Posts Tagged ‘New Age’

Cruel Nature Recordings – 13th November 2020

Christopher Nosnibor

Cruel Nature’s ongoing success in producing ultra-niche cassette releases in quantities that manage to sell out in advance of the release is impressive given not only the format, but also the times we’re living in. The label clearly knows its audience and market, with all 75 copies of David Colohan’s Walking Ghost Phase spoken for.

The album is dedicated to Walter Wegmuller, the polyartist perhaps best known for the 1973 Krautrock album Tarot, which was composed as a soundtrack to the 78-card deck with 22 major arcana cards which he designed in his capacity as a visual artist, and who died in March this year.

It contains four compositions, each precisely twelve minutes in duration and numbered I -IV. There’s a clear trajectory, if not necessarily a narrative arc, across the album, whereby the four segments segue seamlessly, yet are distinct in their form and are marked by a clear tonal variation and a sense of progression.

‘I’ begins with soft, ambient synth washes, through which bubbling modular ripples ride to give a supple yet structured krautrock feel – part Tangerine Dream, part Tubular Bells. An organ wheeze provides the undercurrent for ‘II’, but then there’s an expansive lead line that’s more progressive in its leaning, and laden with FX so as to render it unclear if it’s a guitar or a synthesize, but whatever it is, it’s noodly. The tracks takes an almost folksy turn after just a couple of minutes, but it’s a weird tripped-out electro-folk for a retro space age, and sounds like the aural equivalent of a 1960s sci-fi novel. It’s mellow but there are deep currents running barely perceptible, beneath the surface.

There’s a slow-spinning, misty drift around ‘III’, with elongated notes sounding like the heralding of a new (age) dawn. Sparse guitar echoes and hangs in the air, a dampened chord reverberates through the hazy atmosphere, prisming light in infinite, glorious hues.

This is nothing if not relaxing: Walking Ghost Phase is subtle, sedate, and there’s nothing overtly haunting, gloomy, or menacing here as Colohan conjures the essence of tranquillity over the course of an hour’s calm reflection, which culminates in ‘IV’ leafing the listener serenely toward the light illuminating the horizon.



30th May 2020

Christopher Nosnibor

Having begun May with a new release in the form of Beyond Life, an exploratory ambient work in the form of a single twenty-six minute track, Ashley Sagar ends the month with a follow-up, and counterpart of similar scope and scale.

If the title suggests something a bit new-age, a bit hippy, trippy cosmic, and a bit pretentious, the music is contains isn’t anything of the sort, although there is a certain haze of mysticism and perhaps a sniff of incense about the album’s slow-drifting atmospherics.

There’s a faint scratching pulsation, like a metal object scraping against scratched glass, that grabs my attention early on: the arrival of slow, sedate, rolling percussion– possibly conga or similar hand drums – provides a new focus for the attention, and changes the tone considerably. With a rhythmic structure providing a framework and solidity, the piece becomes less overtly ambient and abstract. Shifting further over time towards cyclical, non-percussive rhythms transports the listener into a softer pace, before an unexpectedly weighty segment around the eleven-minute mark where the beats crash in and dominate, however briefly.

Thereafter the looming shadows are longer and darker, with rumbling low notes and heavy drones underlying Ian Mitchell’s delicate picked guitar notes and the returning percussion, along with one of Sagar’s distinctively strolling basslines. It may be subtle and muted, but its presence builds depth beneath the numerous shimmering layers which ebb and flow.

The segments are short and the transitions relatively swift, which gives The Temple… a strong sense of movement, movements that’s effortless and natural, since the parts flow seamlessly into one another like a stream flowing through a varied landscape, cascading from a spring-line, down a hillside and through a woodland. This may not be the most fitting metaphor, but you get the idea, and it’s perhaps telling that my mind is drawn to the natural rather than the spiritual, and I’m drawn to the distant horizon as the final notes throb and ripple to the fade.



Really? David Tibet and Youth? With an album , Create Christ, Sailor Boy, and live show in the offing, they’ve unveiled a brace of tracks, including the album’s final track, ‘Night Shout, Bird Tongue’. So yes this is really something which is happening nd it promises to be unusul if nothing else. And given the various path-crosings the two have made ove the last three decades, it’s perhps not as bizarre as it may ppear on the surface, so much as a collaboration a long time in the making.

A transformative union of two idiosyncratic tellers, Hypnopazūzu sees Current 93 speller David Tibet joining forces with the eternal Youth, famed not only for his work as bassist with Killing Joke but for production and collaborative work with an outlandishly eclectic list of artists from Alien Sex Fiend to Paul McCartney. Together, they’ve created a singular hallucinatory vision that marries symphonic splendour to indignant gnostic intensity – Create Christ, Sailor Boy draws in, and down, masks terrestrial and celestial and summons a collection of songs unlike anything either artist has created previously. In addition to this debut album release, the duo have also announced a live show in London on Saturday 22nd October at Union Chapel with The Stargazer’s Assistant in support.

Having both first skipped together on Current’s debut album Nature Unveiled in 1983, together, these two again manifested their sticky alchemy, with Youth’s ornate and dramatic arrangements sliding into and around Tibet’s vivid hypnagogic visions to end up in a psychic picnic hinterland that is as sumptuous as it is colourful in its opulence. Tibet’s luxurious kosmoi sliding slyly onto peaks of intent and intoxication on the album, and songs such as the Galactic Sexiness of ‘The Sex Of Stars’ and the Cuneiform Cuteness of ‘The Auras Are Escaping Into The Forest’ show him, backed by the emotive and expressive power of Youth’s arrangements, as a conduit turning unspelled grammars into grimoires.

Transcendent, tumultuous, and tricky, Create Christ, Sailor Boy is the sound of two spirits skipping as one to create a sidereal glimpse into uncounted cartoons. It seems likely this partnership will be a fruitful one, both in this realm and other playgrounds. “I am happy always to work with Youth in any way, forever and for ever and always and in all ways” stresses David. “I wait for my Ouija Board Planchette to receive his Mind’s Eye Text.

93 years in the making, this elaborately-packaged 3-sided LP (it will have a laser etching on Side 4) contains ten songs and brings together spheres and planets for the Ultimate Hallucinatory PickNick. Also available in CD and digital formats, check out the House of Mythology store for pre-orders.  This album will come with two different front covers; one by David Tibet, the other by Youth, available on 26th August.

Hear ‘NIght Shout, BIrd Tongue’ here: