Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

June Drudion

June 2007ce

Ady Fletcher at the Meini Hirion, Isle of Anglesey.
Hey all you Mothers’n’Motherfuckers,

I can barely believe it but the summer’s almost here! What happened to this year already? Now it’s June, I’ve completed my tour and my new book JAPROCKSAMPLER’s on its way. Many thanks to all of you who came to the shows, especially as I had a total gas for the entire duration of the tour. This time around being solo and free from proto-metal bass-playing distractions, I got to gas about the things I’ve been thinking these past few years, got to sing songs I hadn’t sung in literally decades, and downed my first beer of the tour at 7.30am in Aberdeenshire, almost eight hours after the first show, after we’d driven directly from our Wessex home in Yatesbury, taking in the Barrow-in-Furness show on the way. I’d specifically given us plenty of time to explore some of Aberdeenshire’s Recumbent Stone Circles over the following days, and my crew were blown away by the monuments all around the sacred hill of Dunnideer. Towards the end of the tour, at the Anglesey stone setting of Meini Hirion, I took the above shot of my guitar tech Ady Fletcher, as a press shot for his dark folk duo Acoustica.

STREAMS by Excepter

BLOOD SPIRITS & DRUMS ARE SINGING by Skull Defects

OPERATOR DEAD ... POST ABANDONED by Burning Star Core

THE WET ENGLISH FORESTS E.P. by Symbel

S/t by Fear Falls Burning & Nadja

DEAD IN THE WATER by The Heads

In the meantime, this month has been one of astounding sonic overload; so much so that I could hardly decide which music to discuss on this Drudion. The most instant (and most psychically useful) classic of this month must surely be STREAMS, a massive double-CD by Excepter, who delight in post-Amon Duul 1 protest chanting in a ‘Help Me, I’m A Rock’ free rock-style as orchestrated by two mush-mouthed Kim Fowley and J. Morrison types performing through Adrian Sherwood’s On-U-Sound filter. Accompanied throughout by two snotty girl singers who come across like Patty Paladin and Judy Nylon of Snatch, these garrulous drunken shamen of Excepter successfully wrestle mantles both from Destroy All Monsters and Death From Above 1979, while stoking up the forest fires so successfully ignited by Valley of Ashes and Zodiac Mountain. This hefty twin CD package comes replete with the freaked out musings of endless stoned remedial rock riffs (imagine the G. Clinton-fuelled beats of Sly Stone’s ‘Funk Gets Stronger’ drumming as though supporting yo’ typical 1970 De Twat Krautrock) as the twin in-bred sisters chant and coo such random things as ‘egg party!’ and ‘MC333’. It’s the Residents on THIRD REICH’N’ROLL, it’s Chrome at their outset, it’s the Nihilist Spasm band in the closing seconds of their 15-minute ‘Destroy The Nations’. Grab this essential home-aid from the very excellent Fusetron Records (046), I really cannot recommend it highly enough. Okay, now if you need meditations that keep you right in the driving seat throughout the duration of the trip, then check out the Skull Defects and their album BLOOD SPIRITS & DRUMS ARE SINGING. With their line-up of double drums, guitarists and machinery, The Skull Defects conjure up an unlikely and unkind meltdown din somewhere between the arid No Wave of CHAIRS MISSING-period Wire, the contemporary ramalama of Sweden’s excellent Krautrock-wannabees Audionom and the artless pummelling early-70s proto-Kiss proto-Cleveland blues-free white blues of Germany’s Tiger B. Smith amped up to a heartless degree. In the meantime, from the molten heart of Hell comes Burning Star Core’s enormous album OPERATOR DEAD… POST ABANDONED, unleashing a scorchingly torrential music that bullied its way into my frontal lobes from the first bars of the near 20-minute opener ‘When the Tripods Came’. This quartet make music that crosses weather formations with the sonic catering (simmering/frying/ boiling) of early This Heat but leaves the whole kitchen range dangerously unattended, allowing incandescent sparks of bubbling mung to crust up your flat surfaces. Released on Philadelphia’s No Quarter record label and accessed via www.noquarter.net, this music is sure to be urgently required by all of those who regularly seek transcendence or even those demanding unrighteous oblivion. Yowzah! Just as essential is the Conspiracy Records collaboration between Canadian duo Nadja and the Belgian solo act Fear Falls Burning, which unites colossal drum sounds with ATEM-period T. Dream workouts plus avalanches of fuzz guitars and feedback harmonics. Unlike Nadja’s superb split album with England’s Atavist, this gargantuan work features both artists responding to each other in a similar manner to Bo Anders Persson’s ensemble Parson Sound. And although somewhat prosaically titled FEAR FALLS BURNING & NADJA, this record could turn out to be the high point of both band’s careers! Locate this via www.conspiracyrecords.com and don’t miss out. Re-issue of the month must surely be the priceless 10” heathen stomp of Symbel’s lost 2001 barbarian classic THE WET ENGLISH FORESTS E.P., which has re-appeared on Northern Ireland’s Midhir Records in a limited run of 333 numbered copies. Sharing members with the Bredwardas of Heathen Doom and occupying an essential place in shaking, seething ritual metal music, Symbel take their name from the ancient Anglo-Saxon drinking ritual, indeed this music first saw the light on a demo cassette entitled ‘HEATHEN DRINKING METAL’. Now, how fucking specialised is that? Hunt this motherfucker down via www.midhirrecords.com, children, and let its powers take their toll. Right up to date, according to Invada Records’ head honcho Fatpaul, Bristol’s superb and most over-achieving band The Heads have finally decided to stop releasing ‘proper albumswith campaigns behind them’, as it’s holding up their release schedule. Instead, the quartet will hereafter release all manner of mung worship whenever and wherever they can, barfing out all and everything. The first fruits of this new approach are the four side-long tracks contained on the excellent Invada Records red-marbled double-vinyl LP DEAD IN THE WATER (INV017).

Finally, my own album YOU GOTTA PROBLEM WITH ME is by now barely a week away from arrival, so please just keep your eyes on our home page for information. I’m sorry it’s taken what appears to be an age, but mastering this sucker was not easy. In typical Cope tradition, it’s a sonic nightmare to bring such disparate sounds together, especially with all the glitches, volume jumps, hiccups and sonic mung that pervades my recording style. Despite all of that, however, I gots to declare this new album of mine is one I’m delighted to put my name to, its acoustic protest side being as refusenik and anti-religion as the louder and more obviously annoying tracks. Also, unlike most of the crap that gets a full release nowadays, those of you opting for a simple burn will be missing out big time on the feast of information and wisdom within. Cheapskate suckers!

Okay, mein hairies, I’ll quit now while I’m still way ahead,

Love at y’all,

JULIAN (Lord Yatesbury)