Helmut had been in India and Nepal even longer than I had, and had become a furious saddhu. He was also a painter of yantras. He painted exquisitely on tree bark. After many weeks I dared to approach him. I wanted to know more about these paintings which had captivated us both. They trap you and you will never get free again. I was very hungry and I asked him to share his food with me. Go find your own food!
One day we were sharing a patch of warming sunshine. He lives in a little village in Gujerat called Mehmdabad. I recognized this sign. My parents, great travelers, arrived in Kathmandu and stayed at a nice hotel. I ate, bathed and fed all my friends there, too. They took me with them down to the Terai, where the Nepali mountains meet the Indian plains.
It is a jungle, full of wild animals. We stayed at a nature reserve. I rode elephants for the first time and found them to be the very finest form of transport I had ever experienced. Unlike camels and horses, their swaying gait is relaxing and reassuring. They beat mechanized transport all to hell. The Mahants speak elephant language. We rode through twelve-foot-high grasses, looking for tigers.
We saw rhinos. We took a canoe ride along a river and a crocodile took a flying leap for our little boat, missing us by only two feet. She and I decided to travel together. She had never been to India before, and I was delighted to show her around. I told her I had received a sign and I must find an English guru in a village in Gujerat. She understood perfectly and decided to help me get there.
My parents gave me a few hundred dollars. I was fed, washed, rich and ready, all topped up for my next adventure.
We took the first train we could find, headed south. We were intrigued, but we soon became bored. He was entranced with us. That evening we arrived in a dusty town in Madya Pradesh. We spent the night, and in the morning began looking for transportation east to Gujerat.
No trains, no buses, no trucks headed east. We got on a train headed for Ajmer. We really wanted to get high but, oddly, we feared the man who shared our compartment.
Eventually he told us that he was the new police chief for Pushkar, on his way to take up his new post. His English was good, because he had been studying drug enforcement in the U. Years later he and his men murdered an entire family of fourteen people in Pushkar.
The village rose up and attacked the police station. He was convicted of murder, and is still in jail. Before dawn we arrived in Ajmer and started to look for transportation to the sacred village of Pushkar, ten miles away. We had missed the bus. The driver of a horse-drawn tonka persuaded us to go with him. It seemed like fun. We loaded our bags on the covered and gaily-decorated carriage.
He called to a friend to join him and we headed through and out of town behind the clip-clopping horse. How lovely to be slowly riding into the wilderness as the dawn light shifted and changed the colors of the desert around us.
Soon the horse was straining as the first small hill appeared. Lindsay and I realized the horse could not possibly take us over the considerably higher hills ahead. I started to get my knife out and I suggested to Lindsay that she find some weapon as we would no doubt have to fight our way out of this trap. The two young men began to anticipate the fruits of their robbery plan with leers and gestures toward us. I anticipated slitting their throats.
Lindsay was equally ready to fight. Suddenly, around the corner of the road came a white Mercedes stepvan, lurching wildly. It was Lothar, missing all these past months. He recognized me at the same moment and pulled his van Verbal Jousting - Audio Adventures In Time & Space - Faction Paradox: Sabbath Dei (CD to the side of the road. We hopped off the cart, to the dismay of our would-be robbers.
I gave them the finger. Lothar was still mad, and now he was also delirious with fever. He could barely keep the van on the road because he could hardly see anymore.
But Lindsay knew how to drive—she was a truck-driving American momma. Lothar had been in the desert. He had lost his little dog Ottoman. I mourned that vicious, brave little dog for a long time after Lothar had been without food or water for too long. He was near death. We had all rescued each other early one morning in the foothills of the Kingdom of Pushkar. As we pulled into the village, people cheered at the sight of Lindsay, a pretty little slip of a woman driving that great big van, having maneuvered the dangerous hairpin turning road.
While looking for a room to stay, I found a young German woman who knew Lothar and agreed to care for him. I had no time for him now. We were on the move. Suddenly Lindsay, all clean and white, dressed in ironed khakis and starched shirt, silver jewelry and crystals, got violently ill. She needed a bathroom NOW. None here, none there. Ah, here we have one. She went in and was violently sick from every orifice of her body. She stood there, stunned, covered in puke and shit.
Then she started to laugh. Later she told me that for one awful minute she had almost broken. Her laughter had delivered her India in the palm of her hand. We kept travelling south. The coincidences and chance meetings kept coming at, even for us, a remarkable rate. Together we pulled magic and mystery from every shadow in the land. We finally parted in Goa, exhausted by two weeks of non-stop, excellent weirdness. I took the boat north to Bombay. It was one of my hometowns in India.
I had been stuck waiting for money for months on end in Bombay. I knew the city very well. Dipti was a clean, shiny man who knew all us hippies, who we are and where we are. He kept our messages to each other in his desk and was happy to be a guardian angel to the ragtag crowd of foreigners who constantly passed through town.
He told me Ganesh Giri was in town, asking for me. I passed a tall, very thin, long haired Indian man, dressed entirely in rich raw silk, a long kurta, vest and silk lungi. His elegant appearance, different from anybody I had seen before, caused me to stop and turn around as soon as I had passed him. He did the same. He spoke only a few words of English. We walked together all over town for the rest of the day.
He made those few words into an endless story. He fascinated me. I wondered if he was a prince. I followed him into the night. Chowpatty was the downtown beach.
He introduced me to his friends. They were a jolly bunch of saddhus who made me very welcome. They shared their food with me. We sat up late into the night around a little fire. Ganesh Giri explained that this group gambled everything they had gathered during the day on a numbers game and lived on luck or its lack. Then he laid his silk lungi on the sand, another long piece of cloth, his turban, spread out beside that and we laid down to sleep under the stars, side by side.
It was my first taste of saddhu life. Just before dawn, he and Santosh woke me up and we went looking for chai. In my mind, which was so blissed on love and the pleasure of his presence, we had become Rama and Sita and Lakshman walking in the Gir jungle at dawn.
