Returning from West Wales’ Dinefwr Festival, several Black Sheep joined the newly-Mohican’d Archdrude at Gwent’s legendary Harold’s Stones: (L-R) Fido-X, Julian H, Vybik Jon, Holy McGrail, Common Era and Antrohny De La O.
Hail Drudion & Hails this July Month to all of you Foul Gnoisemakers, Dark Fölk-singers & Rekindlers of the pre-Monotheistic Underworld,
Phew Brothers’n’Sisters, I have BIG news this July month, for my venerable publishers Faber & Faber have taken it upon themselves to unleash in book form almost the entire past ten years of Head Heritage Albums of the Month, well over 700 pages in a hardy’n’sumptuous box replete with three accompanying CDs of truly unmastered sonic genius (NB: I guarantee y’all that nothing is fucked-about-with on these CDs. I’m too Alan Lomax, too Attenborough for that) pouring forth from such diverse artists and ensembles as Blue Cheer, Chrome, Parson Sound, New Lou Reeds, Orthodox, Timothy Revelator, Sunburned Hand of the Man, Gunslingers, Lord Buckley, Hääre, Monoshock, Vibracathedral Orchestra, AR & Machines, Simply Saucer, Billy Miller’s Cold Sun and umpteen truckloads more. Alongside articles detailing the works of each of the aforemenched, readers get re-runs of Hardrocksampler, Danskrocksampler, Glamrocksampler, Postpunksampler and a 40+ page index to boot. Entitled COPENDIUM, this work will be available in three wildly diverse formats: 1) Massively expensive Limited Edition w/3CDs. Get this motherfucker only if you need need need on your bookshelf your personal hefty record of my own twisted Rock’n’roll Weltanshauung, 2) Smartly packaged MODERN ANTIQUARIAN-sized affordable essential hardback, or: 3) Free Free Free off our website same as always. That way, nobody gots to pay for what we already gave to you years ago, unless that is, you be a rock’n’roll scholar or a book lover. Finally, to all you Ladies’n’gentlemen musicians of the Underground, I do believe this massive tome will – over the passage of time – lend considerable cultural validation to all of our future statements. And so, to all of you artists whose work appears described within those 700+ pages of COPENDIUM, I say this: for having conjured up in my mind the kind of sustained psychedelically suffused imagery and barbarian inspirations that have caused me – month after month – to have brung forth this veritable Danube of barbarian commentary, I thank you all from the ocean bottom of my Dark Heart for having sent us all of these extraordinary works.
UNDEATH by Time Moth Eye
Meanwhile, and highly appropriately, this July’s Reviews Section commences with UNDEATH, the latest release from COPENDIUM star TiMOTHy Revelator, whose last Stone Breath LP was heavily featured on our May Black Sheep radio show for Biker FM. Appearing here under TiMOTHY’s pseudonym Time Moth Eye, UNDEATH is his debut project for the superb label Crucial Blast
, and it’s a wildly ritualistic journey through ambient (oft blustery) field recordings, mucho low church plainsong chanting, and diverse lyrical pagan Christianity of the Armenian (ie: bloodletting) variety. Better still, Crucial Blast’s inspired packaging facilitates the inclusion of a 44-page A5 book of the Revelator’s illustrated notions of ‘Undeath’, all housed within a sealable wrap. But all you Revelator watchers should score your copies quick sharp, as this sucker comes only as a highly limited edition.
VON ZEIT ZU ZEIT by Fabio Orsi
Also compelling and essential is the wonderful VON ZEIT ZU ZEIT by Italian composer Fabio Orsi, who deploys just guitars, synthesizers, and FX in order to create a vast sonic swirl, nay, fog of sound that overwhelms listeners gradually then stops them in their tracks. Yup, Orsi’s cunning modus operandi is simply to set the thing going and stand well back. Like some shadowy Allah or Jehovah, this artist appears to remain remote from his creation, though his hands – unbeknownst to listeners – are at all times on the control lever. Featuring just two vast side-long pieces, VON ZEIT ZU ZEIT is released on the oft-great Backwards Records
, though unfortunately is at this time available only on limited edition orange vinyl, Nevertheless, kiddies, I suggest you seek this sucker out as soon as possible. For sheer uninterrupted meditation AND medication, this slab of orange vinyl will – for shit damn sure – do the required job. Luvverly!
