On the stroke of midnight of July 26th, at the Black Sheep festival ‘NI DIOS, NI AMO’, Black Sheep associate Spaceship Mark, just back from Cuba, unfurled his revolutionary flag for this photo opportunity. Pictured back left-to-right: Big Nige, Acoustika, Holy McGrail, Fat Paul (obscured), Hebbs, Christophe F, Common Era. Left-to-right front: Spaceship, Julian H., Michael O’Sullivan.
Hey Cabbages, Hey Kings, Hey all you Salad things,
Methinks it may at last be time to claim the moral high ground and declare this: whilst Ye Grandee Wizzard Wackojacko’s necrophilick Paedofest continues unabated in the upper world, I have broken on through to the other side down in the world I call Humanity’s and, boy, have we been found wanting. Kevin Ayers’ remarkably percipient 1968 Soft Machine-propelled plea ‘Why Are We Sleeping?’ declared ‘Making life easy by making it worse’. U-betcha… we should be grovelling in da gravel, motherfuckers. And to all those semi-smug religionists who follow one of the bigger organized World Cults (for that is what they are… this Christianity, this Islam, this Buddhism), I say No and KNOW that the truth you inch towards is barely millimetres higher above the ground than those Trailer Chavs that haunt the cyber-hwys of mytext.com and chitter. See, kiddies, in my new world there’s plenty to do regarding change. I call it: All Change. Knock it down, burn it down, break it down, even the good bits. Start again with humanity in mind, not just the top 40%. What my saying? The top 5%. Sure, that mostly be-suited Oxford-educated suddenly pseudo-mystic Mahatma Ghandi deserved the laughs he got when, on being asked by a journalist what he thought of Western Civilisation, declared: “It would be a good idea”. Hardy Har Har indeed. Unfortunately for we the free thinkers, spewdo-liberals of the Postwar West have thereafter embraced & appropriated this quote as some official badge of dishonour, when its author was no more a skinny ragclad pole-sitter than George Dubya was a goodole-borr from Tay-Hass! I know you can’t expect inspiration from the out-of-touch big sellers when U2 are doing a Spiderman rock opera (WTF! WWF!) and the Blur guy’s rock opera’d that shit Japanese TV show MONKEY, but – fer Chrissakes – you have to draw the line somewhere and last month I crossed my own personal Rubicon like Evel Knievel using a space shuttle to cross the Hudson River. Oops! Ain’t no grey areas left for me anymore. Live by the camera angles, you die by the camera angles, but last month I finally saw right through all of them. Zapped. So don’t just do something, sit there. But, kiddies, you interface with the media you die by the media, you announce your current state of mind on facebook you become transparent as an Emo and thrice as lame-o. Switch it all off and travel within yourselves. Switch it all off. For all of us Life is a Tragedy because it ends inevitably in Death. But having broken through to the other side, I do believe that new perspective because I now currently dwell 24/7 (love that phase!) within said perspective (though hopefully not forever, mercy). So I can at last say with candour that ridding yourselves of social goal will up your quality of life even in the first few days (and of course I’m not talking about remote ruralists who rely on their dial-up to stay sane). That way, you can stop worrying what the rest of the herd is thinking about you, and start pestering the remote so-called Creator Spirits enough to make them rouse themselves and show some interest in this little planet. Have some self-respect, Brothers’n’sisters. Maybe Jimbo’s right about us being unable to ‘Petition the Lord with Prayer”, but it sure ain’t no reason to turn 180’ and start petitioning ex-girlfriends from 5W or sexually fantasizing about photo-shopped cyber-pals you ain’t never gonna meet. Aim higher, aim higher, I’m an irritant and I wanna Anti-Climb Paint the World!
WAVE ON by Astral Transportation
Right, so now you need a suitable manner in which to escape the aforemenched Mundano Problemos, and this has been a good month, kiddeyes! This July, I’ve been shedding much internal booty whilst under the influence of WAVE ON by the highly Kraut-informed ensemble Astral Transportation. Thunderous Joe Meekian broadsides of Wagnerian overload blast about this music, the arch melodies lording it over the backing track like that winged Margaret Thatcher bird in SPIRITED AWAY. I can’t find this bunch on the webwide, perhaps because their name is overly generic. Seek them out though, brothers’n’sisters (and clue me, do) and steep within their music’s gloop like a late afternoon elevensies teabag still bubbling on grandma’s hob. Phew!
