Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

April Drudion

April 2013ce

Many of the Archdrude’s recent art pieces and album covers have been created in this over-sized 19th century book – Fender 12-string shown for scale – whose worn and antiqued pages add tremendously to the look of the finished product.

Hey Drudion,

Spring has sprung, the grass is riz and all the birds are out courting and making new nests and the sun is already rising high in the east up here in these northern climes. Still bitter cold, though kiddies, so invigorating I can’t hardly believe it. Anyway, all is about ready for my new album REVOLUTIONARY SUICIDE to be unleashed upon the unsuspecting population. I say ‘unleashed’ because this fucker is the Not-Back-Off-Kid, another pagan rant against the sheer Wantingness of current organised religion sure, but full of compassion and terribly sad events. Look out for the 15-minute-long epic ‘The Armenian Genocide’, which plays every string of your heart then turbo-charges the Sad and starts all over again. Look out also for the 7-minute opener ‘Hymn To The Odin’, which is just as crazily emotional and catchy as a bastard. Prepare yourselves for the sheer crystal clear sense of the title track, which casts the vocalist as some wide-eyed De-Twat Rock Singer espousing 7/7 values over garage rock. As ever, replete with marching bass drums, molto vocals, Mellotron 400s-a-go-go, acoustic guitars coming out your ears, fizzing, farting’n’blarting analogue synths from anal ages ago, REVOLUTIONARY SUICIDE will rinse your psychic eye sockets and turn you into a right old crybaby. I’m telling ya!

AUDITORIUM by End Of Silence

Okay, over at the Reviews Section, I gots to say that the killer of all killers this month is the magnificent AUDITORIUM by the recently re-formed End Of Silence, from the German city of Koblenz. Mercy me, motherfuckers, this is one hell of an album these three stupor-druids have laid upon us. A prime melange of Cuntedotherness that bears umpteen repeats. Imagine Teeth Of Lions Rule The Divine played in the style of first album Ash Ra Tempel and yooz somewhat approaching the first of the tracks. Imagine also a Cosmic Jokers production as applied to a Scorpions wall-of-noise soundcheck, over perhaps even a Dieter Dierks-produced Mo Tucker drum tuition LP, musically overseen by J. Cale. The second enormity sounds almost as though some huge sonic catering programme was being enacted employing huge analogue fridges and ovens, the three members of End Of Silence firing up their Soviet-sized instruments then attempting displays of extreme reserve and subtlety throughout track 2, resulting in a highly noisy and entertaining silence, the sonic equivalent to what Yeats called ‘a little foam upon the deep’. Imagine a kind of Tetragrammaton plays Overhang Party meets Ash Ra Tempel’s ‘Schwingungen’ title-track as played by ATEM/ZEIT-period T. Dream. Sorry to be so precise in my description, but this divine stuff is of the Gods and deserves a Godlike descriptive. And a big, nay, mossshive thanks to the great Heart & Crossbone label, whose percipience landed this singular and squirming Ouroboros. Phew. Anyway, the final near-quarter-of-an-hour is a blindfolded and wired-for-sound paintball contest between two glacier-sized Norse titans, who tear their referee into bits and roof their fjord arena with his judgemental body parts. Massive in its weather FX, its percussion and for putting the entire northern hemisphere through a Phase Shifter, this End Of Silence record is something of a classic, me babbies. Get your own copy, and pronto, Tonto.

COSMOS-MOTHER by Book Of Shadows

Next up, Those of you with a jones for the utterly and unremittingly mysterious will be delighted by COSMOS-MOTHER from Austin’s fabulous quartet Book Of Shadows, whom I’ve raved about in the past, and whose unearthly dislocated muse centres around the glassy and fragmented ‘received’ volvic vocals of Sharon Crutcher and her keyboardist-husband Carlton, whose own inner soundtrack seems to tootle along somewhere in those low low Presbyterian churchlands between NOT AVAILABLE-period Residents and Nico’s THE MARBLE INDEX. Deploying the vocal style of someone Going-Through-Something, yet remaining objective and removed simultaneously, appears to be Sharon Crutcher’s greatest performance strength. Soaring and cooing enchantedly, but also gargling, moaning, muttering, chuntering, La Crutcher at times sounds about five years old, elsewhere she’s almost a long dead Black Metal songstress auditioning for one of Sorc’henn’s most drab broadsides. But whatever be Book Of Shadows’ real world habitat, this quartet flourish on COSMOS-MOTHER in a drab and deserted lunar landscape bleaker than the Outer Hebrides and agriculturally even more unyielding. And should this ensemble ever wish to take to the road, they’ll most like achieve arena size up in the remote low floodlands and islands of Denmark and the North Netherlands. That mysterious, that unyielding, me babbies. Search these super-seers out via Austin’s Instincto Records and find yourselves caught up in a spectral between world.

