Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Julian Cope’s Album of the Month

Haare - The Temple

Haare
The Temple


AOTM #87, August 2007ce
Released 2004 on Freak Animal
  1. The Temple (20.01)
  2. Satori (19.37)

Note: Despite its initially terrifying sound, such were the instant spike-o-logical FX of this Haare album on my melting plastic brain that I have - for nearly four years – stood on the verge of making it an Album of the Month. As its freshness receded, however, and as newer and almost equally novel Ritual Cuntedness plopped itself onto my CD player, it became difficult to justify Haare as my choice. However, when this month two brand new discs of similar musical direction arrived at my door1, I knew that I should be doing Haare’s leader Ilkka Vekka an enormous disservice if I chose either of them ahead of his startling oeuvre. Humming and haare’ing about the house, I finally remembered that IlkkaVekka had, on the record’s inner sleeve, so righteously declared ‘DESTROY FASCISM’. Of course, this statement of intent immediately forced my hand… THE TEMPLE’s time had finally come.


Ilkka Vekka at the controls



A Sort of Conduit; a Wormhole that provides you with Answers to Questions you’ll never Know

The astonishing ritual music of Finland’s Haare sounds as though it was commissioned by Mother Nature herself as the officially approved soundtrack for the creation; y’know the kind of thing – the rending of u-shaped valleys by titanic and unstoppable glaciers; the abrupt rising of the oceans by some distant planet’s having suddenly been knocked out of orbit; the unexpected displacement of ancient peoples by an instant inundation of their traditional homelands; or perhaps the sound of the over-packed and heaving floors of the mythical Ark filled to the brim with terrified animals wailing piteously, as Noah the great Biblical patriarch and his legendary sons struggle seemingly endlessly to raise the venerable hulk’s sagging bottom from the muddy floor of the Mesopotamian Plain. In Haare’s world, analogue synthesizers boil and simmer, Theremins shriek and funeral bells toll for some long forgotten calamity, as freeform bass and electric guitars wriggle and ancient cassettes half-caked with the detritus of untended playback heads struggle to project their sacred encoded messages.

To call THE TEMPLE orgasmic would probably call into question this author’s sexual needs, but its gargantuan presence is so totally mind-manifesting, so debilitating, so brain-crushingly complete that any description short of such purple prose would render the effects of this review far short of Haare’s musical FX; indeed, Metaphysical Orgasm would be closer to a true description of this music’s worth, or my name’s not John Donne. For, in the presence of Haare’s music, even Time stops short and draws back to contemplate, whilst Eternity kicks its heels and wonders just who is this human pretender, this sorcerer’s apprentice whose music dares to emulate the very sound of the Big Bang itself? Like some giant roadie tearing off a piece of five-mile-wide gaffer tape in order to plug temporarily the hole in speaker cones the size of the weather station telescope at Jodrell Bank, Haare’s kosmische noise is to me as enormous as was the terrifying wilderness of Cumbria to Daniel Defoe’s desperate-for-orderliness 17th-century mind. No, it’s not a casual listen and that’s a fact. But then, when was ritual ever intended to be casual, except perhaps to the good old Anglican Church wherein all the mystery (along with every archaic poetic phrase) has been excised and substituted with a chat, a matey parable and a nice hot cup of tea…

Underworld recordings that offer a similarly intense level of near oblivion:

MNEMONIC INDUCTION by Troum & Yen Pox

RED BUDDHA by Stomu Yamashita AKA Yamash’ta

IN OCEANS ABANDDONED BY LIFE I DROWN… by Nordvargr


MUSIC FOR AN UNTITLED FILM… by Lngtché

No no no, this Haare music is a truly high ritual of the northern variety. And so, when exhausted at the end of the working day’s protracted problems and petty issues, it’s to THE TEMPLE by Haare that I regularly turn for the psychic equivalent of colonic irrigation. For Haare’s is a healing music, a restorative up the psychic jacksie that awakens in me the Plumbing Cosmological. After increasingly working long week days and endless hours of non-stop coffee, sugar, dairy, alcohol and smoke inhalation, the blood of your average city dweller turns into a right old chemical toilet, and needs to be evacuated and pronto, Tonto. And so this record becomes the Psychic Enema that evacuates from my psychic blood reservoir all bodies unnecessary and toxinous, as down and down sinks the body juice contaminated merely by living to the full edge of my over-expectations. Do I sink John Lennon-like down the A HARD DAY’S NIGHT plughole with the water? No, the violently restorative music of Haare ejects my foul breath, casts out my psychic farts, and evacuates each clinger and dingleberry, replacing all with the shining innards of a superman. Safe in the eye of this hurricane that trustworthy Haare has established in my everyday environment, I happily surrender my guttering and drainpipes, my roofing and shiny surfaces, all processed (filtered, sand-blasted, however you wish to envision it) and returned to my care all brand spanking new via this all-purpose acme of products that goes by the name of Haare. And if the opening 20-minute title track is an immense craft of metaphysical beauty, then the following 19 minutes of ‘Satori’ are even more merciless in their excoriation of each listener’s inevitable build-up of psychic plaque. Indeed, like the music of early Sunn0))), Khanate, Nordvargr and their ilk, Haare’s sound could (and, in a more enlightened society, should) be issued on prescription in place of all those Mother’s Little Helper pills (Devil’s Little Workers more like) that your average NHS GP foists upon depressives with alarmingly casual regularity. Do you need a phial or a whole bottle of this stuff? Who knows but that it works and more again, a double dose, will perhaps work double fold. For myself, I know nothing else by Haare but this one record.2 But it has stood me in good stead three, almost four years. Indeed, its comfort is its usefulness at all times and there’s not much out there quite like it. For its first plays I was far too in awe of its effects to rate its worth, too delighted at its mere existence to make any estimation of its wider significance. For only through time and repeated plays could its importance be assessed. But now, fifty months onwards, firm evidence of THE TEMPLE’s importance is shown through my need to return again and again to make multiple plays of this bizarre behemoth. And so, during this strange summer of 007, try listening to THE TEMPLE while lying twatted beneath the sky after a long workday. And, for the sake of the experiment, seek not oblivion but only the edge of oblivion; as a drunken oaf shepherd would lie immobile as his persistent but trustworthy old sheep dog – aware of rustlers in the locality - gnaws at one of his socks to ensure that his master never sinks into sleep’s abyss. So the sheep dog in this case would be Haare, not nibbling flesh, most certainly never taking a bite, never drawing blood but neither yet giving up the nibbling even for a moment to take a leak. That is the trustworthy heathen epic music of Haare, a trustworthy hound, a magical beast. Beautiful, fantastic. Fantastic life. Beautiful brooding desperate searching life. Return to it ready for exploration after the regular dose of Haare.



FOOTNOTES:
  1. The two records are Nordvargr’s IN OCEANS ABANDONED BY LIFE I DROWN … TO LIVE AGAIN AS A SERVANT OF DARKNESS (Essence Music 008) and MUSIC FOR AN UNTITLED FILM BY T. ZARKKOF by Lngtché (Etude Records 012).
  2. I know of (but have never heard) Haare’s debut 7” single ‘Sacred Mushroom Clouds’, which was released (in the highly limited edition of 270 copies) on the excellent Finnish label Kult of Nihilow, best known for their three excellent doom albums by Fleshpress and another excellent LP by Tyneside’s glorious doomsters Marzuraan.