We bathed in a spring in a little natural oasis under Malabar Hill, in the middle of the city. The sight of this richly dressed saddhu and a lovestruck foreign girl annoyed Indians and disgusted my friends. Whenever we met we walked together until I dropped from exhaustion. He was a Naga from the Juna Akkada.
He showed me saddhu life and saddhu secrets, places and poisons, temples and sacred spots. He never lied to me. He was so thin that his knees and elbows were huge knobs on thin sticks. He could barely walk without panting and stopping to catch his breath. He had smoked too many chillums, eaten too much poison, taken too much cobra venom into his bloodstream. He had reached a state of exhaustion.
We had both run as far as the road went. I said I had only one little stop to make. It was on our way. I had to see the Englishman. It was the only thing I had left to do in my stupid sorry excuse for a life. He agreed. I bought train tickets to Ahmedabad and we left that night. The train was impossibly crowded and we spent the whole night crouched up in the little string luggage rack near the ceiling. Two dozen people were jammed into six spaces.
No problem. We were together again, on our final adventure. The next morning we were in the ugly, unfriendly little town of Mehmdabad. Nobody knew the name Anandaji. We took a horse-drawn tonka and headed towards the Society. Eventually the driver found the place, a large cement house, covered in bougainvillea. Ganesh Giri went in first to check things out. I waited outside with the bags and the horse. What do you mean by coming in here? What is your sampraday?
Get out! Poor Ganesh Giri had no strength to defend himself. His protests were weak and softly spoken, barely audible over the blasting anger of that voice.
I rushed in to rescue my comrade. I stepped into the little room and was captured by brilliant blue eyes. So unexpected. He was taken aback for half of a heartbeat.
And take his lice with him! I went out with Ganesh Giri to the waiting horse tonka. You must leave. He feared for my safety. I gave him half my hashish and money. We agreed to meet in Bikaner in a few days and off he went. I never saw him again. I returned to the room and the furious Englishman.
I plunked down my bag. I knew destiny when I saw him. Life at the Hermitage I looked at him. He was an imposing and handsome man of seventy years. His eyes captivated my attention, piercingly blue and crackling with energy. His hair was long, white with yellow blonde tips, and grew luxuriantly. He wore cheap silver hoop earrings and his ear lobes were large. His forehead, his cranium were huge. Everything about him was massive. His hands were scary, huge, with padded finger tips and dangerous thumbs.
He had a good-sized belly, and his skin was shiny with health. It was winter and early morning, so I assume he was wearing a long orange robe, a kufni, to keep off the morning chill. He handed me his card. No wonder you were so hard to find this morning. I had the wrong name! It is an affectionate term meaning grandfather. My name is Kristen. She and her husband Chotabhai own this house. I am their guest here and have been for many years.
She gathered up two or three pieces of laundry and left the room with a protective glance back towards Dadaji. He sat down on his low wooden bed, the only furniture in the room. He indicated a mat that I could sit on, as the floor was cold terrazzo.
We sipped tea and both lit up cheap Indian cigarettes. Where are you going? You will of course go to Girnar, on the holy mountain. I spent some time there.
It is one of the most sacred pilgrimage places in all of India. He had just asked the three traditional questions. Who are you? What is your mission? My mission? How much can be learned in so few words. Has Janak been a good boy? He tousled his hair and laughed. Then he playfully tapped him on the head as a blessing and introduced him as the youngest member of the household, and one to whom special dispensation was given to sit beside the Guru on his throne.
Janak looked boldly back at me, his eyes full of mischief. A moment later, Sangeeta, his sister, a self-contained young girl with a long braid, came in. She was accompanied by Matti. He gave them both his blessings, speaking in Sanskrit and thumping their bowed heads. Sangeeta Verbal Jousting - Audio Adventures In Time & Space - Faction Paradox: Sabbath Dei (CD quiet and Matti had a paralyzed tongue, was slightly mad and only spoke in loud croaks.
The young sister and her old auntie began sweeping and washing the floor, cleaning up the tea cups and dusting. Meanwhile, Dadaji questioned Janak about school. The morning rush of activity was over as abruptly as it had begun. The kids went off to school and Matti went about her domestic chores in the other part of the house. We continued to smoke and chat.
He explained that these people—the P. Ramesh had recently moved to London and was deeply missed. I would meet his brother Dinubhai, son of Chotabhai and father of the children, as the day progressed. Then he explained that it was common practice in Gujerat State to end female names in -ben, which means sister, and to end male names in -bhai, which means brother.
Thus Kaliben was Sister Kali. Gujerati was a singular language in India, and the Gujeratis have many peculiarities, opposite to all their neighbors. Their cooking is admired all over India. In walked Kailashben, daughter-in-law, mother to the three children and wife of Dinubhai. She was round and beautiful, simply dressed in a soft sari, gentle and sweet. I had been invited to lunch. Except for Dhinubhai, who always sat with him while he ate, Dadaji ate alone in his room.
I was sent out to eat with the family in the other part of the house. We sat in a semi-circle on the floor in the kitchen. It was a big group, so we ate first with the women and children and the adult men as they came in from work. First came Chotabhai, the elderly head of the household. He welcomed me to his home with grave dignity. He showed neither curiosity nor suspicion. He sold vegetables in the village marketplace, as his family had done for generations. He delivered a few sharp, short sentences that conveyed precisely his lack of interest in the vagaries of his fortunes in the marketplace.
I had just finished eating, washing my hand into the plate with the last of my drinking water. Dinubhai was there. He and Dadaji had obviously been conferring. The family could make room for me among the large metal drums of stored beans and rice and the large stone wheat hand-grinder in the corner. I accepted their invitation immediately. After lunch we all went down for a short nap in our various spots. When we were all awake again Dadaji showed me the workings of how and where to bathe, wash clothes, draw water and know drinking water from washing water.
As there was just one water tap, by the backyard steps, all household water was kept in a variety of large amphora style pots, placed strategically all around the house.
