Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

January Drudion

January 2011ce

The morning after the Archdrude’s performance at All Tomorrow’s Parties, several members of the Black Sheep’s Acoustic Division assembled near Bristol at Stanton Drew’s impressive northeast stone circle. (L-R) Big Nige, Julian H., Acoustika and Michael O’Sullivan

Happy New Year, Brothers’n’Sisters,

Hope you all woke up Dreaming! ‘Tis 2011CE: just one more year afore we have to start Writing Up all the new myths. Yup, once we get 2012 (and all of that Mayan kack) out of the way, it’ll be a psychic freeway free-for-all! U-Betcha! I see all of you disenfranchised teenagers, discouraged twenties already marching - and it’s a very beautiful thing. But do remember that the Meatheads In Blue that beat you are not really those with whom you should do battle. They are just the Lackeys, brothers’n’sisters – armed lackeys=paid Meatheads nothing more. So always ‘Fight the Man – NOT His Lackeys’. So-called International Capitalism is nothing of the sort, and is nothing more than a facilitator of the USA’s ever-increasing self-regard and self-adoration. Let me now direct you to Dorian’s www.onthisdeity.com account of the Zapatistas’ inspirational fight against the Mexican government and Neoliberalism, and wish you all from the very beginning of this Drudion a highly successful and emotionally prosperous New Year. Yowzah!

LAY OF PILGRIM PARK by Pillars & Tongues

Okay, I’ve chosen to commence my monthly Reviews Section for 2011CE with the highly evocative, near religious sounds of LAY OF PILGRIM PARK, a magnificent work by Chicago trio Pillars & Tongues. Propelled at all times by violin, bowed double bass and hermit vocals, the dreary euphoria contained within the grooves of this delightful vinyl LP inhabits a similar sonic soundscape to the more ambient moments achieved by current New Zealand duo The Scrapes, as disembodied male and female vocals bill and coo, organ drones glow and fade, whilst great bowed drones conjure up those same shivery atmospheres experienced in much modern Scandinavian dark folk. It’s as though the passive conservatoire atmosphere of John Cale’s ACADEMY IN PERIL filter had been pressed into use for some new post-modern religious rites – marvellous. Released on Empty Cellar Records (www.endlessnest.com/empty_cellar/artists), this record is a superb start to the year. So do please score this delightful (and useful) item pronto, Tonto.

Self-titled by Dark Sea Dream

Time to sit bolt upright now with the self-titled debut from Washington DC trio Dark Sea Dream, whose mind-manifesting proto-metal doom-plod trepans my cranium in a highly ‘Gnowing’ manner, and molto baby – one similar in attitude to, say, those unsignposted, nay, messy epics strewn across Amon Düül 2’s Ur-Gothick 2LP DANCE OF THE LEMMINGS or even the same Fenris-straining tumult Asahito Nanjo and Kawabata Makoto’s Nihonese hardcases Mainliner if played by Middle Europeans, i.e.: Heavy and pagan, I’m talking here. Heavy, pagan repetitive, minor chord dark, bombastic, stentorian, neo-religious even. Moreover, Dark Sea Dream’s perpetual up-to-eleven state – like for example Nazareth’s shamelessly fuzz-everything 10-minute-plus epic versh of B. Zimmerman’s ‘Ballad of Hollis Brown’ – allows this band of berserkers to get even a little vocal harmony sweet at times, but it’s always a rigorous and ‘manly’ kind of sweet, you know the way Ralph M. and Billy T. always r-r-r-ring out doowop-perfect and angel-like through the seemingly solid walls of cavernous mung thrown up throughout N. Young’s in-concert Crazy Horse material. Hey, and better still this excellent oeuvre arrives contained in a clear plazzy be-Jackson Pollock splatter’d vinyl edition housed within an Uber-glossy gatefold rugged and worthy enough on which to build a seven skinner. Mercy! So those heads among you with an eye for a deal should cyber-scoot over to www.myspace.com/darkseadream, poste haste, or search out Dark Sea Dream via their record company Prophase Music (www.prophasemusic.com) and tell them the Drude sent ya!

Self-titled by Mamuthones

Okay, those of you with a Jones for highly catchy avant-garde grooves should make sure you search out Mamuthones’ excellent self-titled debut. Released on the oft-excellent Boring Machines record label (www.boringmachines.it), this beautifully-packaged Italian release is a fine work, and one whose eerie drones, muscular riffage and drums’n’percussion heavy grooves – despite having their inspiration in Krautrock, psychedelia and freerock – conspire to create a massive ritual piece of startling originality. Always fascinated by Sardinian prehistory, I was initially inspired to check this project out simply because it takes its name from a singular style of Sard megalith. But discovering former Jennifer Gentle drummer Alessio Gastaldello in the driver’s seat soon explained to me why Mamuthones’ superb debut is so damned useful. For, by utilizing avant-garde ‘60s percussionist Maurizio Boldrin alongside guitarist and former cohort Marco Fasolo, Senor Gastaldello has created a hefty percussion top-heavy project somewhat reminiscent of Faust, Magical Power Mako, the Boredoms and even Choukoko No Niwa. These woody, cranky and ever-unfolding grooves often conclude in a mighty sea of echo, of shamanic vocals and of reedy drones, only to resume their tipsy journey when least expected. This is a superb record... and damned useful, too? I should coco.

