Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

November Drudion

November 2010ce

Black Sheep Antronhy De La O – down Wessex way for a stills photo session – joins the Archdrude at the crossroads on the old turnpike between Avebury and Yatesbury. (Photo: Avalon Cope)

Hey Drudion,

As many of you have been lamenting the passing of my decade-long Album of the Month, I decided that this autumn would be an excellent psychological moment in which to unleash DETROITROCKSAMPLER upon y’all. Yes brothers’n’sisters, this month Head Heritage delivers to you 38 Detroit rock songs from the period 1966-76, accompanied by a thoroughly-researched essay and reviews section, and all completed by a smart front cover designed by Holy McGrail and Yours Truly. Awl-fucking-right! Along with its accompanying text, the music of DETROITROCKSAMPLER will be available to summon at your leisure. Better still, Holy McGrail and myself are currently working to resurrect the other samplers in the series, next month seeing the return of HARDROCK-, GLAMROCK- and DANSKROCKSAMPLER, and all complete with their original audio streamings. In the meantime, over at Dorian’s heroic ON THIS DEITY site, several guest writers have begun to lend an occasional hand: Jim Bliss, the Seth Man and myself so far. Already three months into its yearlong journey, ON THIS DEITY will – once completed, edited & pimped to satisfaction – become a new heathen calendar which is both current AND crammed full of enough heroic figures to challenge those irritating Old Timer saints and patriarchs of the Big Three Religious Corporations. Of that I’ve little doubt.

OPEN by The Bad Trips

Right, I’ll now cut to the Reviews section where a plethora of hi-kwoll vinyl releases await our longing lobes. First blood most serpently goes to OPEN by California’s The Bad Trips, whose eclectic music (here) invokes the rampant weather Gods of that scorched region to blast and whiplash listeners with their Mithraic dances, and (there) provides colossal middle-European oft-Amon Düül 2-ian military marches, whilst (elsewhere) ladling analogue filth over lopsided Eastern European skanks à la 1974 Kim Fowley. WTF? Throughout it all, Monoshock’s wanton feistmeister Grady Runyan pummels the music’s outer core (and just once gains entrance to its molten inner) with an assortment of single coil pick-ups fitted to what is believed to be a ‘guitar’. Score this prime evil motherfucker from Rocketship Records, or via the band themselves via www.thebadtrips.com/buy2.htm.

MAGNETICRING by Magneticring

Those of you requiring buzzed-up blissdrones should get a hold of the magnificent clear vinyl 12” gatefold version of Magneticring’s self-titled debut LP. For as well as being a fucking epic recording, the packaging and the high quality of the printing conspire to make MAGNETICRING something of a must-have. All the work of Vancouver’s Joshua Stevenson, these oft-static, over-driven & always transfixing pieces operate upon a similar vibrational territory as Mikhail Chekalin’s ELECTRONIC MUSIC FOR DECOMPOSED ORGAN, CLUSTER 2 and Klaus Schultze’s IRRLICHT, though nothing in Stevenson’s music appears contrived or backwards-looking. But if you dig music like escaping gas, and you fancy giving your money to an artist who’s given a great deal of thought to the manner in which his work is represented, then do please search out this luxuriously-packaged arthouse monster from Uzu Audio Records (www.uzuaudio.com), and make it soon because they’ll go.

VON BINGEN by Von Bingen

At first I was suspicious of the Ur-plod broadcasting from the grooves of Von Bingen’s self-titled debut LP, released on the Canadian Amen Absen label (www.weirdcanada.com/tag/amen-absen). But as its moronic Tony Conrad & Faust-ian grind gradually gave way to a monolithic motorik monotony, the waywardness of each rampant analogue sound twisted around my reluctant biffro and jeered: “You like this”. And yes I very much do, it is crazy like Kalacackra and just as rural, too. Von Bingen is an epic pre-settlement statement in the Zodiac Mountain mould, displaying at all times a riotous & Luddite attitude to sonic imbalance, every cranky outburst putting me further in the mind of the Soviets’ attitude to technology – all monobrow melodies over monolithic rhythms played through scratchy tannoys in the rain. ... oh, and replete with the singular sounds of the legendary Buchla synthesizer. Your commune, your allotments, your manifesto and your Buchla synthesizer. What more could the revolution need?

HELL HORSE & HEADY STRATUS by Moon Unit

Glasgow’s Moon Unit strikes gold with its sensational second LP HELL HORSE & HEADY STRATUS, which – throughout its 40+ minutes – sustains a rumbustuous Ur-rumble several notches below the lowbrow, gatecrashing the Underworld with its out-of-body tantrums and all achieved via the simple line-up of Andreas Jönsson’s prosaically-named ‘keyboard’, Peter Kelly’s triumphantly free-flailing and over-amphetamined drumming, and Ruaraidh Sanachan’s splintering & light-shredding wah guitar. Phew! Like a Pancho Villa cavalry assault, these supermad Moon Unit cunts sling together some of the greatest – and most perpetually unfolding – jams in a long while. Just shows what simultaneously high- and low-levels of alchemy can be achieved when confident musicians assault the Godhead simultaneously. Released on the excellent Blackest Rainbow Records (www.blackestrainbow.com), you could also score your copy at Forced Exposure (www.forcedexposure.com/artists/moon.unit.html).

BLEAK by Robe

Okay, after the seemingly total collapse of the Doom scene, it’s great to know that enough of that subterranean energy still pervades at least a few of rock’n’roll’s communal basements. Or at least that’s ye rigorous evidence provided by the nefarious unmellow dramas issuing from within the grooves of BLEAK by Indiana duo Robe. Released on Crucial Blaze Records, the new subsidiary label from Maryland’s mega-label Crucial Blast (www.crucialblast.net), ROBE is an ambulant masterpiece that sounds mostly like Empire State Building-sized house-movers struggling in vain to transport an entire Stockhausen stage set from one city to another while the musicians themselves remain steadfastly performing AND plugged in. Oo-er missus. Yup, for those of you who need need need to experience the birth pangs of the young Mother Earth as described in The Norse Myths, grab a copy of ROBE and give yourself to the Ur-chaos.

YOUR MERCURY by Teeth Of The Sea

Finally, congratulations must go out to London’s Teeth of the Sea for the release of their superb and extravagantly cosmic album YOUR MERCURY. Released on Bristol’s Rocket Records (www.rocketrecordings.com), this vast ten-track work transcends all of its disparate influences – Krautrock, Kosmische music, Spaghetti Western soundtracks, pompous Euro prog – serving us up a grand hybrid of such sparkling and shimmering brand newness that listeners’ minds inevitably sag under the emotional deluge. Epiphany after epiphany, brothers’n’sisters, that’s the shameless method this band deploys in order to enslave our minds. I know I’ve said it before, but Teeth of the Sea operate entirely within their own mythological mind map, existing within their own specific & singular Weltanshauung. And it’s a world-view that actually leaves you drained & exhausted by the psychic bruising yet still NEEDING more by disc’s end. Better still, these hardworking gennelmen just keep them releases a-coming! And so, to Teeth of the Sea, I (re-)raise my cup and declare: Brah-fucking-Vo!

Okay, there ends another month of thoughts, pronouncements and fulminations. Meanwhile here in Yatesbury, as the autumnal sun rises later and more southerly every morning, we’re currently multi-tasking like motherfuckers to complete new projects. I hope to see some of you on Exmoor at next month’s ALL TOMORROW’S PARTIES, but until then keep your homefires burning and bundle up in this increasing cold.

Until next time,

Love be upon y’all,

JULIAN (Lord Yatesbury)