In those days the water supply was sporadic. Everyone in the village rushed to fill pots while the water ran. He showed me that it was possible to discreetly pee at the shower drain which ran into the miniature canal system that snaked through the garden outside. His watereddown piss, he assured me, was the secret to the luxuriant growth of bougainvillea which this house, out of all the other houses in the colony, enjoyed. The flowering bushes already reached the roof and blossomed a glorious red.
The sun always sets at six p. Dadaji had two lawn chairs stacked behind the door to the vestibule that sat over the stairs on the roof.
We took them out and put them up. From this roof I was to watch the world outside the house for many an hour. That first evening was typical. The sun set, and evening twilight began with the flight home of huge, furry fruit bats.
They flew so close that I could have reached up and stroked their fur. They had great leathery wings, and their passage was accompanied by the strange sound those wings made. Minutes later, in a cross-current, a stream of loudly cawing, brilliantly green little parrots flew to their night home tree.
Swallows swooped past on their way over to the mud cliffs by the river. The breeze would always come up the moment the sun slipped below the horizon, and with it came the smell of the little fires all over India, being lit to cook the evening meal. The cows raised dust as the herds drifted home and the dust mixed with the light of the sunset.
It is the eternal moment of evening homecoming, and is the most celebrated, evocative expression of endless India. I looked at the card which Shri Gurudev Dadaji Mahendranath had given me that morning when I had just arrived. Under his name it continued. The stars were coming out one by one above.
The night air was fresh and cool. Mangalnath and Girnar New information found fertile ground in me. I was so stretched out, trying to understand, trying to be receptive. He may well have wished me to relax, but I was determined not to miss any word or any signal. He sent me away after my first few days at the hermitage. He had given me a dozen addresses of people all over the world. I told him that my original plan had been to go to the Gir forest. Quite alarmed, he started to warn me of the dangers of the forests beyond the Ambaji Temple on the climb up the Holy Mountain.
He certainly was harsh in his warnings about saddhus. It took two days of hard train and bus travel to get to Girnar, which is a tiny village perched on the lower heights of the sacred mountain. Girnar is a pilgrimage town full of ashrams and saddhus.
The first person I saw striding down the road, like a king, was a naked, ash-covered, dreadlocked saint. I stood around, shy and uncertain of what to do. I had never been in an ashram before. Nevertheless, within an hour I was sitting on the ground in the shade of a large mango tree, eating the same lunch as the crowd of schoolboys. I had never eaten anything that rough in my life before. I truly doubted I could do it again. The rice had stones, the vegetables were barely chopped and not skinned and the rotis were made of very roughly ground flour.
Indian food was still a mystery to me. I had not yet become a fan, and this was not the way to start. Eventually a man arrived who looked like he knew the boss, so I gave him my introduction written in Gujerati. He conveyed to me that Mangalnath would be available that evening atand then he took me to meet Wanita.
She was the middle aged woman who cooked and cared for Mangalnath. She lived in a little tunnel of a room. Her bed was laid on top of three trunks that held all her worldly goods. The walls were hung with embroidered panels and her two sarees were hung over a line that followed the wall. The kitchen was just inside the door and was nothing more than a two-burner kerosene cook stove on the floor, some pots, storage bins Verbal Jousting - Audio Adventures In Time & Space - Faction Paradox: Sabbath Dei (CD grains and the spices and vegetables of the day.
Wanita has forever become associated in my mind with Santoshi Ma, goddess of contentment. She took my hand and brought me into her tiny home. She laid out a mat for me to sleep on and then she began to cook. She was a marvelous and refined cook. Her rotis were soft and perfectly formed, her spicing mild and subtle and her sauces divine. She conveyed to me that she was given this little home and food in return for caring for Mangalnath.
I guessed she was a widow or from some other desperate social condition. She was very happy to be doing this and living there and she adored Mangalnath. He was a Raja saddhu, a kingly saint. Among other things he fed and housed schoolboys in his ashram every day, which permitted these sons of nomads and impoverished rural folk to get an education.
He was so respected and adored by so many people across India that he was very wealthy in alms. This is how he chose to give away that money. Finally it was five p. He was blind. He sat on a deer skin and wore only a lungoti a g-string. He looked well fed and very good humoured. A look of delight came over his face. He called me over close to him and took my hand. I fumbled a bit of money in alms to him, but he wanted only to read me by sense of touch. He made a few comments with a big grin and everybody around us laughed, rather lewdly I thought.
I felt self-conscious, scared, shy, alone, but I was also determined with all my being to climb that holy mountain, and I was also spiritually aflame from meeting Dadaji so short a while back. Without sight or language we communicated only by holding hands. After a few minutes he laughed again and had a man give me double plus one Rs.
Someone explained that offerings should never be of an amount that ends in zero. It caused bad luck and poverty for the receiver. I had been given 21 Rs. I felt embarrassed, but also enriched, as I had so little money.
I bade the ashram farewell and started to walk up the great mountain that loomed over us all. I knew nothing of what was up there beyond the Ambaji temple. The climb began abruptly after passing through the archway that defined the limits of the village, up great stone steps that have been cut and laid into the mountain in a long, somewhat meandering trail up to the first summit. Chai shops of every size and capacity appeared along the route.
Sometimes there were chairs and umbrellas, but usually it was a bend in the path that offered a little shade, some tea and perhaps some biscuits and a warm drink or two. The path was already full of pilgrims of all ages and types. Some climbed in rough palanquins; an oldster might be strapped to the back of a strong son. All water, wood and food had to be hauled up that pathway by a steady stream of human packhorses. Pilgrims had been climbing these stairs unceasingly for thousands of years.
I had been using a mantra constantly on this trip. It was one of the things that gave me the strength and confidence to keep going. My sense grew that I too was a true pilgrim, climbing the Holy Mountain and on my way to confront the mystery and get some answers. Later that day I had finally climbed enough of those stairs, through the sparse, dry forest and the blasting sun, and now I stood outside the gates of the Ambaji temple. I had no money left and the hands were out at every step.
I ducked to the left of the great throng of people and headed into the wilderness, until I found a little cave with a view to the ends of the earth. I pulled out my chillum and managed to get it lit with my last match. I had never heard those words before. They sounded very, very shocking to me. They seemed to contradict everything I had ever been told to do before. It sounded wrong and scared me about the true nature of this strange man who was now my Guru.
