Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

July Drudion 009CE

July 2009ce

Some observers have claimed a Zoroastrian symbolism for this Yatesbury crop circle, just a half-mile south of the Archdrude’s home.
Hey Drudion,

The King of Pop is dead… God damn, Good riddance! And to all of you still with a brain and exasperated by the manner in which Wacko Media Fawning has obliterated all news of Iran and the expenses scandal, please seek solace in the knowledge that George Orwell was – 72 years ago during the Spanish Civil War – similarly berating the shallow ‘30s UK press for allowing the King’s affair with Mrs Simpson to consign photos of Spanish war orphans to the inside pages. Oh yeah, and a very Happy Summer Solstice in these inconsistent times. Following Prince Charles’ admission that his expenses are 25% up on last year (!), G. Brown prioritizes by lining his deep pockets while France’s N. Sarkozy prioritizes by banning the burka! What a fucking contrast, you corpulent lawbending lardarse. France or the UK: a bit difficult to guess which one’s already had the Revolution … NOT! Throughout the Solstice Weekend, Avebury’s massive henge was chock-a-block with face-painted revellers, while 35,000 were reported to have descended on Stonehenge! Looks like some serious drugs was going down, too! Good job we could let off steam with a proper Pagan Festival whilst those fucking under-achieving cynical motherfucking Ego Chumps of the Government From Labour Peer Hell skulked about like things that creep. Typically, the local crop circle makers managed to slip a few epic works our way just in time for the Solstice Festivities, and the one pictured above appeared in Yatesbury Field, in mid-June, just 700 metres south of our house. A news report describing the design as having employed Zoroastrian imagery soon had me dragging my youngest daughter – 15-year-old Avalon – through the crops to get a proper gander. Tell ya what, kiddies, a crop circle full of Japanese tourists and coachloads of blue-rinse biddies ain’t half mysterious when you approach the scene from the ‘back way’; after negotiating our way south through the crop from the virtual silence of our village, we suddenly found ourselves confronted by this bizarre film set-like situation, full of highly excited extras. After the unmitigated Doom & Gloom of the past few months, this experience was a highly appealing and unreal situation. Fuck it, I thunk, even if this extravagant display was just made by W. Country locals with time on their hands, what a beautiful way to drag people into the mysteries of the countryside.

MUDCLAUDE by White Pee

But enough of my yacking, let’s get to this month’s Reviews Section. Readers of my JAPROCKSAMPLER will already know how Hi-Red Centre got around being non-musicians at the height of the swinging ‘60s by instead performing ‘Pop Art’ actions such as cleaning the streets in a Pop Art stylee and throwing their clothes from the flat roofs of high buildings, running down and collecting it all in labelled suitcases and checking it into Tokyo station’s lost luggage dept., thereafter publishing maps of these events in place of the LPs they so desperately wished they coulda recorded. Here in good ole 2009CE, White Pee’s twenty-five minutes of fame appears to be a musical version of that aforementioned Hi-Red Centre event, the four musicians of the ensemble delivering to our doorstep (don’t let these motherfuckers in, fer Chrissakes!) one enormous, nay Titanic slab of both-ends-burning glacial erratic sonic sub-strata that, were it an oven cleaner, would be available only to large professional family businesses with 100% safety records. Hmm, these crazy cats at Apollolaan Records are letting us in on some serious shortcuts and overgrown pathways; catch this wild limited edition piece of Resistance at myspace.com/apollolaan, and keep an eye out for another of their albums later on in this Reviews Section.

LUNES by Headdress

In the meantime, the Texan duo Headdress are back with a second helping of ambient heat haze blues, this time entitled LUNES, and released on Brooklyn’s excellent No Quarter label. Consisting of just organist Ethan Cook and vocalist/axe hero Caleb Coy, Headdress play blues the way a collared dove sings blues, i.e.: it’s in their breathing patterns, as innate as living itself. You know me, kiddies, I fucking hate so-called ‘blues’, but this stuff is a scorched Zoroastrian priest shaking the Iranian dust out of his jerkin after a long dry day’s Inner Flight communing with the Ancestors. Five tracks (‘Seethough’, ‘Tip of the Pyramid’, ‘The Lost White Brother’, ‘EEEEE’, ‘The End’) of fucking burning music. Rather disingenuously, the duo claim the album was ‘written in the desert but recorded in New York’. Yeah right. Call me Bjorn Yesterday. If you play music like this, then it emerges Kundalini-like from the Ur-spring of your soul no matter where you are. Urban or Rural, it’s yer blues and it don’t matter where you barf it up. And when it’s this out there, for shit-damn-sure it’s a singing, ringing, chanting, dying, rebirthing blaze at the world. Be extra good to yourself and cop the limited vinyl edition (w/free download). It’s available simply by pressing: insound.com/Headdress_Lunes_LP/productmain/p/ins58122. Gentlemen, many thanks for such a Titanic piece of shamanship.

