Saturday, April 25, 2015

Wolfsheim ::: Ken Manage & Any But Pretty

Wolfsheim was formed in 1987 by the brothers Markus and Olli Reinhardt, and Pompejo Ricciardi. The name was taken from Scott Fritzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby. They recorded a demo tape and three months later Ricciardi left the band, to be replaced by Peter Heppner. Shortly afterward, Olli left the band while Markus and Peter carried on. At first, they sang the songs Ricciardi had written, but wanting a fresh start Peter began writing new lyrics. Wolfsheim's debut album, 'No Happy View', was released in 1992.

In January 2009, Heppner and Reinhardt split up citing personal differences.

Ken Manage

A1 Can Manage    
A2 Angles In Jar    
A3 Tarcoola Railway    
A4 Lovemission (Live)    
B1 Dressed In Red    
B2 Lovemission    
B3 Slaughterhouse    
B4 Paradoxical Triumph (Live)


Any But Pretty

A1 Gates    
A2 Always    
A3 Don't Sorrow    
A4 Where Greed Talks    
B1 Elias    
B2 Kissing The Wall    
B3 Against The Clock    
B4 Nast


Typhonian Ordo Templi Orientis: The OTO After Crowley by Michael Staley

An occult magazine published recently in England carried what purported to be a flow-chart, showing the descent of the Ordo Templi Orientis from its foundation by Kellner down to the present day. The flow-chart is in fact a highly contentious piece of work circulated by the so-called Caliphate O.T.O., the group formerly led by Grady McMurtry and now operating from New York. It comes as no surprise, therefore, to see that the main line of succession to the position of Outer Head of the Order (O.H.O.) passes from Crowley to Germer, and thence to McMurtry. Thus, the Caliphate group presents itself as the mainstream O.T.O., the direct and legitimate successors to Crowley; and all other groupings as at best mere offshoots from the main stem, at worst frauds and pretenders. Its sounds fairly straightforward. The trouble is, however, that the claim is simply untrue. The more that it is examined, the more shallow it becomes.

This article has in fact been prompted by the latest appearance of the flow-chart. It could - and perhaps should - have been written years ago. In essence, it seems a waste of time to have to argue about the past, when what really matters is the present task of developing Thelema and radiating the 93 Current. Some people and organisations seem to see Crowley, Thelema and the O.T.O. as glamorous museum pieces, fixed in perpetuity, to be preserved and cherished here and hereafter. According to this notion, the structure of the Order is sacrosanct, bequeathed to us by the Great Man himself. Thus they admit of no development, no innovation, no change. In short, Thelema becomes a cult of Crowley, and his personality a prime focus. Nothing could be more laughable, more pitiable, than such a notion. It is surely a grotesque distortion of Thelema, and a negation of all that Crowley strove for. Things are in a constant state of flux and flow, unless they are dead. Of course if people hide from change, it is often because they are scared of the challenge of thinking afresh, of innovation. A finished, fixed system is much easier to deal with than one that is constantly changing, constantly evoking.

Crowley succeeded Reuss as O.H.O. in 1922. However, the reins of leadership passed by no means easily or smoothly. Many of the existing lodges in Germany, and no doubt elsewhere, had had strong reservations about Crowley for years. Simply, many of them went their own ways, and thus the Order was to some extent splintered. Crowley undertook a certain amount of reorganisation of the Order, but he retained its masonic or quasi-masonic structure, with its apparatus of fees, secret signs, passwords, ritual conferring of grades, etc. Something of a doctrinal Thelemic influence seems to have been infused into the grade rituals, and the degrees appear to have been reorganised to some extent, but the structural masonic influence is clear. A glimpse of this type of stucture can be gained from the Blue Equinox.

The masonic influence is not altogether surprising. During the closing years of the last century and the opening years of this, when the modern "occult revival" is deemed to have gathered impetus, many of the occult groups seem to have sprung from masonic or quasi-masonic organisations. Many of the founders of these groups were themselves Freemasons, and they carried over with them the preoccupations with charters, grades, secret passwords, grips and the like. Any structure of grades is - or should be - purely functional and pragmatic, a means of orderly progress through a course of work. They should never be seen as assessments or statements of "spiritual status"; and if people are going to be prey to such misconceptions, then it might be better to have no grades at all. Crowley was to some extent a product of the old, patriarchal Aeon, and seems to have been unable to get away from the idea of such old-Aeon structures. This is perhaps demonstrated by his limited remodelling of the Order after he took over the leadership.

Despite Crowley's ambitions throughout the years, he died in 1947 without nominating a clear magical heir or successor. During the last few years of his life, his trusted lieutenant was Karl Germer. Crowley appears to have inducted Germer straight into the IX* of the Order, and the latter had no acquaintance with the earlier grades that a more orthodox progression through the structure would have given him. Germer was the Grand Treasurer General, and the financial burden of directing the affairs of the Order seems to haven fallen largely on his shoulders. It is curious that, although Crowley came to see Germer as being his successor, he did not take the trouble to train him for the position, nor even establish whether Germer himself felt up to the task. When Crowley died, he left behind a very confused state of affairs. Although it was his wish that Germer succeed him, Germer felt that he was not equal to the task, and declined to become O.H.O. Thus he remained as Grand Treasurer General, fulfilling the role of curator of an Order that was effectively dormant. In the years following Crowley's death the Order was rudderless and in disarray. Some lodges went their own ways, and others just withered.

This picture of the Order following Crowley's death can be substantiated. Kenneth Grant was a member of the Sovereign Sanctuary of the Order, and corresponded with Germer on Order affairs. This correspondence is voluminous, and is of particular interest for the light that it sheds on these matters. In particular, it substantiates the position that Germer refused the office of O.H.O. Indeed, far from claiming the office, he took every opportunity of disavowing it.

In a letter to Grant dated 24 September 1948, Germer advises him that

    ... You should study all that is published about the Constitution etc of the O.T.O. and digest it. You would have known that I am not the O.H.O. I do not know whether I would accept the job if it were pressed on me.

It is clear from the above extract that the job had not been pressed upon him, and that he woule feel reluctant to be "drafted" into the position. In a subsequent letter to Grant, dated, 25 May 1951, he expands upon this:

    ... In the first place, do not refer to me as your superior in the Order. That is only true in an extremely limited sense. What I appear to be in the O.T.O. has been thrust upon me, against my will. I will do what I can; but I shall refuse to make claims that go against my grain. I am strictly speaking the Grand Treasurer General of the O.T.O. No more, no less! The whole situation shouts for somebody who has the will and the guts and the capacity to grow into supreme leadership. If he comes along he will have my full support. But I, personally, am not going to sail under false pretences. I have told everybody that I never learnt Rituals, never saw them performed; nor the Mass: in short, I have no feeling for Order-organisation.