During the entire trip I had brought these words forward in my mind and examined them from every angle. I am free, I was born free and have lived free without ever once realizing it. Something physically and abruptly changed in me from that moment.
I came into focus. I was entrapped by ego, by social pressure that got me to conform and obey the rules of my reality tunnel. Detaching from that pressure left me free to pursue the purpose for which I had incarnated in this life. I went into bliss. I left the cave and headed back down those stairs in the late afternoon. My feet barely touched the ground.
I contained my wild laughter, and that just fed the fire. Guy de Carnac. This template only includes stories which are covered on Tardis Wiki. A complete list of BBV releases exists here. BBV Productions. Mad Norwegian Press. Image Comics. Magic Bullet Productions. The True History of Faction Paradox.
Random Static. Obverse Books. A Romance in Twelve Parts. Burning with Optimism's Flames. To my mind, this is preferable to some recent records on similar themes, eg the lamentable S. Have you heard these records? Can you comment on the above, in particular the bit about spiritual redemption? STEVE I haven't heard either of these records, although from your descriptions the latter sounds quite funny. I don't like the attempt by some people to patch over the gulf between their music and their intellectual aspirations with ideas borrowed, pre-emptively, from theoretical sources.
Some people have developed the social skills of middle-management to prop up a 'career' in experimental music when the work they produce is so weak it's embarrassing. I'm thinking of Scanner, for instance. With regard to redemption, the final outcome of a non-spiritual viewpoint is unknowing, uncaring, unmediated, unmeaningful extinction. It's an idea that's impossible to warm to! Let go of that flat, drab 'certainty' and the game is afoot, then you have a quest, sceptical mysticism So perhaps a reason to get involved with music is that, having dropped religion, we still need avenues to confront the mysterious.
The night sky, for instance, is a very powerful mystery that you can expose yourself to whenever you take the time - it's inspiring and timeless, especially when you get out of the city and really bathe yourself in starlight. The Visitors begins with the sound of wind in the trees outside our house, the suggestion of looking at the stars. If extra-terrestrials are also demons and divinities, inner and outer realities are involved together, there's a meeting and blending to it.
SIMON I've had a recurrent waking dream or visitation since I was about seven or eight years old now, which can occur at any time of day. When it happens it feels very real and, in my mind, even angelic. It's not a glowing light or winged 'angel', it's a presence that I find virtually impossible to describe, when it's happening it seems so clear but I can't get the words out, I can't talk and I can't move.
My body can feel such a tremendous pressure pressing down on it. I have the awareness of a size, shape, weight and density, internal and external texture, it's completely enveloping and I can feel petrified that it might not leave, almost as if, if it did it might take me with it.
I think sometimes with music I can detect a trace of those sensations visitations like a ghost's fingerprint in sound. It's like when you smell something familiar that reminds you very strongly of somewhere years back but you can't quite put your finger on where.
When this fingerprint is detectable in a piece we're working on, that's when we know we're on the right track, that maybe we might get closer to that sense and see it clearer, find it's truth. This feeling is really very hard to describe in words so perhaps it's not surprising that it's in music that I've found myself looking for it.
EP I imagine every fanzine and his brother asks you about your interest in the paranormal. I remain fairly sceptical, nor have I any desire to retread familiar ground.
What interests me rather is the sense of awe and wonder you manage to convey through your music, a desire to investigate things not fully understood, to draw attention to the mysteries of the universe.
Can you comment on this? Awe is a vital sensation. We spent the best part of the last century, as a species, convincing ourselves that we were the supreme law on the planet. And yet the Earth can shrug us off and our laws too. I'm not a Gaia type, because the concept has been anthropomorphised by sentimental goddess-lovers who characterise humankind as the evil male principle and the planet as the pure though gloriously warriorlike female.
It's all such a dreary heterosexual fantasy of female domination via chlorophyll and salt water! It's typical of our race to take something huge, like 'nature' or 'the planet' and then try to reduce it to some kind of humanized metaphor or metonym, Mother Nature etc.
Real awe is when you feel like a speck of dust in front of the most astonishing realities, like the gargantuan natural processes of star formation, the stunned awe you can sometimes feel watching the recorded Voyager probe's images as it approaches Jupiter or Saturn, the beautiful and lonely images that come to mind as you think about the outer planets, and the way those feelings transform into violence as you imagine getting nearer to these gigantic, icy storm spun worlds with wind speeds of mph!
When it comes to sci-fi, there's actually not a great deal that I like, really although I read books on theoretical and enjoy those journeys more than most fiction.
I think Philip K. Dick is great, Ballard, David Cronenberg, who is sc-fi in a sense. But I prefer Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, the horror genre's great fantasists have inspired me much more, Ramsey Campbell in particular.
The paranormal comes into all this when you consider that we will never physically cross the spaces between the stars, as they're just too vast. There has to be another way, and perhaps the links between mind and matter are the key.
Cronenberg used to talk about the idea of people completely changing their physical appearance, not just weight or hair colour etc, but everything, through sheer force of will, maybe taking months or even years to complete a process of willed total bodily transformation.
We might have to try thinking as a form of interstellar travel, IH because the three-dimensional travel option is out of the question. Although this collection of tunes seemed a bit undernourished and ordinary at first, it is starting to grow on me. If you could hear it now, you could probably understand why I was put off.
The first three tracks are extremely bitty - everything is thrown in the melting pot, there are lots of ideas flying in several different directions and building up to ever-increasing levels of complexity.
However, things start to calm down by the second half, and Belfi develops more sustained observations and investigations of his personal miniature worlds. He also plays hob with computer files, remaking them into soundfiles and letting the devil take the hindmost. With its opera- singer and harp samples, scads of unpleasant white noise and annoying use of distortion, it achieves little more than the radio-tuned-off- station effect.
