Chris & Cosey is the partnership of Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti. The duo was formed in 1975 but prior to this they had both been very extremely busy. Chris had been working within various multi-media events during the late sixties which included providing the lighting set ups for many bands in the London area since this was where Chris was based. During this period he was continually adding to his own personal set of electronic sound equipment. He had decided that since the commercially available instruments of the time did not allow him to do what he wanted to do musically, he would build his own synthesisers and effects units. Doing this enabled him to compose the music he really wanted to create.
Cosey, on the other hand, originally worked with what has been described as experimental theatre. She moved on from this dubious sounding title to become a performance artist in her own right and even went on to represent Great Britain as part of large exhibitions abroad. In doing this she was able to prove to people that you didn't need an Art College Diploma to be taken seriously. Cosey has never attended any art college during her whole career as she believes that such places can stifle creativity rather than give it the freedom to let originality flow. At this time she introduced music into her work and through this she was able to meet Chris. Music was to become the language of her performances because music is a universal language and can be interpreted much easier than any single spoken language can. It was a perfect complement to her visual performance.
The year was now 1975 and both of them went on to form Throbbing Gristle (who will hopefully be covered separately in a later issue of CyberNoise). Throbbing Gristle helped create the term "industrial music" and they went on to increase its profile around the globe. Chris' knowledge and skills at designing and building instruments was a vital ingredient in the existence of Throbbing Gristle. Most of Throbbing Gristle's material is now being reissued by The Grey Area of the Mute Records label in Britain and during the last couple of months the label has released a four CD box set of live material (see the Muted Evidence section for more details of this release). When Throbbing gristle split up Chris and Cosey joined forces while Genesis P. Orridge and Peter Christopherson when on to form Psychic TV.
In 1980 Chris Carter released a solo album titled "The Space Between". The original ninety minute version was released on cassette by the Industrial label. Since then it has been reissued in a slightly shorter, remastered version by The Grey Area.
Chris And Cosey's first album together was Heartbeat originally released on Rough Trade in November 1981. Since then they have released many albums and singles which are fully detailed in our comprehensive discography following this short article. The discography includes solo material and many foreign releases. It also includes the collaborative work under the title of CTI (Creative Technology Institute). Differences in releases, mixes and recordings have also been picked out for your convenience. Their full history of releases has been included here and many thanks must go to Chris and Cosey for the help they gave me in compiling it.
Each release by Chris And Cosey has been something different. Their work consists of no preset formula as each new album is a separate entity in itself although electronics always play an integral part of the creative process. Since they have their own studio in Norfolk (Studio 47) it allows them the time and unpressurised atmosphere that they need to create each new masterpiece. You can find more details on the studio setup in the official Chris & Cosey bulletin.
They have dealt with many subjects on their recordings, some of which could be considered as taboo. But they have never tried to sensationalise the issues they present. They try to deal with realities and not the false face of humanity which is presented so eagerly by governments and corporations of this modern day world.
Chris and Cosey have every right to be pleased with the results of their work so far. It isn't light but it is laden with atmospheres. Their knowledge of the science of sound through years of research and experimentation has lead to a real awareness of sound and its ability to control moods, create responses and trigger emotions, both physical and mental. All this adds another, deeper dimension to their music and gives them the possibilities to create hidden depths and atmospheres to the overall feeling of the tracks. They have even used sounds subliminally for this very purpose, which is one of the few positive uses of this technique.
Chris and Cosey have always been involved with video, film and photography as they believe this is just as an important part of their ideas as the music is. They did create two videos in the eighties but they are no longer available to be purchased by the public. I have to admit that this biography has been fairly short but the fully detailed discography following this text speaks for itself. Chris & Cosey can be contacted via the address given in the directory and from this contact you may obtain a more detailed analysis of their history along with more substantial notes on their career, their recordings and the use of sound. Enjoy
(Many thanks to Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti for their help in compiling the information presented here. Thanks also to Joe Banks for the use of relevant C&C Macintosh graphics.)