Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

September Drudion

September 2008ce

The Archdrude’s new rock’n’roll band now features former Døgntank drummer Antronhy Øh (pictured right)
Hey Drudion,

What a weird summer this has been and how quickly the world order is changing. While Team GB scored more medals than at any time in the past hundred years, the US media felt obliged to hoodwink their fellow Americans into believing that their Olympic heroes had not been humiliatingly outclassed by the Chinese. How was this achieved? By changing the rules, of course. With China scoring 51 gold medals to the USA’s paltry 36, the American media simply invented a brand new rule: rank by total medal count … and who wins in this new world order? Why, America of course, by 110 to China’s paltry 100! Awe, you really thought those Commies could beat the land of the free? Boy, are those Communists natural born rule breakers. Bad old Russia even risked being kicked out of the Eurovision Song Contest (or something like that) for protecting its own backyard by going into sweet little lawless old Georgia, birthplace of the West’s favourite uncle, Joseph Stalin. Western politicians were suitably outraged, of course, despite the fact that the United States protects its own backyard 100 times more fiercely that Boot-In & Co would ever dare. And precisely where is America’s backyard? Why, it's the whole of the rest of the world, natch. Indeed, my mind is so aglow with cynical thoughts that I’d better fuck off now, before I make any inappropriate comments about … well, you know … the Greedheads, homophobia, misogyny, the failures of multi-culturalism, organized religion, car culture, climate change…

MOSS & MEMORY COLLECTION by Ruhr Hunter

Okay, okay, so instead now it’s time to blast your synapses wide open with this month’s reviews. And first off, I’m gonna lay waste to y’all with a few words about the wonderful MOSS & MEMORY COLLECTION, a dark fölk sojourn through the Underworld by the American ensemble Ruhr Hunter. Released on the same Glass Throat Recordings (www.glassthroatrecords.com) that last year brought us the superlative Alethes album, MOSS & MEMORY COLLECTION is a vast internal journey, a spooky psychic marathon tramp through ancient woodlands and misty rivers’ edges. Comprised of six hugely mysterious ‘rituals’ (titles such as ‘Antlers in the Fog, to Will the Spirit in Transit’, ‘Woodlore Communion’, ‘An Owl’s Gift’, etc., attest to the record’s hoary and rural timelessness), this is a perfect record for even the tensest urbanite to while away the pre-dawn hours. Indeed, this past month I’ve already fallen asleep countless times with this record on rotation only to re-awaken at 4am and find myself held under consciousness by its pre-Dawn Chorus musings.

THE NEBULOUS DREAMS by Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat

Those of you dragged awake by such cello and viola drones and dark fölk musings will hopefully dig THE NEBULOUS DREAMS, an epic (but too brief) album by a Belgian sextet fabulously known as Kiss the Anus of a Black Cat. Released on Conspiracy Records (www.conspiracyrecords.com), and led by singer/keyboardist Stef Irritant, this ensemble has conjured up such a superb union of pagan discord and highly catchy repetitious choruses that each song enslaves listeners’ brains and pummels their subconscious minds. Imagine Marc Almond singing Van Der Graaf Generator’s ‘Killer’ over a churning base of Sweden’s Terry Rileyesque Parson Sound and you’ll be approaching the pleasure centres of this extraordinary group. Grab your copy from Conspiracy Records or interface directly via www.myspace.com/kisstheanusofablackcat.

ACOUSTIKA E.P. by Acoustika

Also treading a similar dark fölk territory is the Nottingham singer/poet Acoustika, whose CD debut is currently available on our own Fuck Off & Di label. This five-song release opens with the truly heroic epic ballad ‘Bespoke Love Song’, a desperate and moving affair which sounds like some rural Kurdt Cobain declaiming hoarsely from the end of his tether, and backed by that same cavernous orchestra that Scott Walker employed on SCOTT 2. Elsewhere, however, Acoustika’s highly melancholic groove is mainly a lonely acoustic guitar-driven one, and my personal favourite is the deep emptiness of the lost-in-space ballad ‘Am I Not Yours?’ This EP is too much of a limited edition to be available via Head Heritage, so score your own copy directly from the artist himself at adyfletcher@hotmail.com.

BACK TO MINUS by TL0741

For a total change of scene, get yourself a guaranteed back door route into the Underworld by employing the services of TL0741, a one-piece anti-rave run by the American noisenik Pat Gillis, who describes this music as ‘crusty hypnotic effluent sonic anxieties’. Yowzah! Now, although I receive hefty amounts of purely atonal cosmick explorations through the post, much of it is neither useful nor even interesting. So it was to my utter delight that this amazing BACK TO MINUS debut album has demanded heavy rotation for the past three weeks, colouring my meditations, illustrating some of my deepest dream patterns, and generally munging up the entire neighbourhood. Score your copy by visiting TL0741 at www.myspace/tl0741.