From the opening barrages of white noise annoying, this - the aural equivalent of automatic doodlinglooped voices begin to emerge, coalescing into a choir of autistic angels singing. Not a bad effort - there is intelligence at work here, and the packaging CD in a felt bag sealed with velcro is nice too.
In fact I love all of Werner Herzog's work. Is your 'Kaspar' an attempt to relate a part of the story, or is a general impression of the character? AB: It was a kind of work in progress. When I started working on this piece, I just had some samples of Maria Callas voice and some electric sounds.
Right after I saw The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser I was inspired, especially by the first frames - where the titles begin in that huge grass field that's being moved by the wind - I thought to work in a similar aesthetic, looking to create a kind of hypothetical soundtrack - not referring to any particular moment, but responding to it in its entirety.
Of course, it is an homage to all Werner Herzog's films. Nevertheless I think of your work as having a 'mosaic' quality. Would you agree? AB: I think the songs on Ned n. EP: Do you work to any structure that organises each piece? AB: In general I don't use particular compositional structures, and principally I work with simple ideas with which to improvise day after day I pay attention also to the visual form of the songwave on my pc software, to its evolution, to its peaks.
She recorded a number of factory sounds that appear on this CD: a factory safety buzzer, a pip hit with a hammer at different points along its length to obtain a range of tones and pitch levels, various rusty brake drums and pipes, found objects and a metal punching machine. The 2 Verbal Jousting - Audio Adventures In Time & Space - Faction Paradox: Sabbath Dei (CD movement features a variety of factory and metal rhythms including the aforementioned long pipe and punching machine.
Many timbres and pitch levels are explored almost to the utmost but in a playful way so the music never gets tedious. The 20 The Sound Projector Tenth Issue 3rd movement is heralded by eerie whistling soon joined by cheerful metal beating and what sounds like a power drill happily revving up to put in its full day's work of drilling.
Oh, if only real factory work could be so toe-tappingly joyful! Pity no-one these days, apart form Danish director Lars von Trier with his Dancer in the Dark flick, seems interested in writing an industrial or factory musical.
The title track is a brave if not always successful attempt to combine music of the 18th and 19 th centuries represented by a string quartet and the factory ambience of the 20th century represented by a percussion quartet into a piece that tries to portray changing industrial landscapes; what actually happens is that one quartet dominates the other and vice versa with not much of a balance between the two until towards the end when they establish a definite marching partnership.
Some of you may read into this the history of industrial relations in your particular country of residence. The track does not feature any actual factory samples and is more notable for its emphasis on stretching the tonal range of the stringed instruments. Budding screenplay writers out there keen to write a musical for Broadway or Hollywood in which the action takes place in a factory or features an army of forklift operators all belting out tunes about how fun it is to drive forklifts for 1 2 hours a day every working day of the year on minimum rates of pay and no hope of job advancement ought to get a copy of this CD and play this 1 2 hours a day every working day of your year.
The rest of us can sit back in our armchairs, pick up the financial papers and turn to the latest sharemarket news while enjoying this music.
Flying Sparks and Heavy Machinery is actually a very enjoyable and pleasant recording if you try not to think too hard of what Gosfield could have done with this music.
The murky effect is achieved by layering lots of cassette recordings, overdubbing and adding new planes of music as he goes along; but doing it according to a very strict and structured formula.
The mouthorgan and whistles stand out clearest, but bells and piano were also used; occasionally radio noises or samples appear, ghostly singing voices emerging from the mist. So this is what The Phantom Zone feels like. The replay develops a loss of sound quality. The replay and the re-recorded layer sounds more muffled than the new additional recorded music He makes the muffled-ness and loss of quality work for him, in a new aesthetic.
This long series of German words is arranged in a systematic pattern according to similarity of sound or letters. Again, a near-mathematical structure has been used to choose the words each word differs from the previous by one single letterbut he used intuition to arrange the final text.
Bruhin chants the words tonelessly, relentlessly. This performance uses a slight delay on the voice, which adds a rhythm to the unfolding pattern; a strange music emerges, and all from a very simple concept. If kept up for long enough, this sounds like a magical incantation, a charm which constantly changes the meaning of words, open up new possibilities for change, something which will eventually change the world.
Dans le silence de la nuit These finely- crafted musical statements are strange and slightly macabre mood pieces, with literary references overlaid on top. The first one, an exploration of certain details of buildings around Italy, struck me as an attempt to express a De Chirico painting in sound.
You know the nostalgia inspired by certain mysterious places which you experience when leaving or arriving, preferably by train ; De Chirico was trying to nail that elusive feeling down in paint. Not dissimilar in approach, Gobeil fetches back samples of environmental recordings from very specific places in Italy and comes up trumps with his dramatic editing style; very sudden and alarming shrieking noises break up the otherwise monotonous humming, and the results make Italy sound like a fun place to visit.
While the Italy tour above has some external references to reality, the other three cuts are more internalised, exploring inner worlds of the mind suggested by classics of literature. He manages to render the brutalised society of the Molochs pretty effectively. These are very delicate images of Verbal Jousting - Audio Adventures In Time & Space - Faction Paradox: Sabbath Dei (CD caverns, barely visible and lit only by the strange phosphorescence of decaying spores, or like that.
Might be the least eventful cut of the set, but its minimal tones and deathly silence only adds to the tension. Here, voices are made to perform in many unusual ways, thanks to tape delay or extreme close-up amplification.
Even a human breath can take you by surprise, not to mention the dramatic screams of a woman deployed as short, percussive elements. Most alarming of all is a bellowing man, whose bellows are spun out into a continuous wail by the echo chamber. These voices represent the Erinyes, guardians of human life in Greek mythology, who pursued and punished wrongdoers.
They were known as keepers of the shadows. When mankind first saw these images, the effect on our collective consciousness was dizzying - our eyes and brains have never recovered from the shock.
Normandeau equates its significance with advances in electro-acoustic music, which happened more or less at the same time, and making the assumption that this is the most important musical breakthrough of the 20 th century he claims that our ears have never recovered from the shock of that, either. These grandiose themes are well and good, but it can make for music whose grandiosity borders on the pompous.
