Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Final Drudion

March 2014ce

Bye-bye, Y’All. The Archdrude atop Waden Hill: early morning, March 1st, 2014CE. (Photo: Avalon Cope)

Hey Drudion,

My time is up! I’ve been serving up these Addresses periodically since 1997CE, and monthly since 2000CE. But now my time here is done. In truth, I’ve already heard more than enough great underground music this Millennium to convince myself that many of our 21st century artists done transcended the Ancestors. True, brothers’n’sisters. True true. And don’t look at me like that all you Unbelieving music writers at G2, at Q magazine, at Record Collector and the like because the evidence is clear as day. Evidence? Yup, because when I play my daughters Old Timer stuff, they invariably tear that shit off the turntable in favour of the Current. Always the Current comes emanating out of their rooms. That is, of course, unless it’s Old Timer shit like Amon Düül 1, Amon Düül 2, Black Sabbath, early Blue Cheer, James Brown, Can, Cluster, Crass, Miles Davis, Death Comes Along, Doors, Electric Eels, Furekaaben, Joy Div., MC5, Rallizes, Klaus Schulze, Sleep, Taj Mahal Travellers, early T. Dream, Velvets or Neil Young. In other words: The Ur-Ancestors. Pretty much everybody else sound like right Dwindlers compared to the new pinnacles of 21st Century Rock’n’roll. And so I send out massive hails to the following mainstays of these Head Heritage transmissions: to Stone Breath, to Orthodox, The Heads, Gnod, Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, Bibilic Blood, Urthona, Hey Colossus, Grady Runyan, Acid Mothers Temple, Om, Sturmpercht, Bong, Comets on Fire, To Blacken The Pages, Father Murphy, Sunburned Hand Of The Man, Temple of Bon Matin, Qa’a, San Francisco Water Cooler, Sunn0))), Sacrificial Totem, Quittinirpaaq, Valley Of Ashes, and to Khanate, natch. To all of you and anyone else I’ve left out, a huge thanks for keeping my Mental Health so rigorously in check. Your glory will only increase with time for shit-damned-sure. And to all the facilitators of this monumental underground overlode – to Holy McGrail, to Coldspring Records, to Dark Holler, to the Seth Man, to Crucial Blast, to Utech Records, to Heart & Crossbone, to Steinklang, to Boring Machines, to Southern Lord, to Rocket Recordings, to Alone Records, to Ole Knudsen, to Stephen (SOMA) O’Malley, to all who drive things forwards. Generosity has been your password; let everyone know that to Sustain is Everything! And how you have sustained, Motherfuckers! Thank you, all, thank you, thank you.

MUSIC TO WATCH THE CLOUDS ON A SUNNY DAY by Inutili

Okay, now over at this Final Drudion’s Review Section, I wanna begin with the fabulous vinyl Ur-Funk of Inutili’s MUSIC TO WATCH THE CLOUDS ON A SUNNY DAY, two side-long pieces that put me in mind of prime time Parson Sound, and which perpendiculared my brainium from the off. Holy Shit this is indeed, all pivoting around a massive and elliptical bass rumble, and engineered by a saint of a sound engineer who hates drummers enough to keep those fuckers D O W N ! Better still, Inutili are possessed of a somewhat amazing drummer, whose propellant style and over caffeinated pulsations haul these Wahmongers over the VU-limits again and again and a-fucking-gain! Grooves both lümpen and swinging, moves both stealthy and mining, oh boy, ain’t it funky! Released on the oft-excellent Aagoo Records and accessed via bandofinutilli.blogspot.it, these elliptical crash-n-burners have got it. Up to here! Ah me, that George Clinton lived in the same country: then we’d have a Funkadelic 2014 for Shit Damned Sure. Gentlemen of ye ensemble, please next have a listen to Graham Central Station’s ‘Tell Me What It Is’ and tell me you can’t extend that too-brief-sucker to a full side of the next LP!

NO CLOSURE by Miller, Camfield & Merzbow

Also over-reaching in its effortless listenability is the fabulous NO CLOSURE by the American-Nihonese trio of Scott Miller, Lee Camfield and Merzbow. Released on Northampton’s always fascinating/oft brilliant Cold Spring Records, this massive album of two side-long 20-minutes-plus pieces ranges from epic emotional swamp soul w/electronics, through This Heat/Haare/Sacrificial Totem ritual w/electronics through to pure, well, electronics... perhaps with Wolf Eyes gnawing at your kecks. Always most a fan of Throbbing Gristle when that quartet was driven by Gen’s brutally infectious bass lines, I have to declare that this NO CLOSURE album – while in truth made up from umpteen different musical tableaux – gives the impression of two huge unfolding worlds that pull listeners inside and keep them there. Music Like Escaping Gas, as Charles Hayward would have said.

FIXED UNKNOWN by ZX Electric

Next, we collide again with the tragic and solitary world of ZX Electric, whose latest 10-song epic is another post-punk soul orgy of heartache and loss entitled FIXED UNKNOWN. Kiddies, this artist deploys enormous emptiness as part of his major musical arsenal, occasionally tearing at the heartstrings with hoary chord sequences and anguished vocals so appallingly pained that, veritably, it maketh me want to rend my own garments. Elsewhere, in the form of some slight recurring synthesizer theme, he’s thrown us a bone of dubious hope, but nothing ever concrete enough to raise our mouths from anything more positive than a Buster Keaton still. Again deploying titles such as ‘Sorrow Story’, ‘Fracture Torture’, ‘Amnesia’, ‘Move in Shadows’, ‘Fortune Defied’ and their ilk, the world of ZX Electric is a haunted middle-terrace where his dad’s Scalextric layout remains just as it did in the late-60s, where an unsent Valentine card to a secondary school crush sits upon the mantlepiece, where even the latest fish-and-chipshop newspaper wrappers are carefully stacked and saved. Released on ZX Electric’s own Satori Recordings, this artist is definitely one to cherish but certainly not one to stalk. If you know Kevin Coyne’s epically sad ‘Are We Dreaming?’ well multiply that by ten and you’ve come some way to reaching the Living Wake that is ZX Electric. Superb but ultimately terrifying.