THE SKY TURNS RED by Rotomagus
Okay, reissue of the Month just has to be THE SKY TURNS RED by French early-70s schizophrenic sextet Rotomagus, whose (nearly always) excellent ‘Complete anthology’ showcases the band’s immense and criminally unfinished final LP, nine songs of truly monumental proto-metal in its truest and most inspirational riff hacking’n’shoehorning. When Rotomagus play fast, they are post-Yardbirds in a BÖC ‘The Red & The Black’ kind-of-way, even a bit Sir Lord Baltimore. When Rotomagus play slow, they’re lumpenhippies like Filipino proto-metal quartet Juan De La Cruz, all football chants and Plastic Ono Band commune vocals pervading the mindless ‘Hello The Binaries’. Moreover, Rotomagus’ Stooges/Speed, Glue & Shinki –styled garage classic ‘Little Green Man’ was cleverly appropriated a decade later by Gallic younger brothers Electric Manchakou for their superb ‘Murder & Madness’. However, when Rotomagus’ embarrassing CBS singles escape towards the end of the compilation, er, just switch off your sound system, kiddies. Besides, that 40-minute-long swansong lost-LP that opens the record is a real Fuck Off of a Treat. Massive in places, it often glimpses greatness, and never ever sags under the mighty weight of the band’s ornately brutal, nay, bullying treatment of their so-called songs. Released on the Lion Productions
label, and featuring our own Seth Man’s original HH article as accompanying sleevenotes, this is a righteous case of rare material escaping BEFORE the record company scummed all over it. Bravo!
U.A.G. by T.O.M.B.
Next, we turn to the enormous meditations of U.A.G., the new release by obscure American commune T.O.M.B. (Total Occultic Mechanical Blasphemy), whose ambulant cataclyms and ritual freekouts contained herein all conjure up atmospheres similar to the most ambient of Black Metal, or even ritualistic post-Industrial FX ensembles like Sacrificial Totem. This is music for the between times, an enormously harsh brand of meditative music designed to burn off the psychic plaque from everyday City Dweller existence, to cleanse listeners as instantly as possible of all unnecessary recent memories of interface with other humans, and to – albeit temporarily – propel them, project them, shoot them ME163-like into a highly useful Otherworld. With this aim constantly at the forefront of their mission, each member of T.O.M.B. pursues his/her endgame with the terrifying sonic thoroughness of Stalin’s NKVD in revolutionary Spain: feed silos are drummed upon with great aluminium ladders, wind farms razed to the ground, metal and wire pylons are dynamited, hilltop portakabins filled with Power Seller amounts of plastic packaging then set alight and shunted off cliffs. The effect is always compelling, always useful. T.O.M.B. is a welcome destroyer that resides somewhere between the nihilism of Neubauten and the Gnosticism of Sardinia’s Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, and should be obtained under the Essential Materièls Act from Crucial Blast Records
, and pronto, Tonto!
LOWERING THE MEDITERRANEAN / IRRIGATING THE SAHARA by Azurazia
Finally, Vinyl of the Month award must serpently go to the enormous double-LP LOWERING THE MEDITERRANEAN/IRRIGATING THE SAHARA, four sides of environmental feedback, field recordings, social commentary and cultural tamperings by Azurazia, a loose collective gravitating around Visionary artist Nicolas Moulin and his equally hands-on compadré Pharoah Chromium AKA Ghazi Barakhat. Released in a fine gatefold sleeve on the excellent Berlin label Grautag Records
, this huge work utilizes on-the-spot recordings and extraneous ambient sound FX to tell the tale of the failed attempt to bring water to the Sahara Desert via several ill-fated white elephant dam ideas. Like many such Third World projects, this dystopian nightmare has left vast machinery and partially-completed civil engineering projects strewn around the north African landscape, each emitting enough residual sound FX to permeate all four sides of vinyl with alternately mind-numbing, then mind-irrigating sounds. Messrs Chromium and Moulin have corralled these chaotic sound titans splendidly; bringing forth a Soviet-sized music concrète that will most assuredly strike a compelling chord with anyone who accidentally interfaces with the stuff. Get it!
So there’s another wet summer month over, Brothers’n’Sisters, the wettest since records began! Whoa. So I do hope yooz booking some far destination for your holidays, or you might be best saving your dosh altogether, or saving up for all-weather coveralls. Maybe a hearty nature ramble is our only guaranteed enjoyment of outdoorness right about now. Still, as the Mayans love to tell us all … it’s 2012!
Love be upon ya,
JULIAN (Lord Yatesbury)