In 1980, Throbbing Gristle members Genesis P-Orridge and Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson travelled to New York City to meet up at the fortified apartment, known as The Bunker, of famed beat writer and cultural pioneer William S. Burroughs and his friend, business manager (and eventual executor) James Grauerholz. Genesis and Sleazy started the daunting task of compiling the experimental sound works of Burroughs, which until then had not been widely heard.
During those visits, Burroughs would play back his tape recorder experiments featuring his spoken word “cut-ups”, collaged field recordings from his travels and his flirtations with EVP recording techniques, pioneered by Latvian intellectual Konstantins Raudive. Over the following year, P-Orridge, Christopherson and Grauerholz spent countless hours compiling various edits, each collection showcasing Burroughs’ sensitive ear and experimental prowess for audio anomaly within technical limitations. In early 1981, Burroughs had relocated to Lawrence, KS to escape the violence and manias of New York City life. There, P-Orridge and Christopherson put the finishing touches on the record that would be known as Nothing Here Now but the Recordings.
Released in spring 1981, the album would end up as the final release on Industrial Records, brought about by the dissolution of Throbbing Gristle. It was quietly out of print until 1998, when John Giorno and the Giorno Poetry Systems included the album in a retrospective CD box set compiling the majority of Burroughs’s seminal recordings. In 2015, Dais Records worked closely with the Estate of William S. Burroughs to finally re-release, for the first time in 36 years, a proper vinyl reissue of William S. Burroughs Nothing Here Now but the Recordings to celebrate the 100th* birthday of William S. Burroughs. For the 2023 edition, Dais has remastered the audio with renowned engineer Josh Bonati, and restored the original artwork with a new dedication to Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and Peter Christopherson.
* Burroughs was born on February 5, 2014, so technically the 2015 re-release celebrated his 101st birthday.
1 “Captain Clark Welcomes You Aboard”
2 “The Saints Go Marching Through All The Popular Tunes”
3 “Summer Will”
4 “Outside The Pier Prowed Like Electric Turtles”
5 “The Total Taste Is Here” – News Cut-Up
6 Choral Section, Backwards
7 “We See The Future Through The Binoculars Of The People”
8 “Just Checking Your Summer Recordings”
9 Creepy Letter – Cut-Up At The Beat Hotel In Paris
10 Inching – “Is This Machine Recording?”
11 “Handkerchief Masks” – News Cut-Up
12 “Word Falling – Photo Falling”
13 Throat Microphone Experiment
14 “It’s About Time To Identify Oven Area”
15 Last Words Of Hassan Sabbah