Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

July Drudion

July 2013ce

The Archdrude’s novel takes place in a world where Jim Morrison is still alive and Manicured Noise are big. So when a drugged-out Time Traveller gets kidnapped at Italia ’90, there are implications.

Hey Drudion,

I hope your Solstice Celebrations were rich and sustained. Here at Head Heritage, the weird multi-media nature of my Sardinian novel 131 – pronounced ‘One-Three-One’ – means that my family and several Black Sheep are already knee deep in preparing its illustrations and maps. Kiddies, this novel ain’t gonna be no diversion from the Revolution. This sucker Am the Revolution. It’s gonna git you off your feet and into the street. Yup, when you finish reading the 131 and break from listening to the blessed soundtrack, gee whizz, you won’t half feel glad you fetched up in the Cunted West. Indeed, 131 is such a rampage through W. Culture that after reading the novel, all Yanks-of-the-Future will be able quite confidently to pronounce obscure N. Wales towns such as Banger, Welshpool and Holyhead. In the meantime, many thanks for all the praise for REVOLUTIONARY SUICIDE. And yes, I’m wholly amenable to the Irish Times idea of a Julian Cope Day. Righty oh, let’s get over to that Reviews Section where the past month has yielded up some more extraordinarily heavy musical statements.

ROPE HOUSE TEMPER by Razen

First up, let’s have a look at ROPE HOUSE TEMPER by Belgian duo Razen, who present herein an intoxicating sauce of stark and tripped out ritual music, dark fölk, semi-ambient instrumental tableaux and cavernous field recordings, all of which conspires to keep listeners in a semi-permanent trance state. Epic bass drums, tablas, double bass and recorders are here enriched by the truly exotic, as the duo deploy hurdygurdy, shawm, bouzouki, bombus and even bagpipes. Yup, here bagpipes of the Uillean variety drone out their great warrior wail as acoustic pickings thrum; there, avantdrone organ and/or fuzzed e. guitar duals with massed Amon Düül 1 bongo fury in some cunted cave mouth session. Perhaps Razen’s singularmost sound is in their loud loud use of African lamellophone, that thumb-plucked micro-marimba that sounds so good electrified. Wowzah! Tracks shudder, groan and crossfade, one even pressing on into the 30-minutes territory. Like Jens, Jahrtal and several of the more catatonic Steinklang Gang, Razen’s meditations are hefty low-level episodes of great churning string drones, others reminiscent of TiMOTHy Revelator-styled back-porch blues twangs but here consumed by the unique ceaseless one-string fiddling accompaniment. Better still, each track is as environment-modifying as that previously encountered. Released on the Kraak Records label, this is one fabulous and Ur-entertaining slice of aural crucialness.

THE OMINOUS by Jacob

Next up, look out for the extraordinary debut from Jacob, a remarkable and heavyweight duo comprised of Orthodox bassist/singer Marco Serrato and avant-garde movie soundtrack composer David Cordero. Entitled THE OMINOUS, ruddy hell this is one helluva finely wrought and total piece. And one that explores to the absolute max Senõr Serrato’s poet-ruffian sensibilities upon all things stringed and low tuned, too. Clattering double bass s-s-shakes in vast baths of reverb, as bassy ghost ships of enormous but distant belltones ring out in the otherwise grim silence. Zounds, this album ringeth veritably and so righteously in me earlobes that I gots to doff me visor cap to David Cordero for his percipience in deploying the Serrato bass arsenal in this colossal manner. Orthodox itself is a bizarre and wholly unique fusing of Doom and true post-Venom metal broadside. But THE OMINOUS sidesteps all of Orthodox’s output entirely by concentrating so specifically on the bass end. According to the press release, the Orthodox bassist was initially asked by Cordero to supplement some of the composer’s own soundtrack work, but he found Serrato’s frenetic Ur-bubbling so compelling that a collaboration soon seemed obligatory. Add to that the bassist’s incredible penchant for unworldly Demis Roussos vocal excursions and this experiment is complete. Released on the Utech label, I suggest y’all get a hold of this sucker and rotate it rather heavily.

QUIPU by Brian Ellis

The same can be said for Brian Ellis’ masterful album QUIPU, whose spectacular hour-long musical sojourn is nothing less than a trans-dimensional dance into new myths, old myths and even myths yet to be addressed. Powerfully played, masterfully (and most dervishly) arranged, effortlessly endowed with compelling FX and stellar sonic novelties, this may well be the single CD that the Seth Man requires for his new West Coast reality! For it gots to be declared, brothers’n’sisters, that this record dares dares dares to rub shoulders with such cultural giants as John McLaughlin’s immense 1970 DEVOTION LP, to nip at the heels of Miles Davis’ most opaque and chromatic AGHARTA, to dock at Magma’s most guarded space port, even to sail perilously close to U.S.S. Zappa yet still come out smelling like Faust’s 1st! Spectacular steering, sir! Magical is this recording. CONTININTAL CIRCUS-period Gong axe-instrumentals as augmented, nay, wind-assisted by the Mothers’ Ian Underwood and the Gardner brothers? U-Goddit! Serpently, this disc adhereth never to current popular norms, but – like other such singular and timeless oddities as Mikhail Checkalin, MCH Band, even bits of Todd Clark – Herr Ellis keeps his mixes harsh, tough, radically visceral. Instruments poke out, analogue synthesizers squirt uncontrollably, whilst beneath performs a Godlike crew something like a Klaus Blasquiz-led dark robes versh of The Tubes. That in control, kiddies? Yup, THAT in control. Released on the Parallax Sounds label, this record will play and play for years and years. Except for a few E. German reel-to-reel mega ensembles, QUIPU sounds precisely like kinda nothing else ever. Oi, Christian Vander, what’s Kobiaan for Extremely Well Done?