Gemer went on reiterating this point - that he was not the O.H.O., did not wish to be, and felt himself inadequate for the task. More interestingly, however, he began to see Grant as a potential O.H.O. The following passages are extracted from a letter to Grant dated 18 January 1952:

    ... As you know, I never went through the O.T.O. grades; I don't know ritual, or the rituals. But A.C. made me Grand Treasurer General with the financial burden mostly on my personal shoulders ...
    ... I have never gone systematically through the grades, etc. I, therefore, cannot advise on this side of the work. I have come to the conviction that you are being trained for just this, and I am sure that you have the passion, the capacity for intensive work, and the Will to reach Mastery in this department or field.

The whole position is well summarised in the following extracts from a letter to Grant dated 18 January 1952:

    ... Nor am I against the O.T.O. system, or the system of Degrees. Only, paradoxically, I have very little interest in it. I wish someone could take the whole work, and the responsibility for the burden which A.C. laid on my incompetent shoulders, off me! What I hate more than anything is to sail under false pretences. I repeat what I've said before: I have never gone through an O.T.O. initiation or graduation; I've never been present at a Gnostic Mass performance ... I do not know the password, grips etc. of even the lower degrees of the O.T.O. Briefly: A.C. appointed me to the highest grade and responsability without coaching me for the job. If we want to get the O.T.O. properly going again, we need a competent leader, not only for England but for the world. It must be somebody who knows the thing inside out; who has a goal, not only for a period of his own life-span, but beyond that. I have often thought that you might well be chosen for the job ...
    ... You ask me: what is going on elsewhere concerning the O.T.O. There is no active Lodge, as such in the U.S.A., of the O.T.O. What is done is by old members individually.

It is clear from these extracts that Germer did not consider himself to be O.H.O., and it is surprising - given his repeated disavowals - that he has come generally to be seen as such. In his role as caretaker he worked well and devotedly, issuing several of Crowley's works posthumously - for instance, Liber Aleph and Magick Without Tears. Certainly, he administered the affairs of the Order, and fullfilled a custodial role in the years following Crowley's death. However, he was not the O.H.O.

It is at this point that the claims of the Caliphate group break down. It is their contention, as instanced by the flow-chart earlier referred to, that McMurtry succeeded Germer as O.H.O. Quite how this could possibly have been the case, when Germer was on his own admission not of this position himself, is not at all clear. After all, if Germer had reiterated this point in his correspondence with Grant, he must surely have mentioned it to others as well. It is difficult to imagine that McMurtry and his colleagues were not aware of the true state of affairs - in particular of Germer's position in the Order. And yet, this group continues to base its claims upon a line of transmission of headship from Crowley to Germer to McMurtry. To illustrate this, the following is an extract from a letter from their Grand Treasurer General to an English enquirer, dated 22nd July 1984:

    ... From the 1920's Aleister Crowley became the Outer Head of the Order (O.H.O.); and he is responsible for the present form of the Order. Since that time, the Order has been headed in turn by Fr. Saturnus (Karl Germer) and, after the demise of Fr. Saturnus, by Fr. Hymenaeus Alpha, Caliph (Grady McMurtry). We hold papers of direct and unroken continuity in the direction of O.T.O. from the hand of Aleister Crowley to the present head of the Order ...

Before proceeding further, it would be profitable to shed some light on the position of McMurtry, and on the nature of the "papers of direct an unbroken continuity in the direction of O.T.O." A brief consideration of events during the last few years of Crowley's life is necessary.

During the 1940's, Crowley became increasingly disillusioned with the Agape Lodge of the O.T.O., situated in California. He regarded its leadership as being increasingly erratic and inane, and eventually came to see the whole Lodge as a lost cause. An interesting account of this episode is given in chapter 9 of Kenneth Grant's The Magical Revival, and Crowley's growing frustration with the Lodge is clear. Eventually, he came to the conclusion that a fresh start was needed. Consequently in 1946 he issued McMurtry with written authority to take charge of the work of the Order in California. Following this, he was also appointed as an official representative of the Order in the United States of America generally. McMurtry's authority, given in the form of two documents, was however quite limited, being subject to the approval of Germer, himself resident in the States. The first, dated 22 March 1946, states that

    ... This is to authorize Frater Hymenaeus Alpha (Capt. Grady L. McMurtry) to take charge of the whole work of the Order in California, to reform the Organisazion in pursuance of his report of Jan 25, '46 e.v. subject to the approval of Frater Saturnus (Karl J. Germer). This authorization is to be used only in emergency ...

Following this a second document was issued, dated 11 April 1946, and the body of it is as follows:

    ... These presents are to appoint Frater Hymenaeus Alpha - Grady Louis McMurtry IX* O.T.O. - as Our representative in the United States of America, and his authority is to be considered as Ours, subject to the approval, revision, or veto of Our Viceroy Karl Johannes Germer IX* O.T.O. ...

As can be seen from these extracts, the documents hardly constitute the "direct and unbroken authority" that has been claimed. This shortfall would not, of course, be of any importance, were it not for the fact that the Caliphate group places so much store by the documents. Interestingly, Germer has already been quoted as saying, in the course of his letter to Grant of 18th January 1952, that there was no active Lodge in the United States. This was written some six years after the authority from Crowley was issued, and thus makes it clear that McMurtry and his colleagues were not seen particularly active.

One of the chief banes of occultism is the addiction to paper credentials, authorisations, charters and the like, which it is felt lend some sort of spiritual weight, exaltation or glamour to the recipient organisation. However, the proof of the pudding is surely in the eating, and the yardstick for assessing any group can only be its creativity and vitality. Another bane is that of harking back to a supposed sort of Golden Era, in this case an imaginary homogeneous O.T.O. in Crowley's time. Now, anyone who has taken so much as a cursory glance at the history of occult orders must feel almost sea-sick from the flux and flow exhibited. Like minor political groupings, there is a succession of schisms and regroupings, alliances and splinterings. Things never seem to stand still. When we speak of "the O.T.O." from which descent is claimed, what do we mean? Crowley was a controversial figure, and when he became O.H.O. many Lodges simply went their own ways rather than yield to his authority. Might they not have claimed some justification, to be the "genuine O.T.O."? It must be clear, therefore, that "by their fruits shall ye know them".

With this in mind, the following is extracted from "An Official Statement Concerning the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.)". It was originally published in Mezla in 1977, and is still relevant today:

