Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

March Drudion

March 2013ce

During a Yatesbury design meeting for the second Black Sheep VC album, Common Era took time off to photograph the Archdrude in front of Avebury’s gigantic Cove stones.

Hey Hey Hey Fucking Hey,

It’s already that time of year when the dawn sun has crept far enough up the eastern horizon to deploy a splendid westwards trajectory that lasts us right up to a 6pm sunset. Yowzah motherfuckers, that’s a great situation. We ain’t half lucky where we live in S. England, and no wonder you Scandos have a lot of suicide problems. And you Scots, too. Come to think of it, how about you Geordies? Indeed, one of my biggest problems with Nationalism is summed up by Zapata’s refusal to take Mexico City during the Mexican Revolution because – he argued – how could a lowland southern farmer like himself accurately and convincingly also represent in parliament the needs of northerners whose biggest (and entirely different) problems was losing their cattle herds to Apache incursions? Maybe the future of Anti-Nationalism would be to ban countries beyond a certain size, i.e.: if your northern population would be ill-served by the appointment of a southerner, then your country’s landmass is too fucking big. Just a thought, brothers’n’sisters.

BLAKESIAN WILLIAMNESS by Holism Gaea

Okay, let’s kick off this Reviews Section with Holism Gaea’s epic and hugely aspirational BLAKESIAN WILLIAMNESS, a fabulous album of six pieces that unleash over an hour’s worth of intense percussion’n’free electronics and a burning and belligerent ritual music lying right between Japanese commune tricksters Brast Burn/Karuna Khyal and The Residents at their FINGERPRINCE finest. Add to that stew vocalist Dekhay’s partly-removed/partly foreign accented delivery of W. Blake’s words and you’re entering that same incantatory territory as Sleep’s ‘Jerusalem’. Indeed, even members of my family have commented on the syllabic similarities between Dekhay and Al Cisneros. Truly, these gentlemen of Holism Gaea should be investigated at all cost (holismgaea.bandcamp.com) for this motherfucker is one Uber-righteous speilfest indeed, and always are there new uprisings, new sonic salients to assault our preconceptions. What a royal shit-storm – a truly Cosmic Music. Phew. Even better, three of the songs clock in each at over a quarter-of-an-hour in length, pushing this album of FX and Instant Moments into that same spectacular territory as Dom’s EDGE OF TIME or even Yatha Sidra’s MEDITATION MASS. Released on Israel’s always-fascinating/oft stupefying label Heart & Crossbone, BLAKESIAN WILLIAMNESS is an essential purchase, brothers’n’sisters. I guarantee you will still be playing this at social evenings of utter cunted-ness thirty years hence.

MICROPHONICS XXI-XXV by Dirk Serries

Next up, prepare yourselves for the extremely emotional ambient overdrive of Belgian composer/guitarist Dirk Serries’ magnificent opus MICROPHONICS XXI-XXV, which burns with such a truly Mithraic fire that its oft-fearsomely sentimental chords – despite having been overdriven to fuck and bit-crunched mercilessly – display that same heart-rending tragedy and unredeemed-ness as the music of Canada’s Nadja or even Gavin Bryars’ timeless ‘Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet’. In his guise as Fear Falls Burning, I’ve several times reviewed this extraordinary and compelling guitarist, and this release is truly just as gut wrenching as any of his previous works. Released on the Tone Float label both on CD and on 2x10” with accompanying book, MICROPHONICS XXI-XXV features four ten-minute-plus guitar-based pieces that demand constant rotation, indeed, I’d be up for 40-minute re-mixes of each track. Like Michael Rother’s occasionally ecstatic drumless Neu guitar pieces, the music of Dirk Serries is a beautifully seeping and roaringly spike-a-delic experience that will drench your walls, soil your appliances and leave your entire habitat awash with ambient tears.

SULTRY DAGGERS by The Tunnel

Hey, it’s rare nowadays to see a band confident enough to depict themselves in their record sleeve photos in the ‘shocked dark’ mode à la James Chance’s Contortions or Teenage Lydia’s Jerks, so all praise to San Francisco trio The Tunnel, whose raging, twisted, primal maelstrom contained within the grooves of their marvellous new album SULTRY DAGGERS truly justifies the facial affrontedness of its band members. Awash with J. Div basslines and errant single-coil Yawning Man-style guitar themes of considerable excellence, The Tunnel’s main chance nevertheless hinges on the unhinged performance of chief gurner and visionary singer Jeff Wagner, whose ‘young Orson Welles’ image fetches up on vinyl as the younger, feistier brother of BÔC’s Eric Bloom or even Alice’s sub-Elvis jalopy ‘Long Black Limousine’. Boy, the manner in which this lad Wagner wraps his amphetamined cakehole around some of his more tender lyrical morsels, well, they make Kevin Rowland sound like a BBC announcer. Beautiful. To this temperate climate Limey, the timbre of this record generally conjures up a series of semi-legal dealings down Mexico way, involving lots of love, rejection, blood and disillusion. And if not, that’s only because Mein Hairy J. Wagner wished his lyrics to remain impenetrable to the less shocked of us in the community. Nevertheless, this dynamic album – released on the band’s own Glorious Alchemical Co. – inhabits a genuinely compelling other world from commencement to termination. Stay shocked, gentlemen. This is one fuck-off of a disc.

