Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

August Drudion

August 2013ce

Six months before WW2, the great C.G, Jung was, while speaking on BBC Radio, asked by the Bishop of Southwark where he believed religion to be heading. I found Jung’s reply so informative to we 21st century Westerners that I’ve painted it up in a Revolutionary stylee. Have a gander, kiddies! (photo: Ex)

Hey Drudion,

Excuse my brief pronouncements this month, but ye novel One Three One is blasting along at such a pace that I can barely find time to think about much beyond. However, as this is a Hooligan Road Novel that addresses such dubious fixations as national football teams, national football heroes, ancient scores to be settled, etc., I just wanna forewarn y’all that I shall be displaying rather a rum set of oft-negative archetypes throughout the story’s length. No one gets married. No one gets engaged. And several of the cast kick the bucket. That said, I do also promise you that One Three One shall deliver to y’all as unlikely a set of anti-heroes as you’ve enjoyed since those decades-old under-achieving submariners who starred in DAS BOOT. Shiftless, conniving, Machiavellian, allegiance changing. And that’s just the good guys!

VILKE by Daniel Menche

All righty, then, let’s now commence the Reviews Section with a proper overview of VILKÉ, the particularly fine and sprawling new 2LP by American composer, field recordist and hiker Daniel Menche. Inspired by the wolves of his travels in the N. West and named for the Lithuanian for ‘she-wolf’, VILKÉ presents us with four side-long pieces of haunted and eerie atmosphere music whose dilating post-industrial rhythms, and seemingly ever-decaying, ever-degrading, cicadas-driven post-industrial drone-o-drudge inhabits a parallel half-world to that of the wolves whose howls the composer incorporates, nay, everywhere subsumes into his oeuvre. Elsewhere, over a carefully layered choir of wolf howls, the composer has created an orchestration of performed percussion, resounding guitar clatter and abstract piano litter. Wonderfully evocative at all times, kiddies, this is one to get your hands on. Why? Well, Herr Menche’s four splendid sides – released on Washington State’s excellent Sige Records – are each one showcased on handsome clear vinyl, and all accommodated in a luxurious housing-within-a-housing. So, whilst also available on CD, VILKÉ might well best be purchased in this vinyl configuration, each sidelong statement crucial in itself and all four endlessly repeatable. Come on now, brothers’n’sisters, do cop your own copy now!

HOME GOING by Cristal

Also highly demanding of your listening time this month is the exhilarating and turbulent epic HOME GOING by American avant-garde trio Cristal, whose eight distressed and melancholic aural reports enshroud and envelope listeners, holding them in thrall at all times. Imagine a musical soundtrack to a documentary on ghost ships of the Norwegian fjords, as played on vast cinema organ-sized synthesizers, then imagine those results filtered through the 30-second movie facility on a child’s camera. Indeed, throughout HOME GOING, the always remotely apprehended music of Cristal conveys to listeners that mythological level of audio-pixilation that allows listeners always to sink deeper and deeper. Hell, each track’s so good they could be perma-rotated around your household, whilst the uber-hit ‘Dead Bird’ should be put forward for Agitation Free’s Looping Award. Ja, mein hairies! Indeed, much of the impact of this fine record is the manner in which listeners are kept on their toes due both to the brevity of certain tracks and Cristal’s fine habit of brutal crosscutting between pieces of entirely different tempos. This Heat’s too short ‘Music Like Escaping Gas’ here comes to mind, or perhaps brief snatches of Carl Orff’s CARMINA BURANA as caught on a Dictaphone. Released in a handsome 4-panel digipack on Japan’s Hand-Held Recordings, Cristal’s fine debut here showcases an ensemble at a peak of usefulness, kiddies.

BEASTS E.P. by Honkeyfinger

Now if yooz the kind with a yen for smart industrially-packaged Musicassettes chock-full-o’spewed, hiccupped, mealy-mouthed electro-rock of the early solo-Alan Vega-meets-Avatars of the Bad Man variety, do please make sure you grab a hold of the BEASTS E.P. by London’s deranged duo Honkeyfinger. Highly handmade in early Factory Records ‘brutaliste’ style and replete with appropriate printed used toilet-roll inner, your five squid splash-out secures you four marvellous barf-o-thons (‘21st Century Man’, ‘Wiseblood’, ‘Fever Rising’ and ‘Noble Savagery’), that sweat and stomp with all the grizzly aplomb of a queasy Sonny Vincent dosed up with Ativan, or even an electro- proto-Sabs on a quest for the dark heart of ‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy)’. Sheeeeesh! Released on their own Greasy Noise Records, this London duo support my contention that authenticity in rock’n’roll has nothing whatsoever to do with your birthplace, but instead – as also evidenced by the beautifully constructed Bayou blubbering of San Francisco’s John ‘Creedence’ Fogerty – has everything to do with the Itinerant Shamanic Other of each individual. Individuals, got me? So you want rock’n’roll authenticity, motherfuckers? You buy this five quid cassette now!