SEVER by Jim Haynes

Oh, and speaking of Titans, check out Jim Haynes’ epic unfolding album SEVER, which truly sounds like nothing less than i) Audulmna the Ur-Cow licking Giants out of the Permafrost, ii) an electrical storm on Tal-y-Fan, at the point where the pylons cross the stone circles, or iii) the bath chain attached to the plug in the floor of the Antarctic Ocean has become wrapped around a continent that’s drifting past and the tearing has been speeded up 150,000 times. This is big fucking stuff, kiddies. SEVER, San Franciscan Haynes’ third album, is available on New England’s Intransitive Recordings (intransitiverecordings.com), though Haynes is probably best accessed via helenscarsdale.com/published/haynessever.htm. Always emerging, always becoming, Jim Haynes’ might just be crumbling up bits of crepe paper and kicking his garbage to achieve these results, because you could never guess their sound sources. Better still, SEVER is also deeply fucking useful regarding Inner Travel, and should be approached wearing the right garb and clutching the appropriate medication. And so, despite the lean packaging, this is still one essential purchase.

THE ANTIAPOPATHIA-PHULATOPHOBI-COUSTICAL DAYS by Raxinasky

Even more fucked up is THE ANTIAPOPATHIAPHULATOPHOBICOUSTICAL DAYS by Belgium’s Raxinasky. Hell, what a sound, what a racket, what a motorway pile-up! This is music for people who miss Liquorball’s sound but not the inevitable vinyl crackling that inevitably accompanied it; Raxinasky instead perpetrating an analogue attitude with digital equipment, which has always – to my mind at least – been the only real way to remain fully fully fully true to inner battle between Tradition & Novelty that appears to encapsulate the Western Artist metaphor. I reckon the pill-popping’n’self-topping Raxinasky are unconsciously catering to those who adore Von LMO’s ‘X+Y=0’ as played by late 70s duo-period Red Crayola, or maybe Shockabilly fucked Cephalic Carnage and these were the results. Rather a palette cleanser, I reckon chaps. Catch these Low Cunts at myspace.com/raxinasky or check them out along with all the other (mainly) Israeli lunacy released, nay, escaped from Tel Aviv’s’s always excellent Heart & Crossbone Records (hbcrecords.com).

JAPANESE RED ARMY by Various Artists

Another fucking awesome new Japanese compilation available this month is JAPANESE RED ARMY, featuring six monolithic slabs of freaked out 1970s demonstrations of Japan’s so-called Demokurashi. Brought to us by those same lunatics who brought us BLACK TO COMMUNIST a few months back, JAPANESE RED ARMY features 76 minutes of classic (and weird) experimental music on a sleek single all-red CDR. And what a killer line-up it is! Commencing everso slowly with Far Out’s hugely drawn out electro-acoustic 17-minute ambient doom ballad ‘Too Many People’, the compilation next delivers us Apryl Fool’s swirling Phase Epic ‘The Lost Motherland’ (Oh, that all Psychedelia-by-rote should be this good! Imagine applying the phase overload of the Shy Limbs’ monumental “Reputation” to the Monkees’ ‘The Porpoise Song’), and a smart excerpt from The People’s legendary LP BUDDHA MEETS ROCK. Biggest revelation for me, however, is ‘Samurai Memories’ from solo artist Harumi; nineteen minutes of seemingly perpetual urban groove in the James Brown/COTTONWOODHILL/Hapshash/Kim Fowley mould over which our hero intones, comments and holds cosmic conversations with persons hip & mysterious. Imagine my own RITE NOW-period with a full brass section; orchestra and sound FX dept. Come on! Appropriately enough, JAPANESE RED ARMY officially concludes with two too brief –but-mesmerizing performances from festival legends Zuno Keisatsu AKA Brain Police, here captured at the Bon-odori Runway Protest at Tokyo’s Narita Airport. I say official, because there’s a superb (and uncredited) analogue synthesizer’n’garden piece on the tailout from former Rallizes associate Taisuke Morishita. Fuck yeah! Score this sucker by reaching no further than our own merchandiser.

STAY GOLD by Old Man

Now returning to the Apollolaan Record label, I’ve also been hugely taken with STAY GOLD by Old Man, whose epic bass-led music sometimes conjures up images of prehistoric drovers chasing down herds of wild bison, and invoking memories of the Residents’ ‘Six Things To A Cycle’ percussion ‘event’, elsewhere unleashing discordant bass heavy troublefunk of the mesmerizing Krautian variety. Clad in a handmade sleeve bearing a vinyl-cut fine art print, this Old Man project is the brainchild of Frenchman Charles Eric Charrier, and a rich & highly useful musically Underworld vein he is currently mining. Somewhere in the narrow gap between the tumultuous D. W. Griffithsian grooves of Loop, the metronomic & moronikh pulsings of late Early Faust and the Zeussian antrons of Nadja’s reverb, therein reside Old Man. Fucking eh! Grab your copy from myspace/appollolaan, or access M. Charrier via myspace/charlesoldman.

THE SILVER SKEIN UNWOUND by Stone Breath

Reissue of the Month must surely go to TiMOTHy Renner’s latest Stone Breath Deluxe Edition THE SILVER SKEIN UNWOUND. Available on the Revelator’s own Hand/Eye record label (darkhollerarts.com), this is another glimpse into the fetishistic & bleeding Puritan world that our 16th Century ancestors were only too happy to get shut of; “let them pester Redskins in the New World, lol”. Unlike the Plymouth Rockers, however, those old hymns, rhymes, parables & traditions of 300 years ago have by now all become integrated, nay, subsumed into the Revelator’s mighty trip alongside elements of the New Age, the ‘60s Hippie Scenes, and the inspirational words & actions of random other Heroes. At times, the result is nothing more/less than the inchoate stumblings of decadent creatures no longer aware of what they chant, knowing only that their Traditions insist that it must be done, obsessively repeating in that Pagan manner that so revolted the early Christian Fathers. Love it! Don’t do as I first did and mistake the Revelator’s devotion for Mere Christianity (sic); these Yankee dudes equate the Shiny Guy not with Anglicanism, Catholicism or any of the other popular Monk’s Gism, but with Osiris, John Barleycorn and the corvine Scald Crow of Dark Ages battlefields. Obsessive, compulsive, horribly more-ish (so long as they never come and visit!), the Revelator & his Antient Prydisch tribe are still so neurotically God-fearing, so engorged with the Traditions of the Old Country, that a coupla plays soon has every hedgewitch in Yatesbury bringing me round armloads of lardy cakes. Aum… Score one (more) for ye Revelator!

BROCKEN SPECTRE by Annalog

Finally, the Vinyl of the Month award must go to Welsh chanteuse’n’molto-talent Ann Matthews for her BROCKEN SPECTRE LP. Released on Ankst Records’ experimental offshoot Atol (ankst.net), this epic solo journey (which comes under the project name Annalog), features a wispy multi-tracked Matthews vocalizing, shrieking like Freyja Aswynn, scatting, humming, sometimes cooing like Betty Boop on helium, all the while providing almost the entire musical backdrop. Imagine the Agrarians’ fragile domestic muse transplanted to the lea of Snowdonia and you’re hinting at the alternative world caught within the crackling midranges of BROCKEN SPECTRE’s epic vinyl, which ultimately captures that same late summer Ambient Pantry vibe that Robert Martin captured on his LONG GOODBYE LP. A beautiful thing.

Right, afore I leave, I’d like to remind y’all about NI DIOS, NI AMO (‘No Gods, No Patriarchs’), the forthcoming Black Sheep evening at Bristol’s The Croft. Taking place between 8pm-4am on July 25th, this is, Brothers & Sisters, a perfect opportunity to hang out with like kind, hold deep conversations, watch the kind of epic movies that go slow when you’re in a cinema but don’t half look good whilst nursing a beer, and get to see performances by the Black Sheep Electronic Division, Acoustika, and Universal Panzies legend Christophe F.! Awl-fucking-Right! In the meantime, I’ve decided that the Revolution will only commence when the Myths have been re-written. So here’s one myth I’ve updated, included here in these Grey Treacherous Times as a vibey alternative conclusion to the more obvious yet-more-slagging of Brown et al. Ladies’n’gentlemen, I present my new interpretation of that hoary old story ‘The Princess & The Pea’, here re-visioned and re-named:

The Princess & the Sixteenth: One day, a scallywag who lived in Liverpool 8 lost a sixteenth oz. of squidgy black hash but copped off with a beautiful woolyback. The woolly was blond and sexy with a great sense of humour, but she couldn’t sleep on the stack of mattresses that the scally offered her for the night. Nine of them she counted and removed one in the hope that it would make her rest easier. Eight of them now she counted, yet another did she remove, again in the hope that she would rest easier. And over & over she repeated this procedure, but over & over did she fidget as though something below were thrusting into her skin. And finally, in the wee hours of that sleepless night, did she remove the ninth and last mattress, only to discover – to the great delight of the scally – that very sixteenth of squidgy black recently gone missing had rolled under the mattresses. Why, only a princess could have such a sensitive disposition as to notice something so minor, thought the scally; and he skinned up a big one immediately after he’d shagged the ass off her.

Okay, that’s really me done for the month.

Love on y’all (and Death to the Fucking Greedheads)

JULIAN (Archdrude of Wessex)