Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

December Drudion 007

December 2007ce

Gateway to The Devil’s Arse, a cavern in England’s Peak District (photo: J. Cope)
Hey Drudion,

I’m glad that ex-Smiths singer Morrissey has caused controversy this month with his outspoken views on immigration, but I don’t agree with him. Indeed, I’m only glad he’s made these half-baked negative comments because it will force awake many head-in-the-sand liberal types (Morrissey fans ostensibly) for whom any mention of words such as ‘foreigner’ and ‘immigration’ immediately has them screaming “Racist!” But while it’s surely the duty of all Western artists of Morrissey’s stature to court controversy from time to time, even if it’s merely to jerk people out of their Spice Girls Reunion/Peter’n’Jordan stasis, the ex-Smiths singer would do well to remember that, however much he claims to love England, the evidence is clear that he loves this country only enough to have emigrated. And like many ex-pats, he wants us poor saps to become guardians of his imaginary ‘60s Carry On England while he’s off abroad being a foreigner. In the same interview, Morrissey complained that in London: “You’ll hear every accent under the sun apart from the British accent.” Well, when he’s back home in LA, aren’t locals complaining about his foreign accent every time he pops into the corner deli? Morrissey’s parents were Irish immigrants with Irish accents, a fact that he celebrated on the album IRISH BLOOD, ENGLISH HEART. But, like many immigrants who wish to lock the gates AFTER they themselves have been let into the country of their choice, Morrissey argues that: “It’s different now… because the gates are flooded.” Wow, has Morrissey the ex-pat been keeping a detailed ‘Immigrants Tally’ from his mansion in the Hollywood Hills? I think not. Besides, Britain’s open-house immigration policy goes way back to the 19th century, and such a superficial impediment as having a foreign accent has never been considered a hindrance. Moreover, since the Jewish tin traders who gave their name to Cornwall’s Marazion (Market Jew) over 3,000 years ago, and the highly paid Persian Elite troops who manned Hadrian’s Wall on behalf of the Roman Empire, the bloodline of these British Isles has been continuously informed by so-called foreigners. Now is hardly the time to start keeping people out of our country just because we’re scared of local accents disappearing off the streets. Now that WOULD be racist. However, what this country should not be ‘flooded with’ is migrants whose home countries display attitudes that are totally at odds with our open-minded British ways. So we should most certainly restrict entry to those from countries rife with misogyny, racism, homophobia, lawlessness and anti-Semitism, or take the risk that their closed-mindedness might well pervert the attitudes of those duller, less enlightened types among our own people. Surely, it is only common sense that our authorities should have the power to insist that all potential new ‘Britons’ accept our cultural metaphor BEFORE they even move here, rather than them expecting us to accept their oft Medieval attitudes, attitudes which we in Britain have fought for centuries to destroy. Surely THAT is the most sensible and democratic manner in which to do deal with immigration.

BYENS LYS 061217 by Pewt’r Jjjjj

EAR BLINK by Magnetize

MUZIEK VOOR LEVEN EN DOOD by Hero Wouters

SHADOWS OF THE SUN by Ulver

CEASE TO EXIST by Among The Missing

PEGER by Barbara

Okay, let’s quit being a bunch of Old Cunts yearning for some imaginary Back-in-the-Day and, instead, discuss how fucking rock Today is! First off, this month, I gots to wax extremely lyrical about BYENS LYS 061217, the wonderfuelled debut album by Denmark’s Pewt’r Jjjjj. This magnificent quintet is a kind of underground supergroup comprised of 3/4 of Causa Sui (see Drudion July 007 for review of their LP FREE RIDE), aided and abetted by guitarist Jørgen Teller and Sunburned Hand of the Man’s Ron Schneidermann. Fuck me, this is the absolute ult in amphetamine power drives, an album of sheer exhilarating post-Krautrock, post-psychedelic, hell, brothers’n’sisters, post-everything. Imagine Ash Ra Tempel’s ‘Flowers Must Die’ (without the vocals of John. L.) or perhaps seite 4 of Amon Duul 2’s YETI and yooz somewhat approaching these guys’ pleasure zones. But even those hefty comparisons is doing these gentlemen dudes a disservice because this music really don’t sound like nothing else I’ve be-hear-oled in many a long year. Available on the There Is No Trouble In Denmark record label (www.thereisnotroubleindenmark.dk), I’ve yet to find a website for these wailing druids, but then again – knowing Ron Schneidermann’s itinerant modus operandi – they most probably all got together just for the duration of the show. Wonderful stuff and absolutely free fucking rock! Okay, next I now gotta hip y’all to the latest ‘all-new’ blueprint from the underworld, in the form of Magnetize’s major debut EAR BLINK. I claim a new blueprint for this record because it’s constructed in such a psychically-useful manner; this disc takes the form of a sonic sea-going Trojan horse, as though its extraordinarily slow-building (and brain-sluicing) tapes’n’guitar work were drifting sentiently but inexorably towards relaxed and complacent listeners, all of whom trustingly sit back at peace only for 200 sonic warriors to burst suddenly and deafeningly out of the music’s underbelly. Like To Blacken The Pages from my Drudion a coupla months back, Magnetize is another Irish one-piece on County Meath’s excellent Trensmat Records (www.trensmat.com), and should be treated with respect and caution. For all you real Old Timer Krautrock fans, the one totally essential purchase this month must surely be MUSIEK VOOR LEVEN EN DOOD by electronics nut and composer of umpteen movie soundtracks Hero Wouters. Now almost sixty years old and operating out of Amsterdam, Wouters’ sound – to these ears at least – is a wildly rich hybrid of late Can at their most Weimar Republic meets Asmus Tietchens’ classic 1982 LP SPAT-EUROPA via the soundtrack to A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. That means its chock full of electronic oompah, mucho ‘Metropolis’-style big Moog melodies, and a truly Cluster-style devotion to over-recorded remedial melodies played like they were emanating out of the back of an ERASERHEAD screening at an HO gauge cinema. Available on the Dutch label Enfant Records (www.enfant-terrible.nl), this obsessive motherfucker is absolutely full of mystery, novelty and otherworldly zombie beats. Yowzah! Oh, and it’s also available on limited 12” clear vinyl! Ja , mein hairies! We next move on to Ulver’s latest spectacular opus SHADOWS OF THE SUN, another awe inspiring and cinematic release on Jester Records (www.jester-records.com) from these former black metallers ‘gone clean’. No, that’s far too easy a description of Ulver, kiddies. For SHADOWS OF THE SUN trudges through that same bizarre hinterland of desperate hope and heart-breaking intensity that we experience on side one of the Walker Brothers’ final LP NITE FLIGHTS, on Franco Battiato’s Stockhausen-inspired CLIC and even on side two of the more anaesthetized moments of David Bowie’s LOW album. It’s as though Ulver are cataloguing the death of our culture two decades before anyone else has noticed its inevitable demise. Back in old Blighty, London’s Among the Missing are back from a hiatus with their superb new album CEASE TO EXIST, albeit without their original singer (whom they apparently sacked for drunkenness) but with a whole new ruck of sociopaths taking it out on the microphone. This album is definitely a ‘game of two halves’, as side one comes on like a who’s who of Orwellian 2-minute-hate thrash riffs with Allah on lead vocals. Yup kiddies, THAT angry! And while side two ain’t no jaunty stroll down the boulevard neither, it’s still wonderfuel to hear Among the Missing inhabiting a kind of Melvins/early Alice Cooper/Sabbath territory, as the songs stretch way out to the 7-10-minute mark. Released on Withered Hand Records (www.witheredhandrecords.com), this is a fucking superb riff fest. Oh yeah, and do remember to check out their website at www.amongismissing.com [sic]. I’ll conclude this month’s round up with some more Israeli bone-rattling sludge-trudge courtesy of bass’n’drums duo Barbara, whose cathartic yawp unites the satanic fire-starting of Filippino black metal with the grudgeful cunted No Wave of prime time Liquorball via Crass’ despairing ‘Anti-Mother’. Sequenced as though it had been played in one single and desperate medley, Barbara’s spectacular album PEGER is released on the Tel Aviv label Heart & Crossbone (www.hbcrecords.com), and is a must for those in search of sheer end-of-the-year nothinglessness. Magnificent.

Before I sod off, I’ll wish y’all a very merry X-Mass (and hails to all of you who intend to come to Exmoor’s ATP festival next weekend). This year has come to an end far quicker than I imagined, what with the JAPROCKSAMPLER having already gone into its second edition, and my new album already well on the way to being recorded. And as I shall next speak to you all in early ‘008, do have a Happy New Year!

Love Right At Ya!

JULIAN (Lord Yatesbury)