Peter 'Sleazy' Christopherson of Throbbing Gristle

British industrial/experimental music pioneer Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson — who co-founded the hugely influential acts Throbbing Gristle and Coil, helped form Psychic TV and worked as a visual artist with famed album-cover design team Hipgnosis — died in his sleep on Wednesday at age 55.

Throbbing Gristle’s Cosey Fanni Tutti and Chris Carter today broke the news on the band’s website: “We are saddened to announce the death of Peter Christopherson. Sleazy passed away peacefully in his sleep on the 24th November 2010 at his home in Bangkok.” On Twitter, Tutti added: “Our dearest beautiful Sleazy left this mortal coil as he slept in peace last night.words cannot express our grief.”

Word spread quickly across Twitter this morning, with Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor revealing, “I awake to sad news. RIP Peter Christopherson — friend and huge inspiration.”

Christopherson’s death comes just a month after the apparent split of Throbbing Gristle following what now will be the band’s final concert in London. Christopherson, Tutti and Carter announced TG would break up “for the time being” because frontman Genesis P-Orridge informed the other members that “he was no longer willing to perform” with them. P-Orridge has since disputed that his bandmates’ account, posting on his own site: “GENESIS BREYER P-ORRIDGE — HAS NOT QUIT TG!”

Christopherson, Tutti and Carter decided to continue on as X-TG, and performed in place of Throbbing Gristle at a pair of European concerts earlier this month; the trio hoped to compose new music: “We hope fans will appreciate and enjoy this new project and the trio is looking forward to performing exciting new and radical electronic musics together.”

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