    Certain individuals have questioned the authority of the O.T.O., as re-organised by Kenneth Grant in accordance with the evolution of the 93 Current transmitted by Aleister Crowley from Shaitan-Aiwass in 1904 e.v.
    The vitality of a magical current may be assessed by its products. It should be evident to all but the voluntarily blind, therefore, that the various shoots of the original O.T.O. - bar one - have, by this criterion, proved themselves virtually impotent.
    Readers should consider the fact that all books on Crowley that appeared prior the Grant's Typhonian Trilogy reveal an almost total ignorance on the part of their authors as to the three major concerns of the Book of the Law. We refer to: 1) the importance of extra-terrestrial influences and the necessity for establishing proper contact with them through the magick of the New Aeon; 2) the mode of their invocation by magical means; 3) the science of the kalas (psycho-sexual emanations of fully-polarized male-female organisms) which lies at the heart of the Book of the Law and which is the substratum of all its teachings and the key to the curious cyphers (literary and numerical) which abound in its pages. In point of fact, no books to this day - with the exception of Grant's - treat of the most secret magick of the kalas and their use in the psycho-sexual mysteries of the 93 Current.
    Read Cammell, Hutin, Regardie, Symonds, et al. We repeat: no book published before 1972 contains so much as an allusion to these matters. Whilst Symonds was jeering at Crowley and his antics in The Great Beast, and in various introductions to Crowley's posthumously published works, Grant was pursuing researches that were to supply the vital keys to an initiated understanding and direction of the 93 Current as transmitted through the Book of the Law.
    In the previous issue of this newsletter, and in the introduction to the new O.T.O. edition of Liber AL, Crowley himself has been quoted in respect of the changes which he knew he would have to occur if the O.T.O. were to survive as a fully functioning vehicle of the 93 Current. It was Grant who ultimately effected these changes. But in tearing down the old and rigid system of graded advancement - which depended mainly on fees and favours - he called down upon himself an avalanche or protest from those who were in a position to profit materially from the obsolete system.
    Karl J. Germer, having proved himself blind to the implication of Crowley's letter to him, failed to understand and accept them when - soon after Crowley's death - Grant submitted his plans for change. The remainded of the story has passed into "magical" history. But at that moment, precisely, the 93 Current surpassed Germer and he was no longer in a position to make decisions affecting the Order, which then came completely under the direction of Kenneth Grant. The division is precise and final and the choice lies with you.
    It remains to remind those who support the old-aeon concept of the O.T.O., that they have not produced - nor can they ever produce - the slightest evidence of a creative current in any of its forms, such as is evidenced by the one here represented, which is therefore the Only True Order.
    Consequently if, instead of wasting valuable time and energy in denying its living reality, such individuals were to strive to understand what the 93 Current actually can mean for themselves and for humanity at large, they may reach a stage when these words will seem superfluous. To this end they should aquaint themselves very thoroughly, very profoundly, with Grant's Typhonian Trilogy, for no where else in published form have the genuine and ultimate formulae of practical occultism been made so fully available ...

It is a charge often repeated, as if to illegitimise "Grant's O.T.O.", that Grant was expelled from the Order by Germer. The extracts already quoted from correspondence between the two make it clear that, in the earlier years at least, relations were cordial and that Germer had a high opinion of Grant. In later years, however, there was dissension between them, and Germer issued documents which purported to expel Grant from the Order. Due to the situation prevalent at the time, however, and Germer not being - on his own admission - the O.H.O., the supposed expulsion must be considered invalid. More to the point, though, it is surely irrelevant, as this article demonstrates.

It was the publication of Crowley's Confessions in 1969 that stimulated much of the current interest in Crowley and his work; and it was on the cover to this volume that Grant first laid claim publicly to the office of O.H.O. For years following Crowley's death the Order was without direction, in disarray, and barely alive in the Outer. In the circumstances, it was in all probability Grant's assumption of the position that saved the Order from disappearance into oblivion. Since then he has proved beyond doubt, by virtue of his creative development and enhancement of Crowley's work, his worthiness for that position.

The Typhonian Tradition by Simon Hinton and Michael Staley


The subject of my talk is the Typhonian tradition, and I present it speaking as an initiate of the Typhonian O.T.O.. The choice of my material has arisen directly as a result of repeated requests from different individuals for a definitive statement on the phrase, 'Typhonian'. And so the acting head of our Order, Michael Staley, and myself, have compiled this address as a response to these requests. It should become apparent as the talk progresses, that the word 'Typhonian' can have several applications, all of which represent different facets of a single current. My hope is that this address will succeed in bringing clarity to the subject as well acting as a taster to those who may be contemplating taking the initiatory path. I shall firstly attempt to explain 'Typhonian', in its original historical context, followed by its later suppression and reemergence, and finally, and most importantly, its power and relevance for us today.

Definition of the Typhonian Tradition

The term Typhonian was used extensively by the brilliant 19th century scholar Gerald Massey throughout his monumental works on ancient religion, as a description for those peoples who worshipped the primordial goddess, identified in the heavens with the Great Bear constellation. Goddess worship, it is widely agreed, preceded all forms of male god worship, and its essence is still reflected today in terms such as 'Mother Nature.'

It is thought likely that at these early stages of civilisation the role of the male in procreation was not understood. Conception, pregnancy and birth would have been seen as a mysterious process with the woman appearing to divide while giving birth. We find then at this stage, that the goddess Typhon and her son Set are referred to almost as a common entity.

As civilisation evolved there was a gradual change in perception, and worship moved from a lunar matriarchal phase (the goddess) to a solar patriarchal male-god stage. By this time the role of the male in procreation was fully understood and the result of this change in consciousness meant a quite dramatic swing in the pendulum with regards to gender veneration, so that the male principle was given greater emphasis than the female. The deities did not escape this tide of revisionism, and the wor ship of a male God became the new orthodoxy. Those who persisted with the worship of the goddess were viewed at first as old-fashioned, then as bizarre and perverse, and finally as a threat. The solar view became consolidated into politics as a patriarchal structure of society, and this led to the different emphasis between the solar and lunar flavours of adoration, concretizing into political conflict. The adherents of the old worship, the Typhonians, suffered as a result.

The Typhonians therefore, began to be viewed as the Opposers; those who swam against the current of contemporary mores. Throughout much of the dynastical period of ancient Egypt, Set, Set-Typhon or just Typhon was depicted mythologically as the Opposer, locked in a perpetual battle with Horus. One has to remember that as times changed so did the mythologies of the times they represented, and just like the people these were never static. At this stage, for example, the term 'Typhon' is syno nymous with Set as the tormentor of Horus, rather than the primordial goddess of earlier times. In the Judaeo-Christian world, whose traditions were hugely influenced by the Egyptian civilisation, the opposer was identified as Satan, Lucifer, the Devil. The term Satan derives from a conjoining of the god 'Set' with the Egyptian Moon goddess 'An'. In these traditions the woman is portrayed as the temptress, with sex, sensuality and bodily urges being considered evil and unclean. In orthodox Judaism, for example, which takes its authority from the stoic patriarchy of the old testament, a woman is segregated during menstruation as she is considered of impure nature (Deuteronomy). It is a sad irony to consider that men turned against Mother nature herself, considering her impure, when nothing could be further from the truth. In more modern times the horrific extremes of misogyny, which is rooted in patriarchal religion, saw tens of thousands of women tortured and burnt at the stake as witches and heretics, simply because of their gender and its associations. This fear of the feminine that was generated in man was of course totally irrational, and has fortunately diminished somewhat since the middle ages, although the ignorance still exists to some extent as the women's rights movements of the 60s and 70s, which initially received much scorn and vituperation, proved.

The Typhonian Tradition should also be seen therefore, in the light of redressing the balance between the sexes, by encouraging the feminine principle in a new age of enlightenment. This does not mean a restoration of primal goddess worship, but rather a balance of male and female principles.

