Swans’ Filth is being reissued

Caitlin Greene

Thirty one years since its debut, and 14 since its last release (not counting 2012’s unofficial bootleg reissue on Neutral Records), Swans’ followup to their self-titled, Filth, is getting a new reissue via frontman Gira’s own label Young God Records. There is currently a two CD pack edition of Filth / Body To Body, Job to Job from 2000 available in very limited quantities (and digitally), so collectors should take note. Gira gives the remastered release the following sendoff:

This is all slabs of sound, rhythm and  screaming/testifying. What more do you need? In a way, it was a reaction against Punk (and just about any other music you can think of), and the conservative notion that 3 chords were somehow necessary. I used to deny it  vehemently at the time, but No Wave (I “hated” that scene too, for some  reason I can’t remember now) played a big role as the germ from which this  music grew, along with The Stooges and Throbbing Gristle, of course. I  wanted Swans to be “heavier” though – I wanted the music to obliterate –  why, I don’t remember! I think it just felt good.  Live, we used two  basses (playing utterly unmusical chords that were stabbed and left to  sustain or sometimes hit in staccato or opposing rhythms), drums, a  “percussionist” that slammed down on a metal table with a metal strap, crude  cassette loops of various sounds/noises (usually some kind of undefined  ROAR), and Norman Westberg’s glorious sustained and screaming guitar chords.  It was pretty elating to play live – for us. If 100 people showed up (which  would have been a huge audience at the time – 20 was more the average), 80  were guaranteed to leave by the second song. Somehow that tension – contempt  or indifference from the audience – was nourishing, so we kept going.

The reissue will be available october 28.

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