REVELATIONS FROM THE NEW SILENCE by Lea Cummings

As is Lea Cummings’ epic drone-a-thon REVELATIONS FROM THE NEW SILENCE, VOLUME ONE, which sparkles and clatters like some sonic kids’ kaleidoscope, or perhaps some frenzied coffee-grinder sent through a VCS3 synthesizer. Huge Soviet-sized keyboards invade our middle distance whilst barmy armies of distant analogue droids hector and chatter on the far horizon; massed sonic banks of artificial cloud deluge listeners with sheets of digital rain as we crouch surrounded on all sides as ever-evolving & ever-becoming explosions of sound bear down upon us. This is a tremendous work possessed of a tremendous pulse of life that irrigates listeners through their cranium, their feet and their bellies simultaneously. So cop a load o’this Lea Cummings madness by checking out this Glasgow artist’s Glasgow-based record company Kovorox Sound (www.kovoroxsound.com) and let its Endless Becoming envelope your room and enchant your Weltanschauung.

LIVE by Liquourball

Okay, meanwhile way over there in the margins of the perpetually confused, I hear rumbles of excitement, a stirring in the more twitchy members of the population, rumours of some new and inchoate stumbling backed up only by the flailingest drumrot yet laid upon the tape format: must be those perennial refuseniks Liquorball have at last managed to sneak their latest sonic abortion past Uncle Sam’s Un-Amerikan Activities Commission. Yup, California’s agnostic answer to Death Comes Along have effortlessly followed up their delectable 2009CE come-back LP EVOLUTIONARY SQUALOR (Head Heritage Album of the Month #109, kiddies) with the brand new and even more on-form LIQUORBALL LIVE. Released in a jacket that features a thirsty Angry Anderson lookalike quaffing ale through a glass Wellington, this valiant quartet have on LIVE ditched all of the smoother elements that graced EVOLUTIONARY SQUALOR, replacing them with all of the sticky-out bits (that same unbalanced bass-heavy Mung Worship) that so addled their ‘90s output. So for those of you whose musical requirements demand the inclusion of both distortion and noxious amounts of hiss as fundamental & Yggdrasilian elements, you really shouldn’t step further than this latest LP. Released on Feast Music (www.feastmusic.com) and available only on vinyl (or so I believe), this is one helluva motherfucker with which to kick the New Year in.

SOWBERRY HAGAN by Ultraphallus

As is the mighty SOWBERRY HAGAN, the latest evil monster from Liege’s Ultraphallus with which I’ve chosen to conclude this first Reviews Section for 2011CE. Kiddies, this is one dark experience that irrigates your heart and blasts open your wintertime synapses; one motherfucker of a T R I P, perpetual and ever-unfolding like some ambient panto of Metal Deluge. Like Japan’s free cult Death Comes Along, Ultraphallus exhibit a truly daring approach to their recordings, (here) capturing the moment herein with that same abandoned Abbadon approach as side 2 of Patti Smith’s RADIO ETHIOPIA, or (there) presenting exquisitely researched & presented meditations on Tony Iommi in a psychological stylee, (elsewhere) mush-mouthed as Lizard Jimbo via Burton Cummings. I mean, C’mon! It makes dark sense that Ultraphallus hail from one of my World Bogey Cities (Nagoya and Munich are the others), but there’s a satanic inventiveness of presentation to this SOWBERRY HAGAN – in its cinematic presentation that pitches this record outside of categories and into ‘instructional’ i.e.: useful. Released on the always-fascinating Riot Season record label (www.riotseason.com), it’s pretty early in the year for SOWBERRY HAGAN to be setting the rock’n’roll bar so high. Gentlemen, you are to be congratulated!

Finally, regarding the forthcoming release of my THE JEHOVAHCOAT DEMOS, I’d just like to clear up a few questions I’ve been sent following my description of the project in last month’s Drudion. Firstly, the package will contain hefty sleevenotes and unreleased poems, and all culled only from my ’93 notebooks so as to be in the true spirit of the project. Secondly, the packaging will reflect accurately my then-current obsessions, including illustrations from the same notebooks. However, as the album title reflects only the nickname given to this recording period rather than any projected album with that title, I shall be careful to create an appropriate cover that best reflects those obsessions of 1993CE. Phew, I hope that gives y’all a bit more idea of where this sucker is coming from. The music itself is loose, damned loose, catchy and amazingly mind-manifesting. Yowzah!

Which leaves me only to screech once more in your collective earholes…

Happy New Year,

JULIAN (Lord Yatesbury)