Another derivation of the term Typhon is its affinity with the word 'Typhoon'. The typhoon is a powerful, swirling destructive force. It is force and fire, characterized by the description of the aeon of Horus, which has wreaked catastrophe and havoc on the world since its advent in 1904. The Typhoon enters a previously calm area and creates destructive mayhem. In a similar way magick is transformative. It is often necessary to lay waste to the old order so that the new may emerge. That is why it can be very dangerous for those who are not prepared for the rapid changes its practice will trigger. Its impact on our consciousness will affect internal and external change which can create a dominoes effect. In the short term this may present us with enormous difficulties, and we must be prepared for the challenge.

The Typhonian perspective though, is wider than just the human. Human consciousness is a limited waveband of cosmic consciousness. As magicians we endeavour to widen this waveband, and to expand awareness beyond what we have previously taken as human.

There are then several meanings then of the term Typhonian. The implication however is for expansion of awareness beyond the normal. In terms of the Opposer, it represents our opposing the acceptance of a limited view of ourselves, of the status quo and of complacency. The power of the Typhoon can destroy these false ideals so that we may perceive a higher way.

The Emergence of the Typhonian Tradition

Liber Al I:56 states that all words are sacred and all prophets true; save only that they understand a little. The last 100 years has seen the birth of a new aeon of enlightenment bringing with it a new scholarly freedom, freed from the shackles of superstition. This has increased our historical awareness and shed much light on the violent suppression of human thought and spirituality, that occurred so vehemently under Christendom's leaders. These atrocious persecutions, which were patriarchal in nature, threatened all freethinkers, Christian or otherwise, with torture and barbaric death. The Catholic Church, it is hardly surprising, was the biggest culprit. This was one of the predominate reasons for the secrecy of the occult tradition: to protect initiates of the mystery schools from the prying eyes of the authorities and to preserve their secrets. The word occult literally means hidden. But it was not only the Christian Church, in its various guises, which suppressed information deemed heretical. In Ancient Egypt, whose dynasties spanned several thousand years, a great spiritual battle raged as initiates tried to interpret their realizations in the light of the political climate and changing circumstance. It is deemed as quite probable by scholars that the story of Set and Horus, the two brothers battling for supremacy, is a mythical representation of this struggle.

The God Set which is symbolically represented by the planet Saturn and is the 'planet behind the planet' of Venus, is similarly represented by the star Sirius as the 'Sun behind the Sun'. Effectively this symbolises Set as the initiator, the true creative source of the vibrant influence creating consciousness expansion. As is so common in initiated tradition, it is the 'good' guy who is painted as the 'bad' guy. When stripped of unwanted moral accretions, mythologies such as Cain and Abel and the Wild Beast and Scarlet Woman of Revelation shed they're true light. Psychologically this has the effect of providing the initiate with a test of intent, while at the same time keeping the profane at bay. The power of the typhoon-like change, which initiation brings, corresponds to that eternal battle in nature between order and chaos. Initiation is bound to cause chaos because it challenges our conditioned modes of thinking and perception. It is therefore a threat to the status-quo and potentially anyone who has a vested interest in things staying as they are.

The Typhonian Tradition is quite clearly then a tradition of initiation and initiations are realizations. History shows that there have always been some who have glimpsed the bigger picture and that tradition of understanding survives to this day. On the Tree of Life glyph the planet Saturn and the god Set equate with Binah, the Sephira called Understanding. This tradition of initiation, has masked itself in numerous forms through the ages but its visionary spirit has remained intact. &nbs p;Although this lineage may in some cases be presented historically it is important to recognize it primarily as magickal, a term known as Parampara. That is to say there have been external, extraterrestrial looping occurrences, which have enlightened the consciousness of man at different stages of our evolution. These reverberations, when effectively channelled, act as a creative fountainhead of vibration, which then occultly sets the religious and scientific agendas for mankind. It is sm all wonder then that many of our greatest scientists, men such as Leonardo De Vinci and Sir Isaac Newton were occultists, and that J.G Frazer author of the Golden Bough, describes science as successful magick.

With the advent of the New Aeon Aleister Crowley became instrumental in reviving the earlier Egyptian tradition of those that worshipped Set Typhon as opposed to the Osirian trinity. The essential difference between the two is the emphasis placing of the gender principle. Set Typhon represented the virgin mother and her son, whereas the Osirian cult represented individualised fatherhood.

In this context of revival it should be noted, that The Book of the Law was a powerful Typhonian transmission in a new age of veneration to, and due recognition of, the female principle. She is referred to as Nuit, the infinite circle. However, unlike the golden age of Typhonian-Egypt, the masculine principle will have its place recognized too. He is the omnipresent point known as Hadit. This will bear no similarity to the horrendous dark age of the dying gods, whose unbalanced patriarchy caused so much unnecessary suffering, but rather as a Maatian balance of fiery creative energy, combining harmoniously with the feminine qualities of delicately tuned intuition and receptivity. Set is the God of initiation and Saturn is the planet of Karma. Initiation occurs by destroying unwanted blockages to progress. The chaos caused by concertinaing our karma, is an essential part of the process of our true will being realized in a state of unfettered motion. The opaque veils are torn so that the true light of understanding shines.

Crowley struggled to put his discoveries and initiated understandings into a modern framework. This created much chaos because it frightened people out of their sleepy existences as they lay cocooned in the superstitions of the old Aeon. Crowley was demonized all his life, and labelled the wickedest man in the world, in the same way that the Osirians and Christians demonized the creative force as the evil Set or Satan. Crowley spoke for the true individual by adopting the Typhonian stance and it is interesting to note that his Holy Guardian Angel was Shaitan Aiwass, a form of Set the initiator.

Fortunately attitudes are changing, and yet all his personal faults and difficulties, Crowley endured to lay the vital spiritual foundations of our brave new world. By invoking Set-Horus he affected the notion that we are gods and triggered the realization of unlimited creative potential.

The wave of the current continues to rise and Crowley's two magickal sons were to set the pace of change after his death. Firstly there was Frater Achad, who discovered the key of Liber Al, and who heralded in the paralell aeon of Maat in the spring of 1948, forty four years after the onset of the aeon of Horus. Achad's qabalistic studies have shed a lot of light on our growing understanding of the concept of space and time, and laid the basis for other initiates to gain insight into the scientific relevance of the Typhonian tradition. He was also to discover the true meaning of the Thelemic 93 trinity. Secondly there was Kenneth Grant, who took control of the O.T.O. in 1955, setting up Nu-Isis lodge which channelled vibrations from the outer reaches of our solar system. The fruits of these workings have been recorded in the series known as the Typhonian Trilogies, which developed the work of Crowley and others in the light of new research. This has formed the spearhead of our Typhonia during the last twenty five years and acted as an attracting beacon of light to many, myself included, to the path of initiation.

It is interesting to note that Grant was also an accomplice of the surrealist painter and occultist Austin Osman Spare. Spare claims to have been initiated by a witch mentor called Yelg Paterson and was for a brief time a member the A.A. under Crowley. Spare then went on to develop his own magickal system known as Zos Kia Cultus which combined with a sigilized system he named the Alphabet of Desire. Although different from the A.A.'s system of initiation, the essential principles reveal the same magickal source: the Typhonian' 93 current. The current is all embracing and it is therefore not surprising that many occult groups, of quite different exterior tradition, are amalgamating. This is because of our growing understanding that we share the same heritage; it is a magickal heritage. It is the Typhonian Tradition of whirlwind effect, a key vibration on all planes in the evolution of humanity.

The Typhonian Tradition Today

So far we have discussed the history of the Typhonian tradition, what it represents and the emergence of its spirit. And it should now be readily apparent that when we say 'Typhonian', we mean much more than just the goddess Typhon and her son Set. So now that we have a little bit of historical background we can proceed to the most important section: the relevancy of the tradition today, and the benefits, if any, it can give to the modern initiate.

The Typhonian tradition, as we have mentioned, represents force and fire, and its response is an answering flame of aspiration and devotion in the heart of each initiate. This is the flame of Hadit which burns in the heart of all, which is individual to each initiate, and which is yet a common flame. In the same way, the shakti which is Kundali-shakti powers the individual, and the shakti which underpins the manifestation which we know as existence, are not two but one and the same. Nevertheless for most people there is an appearance of individuality, and one which, as initiates, we have to learn to take at face value, for as our initiation progresses, so will our sense of individuality dissolve. This is because everything in the universe is connected to everything else.

But obviously we must start somewhere, for although consciousness is a continuum, we have a sense of self which we need to purify. The initiation, understanding and purification that this process entails, will vary with each person. It is a fallacy to think there is a simple prescription for enlightenment, in the same way as there is no absolute formula for happiness. But what we can do is apply magickal principles to our dharma, or pattern of being. Each person will develop differently on the path to discovering the true self, or essence, which will help the initiate to become more in touch with the universe. An example of this variance between individuals, might be the type of approach the aspirant takes to a spiritual text like the Book of the Law. This transmission has in the past received a whole host of illustrious commentaries, but its most precious value is what it means to us personally i.e. the direct spiritual experience we gain, by allowing its fire to illumine the innermost recesses of our being. In this way we transcend speculative and philosophical considerations and find the spirit. To do this we may choose to weave our own rituals and meditations around particular passages that are special to us, but the important point to understand is its 'our' thing.

Initiation means the path within, although paradoxically this leads outwards. The idea is not to hear a description of what it is like to drink water, but to actually drink for ourselves. It is a journey to the source of the Nile, to the fountainhead within. When we discover this, we have also found the real guru, which should be of prime concern, for until such time all else is a projection.

Consciousness is a continuum. The phrases subconscious, unconscious, super consciousness and cosmic consciousness are merely conceptual classifications that give definition to certain aspects of this continuum. We may talk of 'our' consciousness but really this is an illusion. We do not possess consciousness, but rather it possesses, or operates through, us. Furthermore our consciousness is fluid and not fixed, for awareness shifts from one instant to the next. Initiation should be considered, as the process of dissolving the veils which obscure consciousness.

It can sometimes take a while for us to appreciate, that everything that exists is consciousness in transient; shifting aggregations which may appear to us as stable form. Mystical practice in various traditions, and through the ages, has enabled the initiate to tune into this reality. And the phrase 'tune in' is particularly appropriate as it suggests wavebands. This may give us some understanding as to why as humans, we do not perceive the whole range of consciousness. Quite simply our band of awareness is narrow, and has evolved so that it can deal with the job of survival, and all that that entails. The potential of human consciousness is vast however, and magickal and mystical practice can widen this band, making us aware of wider and deeper ranges which lie beyond our everyday perceptions. Regular meditation or breathing exercises (pranayama) can have dramatic effects, although these will tend to wear off, or become distant and dreamlike after a while. However, the momentum of regular, sustained, disciplined practice, makes the effect permanent, and brings on a full initiation which is irreversible. This means our bandwidth of awareness has been widened permanently. (Its like learning to drive a car, once mastered you never really forget.) When this happens we become increasingly aware of our true identity, and less concerned with the mask of our human incarnation. This is a glorious aspiration, and everything we should strive for as magicians, sorcerers, shamans and witches.

For we are in our everyday human existence asleep: dreaming. Initiation is a process of waking up. Its as simple as that. Different traditions have different terminology, but essentially they amount to the same thing. One may choose the process of awakening the Kundalini, shifting the assemblage point, or enjoying the knowledge and conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel. Although these may be different types of experience, they share a common destiny: transcending human, earth-bound limitations of awareness; expanding our perceptual waveband.

We spoke earlier of the heart of the Typhonian Tradition being that of force and fire. This is symbolised in mythology as the Serpent or the Dragon of the Deep, a powerful entity which emerges from the depths of consciousness, suddenly and silently, while dealing devastation. What is devastated is the restriction of human consciousness. 'I come to bring not peace but the sword.' This is intrusion into human consciousness by something outside, something which lies beyond. This same idea appears in The Lovecraft Gnosis as Cthulhu, the god that rises out of the sea after having been asleep for ages.

The Holy Guardian Angel is an entity we will no doubt encounter if we pursue our path of initiation effectively. The H.G.A. is not a static, objective entity but a glimpse of eternity. Awareness is elastic, it shifts and is fluid, it expands and contracts. As the wave band of our awareness is refined and expanded, by virtue of magickal and mystical experience, cosmic consciousness will increasingly break through, just as clouds momentarily part to let the sun shine. These moments will usually have a fleeting quality about them, because however desirous we may be, our time bound mind cannot grasp the infinite and eternal from its transient perspective, but our consciousness can be transported outside the circles of time for an instant, to experience the infinities of the divine, objectified as the Angel. The inertia of the ocean of consciousness is towards the assimilation of smaller eddies by the larger. Thus it is that the Angel moves towards the aspirant when the time is right; the aspirant senses when this time is approaching, and readies him or herself for the conjoining.

As mentioned before, the real guru is inner, and in Thelemic terms this represents the True Will, which is but a facet of the Universal Will, or cosmic consciousness. Once we have discovered our true will, alignment with it should follow automatically, and although it may not be easy, we have the momentum of the universe behind us. Until we reach that state it should be remembered that all gurus and Angels are exteriorisations of the Guru within-the True Will, which is itself cosmic.

To some of you listening in the audience, this may sound abstract or confusing, but it really is simple. There is a direction and momentum to our initiation, a gravitational pull which beckons us. By constant practice and discipline our awareness is refined and expanded. It is the wilful action towards this progress that accelerates our evolutionary rate, and may well save us a few painful incarnations on the way to Nirvana. Dedication, persistence and discipline are absolutely essential if we are to permanently expand our consciousness and reap the mind blowing rewards of spiritual transcendence.

Some of you may have heard of the term praeter-human entity, and in the context of this discussion this phrase should be recognized as that which is beyond the human. In occult tradition it is accepted that there are spiritual beings in existence out of the general reaches of human manifestation, and therefore not subject to the same laws of space and time which operate on our dimension. History is replete with accounts of contact between such beings and humans. Examples which spring to mind are, Moses receiving the Ten commandments, the conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus, the seances of Dr John Dee and Sir Edward Kelly and Aleister Crowley's contact with Aiwass, Amalantrah and Abuldiz. Contact with such higher forces is usually considered to be beneficial, resulting in the communication of new knowledge and understanding . Some have speculated that the large number of U.F.O. sightings reported since the first atomic bomb was dropped in 1947 represents examples of such contact, but this is speculation and beyond the limits of this discussion.

Although there are instances of such beings appearing unbidden, in most cases the magician or aspirant has to prepare him or herself by intense magical work beforehand, perhaps for many years. The purpose and benefit of this is twofold, firstly to prepare the human system for the impact of praeter-human force, and secondly to refine perception and sensitivity so that contact can be made, and more to the point registered. There is also the very important matter of developing discrimination, for the fact remains that we are surrounded by a host of occult entities which lie outside our normal band of human perception. It is important not to 'confuse the planes' because there are plenty of tricksters out there on the astral plane who might try and convince us we're Jesus! An analogy might again be the radio: while we are trying to tune it in there'll probably be a lot of hiss and babble that needs to be filtered out. We must not forget that consciousness is a continuum, encompassing all sorts of intelligence, within which there is a multitude of transient aggregates, many of whom maybe competing for our attention.

There is one particular praeter-human intelligence of note, which has come to be associated with the Typhonian Tradition in recent years, and that is the entity known as Lam. A portrait of Lam was drawn by Aleister Crowley around 1917 in New York, and first appeared in the Blue Equinox in 1919. This almost certainly arose from what came to be known as the 'Amalantrah Working', of the same period. The drawing was given to Kenneth Grant in 1945, and its hypnotic image bears an uncannily strong resemblance to the E.T. alien representation we see in modern films, although it was painted years before this archetype was stylised. It could be said that the U.F.O cults of today have in a way mythologized in mundane terms, extraterrestrial external incursion, which might further be regarded as a manifestation of a seeded sub conscious effect.

When referring to Lam, or praeter-human intelligence in general, a common question asked is, 'Is it an entity or an energy'. Once again the problem arises of trying to view something non-human, from a human perspective, and so categorisations tend to collapse on examination. Nuclear physicists face a similar dilemma on the sub-atomic level, being unsure of whether quantum material should be defined as a particle or an energy wave.

Lam should be considered perhaps as a mask, veiling areas of consciousness which exist beyond our basic awareness. By trafficking with Lam we can experience that which lies beyond and enjoy deeper perceptual awareness. This is the essence of alien contact, so forget little green men in funny suits, which is a very human way of looking at things, and think instead of experiencing a vast ocean of consciousness that once tasted, will put our human shortcomings and difficulties into a more balanced perspective. This is the seeding of the human by the praeter-human. As a matter of passing interest we have now established a successful Lam Cell within the O.T.O., and the results of our workings will soon be published, with the possibility in the future of external participation for those interested.

The Typhonian Tradition should be seen then as the transforming effect of contact, with those forces that lie beyond human awareness. The purpose of this is to transform human consciousness by widening, deepening and enriching it. There is a great inner space, spanning a very wide band of frequency, of which we form but a fractional part. To extend this we must yearn for the external contact, the outer gateways, and prepare ourselves for the whirlwind effect on our consciousness this will generate. The rate of our consciousness adaptation is the key to our survival, and its success will be, as it always has been, the pivotal factor in our continued evolution as human beings.

By embracing the Typhonian current we embrace our destiny with a creative, fiery energy that will carry us into new worlds of wonderment. Joy and harmonious balance will form the essential part of our chosen dream when we rise to drink heartily from the chalice and toast the success - of our true will aligned - our starriness possessed.

Lucie Cries ‎::: Les Saisons Du Doute

Short lived French Post Punk/New Wave band.  Really nice sound.  You will like it.

01 Les Amants De Lucie
02 La Longue Marche
03 Le Manège
04 Timisoara


Victrola ::: Maritime Tatami

Wonderful 12" by this unfortunately overlooked minimal wave duo (Eze and Carlo) from Florence.  This is some really finely crafted music.  Well worth checking out.

01 Maritime Tatami
02 A Game Of Despair


Endraum ::: Appell An Die Muse

Endraum is a German poetic/Synth-Pop/Downtempo/Darkwave/Ambient band that creates surreal music with the spoken word vocals of Hovi Miskovics and music by Roman Rütten. They have been active together since 1986 and are still releasing their unique style of music. Really quite stunning music.

1 Appell An Die Muse    
2 Appell An Die Muse (Light Entertainment Remix)
3 Appell An Die Muse (Weisser Herbst Vision)    


Thelema ::: Tantra

Influenced by the English dark-wave and post-punk, they managed to give their songs a personal bias, with a strong tribal mix of bass and drums which created a rhythm background for the guitar and keyboards tunes, all covered by vocals not always sung but often screamed.  I've included their Neo-folk track "Glory of the Hawk" along with the remix which features Francesca Nicoli (Ataraxia).

a1. Magick
a2. Your god
a3. Call back your senses
a4. Samekh
b1. The book of the law
b2. The face of the angel
b3. The phoenix mass
b4. Rosa alchemica
b5. Tantra
Extra track 1: Glory and the Voice
Extra track 2: Glory and the Voice (remix)


Blusons Noirs ‎::: The Book Of Law

Massimo Mantovani  later helped to give birth to a band influenced by the ideas, philosophy and magical opus of Aleister Crowley, and called it THELEMA (find their tape here).  Before that time however, he was involved in a splendid little group called Blusons Noirs.  Their very limited release titled Book of the Law was released in 1984 on the Adjustment Tapes label and limited to 120 hand numbered copies.

01 Intro
02 The Scream
03 The Boy on the Stage
04 Ludwig
05 The Quipus
06 Sister Ray
07 The Book of Law


Friday, April 24, 2015

V.A. ::: Realities Vol. 1

Nice rare compilation for you yoday, this one put out on the Adventures In Reality Recordings label in 1982.

01.Trance - Instincts
02.Trance - Dawn Of The Dead
03.I Want - Myself Desired
04.I Want - 99th Creation
05.By Product - You're Not One Of The Boys
06.Reviva Component - Black Forrest Girl
07.Reviva Component - This Lunar Beauty
08.Send No Flowers - Wall Of Convention
09.Send No Flowers - Untitled
10.Attrition - Hours & Hours
11.Attrition - Tomb
12.TSC - Untitled
13.86 Mix - Too Much The Barman
14.86 Mix - Custodian
15.Aucadion - 3 AM
16.Aucadion - Closet Boys


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

SPK ::: Information Overload Unit

First studio LP by industrial classic SPK (after the live album At the Crypt) is somehow an introduction to their famous Leichenschrei [as Socialistiches Patienten Kollektiv] - the 'weakest' noise-explorers are easily discouraged by this album. Disturbing noisy power electronics improvisations with a well-hidden germ of melody are the clue of Information Overload Unit [as System Planning Korporation]. Though, some of the songs show the post-punk inspiration of SPK - like the second track Suture Obsession with a bass guitar on the first plan.

1. Emanation Machine R. Gie
2. Suture Obsession
3. Macht Schrecken
4. Beruftverbot
5. Ground Zero: Infinity Dos
6. Stammheim Torturkammer
7. Retard
8. Epilept: Convulse
9. Kaltbruchig Acideath


Stress ::: Help Comes Too Late

Formed in December 1981 as a two piece consisting of editor of Coventry fanzine Adventures in Reality, Alan Rider, and editor of Nuneaton Fanzine Damn Latin, Phil Clarke, Stress combined electronic rhythms, sequence and keyboards with bass guitar, vocals, percussion, cut – up tapes, and a variety of acoustic instruments to provide a sound that fused commercial & experimental elements with a pointed lyrical edge.  This was their first release, put out in 1983.

A1 Help Comes Too Late (1)    
A2 Work Ethic    
A3 Love Mafia    
A4 I Stand Alone    
A5 Saving Graces    
A6 Perfection    
A7 Distortion    
B1 Hiroshima Blues    
B2 Crying In The Wilderness    
B3 Tribal Rite    
B4 Tin Soldiers    
B5 Glacial    
B6 Help Comes Too Late (2)


Death In June ‎::: The Guilty Have No Pride

Death in June formed from the remains of political punk band Crisis in 1981, keeping Douglas P. and Tony Wakeford and adding Patrick Leagas. The band's first LP The Guilty Have No Pride was originally released in 1983 during the renaissance of dark, gothic and industrial music. It echoes sounds of Joy Division and Bauhaus and like them is pop music of the first order, but it also has a richer center layered with textures and themes that give it a shadowy depth that one must mine several times in order to fully appreciate its complexity and breadth of vision. It sounds as haunting and fresh today as it did in '83, but truly reveals its quality when considered as a historical document representing the best in early darkwave, and as a foreshadowing of all the brilliant music that was to come later containing vestiges of its influence.

A1 Till The Living Flesh Is Burned   
A2 All Alone In Her Nirvana   
A3 State Laughter   
A4 Nothing Changes   
B1 Nation   
B2 Heaven Street Mk II   
B3 The Guilty Have No Pride  


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

SPK ::: Factory

Super limited 7" (only 100 copies, some with slightly different back covers). 

A1 Factory    
B1 Retard    
B2 Slogun


Monday, April 20, 2015

SoliPsiK (SPK) ‎::: See-Saw / Chambermusik

The legendary industrial band SPK certainly produced some madness and yet this small 7" was not one of them.  In fact I think this remains their most listenable of releases. 

1. See-Saw
2. Chambermusik



Slavoj Zizek is one of the stars of Theoryworld, and deservedly so. He mixes Lacan and Marx with a seasoning of pop culture to analyze how we construct meaning - and reminds us that our understanding is often far from rational.

It sounds like a heavy dose, but Astra Taylor has made it all into an extremely charming and intelligent movie. It has none of the piety and tedium of the documentary form - no godlike voiceovers, goofy archival footage, or narcotic pundits that make films like The Corporation so hard to sit through. It's mostly Slavoj Zizek talking (sometimes prompted by Taylor, often not), and he's such a compelling character that he holds your interest from the first frame to the last. Don't miss it!


Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Stele of Revealing

The deceased, the prophet of Mentu, lord of Thebes, Ankh-f-n-khonsu, true-of-voice, says: "O sublime one! I adore the greatness of your spirits, o formidable soul, who inspires terror of himself among the gods. Appearing on his great throne, he travels the path of the soul, of the spirit, and of the body, having received the light, being equipped, I have made my path towards the place in which Ra, Tum, Khephra, and Hathor are; I, the deceased priest of Mentu, lord of Thebes, Ankh-f-n-khonsu, son of a person of the same rank, Bes-n-Maut, and of the priestess of Amoun-Ra, the mistress of the house Ta-Nech."

The deceased, the prophet of Mentu, lord of Thebes, Ankh-f-n-khonsu, true-of-voice, says: "O my heart of my mother, O heart which I had while I was on earth, do not rise up against me in witness, do not oppose me as a judge, do not charge me in the presence of the great god, lord of the West, because I have joined the land to the great West when I was flourishing on earth!" The deceased, priest of Thebes, Ankh-f-n-khonsu, true-of-voice, says: "O, you who only has one arm, who shines in the moon, the deceased Ankh-f-n-khonsu has left the multitudes and rejoined those who are in the light, he has opened the dwelling-place of the stars (the Duaut); now then, the deceased Ankh-f-n-khonsu has gone forth by day in order to do everything that pleased him upon earth, among the living."

Aleister Crowley’s Paraphrase of the Hieroglyphs on the Stele of Revealing

Above, the gemmed azure is
The naked splendour of Nuit;
She bends in ecstasy to kiss
The secret ardours of Hadit.
The winged globe, the starry blue,
Are mine, O Ankh-af-na-khonsu! I am the Lord of Thebes, and I
The inspired forth-speaker of Mentu;
For me unveils the veiled sky,
The self-slain Ankh-af-na-khonsu
Whose words are truth. I invoke, I greet
Thy presence, O Ra-Hoor-Khuit!
Unity uttermost showed!
I adore the might of Thy breath,
Supreme and terrible God,
Who makest the gods and death
To tremble before Thee: –
I, I adore thee!
Appear on the throne of Ra!
Open the ways of the Khu!
Lighten the ways of the Ka!
The ways of the Khabs run through
To stir me or still me!
Aum! let it fill me!
The light is mine; its rays consume
Me: I have made a secret door
Into the House of Ra and Tum,
Of Khephra and of Ahathoor.
I am thy Theban, O Mentu,
The prophet Ankh-af-na-khonsu!
By Bes-na-Maut my breast I beat;
By wise Ta-Nech I weave my spell.
Show thy star-splendour, O Nuit!
Bid me within thine House to dwell,
O winged snake of light, Hadit!
Abide with me, Ra-Hoor-Khuit!
Saith of Mentu the truth-telling brother
Who was master of Thebes from his birth:
O heart of me, heart of my mother!
O heart which I had upon earth!
Stand not thou up against me a witness!
Oppose me not, judge, in my quest!
Accuse me not now of unfitness
Before the Great God, the dread Lord of the West!
For I fastened the one to the other
With a spell for their mystical girth,
The earth and the wonderful West,
When I flourished, o earth, on thy breast! The dead man Ankh-f-n-khonsu
Saith with his voice of truth and calm:
O thou that hast a single arm!
O thou that glitterest in the moon!
I weave thee in the spinning charm;
I lure thee with the billowy tune.
The dead man Ankh-f-n-khonsu
Hath parted from the darkling crowds,
Hath joined the dwellers of the light,
Opening Duaut, the star-abodes,
Their keys receiving.
The dead man Ankh-f-n-khonsu
Hath made his passage into night,
His pleasure on the earth to do
Among the living.

Poets To Their Beloved ::: Embrace The Fool

From Evening of Flight:
Embrace the Fool is one of the first albums to come from Equilibrium Music this autumn, and to be honest Poets To Their Beloved couldn’t have found a better label to release their first album. I also doubt that Equilibrium Music could have found a better fitting band to add to their line-up. This is SO Equilibrium in every positive way I can think of.

As I mentioned this is the bands first album, but that doesn’t mean that the musicians are making their debut. Marcel Schiborr who handles the guitars, some percussion and the male vocals has a past in the melodic death metal world. That he’s been playing advanced music before this project is pretty obvious and you should hear that already in the first track. By his side is Saskia Dommisse and I’m glad to see a woman who does more than just sing. Saskia plays dulcimer, as well as keyboards and drums. AND she sings with a great vocal span.
If this isn’t enough for you many tracks have stunning violins and cellos (played by a guest called Van Herpen) in the background.

Those who are into other Equilibrium artists like Dwelling and The Moon And The Night Spirit know what to expect. It’s (mostly) acoustic folk music with a strong ethereal, melancholic and romantic feeling. At times it sounds almost a bit pastoral, progressive and ritual. The latest due to the tribal percussion, that helps lifting the awesome music to yet another level. Up-tempo, pulse raising songs and slower ones are mixed and forged together with a great folklore atmosphere.
As I mentioned earlier Equilibrium Music is the perfect label for Embrace the Fool, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if this album were released on Prikosnovénie.

Poets To Their Beloved hasn’t missed a thing. The music is flawless, the cover art is great and so is the booklet, which includes all the personal, deep and mystic lyrics as well as photos of the two musicians. The tracks are perfect in length; not too short and not long enough to be strenuous. The male / female vocals are perfectly balanced throughout the album. But there has to be some flaws, you think. Something has to prevent Embrace The Fool from being a nine pointer or even an Eclipse? Yes. But I can’t say what, exactly. Maybe some more variation would have been possible? It’s not at all dull! But with all this instruments and talent there would have been room for more experiments, I think. Note; I THINK.

Reviewing an album of this kind and not to mention the legendary band Dead Can Dance wouldn’t be fair. This band would not have existed if it weren’t for them. It’s not just probably one of their biggest sources of musical influence... this German / Dutch duo even met each other via a Brendan Perry workshop in Ireland. I can’t say anything else than thank you Dead Can Dance, for this great offspring. And thank you Saskia and Marcel for all these great tunes. Thanks to Equilibrium Music also, for releasing such a great album.

01. Embrace the Fool (6:28)
02. Love (4:01)
03. Ecstatic Dance (3:57)
04. My Moments of Tranquillity (4:31)
05. The Disillusioned Nihilist (3:15)
06. Ode on Melancholy (4:23)
07. The Golden Cage of Fateful Emotions (4:10)
08. Traveller of Stars (2:56)
09. Your Eyes So Strange to Me (5:16)
10. Innate (5:24)
11. I Drowned in You (3:50)
12. In Your Dreams (4:51)
13. Soul Friend (3:43)


Blood Axis ‎::: Blót: Sacrifice In Sweden

Emerging officially in 1989, Blood Axis is the result of much earlier foundations. Created and directed by Michael Moynihan, it has been and remains a sincere and uncompromising expression of his often controversial thoughts and instincts.

Blót: Sacrifice in Sweden is the second album by Blood Axis. It was recorded live in November 1997, at the Cold Meat Industry 10th Anniversary Feast in Skylten, Linköping, Sweden.

The performance incorporated music by Johann Sebastian Bach and Sergei Prokofiev; lyrics from the works of Rudyard Kipling, Friedrich Nietzsche and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; the voices of Oswald Mosley, Benito Mussolini, and wolves. Ian Read's "Seeker" (originally performed by Fire + Ice) was covered; as well as traditional songs like "The March of Brian Boru" and Dave Cousins' "The Hangman And The Papist".

1 Sarabande Oratoria    
2 Herjafather
3 Seeker
4 Electricity    
5 Lord Of Ages    
6 The March Of Brian Boru
7 The Gospel Of Inhumanity    
8 Eternal Soul     4:04
9 Between Birds Of Prey    
10 Reign I Forever    
11 The Hangman And The Papist
12 Storm Of Steel


Above The Ruins ::: Songs Of The Wolf

After his stint in Death In June but before his decision to create Sol Invictus, Tony Wakeford founded Above The Ruins. For those primarily familiar with Sol Invictus, the sound of this album (the only one ever produced under the Above The Ruins name) will come as quite a surprise.

Released by First Floor Records in 1986. It was originally released on cassette in 1985 and was later released on CD at two different occasions.  This projects and release strays clear of Wakeford's usual neofolk style and plugs away at post-punk.  So how does it all work?  Superbly!

01. Waiting
02. Roses
03. Last rites
04. Under western skies
05. Song of the wolf
06. Hundred flags
07. Progress
08. Make us strong


Naevus ::: Sail Away

Naevus, the musical project of Lloyd James, is one of the more exciting outfits from the UK. Folowing releases on Operative Records and the Greek label SPKR this EP released on Albin Julius' Hau Ruck imprint should increase their profile somewhat. The acoustic driiven 'Sail Away' augmented by accordion may just be the one to push them into the major league. It's a beautiful melody and while comparisons with Swans and Death In June remain, Naevus are pursuing ther own vision and these are really just pointers. This EP combines their terse melodic tracks with a number of tracks of atmospheric dischord. Worth a listen.

A1 Sail Away    
A2 The Body Speaks In Tongues    
B1 Knee Deep    
B2 Water's Work


Aeldaborn ‎::: The Serpent Drum

A self-released cd-r with seven tracks showcasing their diverse repertoire. Aeldaborn is a very promising neofolk band from Germany. The Serpent Drum is their first release after several live performances. Here they offer a selection of their live repertoire, which shows with conviction their high potential. Songs are played with a fine dark folk spirit, helped by clear synth melodies, acoustic guitar and drums, or explore a martial side, with bombastic drums, strong vocals, speech samples and dark war soundscapes. And we can hear it especially on the track "Wir weben", based on a text by Heinrich Heine with strong German vocals at its best. Though you may find influences from Sol Invictus and Fire & Ice, or Sonne Hagal and Orplid (from their Barbarossa period), Aeldaborn managed to sound in their own unique way, adding their own personality to the neofolk genre.

1 The Serpent Drum    
2 All Darkness Comes    
3 Wir Weben    
4 Four Crowns Of Winter    
5 Pagan Candlelights    
6 Ich Glaube    
7 The Serpent End


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Animal Farm by George Orwell

When the downtrodden beasts of Manor Farm oust their drunken human master and take over management of the land, all are awash in collectivist zeal. Everyone willingly works overtime, productivity soars and for one brief, glorious season, every belly is full. The animals' Seven Commandment credo is painted in big white letters on the barn. All animals are equal. No animal shall drink alcohol, wear clothes, sleep in a bed or kill a fellow four-footed creature. Those that go upon four legs or wings are friends and the two-legged are, by definition, the enemy. Too soon, however, the pigs, who have styled themselves leaders by virtue of their intelligence, succumb to the temptations of privilege and power. While this swinish brotherhood sells out the revolution, cynically editing the Seven Commandments to excuse their violence and greed, the common animals are once again left hungry and exhausted, no better off than in the days when humans ran the farm.