Psychic TV

City ov Paris

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One of the seemingly endless series of live albums Psychic TV released in the '80s, City ov Paris was recorded right where it says it was, with a six-person lineup of Genesis P-Orridge, his wife Paula, Alex Fergusson, and three others. With a slightly muddy mix to its (dis)credit -- P-Orridge is barely audible when sticking to a low-key speak/sing mode -- it's probably not essential in the end for hyperfans, and certainly isn't the best place for a newcomer, but it's still got many rewarding moments for those willing to give it a try. At its best, the performance reaches the level of careening chaos P-Orridge has so often wanted to make his own, building up to an explosive conclusion with "Soul Eater." "She Touched Me" may have a fairly calm arrangement, but his vocals add in all the extreme nature needed, while the extreme vocal tweaking on "Riot in Thee Eye ov Sky" could easily be used to summon demons if desired. Fergusson gets in some great guitar work towards the end of the album, while the whole band sounds unsurprisingly on-point, given the amount of concerts they were performing regularly at the time. A couple of pieces are little more than products of their time and place -- the opening number, "Thee Degenerate," isn't all that potentially horrifying, though the wolf-howl samples sometimes transcend their cheesy use. The crowd certainly gets into it, however -- "Dark Powers" essentially consists of little more than the band chanting along to some muffled beats, though it sounds like an experience best done on-site, rather than hearing it after the fact. The CD version of the album provides a little bit of extra frustration, as it was mastered as one track straight through.

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