CAIRN by Circuit Breaker

Now, I’d like to ask the attention of all you old time experimentalists for whom recordings by the likes of Factrix, Minimal Man, even Mark P’s The Good Missionaries were not merely Palette Cleansers but could be considered essential statements in themselves; records in which seemingly gratuitous and random bursts of free electronics transmitted from some scorched earth dystopia was always to be accompanied by a shamanic vocalist, itinerant ranter poet or village idiot savant. Such listeners should most serpently check out CAIRN by the Leighton Buzzard duo Circuit Breaker, whose already disorientating and highly fragmented music – deploying self-sabotage and counter-intuition according to their press release – is brought to life by a vocalist/seer whose querulous delivery makes The Cure’s Robert Smith sound like WASP’s Blackie Lawless. Oo, yer bitch! No, I mean it, kiddies. Check out these S. London gentlemen for yourselves at circuitbreakerband.tumblr.com and I’ll wager you’ll soon be wandering around impersonating troubled vocalist Peter Simpson, declaiming and denouncing portentously as you engage with the housework. Disturbing and cantankerous and highly fucking rock’n’roll, Circuit Breaker’s self-released CAIRN offers a complete, almost hermetically-sealed worldview of considerable force. Take it to the check out, motherfuckers!

MOTH MASQUE by TiMOTHy

Okay, speaking of highly individualistic worldviews, check out that wonderfuel new MOTH MASQUE 3CD box from Pittsburg’s TiMOTHy Revelator for a Weltanshauung of a completely different nature. Many of you Head Heritage regulars will already know what a sucker I’ve been down the years for the various configurations of the Revelator’s work. Yet, still this new package of previously unreleased 4-track material – all nearly a decade old – shits massive logs upon almost everything of the present day. Dammit, the Revelator shows up here armed just with an 1880 banjo and a mindboggling lady singer who sounds like she’s a born-again riding the Sybian, and the results are entirely spectacular. How TiMOTHy survives in the States, searchez-moi, motherfuckers! He should save up and move to Mull, Harris or Hoy where he truly belongs. But while his banjos – hath he many – remain that side of the pond, well, don’t those damn Yankees need this archdruid more than we of the Old World? And while TiMOTHy continues to prosecute his World Mission with such stealth and thorough aplomb, we can only applaud his perspicacity and persistence in this hollow Western World that daily steeps itself, nay, cyber-luxuriates in its gruesome and gruelling www.façade-book worthlessness. Ride the net over to the Moth and tell the fucker he rules, brothers’n’sisters. He’s right there at myspace.com/timothyrevelator and he’s alive and making shaking music with anything that comes to hand. We all have plenty of time to be dead, but TiMOTHy has already captured SO much of his life in glamorous clamorous moments that he can be sure – even when he’s 500 years in the soil – to be able instantly still to summon up scores of memories of this exquisite earthly existence. Envy him, kiddies. Or buy his discs and rub shoulders with one of the True Practitioners.

Self-titled LP by Hot Lunch

Finally, the Vinyl of the Month goes to American West Coast quartet Hot Lunch, whose scorched and roaring self-titled debut does battle with the whole of 1969-71’s heavy scene and mostly wins. Tumbling Olympian guitar riffs, radical tempo changes, gruff desperate lead vocalist, guitar solos way louder than the rest of the band, Dennis ‘Machine Gun’ Thompson percussion mania throughout. Hell, even their almost obligatory Myths & Legends epic ‘Lady of the Lake’ is a startling success in a very early Yes/late Love kinda way. And album closer ‘Monks on the Moon’ is an even cheekier tour de force and a stone classic. Imagine a hybrid singer somewhere between Rob Tyner, Bobby Liebling and Granicus’ Woody Leffel and you’ve reached bearded longhair vocalist Eric Shea’s major metaphor, and a fuck of a metaphor it is. Hairy Chapter, Dust, Dragonfly, Bang, this gentleman could have fronted any of those lost outfits and kacked big logs over their own singers. Add to all that the soaring eloquence of action-guitarist Aaron Nudelman’s post-Townshendian MC5-ian Muse and fastidious Klepto-Iommisms and, boy, these suckers even manage to breath some life into ELP’s stinking ‘Knife Edge’. That’s right, you heard me correctly. First time I couldn’t believe my ears. All over the tragic original, Keith Emerson had managed to daub so many rank-and-chortlesome show off licks, that merely by divesting it of such World Crap, the gentlemen of Hot Lunch have uncovered a… Garage Classic. No less, no shit! Add Aaron Nudelman’s new contributions and fuck ja, mein hairy! So yes yes yes, this is one fine debut, gentlemen, and I do hope you stay together long enough to spew out another. Released on Germany’s Who Can You Trust Records, Hot Lunch is a daft enough name to get noticed and too great a debut LP to pass un-noticed. Those of you with a perma-jones for true proto-metal of the highly imaginative variety should rush out with the readies, and right now!

Finally, brothers’n’sisters, I’d just like to list a few of our own coming releases in the next coupla months. Yes, my own album REVOLUTIONARY SUICIDE will finally appear on the Head Heritage label in late April, and a right old barrage of refusenik protest songs its turning out to be. Songs thus far recorded are ‘The Armenian Genocide’, ‘England Expectorates’, ‘Why Did The Chicken Cross My Mind?’, ‘Paradise Mislaid’, ‘Russian Revolution Blues’ and ‘They Were On Hard Drugs’. Catchy bastards all of them, I reckon. Also look out for my long promised album of 1993-2012 cave holler entitled ARCHAEOSONICS, whose release should coincide with a website of the same name AND a second Black Sheep VC album. Finally finally, also making a brief appearance will be a 25-minute Fuck Off & Di EP by myself and Lucy Brownhills, highly limited and a riot of sound and moaning.

Righteous kiddies, now I’ll fuck the fuck off for another month,

Love be the way,

JULIAN (Lord Yatesbury)