EIGHT MILES HIGH DVD

Do also please search out the extraordinary German rock’n’roll movie EIGHT MILES HIGH, which tells the radical life story of Amon Düül’s beautiful percussionist Uschi Obermaier. From her maracas-shaking beginnings in everyone’s fave commune band, via her activista Berlin Kommun Ein period, through her role as lover and muse of both Mick AND Keith, and concluding with the bizarre motorbike death of her explorer/entrepreneur husband Dieter Bockhorn, this is one to watch and watch and then just have on in the background. First released back in 2007CE on Document Films, this film’s tendency to generalize the Swinging ‘60s has resulted in its being virtually unknown to the W. Underground Scene. But view this sucker one time, kiddies, and – as well as two swell fellas being the Glimmer Twins – we lucky suckers get to experience that entire early Amon Düül ensemble of Helga Filander, Peter and Ulrich Leopold, Ella and Rainer Bauer, and all rather niftily depicted, too.

MONDO MUSIC by Cannibal Movie

Okay, now let me please hip y’all to the Re-issue of the Month, in which we all get a chance to cop a vinyl version of last year’s superb cassette-only whopper MONDO MUSIC from that wild Italian drum-and-organ duo Cannibal Movie. What an unexpected joy! First, imagine transmissions of brooding, overloaded organ drones and bursts of cascading semi-melodies, all punctuated throughout by pounding, rolling drums and sibilant cymbals. Then imagine pure uninterrupted organ unleashments only occasionally invaded by broadsides of intrusive percussion and cymbals. Finally imagine intense bursts of cataclysmic sub-sub-early Soft Machine clatter that rise-and-fall away with equal amounts of randomness, and you’re reaching Cannibal Movie’s errant and somewhat debased Muse. But, kiddies, how raw and rich and free of all artifice is this superb work? Indeed, by the third time through, ardent listeners begin to appreciate every micro-nuance unleashed from the remedial organ of Donato Epiro, whilst every flurrying percussive flourish from drummer Gaspare ‘Lemming’ Sammartano becomes a lifebuoy, a safety net in which the floundering, disorientated listener can cosy themselves whilst searching helplessly for clearer signposts. Again released on the Yerevan Tapes record label, this obscure tribal outburst can be accessed via soundcloud.com/yerevan-tapes/sets/cannibal-movie-mondo-music-1, so there!

CUCKOO LIVE by Hey Colossus

Righty-oh, for our August Vinyl of the Month, let’s next please welcome back that terminally consistent sextet, now augmented to an octet, it’s Hey Colossus, whose new and superb album CUCKOO LIVE is a shucking’n’jiving buckeroo from Hel and should be apprehended and subsumed into your record collection at lightning speed. Released on the M.I.E. record label on handsome vinyl replete with stellar fine artwork, this is one to obtain, brothers’n’sisters. I suppose the greatness within the heaviness of Hey Colossus has always consisted in their too much-ness, just like the six-piece 1975 Pere Ubu, the augmented’n’metalled 1978 Van Der Graaf, the briefly double-drum kitted Magma, and the guitarist overlade of LESSON 1-period Glenn Branch. Too much can never be too much when its protagonists display reggae levels of interchange. But herein the Colossus operates such a remarkably economical and sophisticated display of dynamics that it enters territory akin to Parson Sound tracking Pere Ubu’s ’30 Seconds Over Tokyo’, or Gnod on a PARALLEL UNIVERSE-period Far East Family Band-trip. So, yes kiddies, this Colossus is a very different beast from that of yesteryear. The metal quotient has been increased considerably for a start, the always compelling vocals now somehow more extremely necessary and always rather fucking yeah: Damo-meets-Alan Dubin, anyone? I never expect drums fills of the Buffin/Bun E. Carlos variety, so they’ve made my nights, whilst the bass climbing the walls of the room, the sparks of guitar flaming here and there, and the overwhelmingly Teutonic cosmic nature of the record places it as much in the Welsh Amon Düül FOOL MOON territory as the Bavarian rush of the German versh! Remarkabubble. Herein the grooves of CUCKOO LIVE, we’re privy to a band currently at the top of their game. That they’ve delivered us so much already we should be grateful grateful grateful for, but as regards this latest release? These gentlemen deserve a full round of Yowzahs! Or I ain’t the Archdrude of Wessex!

Finally, I’d just like to say how much I’m looking forward to getting out to the Green Man Festival over in the border counties near Way-On-High. I shall only be gassing and telling a few interesting stories, but it will be good to get out from underneath a hot computer for the day. Gotta say, I’ve always believed that neck of the woods would make an ideal place from which to launch the Revolution. Back of Beyond or what? Only possible problem I could foresee would be enjoying the area so much you lose the need to do your Revoluting! Darn it!

Until Next Month,

Fuck Yeah, Brothers’n’Sisters,

JULIAN (Lord Yatesbury)