LOW MELT by Blackhoods

Hey, a bit like the next turn then. They’re called Blackhoods and their debut E.P. LOW MELT is nearly half–an-hour of wonderfuel live entertainment directly from Reading’s South Street Arts Centre. Yup, more from those Double Dot Dash people that brought us the wonderful Working Man Noise Unit. And on cassette once again, plus free download. Bloody hell, this groove is good. It’s like some reggae DJ sampled swamp music, Boards of Canada and Excepter’s more somnambulist grooves. Live too. It’s the toaster and the minimalism of the sound FX that makes this so compelling, and so perfect for endless repetition, too. Indeed, my family has already heavily rotated this sucker for meditation, kundalini yoga and higher primate activities. Do get hold of this latest limited edition cassette from Double Dot Dash, as they’re hipper than hell and twice as useful. Yowzah, a deserved Yowzah!

THE ASTRAL BODY ELECTRIC by Herbcraft

Hey, I’m also totally Father Yodding out to THE ASTRAL BODY ELECTRIC from the American W. Coast quartet Herbcraft, whose two-male, two-female personnel manifests on this vinyl LP as a magnificently spacey trek somewhat in the early Japanese stylee à la Klaus Schulze’s produktion values for BLACKDANCE and also with Far East Family Band. Oo ja, mein hairies. Commencing with the tom-tom driven and arid wah-everything meditations of ‘Mother’s Gate’, Herbcraft writhes and flows through umpteen Amon Düülian soundscapes with all the raging Mithraic fire of Flower Travellin’ Band, a permafrost of sonic ice suffused by its own incandescent glow. That good? That compelling, kiddies. That the U.S. Underground continues to throw up such out-of-nowhere essentials is more than heartening; it’s a lifeline and that’s a fact. Like the Rrreverberationsss album of last year, THE ASTRAL BODY ELECTRIC embodies all and every spirit of the original Ur-influence of its declared Ancestors by highly restricting the manner in which the ensemble commits itself to posterity, therefore – like Can’s schloss, Faust’s Wümme schoolroom, Sunburned Hand Of The Man’s Burren Bar before them – the room in which their sound is captured adds greatly to the results heard within. Released on the American Woodsist Records label, this is an effortlessly repeatable experience. Check the ensemble out at herbcraft.bandcamp.com, and make it snappeye.

ORANUR III by Schloss Tegal

Meanwhile, over at Schloss Tegal’s ORANUR III “THE THIRD AND FINAL REPORT”, yes kiddies, this is the scariest soundtrack you’ve heard in a God’s Age, a series of recorded alien encounters over which is superimposed dark industrial winds and solar flares to take your breath away. Useful? I should say so, brothers’n’sisters. This little lot of inchoate stumblers will guarantee you over an hour’s worth of merciless sub-sub-amphibian meditation as you slide down down down below the human levels into a kind of Yesterday’s Soup status. I don’t know where Czech artist Schloss Tegal stands as far as the subject matter is concerned, but even the pseudo-science of the album cover itself throws this album into a kind of quasi-religious cult status. Released on the always intriguing Coldspring Records, this is a severe statement indeed, but what a way to grab yourself a fast-track down the evolutionary ladder, kiddies!

HEAT by Piotr Kurek

Finally, Vinyl of the Month goes to Polish composer Piotr Kurek, whose magically driven LP HEAT serves us up a fabulous imaginary movie soundtrack courtesy of several banks of old keyboards, wind instruments and percussion. Imagine a soundscape somewhere between the dignified Middle-European Zappa-like themes of Faust’s debut, the cranky orchestras of early Van Dyke Parks, the herkyjerky of Asmus Tietchens and SOWIESOSO-period Cluster, the ring-modulated national anthems of Stockhausen and the Soviet (manipulated) organ-driven antics of Mikhail Checkalin and yooz entered somewhat into M’Lud Kurek’s obsessive meditations. Nice. Originally released a coupla years ago on a Digitalis LTD cassette, this black vinyl edition comes from Black Sweat Records, on a smart full colour-printed buff manilla card with free download, and all you motherfuckers need need need personal copies, which should be corralled right now AND with arms fully outstretched, as this LP is one repeatable sonic sucker that will seep into your undermind and keep the bad at bay. Dammit, we should all email www.piotrkurek.com and declare our thanks for this righteous slice.

Right, that’s enough horn tooting for another month. I’m back off into the writing of my novel 131, which is taking on fabulous aspects – ahem, even more fabulous aspects – than I’ve even forewarned Faber & Faber about, even. Look out for the new album towards the end of the month, and keep your winter draws on a while longer!

U-Know!

JULIAN (Lord Yatesbury)