Friday, September 14, 2007

Z'EV/Genesis P-Orridge - Direction of Travel CD (2002, Cold Spring)

Some real effort has gone into the production of this CD. Apart from the diamond symbolism on the cover - which has been neatly juxtaposed with painter Charles Acethorpe's excellent flora imagery - this 1990 recording includes Z'ev's fourteen-page discussion of the psychiatric processes used to induce altered states of neurological consciousness. Following on from the ground-breaking work carried out by A.M. Ludwig during the 1960's, Z'ev elaborates upon the five different manifestations of the trance state and the categorical denominations within each. Amongst other things, these include the use of stress and deprivation, repetition and hypnosis, boredom and solitary confinement. Z'ev's thoughts on this subject are compelling, taking us on a magickal mystery tour through the complete range of transformative potentialities. Surprisingly, perhaps, many of these factors were explored long ago by the Ancient Greeks. The trance state was depicted by Plato as a form of madness which was highly desirable. This he broke down into four distinct forms: Mantis, Katharsis, Katokoche and Eros. Socrates, meanwhile, remarked that 'so much more glorious, by the testimony of the ancients, is madness than sober sense, the inspiration of Heaven than the creation of men.' The Japanese alternatives of Muchu, Konsui-Jotai, Saimin-Jotai and Mugen no Kyo are also touched upon. In fact the sheer breadth of Z'ev's exegesis is ground from the dust of both science and tradition, weaving together such periods, personages and philosophies as Vedic metaphysics, Timothy Leary, Hopic India, Zosimos, Mayan legend and Buddhism. Genesis, meanwhile, adds his own thoughts on these complicated brain processes and gives a courteous nod to Z'ev for introducing him to such concepts in the first place. But what ov thee Great Work itself? Each of the ten tracks is named after a specific direction, hence the name of the overall project in which these experiments are set. However, to suggest that this is a standard musical affair is way off the mark. 'East I' is a tormented sprinkle of chiming hand cymbals which will introduce your ears to the wonderful world of tinnitus and leave them ringing for several hours. 'East II', meanwhile, offers up a deconstructed swirl of anarchic noise-flux to the gods of aural detachment. The ringing is evident yet again, but is now accompanied by a huge whining spring-effect. 'East III' is an exercise in tribalism. A hollow, rhythmagick odyssey of stick upon wood and the approaching splutter of an industrial generator pitted with discordant sound. 'Southeast' takes us off into yet another direction. Through the psychedelic hallways we go and out across the rolling drumbeats, hand in hand with our own mentally-unbalanced selves. Until, that is, we arrive at 'South I', where the constantly-whirling treatise of mind-feed sounds like a ritualistic dream-sequence at the court of the Ming Dynasty. 'South II' is a yet further helping of African-style drumming, conjuring up images of Johnny Weismuller wrestling frantically with a brain surgeon in crocodile shoes as a mesmeric shaker rustles its way into the fibres and sinews of the old grey matter. This is a very hypnotic track indeed. Another gyratory switch on the compass and we are heading in slow-motion towards 'North I'. This is a lazy shuffle of colliding objects, each of them stopping and starting with no particular direction in mind. Like a giant dragging his furniture across a wooden floor. 'North II' has a certain watery quality. Large, breath-heavy raps against the doors of the soul. This rather eerie trend continues on into 'North III', although one can almost detect the dalek-like buzz of a laser. Lobotomy, anyone? Finally, we hang on to our scalps and head out 'West' for some trepanation, as the echoes and soundwaves of this thirteen-minute showdown drill small holes in mankind's rigid perception of sound. Yes, indeedy. Clothed in leopard skins and Egyptian hieraglyphs, this is pure originality at its finest. Another unique excercise in human experimentation and a stepping stone for the occultic adventurer. And, of course, yet one more notch on the Cold Spring bedpost. Review from Synthesis.



armeur H said...

Hello ! thanks for the 2 z'ev's records ! A very nice blog !

jd45 said...

Thanks for this post !
It seems that my brother already passed here (ArmeurH).
He also likes good blogs ! ;o)

Anonymous said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Download Link?