Normandeau, by contrast, is like a lofty detached observer, clinically describing a grand spectacle but not really allowing us to take part in it. There are also ethnic instruments present, Verbal Jousting - Audio Adventures In Time & Space - Faction Paradox: Sabbath Dei (CD, such as chimes, the miao- bamboo flute and the Vietnamese gong; these are used sparingly, often blending in seamlessly with minimal studio processing.
Although the set includes a fair share of nondescript electronica tracks, very sub-Brian Eno with their use of ambient drones and digital delay effects, things improve rapidly after only two tracks. His boast, dear listeners, is not altogether an empty one. This one arrives packaged in a sumptuous fold- around typography sleeve printed on art paper.
It conceals a slip of woodgrain wallpaper which cannot be accessed; heaven knows how they assembled this in the factory. Fear is unleashed; through his edits, he might even succeed in revealing a small opening into the crack of doom. A face stripped bare, anatomical details of his musculature visible; a black skull made of torn paper and masking tape. Free postage worldwide more info at www. Locus Solos. Then again, the title hints at hope in an afterlife. Maybe he arrived at the ideal tuning for his keyboards through occult methods, and deliberately unleashed three dark angels into the world.
No less intense, but unlike that of Carl Michael Von Hausswolff, this music somehow creates a very compassionate, still, centred space. The heavy black textured card cover is printed with text within a thin white border, and resembles a formal invitation to a funeral.
Dark and mysterious. Excellent music. Can you send me any further information? AFK: After I started a. The title of this album was a long process, in the end the decision of one day. I knew at that time that I would feel better if I could make a point and let this project end, to get a kind of picture complete.
This has something to do with my experiences with [the] music business and also with the fact that I never felt comfortable or supported doing this kind of music. EP: Why does number three have significance for you? AFK: 3 is my favourite number, so it was only something I picked up in that moment.
I was born at a 3rd at 3 o'clock, now doing my 3rd a. With a. I used organs, guitars or feedbacks to create something like a natural soundscape.
The rest was editing and dsp to get this kind of dramaturgy into a track. In the end I never saw myself as a composer, more as someone who works carefully with sound. Two more a. That CD, fine as it was, was mostly based on Reich-like piano-tapping exercises and, since the idea was somewhat overworked, I wondered at the need for its excessive duration.
The modulations and variations in the music are constant, and fascinating. Layers of treated organ drone? There are whirling, phasing and swishing sounds, all gently suspended and balanced in a fine mix. Ultimately the source sounds are unidentifiable, which is fine by me; Koji Asano is another soloist working with simple sources, yet adept at concealing his tracks in the finished item.
Consequently, Haines achieves a sense of depth, grandeur and scale that was not evident before. Hence, a gentle tension is built up, sufficient to carry you along in the sky, weightless. Beautiful music, and also has sad and serious emotions underpinning it all; perhaps could be a comfort at moments of loss in your life.
Each of these mighty ten tracks - shining examples of a new virulent strain of ultranoise or supernoise, if you will - are strong, positive and definite statements in sound. No half-measures nor woolly ambient dribblings from this man, who USA has been succoured since infancy on the blood of oxen, not the milk of www. Just digging tracks one of the second CD at time of writing, but both halves of this double set are packed with no-nonsense noise-a-thons.
The best noise Jason Kahn storm, solid dark clouds clunking against each other and pounding the clacking stones of Chesil Beach, a popular seaside resort in Dorset. There are plenty more delights on this, one of the finest examples of its type you will own. Though it displays twisted psychedelic images of fractal storms and juxtaposed horse photographs, the colours are somewhat muted and do not utilise the wild, fauvist pallette that a sonic work of this order should command.
If you get the chance, buy one mail-order and prepare for a weekend of unleashing torrential doom from your speakers. Actually, end results will be unpredictable.
At all events, secure copy now. The intensity of it all may smother us to death. These are gorgeous, mesmerising drones, which explore the acoustic possibilities of percussion to an extreme degree.
Each episode brings with it a layer of thick, syrupy distortion, and occasional loop-work, that transforms the music into a wondrous sonorous drone. Various exciting and fascinating sensations are conveyed. A lot of contemporary electronica artists lean heavily on studio effects and mechanical programmes to create an artificial atmosphere, while they fall asleep, read a magazine, or head off to the cafe for a steaming cup of Americano.
Jason Kahn is, emphatically, not such a one. Rather, I think he is using these effects simply to enhance the natural resonances of his drums, cymbals, and gongs, extending their acoustic qualities into a new dimension.
The craft of his playing is ever-present. No matter how extreme the treatment, you can always tell that these recordings started life with a up- human being striking a percussive object. Amazingly, his music gets clearer and more limpid the more layers he adds to it, not the opposite. His instruments - among them a steel cello, a guitar, an ARP synth and a tiny Rogue Moog - are all clever, dark little weapons of doom, harnessed like black beetles and set to work rolling huge dung-heaps up and down the length of Fifth Avenue.
A walk through an infernal park, where the sun never rises. The recording studio becomes an electron microscope, allowing the sustained and detailed contemplation of otherwise imperceptible sound-events. Recorded in France by sonic genius and askew songwriter Bob Drake, and packaged in a fine thick card sleeve screenprinted with blue, green and black patterns designed by Kahn. Even CDs like this one on Robot Records are not all that common; luckily, Richard Rupenus sent me this without me even asking for it.
Original Organum vinyl is likewise scarce, desirable to collectors, and hence costly whenever it appears. Look out for this one if you can - its cover is completely black, but the clues are printed on the spine and on the disc.
Flowers from a funeral home, demolished many years ago. Two vases, with half- visible engravings offish and shells. Dead trees in the Autumn. On the front cover, perhaps a found photograph, the sepia-tinted face of an old Spanish matador it seems, who gazing into the distance cannot convey the pointlessly cruel things he has beheld in his life. But this music gives his melancholy a voice. No matter. This tuneless music is slow and almost sacred in its intensity. Metal and wood are probably used to make the creaking, clanking and scraping noises, and their inner voices are activated by mysterious actions that need not concern us.
