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Foetus

Real Name:James George Thirlwell
Profile:

Foetus is a main solo project and 'one-man band' of Australian polystylistic composer, multi-instrumentalist, experimental sound artist and producer J.G. Thirlwell. Jim Thirlwell conceived the basic Foetus concept when he relocated to London in 1978. He composed everything and recorded all instruments himself, handling the entire production, even drawing illustrations and designing artworks, but for each album, he would invent a new 'band' with a word 'foetus' in a deliberately profane/offensive name. The debut single, Foetus - Spite Your Face / OKFM 7", was released in 1981 through Thirlwell's own label Self Immolation. Soon after, Thirlwell adopted a next moniker You've Got Foetus On Your Breath, and produced a debut and sophomore full-length albums Deaf and Ache in 1981-82.

In 1984, Thirlwell permanently relocated to New York City, and ever since he had been closely associated with a 'local' (and internationally renowned) avant/industrial/fringe/free improv underground NYC scene. The next two albums, Hole (1984) and Nail '85, were again arranged, performed and produced solely by J.G. Thirlwell, and released under Scraping Foetus Off the Wheel alias. The concept was again re-invented as Foetus Interruptus three years later, for the fifth album Thaw in 1988. All known Foetus aliases and name variations were presented on Foetus - Sink compilation in 1989, a collection of rare b-sides and unreleased tracks.

During the eighties, Foetus was almost exclusively a solo project for Thirlwell (occasionally credited as Clint Ruin) in the studio, but live he was supported by a group of musicians from industrial/experimental bands and projects like Swans, Prong and Pig. They would appear as simply 'Foetus' (in the later years) or yet another Foetus side-project/deviation, such as Foetus Corruptus (captured live in 1988 somewhere in Europe on the 'official bootleg' Rife). In November 1990, an extended configuration of the band, Foetus In Excelsis Corruptus Deluxe, played a concert at the Manhattan's legendary CBGB, which is documented on Male 2xCD, the project's second official live album, released by Big Cat in 1992.

In 1995, Foetus presented their best-known album and the only record produced by a major label, Gash. It was distributed internationally, and released via Columbia in USA & Canada, Rough Trade in Germany, Big Cat in the United Kingdom, and Sony Music Records in Australia and Japan. 'Gash' was the first studio work by Foetus prominently featuring other musicians beside Thirlwell: drummer Vinnie Signorelli, who already played with Foetus live on many occasions, as well as Tod Ashley (bass), Marc Ribot (guitar), and Steven Bernstein (trumpet). The band's third live album Boil was recorded during Rednecropolis 96 tour in Europe, featuring Brian Emrich on bass, William Tucker and Kurt Wolf on guitars, Rob Sutton with keyboards & guitar, and Jim Kimball on drums.

Foetus returned five years later with a new studio album Flow, released by Thirsty Ear (USA) and Nois-O-Lution (Germany) in May 2001. This record marked the transition back to solo Foetus, with all instruments and production by J.G. Thirlwell. It was paired with Blow remix album, featuring Amon Tobin, Pan Sonic, Kid606, DJ Food, Panacea and several others. On subsequent albums, Jim Thirlwell is responsible for all instruments and vocals, though every album features at least 3-4 tracks recorded with collaborators and guest musicians.

A few conceptual themes in Foetus discography include album titles, which are all four-letter monosyllables, and gradual introduction of color in cover artwork: the first three albums only used black, white and red, with the addition of yellow on 'Nail,' and finally full-color artworks were introduced since 'Gash.' Foetus adopted a new visual identity and style in 2004, reverting to black-white-red gamma.

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Extended live configurations:

Foetus Corruptus
J.G. Thirlwell as Clint Ruin – vocals
Algis A. Kizys – bass
Norman Westberg – guitar
Ted Parsons – drums
Ray Scaballero (Raymond Watts) – keyboards, guitar

Foetus In Excelsis Corruptus Deluxe
Clint Ruin – vocals
Algis Kizys – bass
Norman Westberg – guitar
David Ouimet – trombone, sampler
Hahn Rowe – violin, guitar
Vinnie Signorelli – drums

The Foetus Symphony Orchestra
A one-off project, supergroup which played live once at Anchorage, Brooklyn in July 1996, featuring Thirlwell plus seven members of Swans, Unsane, Cop Shoot Cop, Pussy Galore (2), Boss Hog, Lounge Lizards and Elysian Fields. The performance is documented on York (First Exit To Brooklyn) album, released in 1997.

J.G. Thirlwell – vocals, percussion, tin whistle, conch
Brian Emrich – bass, bass synthesizer, guitar /w E-bow
Steven Bernstein – trumpet, slide trumpet
Oren Bloedow – guitar, electric oud
Marcus Rojas – tuba, didgeridoo
Lydia Lunch – narrator
David Ouimet – trombone
Vinnie Signorelli – drums
Kurt Wolf – guitar

Sites:foetus.org , Bandcamp , MySpace , Wikipedia
Aliases:Bubba Kowalski, Clint Ruin, Frank Want, J.G. Thirlwell, Karl Satan And The Transvestites From Hell, Manorexia, Phillip Toss, Steroid Maximus, The Immaculate Consumptive, Xordox
Variations:
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