Julian Cope’s Album of the Month
AOTM #117, February 2010ce
Released 1989 on Temple ov Psychic Youth
- Part One (23.00)
- Part Two (46.00)
Towards the Infinite Beach
Commencing with a series of seemingly random-but-actually-sequential bursts of Lokian analogue synthesizer snarls cavorting, sparking, flashing & exploding across vast Universes of oceanic reverb, and all attended by a watery gaggle of volatile self-immolating limpet-mine sonic acolytes, whose tinnitus-inducing & overly self-important auditory declarations seethe & chatter like caffeinated suicide bombers re-enacting scenes of Oskar out of THE TIN DRUM’s most infantile drumming tantrums, this fabulously ambulant album’s musical journey through soupy underworlds and foggy dimensions actually acts out the South Australian myth of Kondole the Whale, and how – through his own monumental selfishness – the blowhole in the top of his head came to be created, pierced by the spear of a frustrated & hungry hunter whom the whale had gypped. From memory, I can recall only the Residents’ equally mythographic & monumental LP ESKIMO having previously attempted such a spirited act of Cultural Retrieval, and even their [nothing less than] heroic white vinyl testament in all its gloriosity, its mind-manifesting gatefold art and its adoption of authentic Inuit glossaries still never glimpsed the sheer psychic usefulness and All Purpose healing qualities of Psychick TV’s KONDOLE. Phew. For over an hour, KONDOLE’s Titanic undertow drags us into the myopic world of the bottom feeders and keeps us there, declares us all Gillmen and let’s us Grow Fins. Moreover, I believe that without repeated listening to such epic instrumental sagas as KONDOLE, our aging brains will eventually seize up & petrify. It’s as though, through too much TV or just sheer neglect, our aging brains experience some equivalent to waxy build-up, coagulating most unfortunately into a kind of scabby psychic shield around our Doors of Perception, denying us access to all but the most familiar concepts & thoughts. Regular doses of KONDOLE, however, ruptures this overly protective brain coating and re-admits those fancies that children & teenagers access effortlessly throughout their daily lives. So, welcome to the Undersea World of Genesis P-Orridge c. 1989, a culturally kleptomaniacal post-New Age rave up of such velocity that our Psychic hero actually BECAME – during this pre-90s Gateway – his own Kondole the Whale, a perpetually-feeding gate-mouthed Leviathan inhaling whole substrata of lost arcane information at a time, so as to digest, comprehend, then barf them forth coherently (and in edited form) to the Next Generation, reviewed, re-jigged & turbocharged for the coming age. During that ultra-fertile 1988-92 period, Genesis P. struck both artistic AND psychic gold in several areas with his Hi-Energy wide-net cultural fishing techniques. Besides the brilliant deep space Ambulence of KONDOLE, Gen embarked on a Thomas Carlylean policy of High Visibility Hero Worship enflamed by his Brian Jones records and pilgrimages, thereafter hooking up with various (invented) DJs in order to create massive Acid House double-CDs (such as JACK THE TAB, TEKNO ACID BEAT, TOWARDS THEE INFINITE BEAT, DIRECTION OV TRAVEL), thereby successfully appropriating Rave Culture in order to demand the wholesale road-widening of its psychic usefulness beyond the then-current (though wholly admirable) Football-Stadium-As-Henge mentality, with the Vision of integrating such radical notions into the absolute everyday. At that Cross-decade of the Coming 90s, Gen was also most righteously deploying members of the Temple ov Psychic Youth as a picket line with which to get the Brighton Dolphinarium closed down, AND all this time was himself on the verge of getting kicked out of the country for one too many radical acts. But then only the radicals have ever changed Culture. For, like the radish in the soil, radicals exist at such a deep Cultural level that their influences cannot be excised merely by several judicious snips. For their thoughts, their ideas will, by the time the authorities have even become aware of their presence, have already slipped down even deeper into society’s Ur-Consciousness. For over forty years, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge has been weaving his spells throughout popular culture, but his art will probably only receive fair judgement posthumously because of the wild and (intentionally) distorted image he’s built for himself. But what could be more beautiful that such a sustaining & chronic radical as Gen could have provided us all – in the form of KONDOLE – with a piece of truly necessary Everyday Listening? Surely, brothers & sisters, this artful record’s sheer usefulness provides us with ample (and exhilarating) evidence that the Radical Artist does not deserve to be dismissed under Society’s catchall term ‘Outsider’. Dear me, no. For as evidenced by the 40+-year presence of Genesis P-Orridge at the very wellspring of W. Culture’s most radical ideas, such rare cultural giants as he deserve nothing less than to be eulogized by the blessed name ‘Insider’.