During the Archdrude’s October dates, the tour retinue took time off to visit the standing stones of Avebury’s West Kennett Avenue: (L-R) Vybik Jon, Christopher Holman, Antronhy De La O, Lord Yatesbury and Fido-X.
What with the Frankenstorm that sunk New York, the new 3rd Division reality of Glasgow Rangers, and the grotesque fallout from the BBC’s Jimmy Savile Row, it looks like the segue way into 2013 might be as protracted a time transfer as the Mayans predicted. Here at Head Heritage, meanwhile, we’re all ready to follow up last month’s live concerts with the three-day COPENDIUM promo tour to Glasgow, Manchester and London, during which time there will be ample opportunity to bring audiences up to date with my various works-in-progress (especially the Faber novel ‘131’, and my controversial epic tome THE LIVES OF THE PROPHETS: A NEW PERSPECTIVE), as well as showcasing three of the current British Underground Scene’s best bands: Manchester’s Gnod, Reading’s Workin’ Man Noise Unit and Slomo, Holy McGrail’s superb Doom Ambulent collaboration. DJ sets will be performed by Black Sheep Fido-X, Antronhy De La O and Fat Paul, whose recent album BLAKK METAL from Fuck Off & Di will be celebrated with the aid of a black metal guitarist also. But look to the adverts for the whole shebang, brothers’n’sisters, and do get there if you can, as it’s another ideal rallying point for the close of the year … and what a year!
THE GRAIN by Slomo
Better still, even this November’s Reviews Section commences with a Head Heritage home win on account of Slomo’s mighty new album THE GRAIN. Masterful, epic, certain to be enduring, this is Slomo’s best batch yet, kiddies. Released on Holy McGrail’s own Trilithon Records
, THE GRAIN still deploys all of Slomo’s stock arsenal – twitchy sub-sub-bass monosynth, distant fuzz, indefinable cavernous sauce of unknown provenance – but with such authority that sleepwalking listeners under the influence remain in an orderly manner as they descend those granite steps into the Underwerld. As music capable of offering a genuine alternative sonic shelter from the outside world’s interference (tiresome neighbours, tiresome road works, buzzing overhead cables, etc), Slomo works best on heavy repeat, its massively pixelated heat-hazes sonic backdrops never more than a hint of some implied David Lean vision playing in the next room, whilst always at its Caffeinated Sloth-heart rides an Ur-pulse of errant Ouroborous sub-bass climbing your walls with an almost reggae fastidiousness. Useful for meditation, Kundalini Yoga, and even just pleasurable in its own right, THE GRAIN is one to buy and play forever, me babbies.
BONG by Bong
Next, Re-Issue of the Month must surely go to Bong’s highly essential self-titled 2009CE vinyl debut, now newly available on CD from Ritual Productions
, in which the ensemble embark on an epic Tony Conradian sludge/trudge as performed by MASTER OF REALITY-period Sabbath, or perhaps ‘Hiroshima’-period Flower Travellin’ Band performing a highly barbarian and Nihon-muscular take on Amon Düül 2’s YETI title track. Drenching tumultuous wah guitar frenzy over a quarter-hour-plus of monotonous, headbanging rhythm section repetition is always to be admired but, hell, these savvy druids could probably iron out, nay, wring out all of the gnocchi-like lumps from Josephus’ leaden lumpen ‘Dead Man’ and still come out with a useful piece of Medication/Meditation, methinks. Elsewhere, they devolve into a kind of soup-y Gagaku, afore reconstituting into the kind of hooded hobbits that stand in a ring playing Sleep’s version of LYSOL (for fuck’s sake). That minging, that stinging, that ringing in your ears, me dears. There’s even some ludicrous Michael Morcock-ian declaiming thrown in for good measure. Monks mean all that Latin baloney, but fake it and you still get the sonic healing without all the Pauline assfucking. Sweet. Again and again, Bong make compelling music, which, because of its great length and portentous-to-the-point-of-religiousness, becomes genuinely useful for the purposes of Inner Travel and psychic adjustment. These guys rock in the Underwerld. Spin it once again, motherfuckers.