REBIRTH INVOCATIONS by M.S. Miroslaw

More ritual music? For anyone with a need need need for a major, even obstinate character fronting their ambulant meditative adventures, check the fuck out of REBIRTH INVOCATIONS by the shamanic performer M.S. Miroslaw. Whew kiddies, this seer/sucker is a colleague of the fabulous Hermetic Brotherhood of Lux-Or, and herein lays upon us some of the smartest right now vocal chanting this side of my own avant-vocal ODIN, perhaps even with a bit of Takehisa Kosugi’s truly vocaleptic CATCH-WAVE thrown in. Yow-fucking-Tsar or what! Recorded in caves, nay, Mediterranean antrons of great tradition and ancient usage, M.S. Miroslaw knows his Sardu onions, dedicating a whole track to the former Macomer doorway temple at Imbertighe, and embarks on his own musical Odinist journey – through mountains and former volcanoes – thereafter pasting upon them robust orchestrations of e. drone and concussive punctuation. However, the infernal musical soul of this artist is so robust that his post-performance editing and enhancing never detracts from the visceral, nay, viciousness of Miroslaw’s performance. Released on the Sardinian Trasponic label, in a textured card cover dedicated to Robert Graves and Maria Gimbutas, REBIRTH INVOCATIONS is one to own and hold. A sweet necessity.

CTHONIAN MUSIC by Rmdel/K11

Next up, I’d like to fizz about CHTHONIAN MUSIC, July’s intriguing, exhilarating, beguiling and inspirational Re-Issue of the Month. Played by an enormous ‘Underground Supergroup‘ that went by the name RMedl/K11, this stellar project was originally released as a limited edition back in 2010CE. Phew, brothers’n’sisters, I do believe these mad cunts should be thanked just for having released such a daunting project. How can you stop big guest personalities from demanding they be allowed to daub more thang upon ye project? Can I add some more Starchamber 1 to track… No, it’s done, it’s out... Nevertheless, there are featured within the grooves of CHTHONIAN MUSIC some gargantuan performances by such bigtime Underground names as Philippe Petit, Nordvargr, Burial Hex, Pietro Riparbelli plus a whole host more. Great suites of iceberg-sized organ music crash into each other, some others are informed entirely by raging solo grand piano excursions, others by crackling weather recordings over great lurches and lummoxes of abandoned solo analogue synthesizer, or even flailings of wild-man drums’n’concussion. Elsewhere pylons of Power Electronics brutalise the near horizon as some musician anonymous conjures up sub-bass FX that crawl around your bedroom and play comb-and-paper with your headboard. Eeewwwwwwww!!! Released on Northampton’s excellent Cold Spring label, this inspirational record actually manages to subsume all of its guest stars into the whole without murdering them or misrepresenting them in any way: a stellar performance of psychological as well a musical achievement. Not that umpteen underground madfuckers should necessarily guarantee the pukkaness of a project. But it’s just nice that the formula has panned out so well within the grooves of this outrageous album. Methinks it even warrants a slightly hysterical hearty ‘Yowzah!’

COLTAN by Verma

Finally, check out the Vinyl of the Month by Chicago quintet Verma, whose LP COLTAN presents us with four aggressively evocative instrumental soundscapes dominated by massed hollow tom-toms, overdriven Caledonian organ drones, bold punctuating staccato Fender Precision bass and an array of stringed instruments. Better still, kiddies, these gentlemen achieve their motherlode only through the extreme economy of everyone’s playing. Indeed, despite existing at times in an archetypal post-A SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS haze, none of this ensemble ever trespasses into true P. Floyd territory, replacing Rick Randomer Wright’s simpleton mouse-running-up-the-white-notes organ dwindling with pure and hefty Middle European organ drone overload. Of lead guitar there is nothing to be heard beyond occasional bombardments of pure distant axe fury and chordal deluge. But inevitably each individual musical foray falters, paddling briefly in the stormy waters before being once more subsumed into the whole. Released on the Trouble In Mind label, this is an endlessly playable record, and fans of Parson Sound and Agitation Free should search out these gentlemen. A wonderful debut, bravo.

Finally, before I quit for another month, all of you Head Heritage fanatics should keep your eyes peeled this coming month for a few choice Merchandiser Deals. Better still, the freeing up of so much Head Heritage stockroom space means that fans of our mid-price Fuck Off & Di label will get a chance to fill a few spaces in the collection, as several half-empty boxes have come to light. Remember when we withdrew from sale the debut E.P. by those fuckers Avatars Of The Badman? Yup, well we got a few ‘new old stock’ plus other HH mysteries. In the meantime, I shall return to writing the novel.

Love Reign on ya, Motherfuckers,

JULIAN (Lord Yatesbury)