Cosey Fanni Tutti - Time To Tell LP


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Label: CTI

Our Review:

Solo recordings from Cosey Fanni Tutti are a rare offering. Her legendary history in British electronic music began in the early '70s through the transgressive collaborations in Coum Transmission that later morphed into Throbbing Gristle. Concurrently, she pursued in intertwined avenues of performance art and collaged photographs, often of her own body from her work as a nude model for numerous porn magazines. After TG's mission was terminated, she continued her own art, but most of the recorded work was manifest through Chris & Cosey, with former TG pillar and longtime partner Chris Carter.

Time To Tell was her first solo outing, originally published as a single-sided cassette in 1982 via the British experimental magazine Flowmotion. Later CD editions featured an additional lengthy bonus track from a 1986 performance called "Ritual Awakening." This edition marks the first time any of this material has been published on vinyl, remastered from the original tapes with the tracks that were featured on those CD editions.

The centerpiece to the album is the titular track that sprawls through her skeletal distillation of progressive electronics into a darkly blissed-out hypnosis of cyclical synth tones and sci-fi echo patterns. She delivers the lyrics in a hushed monotone, presenting a treatise on sexual expression through her own body and experiences in the sex industry. As her words fade into the electronic miasma, cosmic synth melodies and appropriated dialogue samples flash to the foreground of this brilliant track. The other tracks reprise her electronic sequencing amidst vaguely mechanized calm augmented with her spooky guitar work and muted cornet. With parallels to Conrad Schnitzler's Ballet Stratique and a precognition of the "moon musick" period from Coil's sidereal ambience in the late'90s, Time To Tell remains and under recognized masterpiece in the broader context of England's Hidden Reverse.