The deep centre of gravity has a powerful effect on the mind; it centres you, organises you, and points you towards new spaces in your mind. Wooly edges, peripheral vision, all tricks to help you see beyond and expand into unexplored areas. Listen to this for long enough and you can give your entire brain a makeover. Play it loud, and ascend like a helicopter or skim the waves like a hydrofoil, as you resonate with the vibrations.
Organum speaks of infinite possibilities. A CD of droning magnificence, very busy and very detailed drones. A fine new release from this New Zealand solo electronic minimalist.
A reliable artiste - these are intensive delvings deep into the collective psyche, universal observations refracted through the prism of a bank of electronic equipment.
Long, hypnotic tracks emanate from the bank. Put it in your kettle and the scale that resolves around the rim of your coffee cup is like flecks of golden dust in an ashtray. The music is perhaps little more than a simple series of fine harmonic pitches blending into a chord, a continuum fed endlessly though filters, yet somehow it all evokes a wistful nostalgia.
A warm and golden sound, like fine skeins of honey twisted over the eyelids of dead moths. Arrives packaged with some extremely evocative photographs by Bernd E Schyma. Certainly, this provides a context for the yearning noises.
Double-exposed figures release on this label Sigma 00 1in 1 ; the work has improved massively after that tentative initial step, progressing from Philip Glass influences into a new realm of creativity, and originality. I think the label started in Australia; recent releases were available from a Holland address, but this one was manufactured in the UK and arrived from a London address.
I guess locality means very little in this modern world of global trading. There are funny noises reminiscent of a dripping faucet in a huge echo chamber. There's plenty happening here with little bubble sounds and mewling guitar coming through. Track 7 is very shrill, like a high-pitched chainsaw, accompanied by water droplet blops and the last track features more conventional guitar sounds and feedback effects.
This is an incredible recording very much unlike anything else you'll ever hear, apart from another Ashtray Navigations CD: sickly and wheezy, but drawing you into its own little hallucinatory world. If you're having problems dreaming at night, play this music regularly and you will soon meet the Jumblies with their sea-green hair and sky-blue hands sailing in their Sieve upon the sea in your slumber. No doubt, the statement is aided in its ambition by the grandiose and gloomy artwork on the triple gatefold digipack, a collage by Robert Schalinski which mixes the ancient with the modern, the urban with the primitive.
There are jungle animals, city skyscrapers, wreckage from ancient civilisations and 20 th century urban decay, all sprawled against banks of sickening pink clouds. This queasy melange alone speaks volumes, as does the enlarged mutant insect face on the interior of the wrap Besides the running waters, we have jungley-growls, African drumming, ethnic chants, church bells and Russian Orthodox church choirs - all thrown one on top of the other against an increasingly sinister backdrop of mechanical beats.
At length, this devolves into electronic samples and blasts - clunky high tones and menacing low tones, and a rhythm suggesting a dark waltz, a dance of death. From here on the disc becomes more predictable, but no less powerful; the beats and noises grow ever-more apocalyptic, delineating factories of doom and gathering storms across alien landscapes.
Rhizome, Rhizomel00 hotmail. It starts and ends with the sound of running water, a particular selection of rhyming sounds that at first led me to think that this 1 2-track monster had been composed or arranged as a conceptual whole.
They issued their minimal experimental works as very limited editions in nice packages - these are probably enormously collectible by now. In spite of its extreme abstraction, the work of Lopez never sounds like the product of a man who lives in his studio. This may be down to the source material he uses often field recordingsbut it also tends to reflect the semi-mythical role that is starting to accrue around him: Lopez the voyager, like a young Odysseus, flying from coast to coast across a restless ocean, as he ministers to his record label that has three international headquarters.
Creating music out of his meetings with people, turning the journeys and the places into acoustic art. But, importantly, he always takes the sounds back out into the world, so they become a part of it again. Silence, emptiness, dead air. Then added layers of treated white noise. Knowing When Not To Know becomes impossibly intense, loud and impenetrable - acquiring an aura of menace.
Everything fades away quickly, leaving a lonely dissipated sound to be blown away helplessly across an endless empty wasteland. The CD ends abruptly. The brevity of this composition has not prevented Lopez from realising yet another powerful statement. De Wys breathes, croons, grunts, gabbles, whines, moans and shrieks through this recording like one possessed by a hundred thousand devils. If you thought Diamanda Galas's recordings were an endurance test, think again!
Probably the most oppressive aspect of I Oh is the slow breathing that begins the CD and which recurs throughout; the breathing sounds close to being distorted the dynamics of this CD are apparently extreme and much of the original sound range exceeded the recording capacity and De Wys was probably breathing out heavily into the microphone as well with the sound level turned all the way up.
There is little instrumentation except to augment the vocalisations and this serves to heighten the rawness and intensity of the recording especially if you follow the CD sleeve's recommendation to listen to I Oh in a quiet environment. De Wys offers no context or direction as to how you should listen to this CD and for some people this may be the most frightening aspect of the recording. At times you may be tempted to laugh as De Wys babbles or screams like a fruitcake because you do not know how else to react and extreme recordings like this are quite barmy in their way and then you feel guilty for having laughed and for not reacting in some other politically correct way.
Recommended only for the very fearless or the very foolish among you and if you need references among which to place this work, think Galas's Schrei X or Antonin Artaud's Pour en finir avec le jugement de Dieu. In case you're wondering about the artist herself, De Wys seems to be a psychologically sane and well-adjusted music teacher at an art college in New York state; she was a founding member with Glenn Branca of the late 70's group Theoretical Girls and she has worked with electronic soundscape composer Maryanne Amacher among others.
The sleeveless CD boasts on its printed label of its sources, comprising mostly process-based sound events from domestic electrical equipment or the computer, samples made with the built-in mic of a computer, and environment recordings taken from inside abandoned computer rooms! A conceptual neatness, suggesting the mind of a man obsessed with his own PC.
We hear slow, metallic, heavy breathing from a gigantic machine in the darkness. Long minutes pass like days in this isolation chamber. Look again - the machine is now unspooling yards of magnetic tape from its guts, littering the floor of the lab.
