Turbine Industries History

In general...

Turbine Industries has dealt in "difficult" music since 1987. "Difficult" in my definition could mean just about anything from harsh noise to ambient scum to cut-up collages. But most of all, it's music that is "difficult" to describe.

1987--A noisy time...

Turbine Industries was founded in 1987 as Turbine Cassettes, producing limited-edition, specially packaged cassettes of "difficult" music. The label's one and only artist was Anal Sadist plus two collaboration projects called Pavement Saw and Codpiece, respectively. (N.B.: The name "Anal Sadist" comes from an ex-manager of mine who when I described my love of playing chess said that he thought that chess was the highest form of "anal sadism" possible.)

Also around this time, The Minister and Lucifer Sam (Wm. Christman and Leslie Scurry in real life) started a noise music radio show at a local college station (KFJC, Los Altos Hills at Foothill College) called "The Hellfire Club". The radio show featured performance (our own and our guests') as well as recorded material. The show lasted 5 years and featured many local, national and international noise artists including The Haters, Allegory Chapel, Phauss, Master/ Slave Relationship, Big City Orchestra, Zeni Geva and K.K. Null, The Pain Teens, Boyd Rice, Monte Cazazza and many more.

The first three Turbine releases consisted of two C-30 minute cassettes (one from Anal Sadist and one from Pavement Saw) and a compilation called "An Extremely Good Thing" featuring international noise artists The Haters, Allegory Chapel, AMK/gx as well as Pavement Saw and Anal Sadist. The two C-30 cassettes were plainly packaged while the compilation was a 90 minute cassette, info sheet and bag of black tea sealed in a Plexiglas container. The compilation's theme was entropy and indeed you had to actually break the Plexiglas container to get to the cassette. (Ah, the wonders of Plexiglas cement...)


1989 to 1991--the Japanese connection...

After a 9 month period of inactivity, Turbine Cassettes released it's first licensed product from Arizona noise artist Jeph Jerman's project called HandsTo. Two cassettes, which had been out of print for several years, were released: Decesh and Maesh. A third cassette from Jeph's current project, Blowhole, was also released. Blowhole has gone on to produce several CDs and has gained quite a following in experimental music circles. Blowhole is now based in Seattle.

In mid-1989, Turbine Cassettes had gained a small following among noise music enthusiasts in Japan. A relationship with Vis A Vis Audio Arts founder Juntaro Yamanouchi from the Japanese noise band The Gerogerigegege (say: garo-gary-geh-geh-geh) was formed and products were exchanged. All back-catalog Turbine Cassettes material was distributed in Japan by Vis A Vis Audio Arts.

In exchange, Turbine Cassettes became the exclusive distributor (in the US) of Vis A Vis Audio Arts CDs and albums. Three CDs from the Gerogerigegege (Tokyo Anal Dynamite, Senzuri Power Up, Live Greatest Hits) and one album each from Italy's The Mauthausen Orchestra and England's noise pioneers Ramleh.

A trip to Japan in the summer of 1991 cemented the relationship between Vis A Vis Audio Arts and Turbine Cassettes. A fallout of this meeting was a three hour studio session of collaboration with A. Sadist, The Gerogerigegege and The Nihilist Surfin' Band. Unfortunately, the tapes of this session were lost. During this trip, many other relationships with Japanese noise and performance artists were established which would have direct impact on Turbine and Anal Sadist. Most notably, the contact with performance artist and dancer, Shelley Hollingsworth.


1992 to 1993--Broken promises and the downfall...

The beginning of 1992, the relationship between Turbine and Vis A Vis was abruptly terminated as fast as it was forged.

Then, the first half of 1993 spelled disaster for Turbine Cassettes. Turbine Cassettes never made enough money to be substitute for a full-time job and I was made redundant (laid off) in my regular job. Turbine Cassettes activity went into hibernation until December of that year. The extra free time allowed Anal Sadist to produce a new cassette called Chaw/Shotgun Head. Turbine also obsoleted all of it's back catalog except the "An Extremely Good Thing" compilation.


1994 to 1995--Changing names...

At the end of 1994, Turbine Cassettes changed its name to Turbine Industries with the release of its very first vinyl release--a 7" single 14-track live performance by The Gerogerigegege.

1995 was a slow time for Turbine. Switching day jobs and the increased responsibility that came with it has caused yet another slowdown in productions. In August of 1995, Turbine re-assessed the label's musical direction. Plans were put into motion for the beginning of 1996.
Also, a company called Turbine Games then finally offered enough to buy the "www.turbine.com" domain name and that led to a spiraling lack of interest...

1996 to 1997--More false starts and projects...then massive stagnation...

In 1996, Turbine attempted to branch out with a new mail order operation called Super Strong Machine mailorder. But other priorities took precedent. Again. This was due to a general malaise and a hectic work situation. Toward the end of 1997, efforts were made to bring Turbine products to the world but it was not to be.

Late 1997 to 2001--fun while it lasted...

Early in 2000, Steve from Subterranean Records notified Turbine that he would not pay for a chunk of Gerogerigegege singles consigned to Subterranean hat had gone missing in their somewhat disorganized warehouse. Turbine was told, in no uncertain terms, that the money would not be sent, perhaps ever. It sucks when you're out $600 and out product you could have sold to someone else. Sigh.

And as the noise scene became increasingly watered down with basement mama's boys Merzbow wannabes and name-dropping, trend-hopping hucksters, my personal interest in Turbine being an outlet for difficult music was waning.

This plus stagnation of difficult music and pressure of real jobs forced the decision to shut down all operations of Turbine for the foreseeable future. All this meant was that Turbine would only be carrying Turbine label artists. At the begnning of 2001, a massive purge of existing inventory was staged to moderate success...if you call selling items below cost and losing money success. Bah.

2001 to 2009--dusty, moldy, and I could care less...

8 years. 8 fucking years. Lots of water under the bridge. Jobs, relationships, anguish, blah, blah, blah. There were a few live radio show performances done. The Gerogerigegege single was put on eBay but mostly Turbine languished, collecting dust...all but forgotten. Boo fucking hoo.

2010--hooray for Rafał...

Rafał of Impulsy Stetoskopu contacted Turbine to do an Anal Sadist CD release. After a few months of remastering tracks, determining a CD name and general task completion, Anal Sadist finally had a CD release called Ugly, Still. The activity of relistening to and remastering the Anal Sadist tracks for the CD stoked a reinterest in both performing and to revitalizing Turbine Industries. However, it would be nearly 3 years before anything happened.

Late 2014--chance meetings...

Das of Big City Orchestra had been doing a handful of radio shows (in addition to his long-long term Big City Orchestra project) on a pirate radio station out of The Netherlands called DFM. One of his shows is ubRadio (which airs on DFM from 17:00-19:00 on Sundays in the US Pacific timezone). To be succinct, we made contact and Anal Sadist was invited to perform live. On November 16, 2014, Anal Sadist played two 45 minute sets on uBRadio. An archive of that show can be found here.

2015 and beyond--relaunch...

Turbine Industries has returned. Everything has been dusted off and reissues and new material is being prepared. Hit the Back button on your browser to see....


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