ERIC'S book

A slight downer now as I turn to the pages of ERIC’S, a rather one-sided tale, nay, weighted and highly lop-sided look at Roger Eagle’s 1977 punk club, yup, the one I first attended as a farm punk replete with Daryl Hall-look and a mouthful-of-hay. Now, as a highly International and World-Bestriding Woolyback, I’d long ago decided – beyond my HEAD-ON accounts – to avoid any more interface with Liverpool ’77, clearing the way for the genuine Merseysiders to have their say on such an esteemed TV programme as ROCK FAMILY TREES, thereafter in this particular tome. However, as I love Liverpool and have in my novel 131 made as good an account of the city as I believe is possible, and what with me having just recently been voted 36th Greatest Merseysider by the readers of The Liverpool Echo, well, brothers’n’sisters, now I feel obliged to speak out against the sheer parochial nature of this book about my beloved ERIC’S. For a start, although I myself fair pretty well, many of the main protagonists – mainstays of the entire scene – are left to gather dust in the wings in order that the authors themselves should be able to big up their own roles in the club. One of them had a band, apparently they were big in the author’s own mind. This is more like what I’d expect a bitchy book about the Runcorn Punk Scene to barf forth. And why do these authors keep bumming Pete Wylie so thoroughly? As a teenager, he’d be merciless with ex-Merseybeats down The Grapes. So why is he herein given free comments on all’n’sundry when he’s such a Non-Achiever? Never made an LP of worth (never even made an LP, some say). Worse still, this Man Once Most Likely To even slags me off pointlessly when we were so close that I even played keyboards on the first Wah Heat show. Generosity, Peter, please! On that Crucial Three rehearsal you handed this committed Can’n’Neu’n’Faust-head a ‘Salomine Shuffle’ bassline that was right on the money: Roger Waters’ ‘Money’ LOL. Now you claim herein that it was mine. Generosity please, you Dwindler! Hating Pink Floyd was my Tamworth calling card!

SANG by QA'A

Finally, make sure you grab your own copy of this Final Drudion’s Vinyl of the Month, for SANG by Italy’s expert ensemble Qa’a is one essential to own in the real world. Released in triple white vinyl on the Magia Roga label, this supposedly final release showcases Qa’a at their Can-esque finest. What my saying? Well for those of you who appreciate and even dig the Rosko Gee/Rebop Kwaku-incarnation of the Mooney Suzuki Gang – I’m talking ‘All Gates Open’ here, brothers’n’sisters – then Qa’a gots it down pat, and I ain’t talking tribute band, neither. No, SANG is six sides of pure sonic invention whose feet dance within the bossanova rhythms and Jaki Love-time drum-o-thons. Imagine Dr. John’s ‘Mama Roux’ Night Tripper-period meets Miles’ AGARTHA No Wave meets Parson Sound, and yooz halfway to understanding these gents’ pleasure centres.

Now afore I quit this Drudion Platform forever, I’d just like to conclude with an explanation of why I rarely if ever wrote obituaries to the greats who left our planet during My Watch. Why? Well, I’ll tell y’all that I had no drive to turn this place into a dead centre. I did one for Michael Karoli, but when my friend John Balance died soon afterwards I was too distraught to comment. I’d called him for a gas only to be greeted by Sleazy with the flabbergasting words: “Oh, Jeff died last night. He fell off the balcony.” To his friends, J. Balance always referred to himself by his real name Jeff Rushton, and to me as Grr-Jeff. Beautiful. Anyway, I couldn’t share that and thereafter decided to keep everything dead under wraps. Head Heritage was always for the living. Last year we saw the death of the greatest ever black man – the incomparable Nelson Mandela. Then we experienced the death of the greatest ever Jew – Lou Reed. (What do you naysayers mean? Moses was a fucking Egyptian!) Finally came the death of the greatest ever keyboard player in the mighty passing of The Doors’ Ray Manzarek. What, I’d assumed he’d be telling his story of meeting Jimbo when he was a double centenarian, darn it. But now you know why I made no comments at the time of the deaths, and why I’ve constantly refused to turn Head Heritage into some gory Wake-Fest, even at the risk of appearing uncaring to some. But I Care more than anybody and I understand this World from a Bird’s Eye View, and with the Greater Understanding of the millennia. Here indoors, our colossal sale of Everything currently taking place and our great drive out of this splendid village is essential for our Trip to retain its place at the spearhead of Western Cultural Truth: as Yoko yodelled:

“Mirror becomes a razor when it is broken”.

Think on.

My wife believes in Anarchism; I believe in Anarchy. I am Zapatista in my anti-nationalism. I am Christ-informed in my devotion to the Generosity not of Mankind but of the Human Spirit male AND female. In my Odinism I am Islamic, I am direct, and I remember EVERYTHING. And to you, dear readers, you who have followed this serpentine operation of mine and whom I must thank for returning again and again, I must declare now that I am not stepping down merely to take my place in the sun, but to step up this Revolution. For the Drude and his Revolution shall always prevail, Motherfuckers!

Love The West (Hate The West),

JULIAN