However, the processor works steadily away and completes its obscure program until the war with the night is over. The textures, whirrs, hums and rattles all carry a discreet brand of fascination. I wonder what makes it all, particularly the hypnotic third track, so compelling; perhaps because it somehow approximates the condition of the mind and body during long stretches of sleep.
Or at least what I imagine is going on while I am sleeping. I wish I could get more of it sleep, that isalthough my insomnia troubles are not as bad as they used to be, thanks for asking. Maybe I should leave Internal Reference to run on repeat play some night and see, in that sleep of death, what dreams may come.
The sleep of reason brings forth monsters. Only the stout of heart should proceed. Marchetti is a veteran Italian conceptualist and performer with a creditable history behind him.
This one is trying for something much more conceptual, and the fruits of the tree remain ultimately indigestible. The supreme irony is that he was sitting behind a Bosendorfer grand piano while he did it, his back to the audience, and refusing to play a single note on that expensive instrument.
I sensed with this work that he had an underlying contempt for art, and for its audience. However, that long hour - from which some of the audience fled in terror, or boredom - was fiendishly unforgettable in its bleak absurdity. But perhaps Marchetti has completely lost faith in all music, not just classical. It affirms the Fluxus line of thought that declared that all forms of Western culture had died long ago, leaving only empty dead remnants behind in galleries and museums.
Pretty gloomy, eh? In fact, it conveys the utter absurdity of existence. Come to that, you can efface virtually everything! Of course, Pollock brought personality and a psychological depth to his automatism and his doodles writ large, but Marchetti appears to be one step ahead of that game too.
The entire work remains an enigma, of which the code will never be found. Lying down on his blankets in the art gallery on the front cover, Marchetti may not be feigning sleep, but acting out a role as the stone-dead corpse of music. The Lopez piece is the longer of the two and is punctuated by blocks of silence from which puffs and hisses of sonic steam slowly emerge, followed by deep rumbles of what could be distant thunder.
Sometimes there are abrupt changes in volume or direction in the piece but much of the time the music seems to ebb and flow rhythmically like the laboured breathing of a distant giant planet with its thick and heavy atmospheres of methane, liquid hydrogen and other fluids unknown to humankind.
Mini-cyclones come and go within the roiling clouds, streams of cold liquids under high pressure shoot through gaps in the masses of air. As with many of Lopez's other recordings, this piece is fathomless and impenetrable. In the last half of the recording, the music drops into near-nothingness or a state where it's difficult to tell whether you're hearing actual sound or just the static at the end of the recording - in this way, Lopez has erased the boundary between music and silence, between noise and not-noise.
Karkowski, like Lopez, gets the music to ebb and flow rhythmically but he manipulates aspects like volume and space more so the whole piece throbs like a giant heart in the middle of a vast alien circulatory system with liquid metal for blood - you can hear it all whooshing about as the heart pumps huge volumes through the labyrinthine ventricles. At the same time, the piece seems rather too busy especially if you listen to it after the Lopez piece, there's so much going on; still, if you love the sound of pulsating blasts of blizzard-like fountains through huge arteries and veins, this recording should suit you.
Don't ask me to choose between these recordings: I like them both, they are actually very different though they might initially sound very similar. But then I have so many of these guys' recordings, I probably will need a whole lifetime to get through them all These 2 pieces derive from a set of sounds created by both musicians in San Francisco in August, ; they then worked on these sounds separately.
Some people may wonder what can be done with a set of what basically seem little more than bits of turned-up static you hear at the end of a recording but if you're familiar with Lopez and Karkowski we rabbit on about these people often enough and loudly enough so you should be familiar with them! Blixa Bargeld, who has sawn up stages and used explosions as part of music performance; John Duncan, who cultivates an interest in extreme body-art performance including isolation tanks and enforced blindness actions; The Hafler Trio, Stelarc and Merzbow.
Besides these, Zbigniew was the mastermind behind the Meltdown project ofwhich proposed to take over the world through an ingenious strategy of sonic assaults. What is behind all this bleakness? I expect this strategy is to remind us that we all live in prison anyhow, and exhorts us to do something about the situation.
Pointing directly at its audience ie the entire population of the worldit proposes total annihilation, and not simply a bit of mischief that will make us vomit or soil our britches. The music makes your windows rattle the same way that passing trains or heavy trucks do; it conjures an image of a perpetual parade of tanks and military camions on the road outside, suggesting that the military coup has finally happened and that a police state is imminent.
His work has mostly appeared in a fine art context, adding a sonic dimension to films, paintings in galleries, or installations - but he has put out an Antimatter CD and appeared on not a few comps.
As it turns out, Zeitblom was probably the most important fraction within that triumvirate-equation. Did you find a copy?
You recall how that music was apparently part of an art gallery installation that involved suspending bodies in water while music was played into the unwilling ears of these human guinea pigs. I find now that the same three scoundrels also worked together on another not unrelated RHIZ release, Bioadapter.
I have been trying, on behalf of a perplexed audience of expectant listeners, to decode the sleeve note herein penned by Herr Rantasa and convey it back to you in all in a form which might be easier understood. The installation itself is an artificial space.
Bongo Fiesta - Tipica 73* - The Two Sides Of / Los Dos Lados De La (Vinyl, LP, Album), Girl From Southend-On-Sea - Roy Budd - Pick Yourself Up!!! (Vinyl, LP), Homicide - Uptown Superstars - No More Dreams (Cassette, Album), Invitation - Paul Smith Quartet - Softly, Baby (CD, Album), Truck Stop (2) - In Concert (CD, Album), I Want You - Various - Promo Only Urban Radio: July 2003 (CD), 1919 - Machine (Vinyl, LP), Everly Brothers - A Date With / Two Yanks In England (CD, Album), Maurice André - Chamber Orchestra Of The North German Radio*, Gabor Ötvös - Baroque Trumpet Concerti, Gigliola Cinquetti - Non Ho Letà (Vinyl)