Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Astral Disaster on Acme/Prescription (a "repost" of sorts)
Alright, then, a proper treatment to the musicks posted nigh on one year ago, unfortunately under improper labelling and infos. My apologies to anyone offended, my appreciation to all involved, so, without further ado, here then are the infos on Astral Disaster, the Acme/Prescription edition being the one posted here.
The Sea Priestess
Second Son Syndrome
I Don't Want To Be The One
The Mothership And The Fatherland
Computer [Macintosh], Cymbal [Finger Cymbals] - Peter Christopherson
Lyrics By, Vocals, Other [Obsidian Mirrors, Scrim Generators] - John Balance
Mellotron, Organ [Hammond], Synthesizer - Thighpaulsandra
Synthesizer [Moog], Other [Thoughtforms] - Drew McDowall
Sitar and Guitar/The Sea Priestess, Guitar I Don't Want To Be The One - Gary Ramon
"Part of a series of 8 releases (each by a different artist) on the Prescription imprint of Acme, a label run by Gary Ramon of the band Sundial. Like all other Prescription releases, this album was limited to 99 copies available only via subscription to the entire series. It's packaged in a plain black sleeve with a title sticker signed and numbered by Balance and Christopherson. It includes an insert with the track listing and release notes, and a piece of handmade artwork in a plastic zip-lock bag."
excerpt from interview with Ramon:
"What was the purpose of the Prescription label limited editions of 99 copies vinyl?
Gary Ramon: Prescription was a good idea, but it eventually became too much after the 2nd series. The idea was to copy the idea of the private pressings phenomenon from the 60s/70s. But to make it different, we got all the artists involved to design the sleeves themselves. I had a studio in London at the time, which was there to help me write and come up with a new Sun Dial album... So we just invited bands down to make albums. In some ways it was a crazy idea and never to be repeated... We had a lot of people asking us to make a 3rd series, but in the end, I found it took too much time. It was a great artistic thing to do but financially a bad move! I'm vaguely thinking of making a 3rd series at some stage, but it would be made in a totally different way -it would have to!"
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From Brainwashed(regarding TH release):
"The songs "The Sea Priestess," "I Don't Want to be the One," and "2nd. Sun Syndrome" have been remixed or extended."MU-UR" is a remix of "The Mothership and the Fatherland.""
from wiki notes(taken from TH release):
"The album is mainly themed on mankind's pollution of the seas for commerce, as exemplified by the lyrics to "MÜ-ÜR". The majority of the album was recorded in an area below the level of the Thames River. "
""Second Son Syndrome" was purposely renamed "2nd Sun Syndrome" on reissue."
The following notes culled from Brainwashed. From John Balance as included in the ThresholdHouse vinyl release of Astral Disaster.
The Avatars is a title of a book by one of my favourite mystical poet /writers George Russell who was Irish. He wrote under the name A.E. which was short for AEON. He has writen some of the most inspiring and inspired prose about direct enchantment and trancendental communion with Nature. I mention him in the COIL song Bee-stings (?) when I sing "Don't believe A.E. See for yourselves the summer fields" - A plea for experiential outings, pilgrimages etc. Get out there - Travel! It's in both the journey and the destination...
Jimmy Page once declared he believed Kenneth Anger was an Avatar. A semi-God-form , a pure particular Spirit incarnated on this earth. A view he later renounced when they fell out. I think he was right myself.
The strange sound is a Syrinx sythesiser. A very scarce beast indeed... The track was my attempt to recall vivid childhood memories of when I used to try and sneak downstairs and watch the 'Quatermass' programmes on TV through a gap in the door.
"The Mothership and The Fatherland"
An attempt to explore the cosmic connection between 'flying saucers' and Krautrockery, UFOs and LFOs. Astral Acidity - LSD being a catalyst one supposes. The resultant progeny of the marriage of the two elements results in the birth of the "little lost children" who Kate Bush is singing about for us. The end has John speaking in tongues - Insect jabber.
The whole album really was recorded originally in two days over Samhain (Halloween) in a studio located below the level of the river Thames in ancient Southwark. An area the artist Austin Osman Spare frequented and knew particularly well. The theme of water, the sea, lunar influences again figure deeply in the whole of the album. We redid some of the material at our new studio that has a view of the sea.
The inner sleeve photo portraits were taken by Peter Christopherson and John Balance of each other during the total eclipse of the sun. "See the Black Sun Rise...".
"2nd Sun Syndrome"
Loops of anguish caused by the feeling of being a second son in a family lineage. Changed from "son" on the original vinyl release. Now turned and tuned into intergalactic transmissions. Sex with Sun Ra. We have our voice-mail system linked up to SETI main computor - It searches for intelligent life in space while we sleep, in dead time.
"The Sea Priestess"
We thank Frater Purdurabo on the sleeve of the record. This is a magickal name Aleister Crowley used. It means "I will endure". A lot of the lyrics are based on Aleister crowleys own written descriptions of the so called 'obscene' murals on the walls of The Abbey Of Thelema at Cefalu in Sicily. The place still exists. Peter and I made a pilgrimage there last year and while we there discovered a lost painting on an internal door, the door to his own bedroom, the fabled "Chambre de Couchmares". It was a very roughly done Chinese style astral landscapewith waterfalls and pagodas. All what remains of the original murals rediscovered and painstakingly restoredand by Kenneth Anger in the 50's are crumbling and devastatingly beyond restoration now. I spent the day there photographing what remains, bitterly crying at the terrible loss of such a direct and beautiful magickal temple. The rest of the lyrics were written as a result of experiments with a small obsidian scrying mirror. The sub-concious surfacing. Brion Gysin would scry for hours to gain entrance into the place "where light writes in space". Whatever pollutants and poisons Manunkind pours into the seas, they too will endure.
"I don't want to be the one"
I feel like this at times. Reticent and resentful and then, in turn, scared and angry. Overpowered by what visions I have to endure. I've had visions ever since I was a child. They used to overwhelm me so much I used to fight against them. I had no context for them. Now I use them and accept them. Or try to.
Gold, frankincense and MUUR. Balm of the sea. A joinery of MU and UR. MU being a mythical ancient landmass now lying submerged somewhere underneath the Pacific ocean. An Eastern version of Atlantis. UR meaning 'proto' and before now. At the formation of. On saying the word MUUR out loud I believe I am saying one of the first words ever forced out of the throat of man. A Proto-Mantra. The voice is my voice transformed into that of the Sea Priestess.
"It's the sail of the century". I am talking about the shortsighted rape and plunder and poison of the sea for commerce.
"God saved me from drowning, then kicked me to death on the beach".
"The miraculous image of sound washed ashore"
"what's His is History. What's missed is Mystery"
Please note, too, that the TH CD edition is currently up over at Nova-Express so if you haven't already, you can hear the difference.
I do know that Sleazy has the masters for these, so hopefully they will see some manner of release eventually. When that happens, this will be pulled, but until then...