SUPERLUCKY by Drumcunt
Also search out SUPERLUCKY by the superbly named Drumcunt (myspace.com/drumcunt
), whose noisy ramalama inhabits realms of pure drum groove, spasticated grunts and inhuman noisery. Drum loops, busy drums, drum’n’bass loops, stupid redundant drums, Rockers Uptown, pulsing reggae pulses: yup, these druids really are cunts for the drums. Imagine the endlessly compulsive grooves of Excepter as filtered through early Destroy All Monsters conceptuals at a rave at a disused quarry and it’s raining. But no-one leaves because they are all drum cunts. Touching? Nere. Essential? Yeah!
777 by Book of Shadows
Next up, super-witchy cosmick Texan trio/quartet/quintet Book of Shadows have a superb new album out on Ikuisuus Records (ikuisuus.net
), by the name of 777, comprised of six massive ambulant pieces that deconstruct yer innards, yer cyber innards and the plumbing in a similar manner to Queen Elizabeth, Michail Checkalin and/or Roedelius’ epic LA NORDICA. Like the best psychedelia, listeners never know which track is playing, where the last one ended or when the next one begun. It’s an excellent state of affairs and the band should be accessed at myspace.com/bookofshadowsaustin
RECYCLE HUMAN LUNG by Olekranon
RECYCLE HUMAN LUNG by Olekranon opens like walking into Manchester’s the Factory in autumn 1979, and catching the last minutes of Cabaret Voltaire’s set, their finale spoiled by DJ Alan Erasmus’ inconsiderate (and accidental) 33rpm spinning of the new Basement 5 single. Bad show! Elsewhere, it’s a hung out, strung out thing indeed, like a frustrated old timer uncle constantly fiddling with the black & white TV, as an in-focus/out-of-focus Telstar-style performance of the Stars & Stripes opens the USA’s baseball tournament, whilst Faust soundcheck in a nearby abattoir. ‘Black Sunday Brunch’ in particular obliterates the human in me superbly; oh, that all mental music was such a psychic poultice as this. Turn this fucker WAY THE FUCK UP! RECYCLE HUMAN LUNG is available through Inam Records (email@example.com
), and keeps you guessing.
THIS FACE by Gnaw
Doom fans should also make a big effort to catch Alan Dubin’s hefty new release THIS FACE, from his current All Star ensemble Gnaw. Released on the excellent Conspiracy Records (conspiracyrecords.com
), Gnaw celebrates missing out like nobody else in the whole damn Universe (sample lyric: ‘Everybody’s fucking but you.’ Nice.). My absolute fave is ‘Backyard Frontier’, the lyrics of which depict the mind of a serial killer whose outside world has become so restricted that even sharing the retaining wall with his neighbours has become the most major compromise of his life. Babies, I know the Dubin’s vocal delivery can seem a mite unyielding at times, but he has – across almost a decade now – established such a grinding level of direct action in his delivery that we just have to keep paying attention. Obligation? U-Betcha! Especially when the musicians themselves are such dab hands at cuntedness; seemingly effortlessly strewing, nay, daubing the very Cosmos with sonic shards of pure un-directed Jackson Pollock paint splatter. Although iTunes tells us to file this mung worship under ‘Children’s Music’, I’ve found it difficult to contain under-5s for long enough to complete the experiment; a coupla cages off eBay might do the job. You know what? Methinks this entire album should either be highly expensive and difficult to obtain, or issued (along with free 10K Matamp PA) by local councils to all of those within earshot of a local mosque. 5am with the Dubin? Now that’s what I’m talking about.
FINSTERNIS by Aluk Todolo
What I’m not talking about is the fuck-me-astounding new record FINSTERNIS by Aluk Todolo. Available on Utech Records (utechrecords.com
), this record is so unyieldingly & specifically monolithic as to have no need of words to describe it; grunts alone will suffice. Ug ug ug ug ugHHHHHHH Ug ug ug ug ugHHHHHH. Wharrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Eck Eck Eck EEEEEE EEEEEE … Pshaw Pshaw Pshaw Wheet wheet wheet! Got me?
SAINT LUX by Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor
Next up, you just gotta catch SAINT LUX by Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor. Released on Trasponsonic Records (trasponsonic.net
), this chaotic whirlpool of Italian bare-faced, bare-back devilry inhabits the wild free realms of religion’s end: Ragnarok starts here Motherfuckers! Hard to believe these wild spirits hail from the southern Catholic climes, but dammit this is hot as mid-60s Elevators, as unstinting as 90s Monoshock, as inchoate as ELECTRONIC MEDITATION-period (and Conny Schindler cello’d) T. Dream, and currently occupies in my mind the larger place. Although I formed Black Sheep as an antidote to Post-Everythingism, I’m still big enough to admit that SAINT LUX demands the Post-Everything and GETS the Post-Everything, herein scoring 100% where even stealthy practitioners such as Temple of Bon Matin regularly score only 75%. This record is as dense and as sustained a Vox Clamentis in Deserto as any this year, an (in places) almost free jazz/almost Krautrock landslide of the kind Wolfgang Dauner alone mustered up at the dawn of the ‘70s. This is a big fucking statement; possibly a future Album of the Month. Thank you gentlemen, you rocked me to the corpse!
BLACK TO COMMUNIST 2 by Various Artists
After that jalopy ride, ain’t no place to go but even more legendary and even more WTF; I’m talking (of course) about the outrageous 2CD contents of BLACK TO COMMUNIST 2, the latest Japanese compilation to grace our HH doorstep. Like the previous record, BLACK TO COMMUNIST 2 contains some of the greatest experimental music heard in a long day, this time barfing forth the full 18 minutes of Love Live Life+1’s Detroit-style freerock epic ‘The Question Mark’, and the near-20-minute MC5-like workout ‘Extraction’ from master guitarist Takayanagi and his New Direction From Arts. It’s almost impossible to believe that Masahiko Satoh’s quarter-hour-long 1971 epic ‘Amalgamation Part 1’, which opens disc two, is not a contemporary piece, as machine gunfire, Hitler speeches and random car crashes orchestrate a furious hard-bop beat like some Portishead re-mix of EGE BAMYASI. Hell, even Speed Glue & Shinki make two unlikely appearances, first with their 13-minute Moog-only ‘Sun, Stars, Life, Moon’ and secondly with bass player Masayoshi ‘Glue’ Kabe, whose pasty phizzog graces the front cover. Nasty not tasty. However, while the Taj Mahal Travellers also make a seemingly inevitable (and totally entrancing) appearance, the classy additions that make this compilation so doggone essential are the rare-as-Pope-shit 16-minute ‘Sunrise in West Sea, part one’ (featuring all-stars Masahikoh Satoh AND Ta Mahal Travellers leader Takehisa Kosugi). Even better is the Flowers’ just pre-Flower Travellin’ Band performance on the rare Tadanori Yokoo 2LP; to have been included herein is inspirational. Catch these suckers before they drop, brothers’n’sisters; they’re available from HH by pressing thus
SPLIT 12" by Bong/Quttinirpaaq
Vinyl of the Month award must go to Blackest Rainbow Records who have, this month, brung forth an amazing split 12”, shared by mordant doom youths Bong and Quttinirpaaq. The whole of the first side is taken up by Bong’s splendid side-long ‘Exhaltation’, which commences like most bands at the apogee of their groove then just keeps on keeping on. Indeed, this heavy-handed quartet ploughs a Soviet-size furrow in their side of the vinyl (replete with unlikely monolithic sitar!), whilst the second side features, nay, showcases the kind of scary orc-informed Black Metal yawning’n’growling that Furze and their Nordic ilk prefer. This limited edition is one hell of a record, brothers’n’sisters, and should be scored pronto, before it becomes subsumed into the record collections of obsessive Orc Lords everywhere. Access more from these tribes of reprobates via myspace/landbong
Finally, a big thanks goes out to everyone who made it to the Black Sheep’s NI DIOS, NI AMO evening in Bristol. The evening was intended to give individual members of the Black Sheep an opportunity to shine a light on what they’re intending within the coming months, and I must scream a healthy ‘Hails’ to everyone involved. Big Nige’s choices for his film programme was nothing less than inspired, while Fat Paul deserves a mighty ‘Awl-right!’ for bequeathing his club The Croft in the name of the Revolution. Right on! Also, please look out for the wonderful Christophe F./Black Sheep album appearing on our merchandiser within the next month; it’s chock full of spirited assertions, revolutionary texts and damned fine music. Okay, that just leaves me time to wish you a dry August and hope you get to excavate a little personal time for yourselves in this increasingly impersonal world.
Love Reign O’er,
JULIAN (Lord Yatesbury)