Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

May Drudion

May 2012ce

My daughter Avalon chose to celebrate her 18th birthday by visiting the family grave of Frankenstein authoress Mary Shelley, wherein resides the heart of her drowned husband Percy Bysshe Shelley, and the body of her mother Mary Wollstonecraft – mother of Feminism.

Hey Drudion,

The past few days I’ve been prevaricating about what to write about. So much rurale action, so little time. About 25 feet from my window, a tiny young stag basked for hours yesterday, despite being caught between two feisty male pheasants in a love-call war. It’s the fucking weather, me babbies, colossal 2012 weather formations shunt to and fro across these enormous Marlborough Downs, disgorging their horizon-shrouding contents, only to be chased off by heaven’s searchlights of horny Blakean sunrays, each desperate to fix a beady eye on some waterlogged and overly verdant field system. Next minute, it’s like viewing inverted footage of the London Blitz, spattering hailstones across Hailstone Fields between us and Windmill Hill, windows shuttered, freezing me arse off… one hour later shorts weather, end of me tether but loving the sheer depth of it all. What the Ack-chew-al? It’s 2012, me lovelies, an absurd time when not every cloud has a silver lining, and some people look for a pay rise by resigning. True.

BLESS THEM THAT CURSE YOU by Lochrian & Mamiffer

In the meantime, there’s some hefty sonic excess I gots to clue you to this May month. So let’s git started with the wonderful collaboration between Lochrian and Mamiffer, which sonically traces an arduous Armenian deathmarch sludge-trudge (Fleshpress/Maruzaan-esque) through post-Soviet landscapes, through awe-inspiring valleys, cathedrals and subterranean temples, cracks the eggshell between our atmosphere and space, breaks through into that envelope and vaults across the heavens like some 21st century Springheel Jack. Being the product of U.S. underground heavyweights Faith Coloccia and Aaron Turner’s collaboration with some well dark Chicago munters, this project is most serpently one with love in every stitch. It’s an extraordinary journey that unfolds in umpteen bizarre sonic twists’n’turns. As an Odinist, however, I take issue with their album title BLESS THEM THAT CURSE YOU, though knowing this pair’s music fairly well, perhaps I’m missing a Too Subtle wry smile. Nevertheless, motherfuckers, this is one hefty essential I strongly advise y’all to acquire. Released on the Profound Lore label, this music’s longterm medical efficacy is, admittedly, as yet unproven, but – to my mind at least – those of you who prefer to make do with a burn of this beast are simply Slumming It!

STEALTH by Sleep Research Facility

Next up, how about we use this release STEALTH by Sleep Research Facility as evidence of the West’s continued (und Accelerated) progress? Back in 1991, I slagged off Gums ’n Noses in an Island Records NME advert for not being as heavy metal as the USAF. Well, kiddies, that absurd time is finally here, that time when fellow motherfuckers are using, nay, deploying the vehicles of ye aforemenched USAF for the meditations and medications of we Heads of the West. Yowzah, fucking yowzah! For STEALTH is a series of startling and highly useful pieces, made up from various field recordings of America’s legendary (and legendarily mysterious) Northrop Grumman B-2 reconnaissance bomber as it warms up, idles and taxies around its Cambridgeshire base. Released on the excellent Cold Spring Records, the attitude of this superb album most puts me in mind of Dr Fiorella Terenzi’s equally superb manipulations of Radio Telescope info for her MUSIC FROM THE GALAXIES. Yeah man, this is one monolith of a disc.

THREE DAYS OF SILENCE by Piero Riparbelli

THREE DAYS OF SILENCE by Italy’s Piero Riparbelli is another highly successful Gnostic journey through real time interfaces with cranky technology. And am I talking cranky or what, brothers’n’sisters. However, like the late ‘50s Tokyo school of musique concrète, Riparbelli deploys his field recordings in such an exquisite manner that his new album makes for endless repeated listenings. Adventuresome, avant-garde but horribly more-ish. Recorded in La Verna monastery high up in Tuscany’s Apennines, Riparbelli lived long enough with the monks to catch their many vocal performances, along with stairwell comings and goings, mealtimes, performances upon the huge church organ, muttering, even utter silence. Putting all of this together with considerable flair and passion, Piero Riparbelli has brung forth a right old magickal concoction, and sprung the beast via Germany’s Gruenrekorder label. Imagine Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser had released field recordings of the preparations at Stiftskirche Baumburg made for Popol Vuh’s enormous ‘Vuh’ extragavanza, and I believe yooz close to Riparbelli’s pleasure centre. File this Supersucker under ‘Ambulant’… Hell yeah!

MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI by Bong

Meanwhile, from the charred embers of post-Doom sub-bass rumble that emanates from the corner of mein stereo, it’s clear that Bong are in the building. Yup, those UK longhairs are back with another coupla Sonic Massifs to roast your psychick goolies and bring you to your knees. Only this is a somewhat different Bong album. Gone is the lumpenmetal grime and Rhineland industrial gunk, replaced herein by … er, well, good recordings. Okay, now I have to confess to a modicum of disappointment concerning this new Bong album MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI, not because it’s wanting in the composition dept., but because of these extremely passive, un-crunchy sounds. Too damned inert? Maybe that, or perhaps Bong already occupy such a malignant place in my Dark Ambulant Heart that any lessening of their garotte around my neck is inevitably experienced as a loss. Nevertheless, you kiddies should still search out MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI and cop a full earload, because even an average Bongload is a compellingly unruly and Amon Düülian jaunt into the heart of darkness. Score this sucker from Ritual Productions, and request politely to them that they ‘dump the clean’. Get down!

COMETS E.P. by 5-Track

Okay, let’s take some time out for a bit of light relief, of course, only slightly light as this new COMETS E.P. comes from San Francisco’s 5-Track, a singer-songwriter-guitarist whose crowed back porch cerebrations (sic) and rapid fire instrumentals are, at their peak, quite compelling. Aha, but this new E.P. is anomalous even in context with this singer-songwriter’s own anachronistic career, five song-pieces propelled by overbearing bass and scruffy drums, but charming in a kind of low rent Van Dyke Parkesian manner, or David Axelrod in a hurry. Released on Mr Track’s own Cosmic Primitive label, COMETS contains just enough of this artist’s most charming traits and tricks to justify the other weird-ass experiments he chooses to heft our way. That 5-Track feels the need to do all this is admirable, and will surely keep us all fascinated if he can continue such deft displays of tradition AND novelty.

ELECTRIC CREMATION by Pharoah Chromium

Undoubted Vinyl Album of the Month must, this May, go to ELECTRIC CREMATION by Berlin’s Pharoah Chromium, whose four vinyl sides have left all manner of sonic mung worship embedded in our living room’s sonic floor. All done up in a beautifully hefty gatefold sleeve, and named after one of Post Punk’s most soulful 45s, this statement of intent demands of the listener a total submission to its so-greedy metaphor. Imagine those early Cluster w/Conrad Schnitzler experiments, T. Dream’s ELECTRONIC MEDITATION, the off kilter skank of Ralf and Florian’s Organisation, that’s where these gentlemen is a-coming from. My 20-year-old daughter Albany always argues that THE FAUST TAPES is the best ever psychedelic LP, and her an Elevators and Doors fanatic, so it’s my estimation that 21st century Heads will do just fine clinging on to this ungraspable slitherer. Epic in scope and always radically novel in sound FX and their execution, ignore this lavish package at your peril, mes dames et mes motherfuckers. It’s easily available from Germany’s Grautag Records, but not for long, I’ll wager.

Awl-fucking-right, finally I must congratulate my darling daughter Avalon, who has just scribed her first On This Deity entry. What an excellent way to celebrate your 18th birthday my lovely child. And what a boost for us all to know that you can already be called upon to strike a pugilistic pose and knock a few average non-heads together. I fucking A D O R E You!!!

Right, with all of that noted, I shall promptly sod off for another month, but not before wishing you all a drier and warmer Spring than we’ve thus far experienced.

Love reign over all,

JULIAN (Lord Yatesbury)