984: Elemental 7 and European Rendezvous. Each was accompanied by a long-form video release on Cabaret Voltaire’s Doublevision label.
There’s a certain hypnotic effect that can only be produced by this combination of Carter/Tutti synths, color saturation, and old-fashioned video mixing, and I’m a sucker for it. That’s not to say these videos look real fancy. The liner notes on the back cover of the Elemental 7 VHS offered this budgetary disclosure and statement of intent:
Each piece from this video is a story in itself, each saying something different. The music was recorded specifically with each piece in mind, the visuals came first. It is not a ‘pop promo’ video. The visuals were shot entirely on domestic VHS equipment, including 90% of the special effects. It was then transferred to Umatic for editing and post production. This video did not cost a fortune to make, just £500. Video production is within anyone’s reach, the only limit being your imagination.
ELEMENTAL 7 was shot in 1982 and not edited to its final form until September 1983. The soundtracks were recorded at Studio 47 in 1982 and completed for release in September 1983.
Though it complements their first live album, the European Rendezvous video doesn’t include any footage of the shows. The back cover of the record explains:
An extended version of this L.P. is available on video showing John Lacey‘s projections that accompanied each CTI gig.
European Rendezvous is my favorite of the two. While both videos are heavy on images of natural beauty, the contributions of former COUM Transmissions member Lacey, all masks and talismans, make the landscapes look eerie. Turn off the lights and stare at these awhile.
CTI European Rendezvous
CTI Elemental 7