KALMONSÄIE by Tervahäät
I’ve also been listening a helluva lot to the dark pagan excellence of KALMONSÄIE by Finnish trio Tervahäät, whose intriguing combination of heavy guitars, massed percussion, archaic stringed instruments and a strong male voiced chorale presents listeners at all times with a hugely rich music of occasionally atavistic intensity. Cough it up, there! Here avant-garde sound FX vigorously intrude into frankly clichéd guitar chord sequences, there monkish choirs from the very edge of Christendom accompany themselves with whips and chains, elsewhere great tuneless chants are got up with almost comically earnest fervour. And all of this is achieved in a mercifully short album, compelling the sold listener to reach once more for the ‘play’ button. Released on the Anima Arctica
label, KALMONSÄIE tramples current musical boundaries with obvious delight and effortlessness, its removed, icy clarity resounds with an extreme, almost fjordal stillness.
SLEEP by Wind
But the most beautiful music of the month comes in the gorgeous 10” white vinyl form of SLEEP, the debut EP from Norwegian trio Wind, whose truly psychedelic and acid-drenched music stumbles in seven league boots across that same musical De-Militarized Zone as Amon Düül 2 and Rochdale’s Tractor, ie: Hendrix-on-an-indie-label Dieter Dierks-style Permanent Revolution mix, glorious twin lead voices, and strung-out songs that go from epiphany to epiphany. Two long tracks only – ‘Throwing Stones’ and ‘Cathedral’ – inhabit the grooves of this fabulous release (and special artefact, I might add, kiddies), but it’s almost like an album’s worth just on the sheer breathtaking emotional content of this band’s playing. In places there’s a spindlyness and sense of space that brings Television’s Tom Verlaine to mind, but this music is sadder, deeper, showcasing an almost ZUMA-like icy spaciousness. Released on the Norwegian label Jansen Platesproduksjon
, all you motherfuckers should search out and purchase your own copies while they still let you: it’s among us.
PHOTOS OF PHOTOS by Carlton Melton
Finally, those maladjusted souls of Carlton Melton are back with a blockbusting new LP entitled PHOTOS OF PHOTOS. Yeah man, these seething, babbling guitar munters once again conjure up enough Mithraic fire for most bands’ entire careers. But it's not the notes that Carlton Melton play, but the sheer exhilaration in the manner with which they perform each bucking bronco of cross rhythm, each Ash Ra Tempelian seizure, each prime alchemical rite as it dances at first inside each one of them individually, before knotting together thereby ensnaring them all in one massive bonfire of sound. An unfortunate note should be made about the ‘free’ live LP, which comes in this be-gatefolded beast. Do please be wary of the highly undermining track ‘When You’re In‘, which lollops along like Splodgenessabounds’ drummer joined Wishbone Ash. But live covers surely ain’t what we come to Carlton Melton for, Brain Melton’s more like it, me babbies, and a right grilling yooz in for. Released on Agitated Records
, PHOTOS OF PHOTOS is anutha mother, brothers’n’sisters. For sure, a buyer from way close to the fire, U-Know!
Finally, book heads and lovers of my tome THE MODERN ANTIQUARIAN might wanna pay a visit to our Collectors’ Shop this month, as Head Heritage Library is parting with much of its archaeological and Earth Mysteries-type books, indeed, much of the stuff that I bought for researching my book. Bulging with vinyl, Head Heritage trimmed and continues to trim our LPs by the hundreds. Similarly, there is no way to store all of these lovely books – mostly hardbacks and mostly wrapped in hard polythene covers – so do check it out if you’re pre-hysterically feeling it, motherfuckers.
In the meantime, I look forward to seeing all who make it to the COPENDIUM evenings. Until next month,
Death to False Religions,
Let Love Reign,
JULIAN (Lord Yatesbury)