Current 93 - I Am The Last of All The Field That Fell

I want to start by saying that writing this seems kind of like an exercise in futility. Current 93 has existed in countless incarnations (with David Tibet as the only permanent member of the band) for over 30 years, so really, what is the point of writing some more words about them or their records? Am I going to say something that no one has said before? No, that's probably bordering on impossible. Am I going to give some fresh insight into what makes David Tibet tick, or what possesses him to make such music? I suppose I could do that, but it would be nonsense; no one really knows, except maybe Tibet himself (and even that seems unlikely at this point) what makes him go. My feeling has always been that the answers to any questions one may ask about David Tibet or Current 93 are only found in a dream somewhere...

Which brings me to the sole reason for this post: I saw it in a dream. Just the other night, I listened to the SixSixSix: SickSickSick compilation for the first time in years, and while I've always thought it more than worthy, as compilations go, there was something about how it burned into my consciousness that night, something that made my dreams that night very revealing. I won't cheapen the dream by describing it, but what I came to was this: David Tibet is a fucking genius.

Genius. This is a word that we throw around quite a lot, and simple saying, "David Tibet is a genius" is nothing new. I've thought this of Tibet for a long time anyway, so how, you may ask, was this some great revelation? Well, I suppose it's not. But my dream gave me something more than just knowledge, more than just a thought - it gave me something I can remember, always. It was practically something tangible.

And that brought me to listen to the newest C93 record, I Am The Last Of All The Field That Fell. It was the first Current 93 record that I listened to after this strange dream, and it just hit me square in the face that like any other Current 93 record, it's magick. Some have called it the quintessential Current 93 jazz record, and I guess that while I understand where that sentiment comes from, it's really nothing more than an incomplete thought. I Am The Last... is of course, very jazzy, from beginning to end, but that's only the beginning of what it is. It's also a story, and a poem, and a film, and some kind of bizarre ritual that takes place wherever you are.

There is something special about David Tibet's voice and vocals on this record that take it out of the scope of just being another Current 93 record, and bring it into the stars. Tibet has always been a master of creating tension in music, but I've never heard anything quite so tense as "And Onto PickNickMagick," which is not only the best track on the record, but probably one of the 2 or 3 best that Current 93 have ever recorded. And how that tension turns to playfulness and delight on "I Remember the Berlin Boys" is just indicative of a brilliance that few possess.

If it doesn't become clear to you, from Tibet's lyrics as well as his vocalizing of them in those 2 songs in particular, and indeed on this entire record, that there is something truly magickal about what Current 93 is doing these days, then I would contend that you're either just being difficult, or you're closing yourself off and missing out on one of the great wonders of musical and literary culture of our time.

I have to be fair, of course- it's not all about David Tibet, especially on this record. He is surrounded by a great cast, which includes stars as bright as Nick Cave, Jack Barnett, James Blackshaw, Ossian Brown, Antony Hegarty, Reinier van Houdt, Norbert Cox, Jon Seagroatt, Carl Stokes, Bobbie Watson, Andrew Liles, Tony McPhee, and of course, the one and only John Zorn on saxophone.

The album can be had from various sources, maybe even your local record store. Find a way to get it; it is a work of brilliance that will outshine the sun. And if you're so inclined, go find SixSixSix: SickSickSick as well. It can be downloaded from the new-ish Current 93 Bandcamp page, if you can't find the CD.

1 comment:

Tammy said...

30 years is a long time. So, yes, your views may overlap those of others but you are sharing your own experience with the music and that is unique.