CHOTOCABRA by Moho

For those of you jonesing on a lack of disorientating and munted old time Viking metal in the early Ramesses WE WILL LEAD YOU TO GLORIOUS TIMES tradition, check out CHOTOCABRA by Spain’s incredible Moho. Released on the Costa Del Sol’s excellent Alone Records (www.alonerecs.com), this bunch of cloven hoofed sonic invaders may have half-inched at least half of their riff arsenal, but they do it all with such thoroughness (not to mention such seven league hobnail boots) that they kick over all traces of their inspiration, leaving the listener breathless and bowed by such an indomitable sound. Grab your own copy from the above record company or via Beat Generation (www.munster-records.com).

EMOTION/REPETITION by Connie Capri Organ Chamber Orchestra

Vinyl of the Month award must certainly go to EMOTION/REPETITION by the Connie Capri Organ Chamber Orchestra, whose jungle drums and banks of fizzing red and black Vox and Elka organs put me in mind of something off MEDITATIVE MUSIC FOR DECOMPOSED ORGAN by Russia’s Mikhail Chekalin, or perhaps John Cale & Terry Riley’s 12-minute piano duel ‘Ides of March’ as covered by Klaus Schultze on his epic ELEKTRONIC IMPRESSIONEN LP. Like me, those of you with a dislike of pastiche-y overly retro album art should simply look away and open your ears to the music itself. For this limited edition 12” contains eight truly minging drum’n’drones that really deserve a place in the record library of most 21st Century Inner Space Cadets. Cop this 300 copies-only motherlode from www.wallacerecords.com and soon, motherfuckers!

LOVE STORY Love Documentary

Finally, I must heft a whole ton of praise on LOVE STORY, the brand new documentary about Arthur Lee’s ultra-mysterious LA band Love. What blew my mind most of all was just how much I did not know about a band I’ve been listening to constantly since 1978! Without the subtlety of Arthur Lee’s FOREVER CHANGES having informed my early Liverpool songwriting, there’s a good chance that my post-punk explorations would have continued down a far more purely lysergic Jim Morrison/Roky Erikson route, entirely scuppering the Teardrop Explodes’ unique twin trumpet experiments. Yet, time and time again throughout this documentary, huge tracts of info surfaced of which I’d had no clue. A few negative commentators have bitched that the film peters out after the story of FOREVER CHANGES, but all I can say in the film’s defence is “No Shit Sherlock!” The ‘Heavy Hairy’ Love line-up that followed FOREVER CHANGES’ classic ensemble of Messrs. McLean, Echols, Stuart, Forssi and Pfisterer never stood a chance because poor Arthurly was burned out. Even as an apologist for 1969’s bombastic FOUR SAIL; even as a huge fan of the 1970 proto-metal burn up of OUT HERE’s ‘Love is More Than Words (or Better Late Than Never)’, I’d be guilty of an intellectual drywank if I didn’t admit such works were psychic peons in comparison to ‘the masterpiece’. During the documentary (and filmed just weeks before he died), an immaculately charming Arthurly guides us through Love’s most cherished haunts, even giving a guided tour of the legendary ‘Castle’ where the band lived and played host to the outside world’s rock royalty. Only close to the end of the film does Lee admit that his refusal to take the original Love line-up outside California was brought on by fear of failure. One final mystery remains, however. In spite of Snoopy Pfisterer’s fairly large (and charmingly unhinged) contribution to the band members’ interviews, one big question still remains unanswered by LOVE STORY. Throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, it was a common Love legend that Snoopy (whom the rest of the band considered too unhip to grace their ranks) had remained in the band only because he was Arthur’s lover. Snoopy alludes to this being the case in the documentary, but it is never picked up on by the interviewer. To me this seems a shame, for Love’s mixed race personnel was so very ahead of its time (beating even the Chambers Brothers) that verifying the existence of their homosexual mixed race relationship would really have nailed how fucking truly idealistic were those brief months of 1966-67. Still, this is a totally minor quibble and y’all gots to see this essential DVD. For more information, please check out www.myspace.com/lovestorydocumentary.

And with that, I shall cut out for another month. And though I hope to see some of you at the forthcoming Liverpool show on September 12th, I wish all of you a healthy autumn with the added possibilities of a riotous Indian Summer sneaking in there somewhere!

Mucho love (und Macho Hugs)

JULIAN (Lord Yatesbury)