Thursday 21 November 2013

Mondo Paranoia: Out Now

Mondo Paranoia: A Medieval History Of The Early 1960s explores the thanatological synchronicities of the 22nd November 1963: the simultaneous deaths of JFK, Aldous Huxley and C.S. Lewis. Paradoxically 22nd and 23rd November also witnessed the activation of two mind bending Pop programmes: The Beatles' world conquering second album and the first episode of Dr Who.

Mondo Paranoia serves as an initiatory and analeptic voyage into the deep mind of the 60s: further katabatic excursions to its queasy and oleaginous core are planned for 2014.

Wrapped in a crime scene linocut cover by Lisa Cradduck, comprising of a 33 min documentary and 12 page essay, Mondo Paranoia, English Heretic’s 11th release beckons in the coming fimbulwinter and honours with relish the diabolical release schedules of our media cabals.

CD  - With music constructed from forensic sampling of JFK's funeral, amplifications from ancient television transmissions, and field recordings from the Kennedy memorial at Runnymede.

Track Listing:
1. Mondo Paranoia
2. Motorcade Taurobolium
3. Forensic Spiritualism Today!
4. The Injectors
5. Hymns For The Fimbulwinter
6. Runnymede 68

Booklet - The accompanying document is an unofficial report on the taurobolium in Dallas and its ramifications for reality, extending as far as the previously undisclosed sex laboratories of time and relative dimensions in space.

Mondo Paranoia is available as a limited edition CD and booklet, with free digital download of both.

Available at the souvenir shop

Saturday 2 November 2013

Unearthing Forgotten Horrors - 9th November, Star and Shadow, Newcastle

English Heretic will be performing at "Unearthing Forgotten Horrors" next Saturday, 9th November. Iam very much looking forward to playing in Newcastle. The event has been lovingly curated by Darren Charles and Victor Janos. Alot of work has gone into it, so do coming along if you're able to, this deserves support.

For our part English Heretic will be performing a collision of material from "Anti-Heroes" along with a brand new piece from the forthcoming Mondo Paranoia.

Bringing together rare film screenings of key works from the golden age of UK horror, with an exclusive line up of musicians/bands influenced by them, Unearthing Forgotten Horrors is a celebration of horror in music and film.

Presenting North East (and English) premieres by outsider artists who operate on the occult fringes of the musical underground, Unearthing Forgotten Horrors, draws together a very special bill of eerie drones, psychedelic noise, and classic horror films rarely screened in cinemas featuring:

Black Mountain Transmitter
At an impressionable age Northern Irish musician and visual artist James R. Moore was drawn to a diet of late night TV horror double bills, VHS video nasties with pulsating electronic soundtracks and the Weird Fiction of H P Lovecraft. These influences now pervade the eerie sound world of Black Mountain Transmitter, most notably on cult releases "Black Goat Of The Woods" (2009) and "Playing With Dead Things" (2012), the first two instalments of a loosely themed 'Trilogy of Terror'.

Black Mountain Transmitter albums have been released by US label Auris Apothecary (, Aurora Borealis ( and Moore's own Lysergic Earwax ( ).

Unearthing Forgotten Horrors marks the first live performance of Black Mountain Transmitter in England (and indeed outside the island of Ireland).

English Heretic
English Heretic is a creative occult organisation dedicated to the reification of malefic energy spectres and the adumbration of a modern qliphoth. In operation since 2003 English Heretic has ploughed the topsoil of horror film locations to reveal a delirious substrata of mythic truths. They have reported back their findings through numerous CDs, books, talks and performances of ritual electronics.

Lovers of drone and brain frying noise should need no introduction to Lee Stokoe's prolific Culver project. A member of Skullflower, Inseminoid and Indian Lady, Culver's sound perfects pitch black, tar-thick drones and crushingly heavy soundscapes which are genuinely sinister.

Through many releases, often micro-editions on seriously cool labels, a consistently macabre approach is applied sound and visuals across a mind-boggling body of atmospheric and horror obsessed work.

Psychogeograpical Commission
The Psychogeographical Commission was formed at the start of 2008 to explore the many interfaces between the built environment and the people who inhabit it through d←rive, magick and sonic experimentation.

The Dead End Street Band
Drawing influence from the experimental scores to Jon Pertwee era Doctor Who, thirty year old horror soundtracks and with massive splurges of psychedelic noise, The Dead End Street Band pull no punches delivering their scum noise dirge. Fixated on the sleazier end of 70's horror cinema, this elusive three-piece rumble through some genuinely nightmarish soundscapes and hellish synth drones.

Several handmade editions on their own imprints and on Indiana's Occult Supremacy label have seen the band develop from home-made electronica through to pitch black, ultra morbid soundtracks from non-existent scuzzfests found in the darker recesses of underground cinema.

Joseph Curwen
Joseph Curwen makes HP Lovecraft inspired ambient evil drone, based on that weird bit between life and death the day after a big party. All digital noise intended.

The Tempel of Sekhmet
Ooft! Born in the ashes of the first Psychoheliophysics workshops, the subsequent asymmetric awakenings of the Bacchanale Operation and weened on esoteric apophenia. A supergroup of Newcastle//Glasgow//Ipswich-based sunworshipping occultists' suckled by the bitter lactations of M R James, China Mieville, Kaneto Shindo and Jean Painlevé. Spiked with the synaesthetic experimentation of the pre-stalinist soviet union. Developing Solar//Tellurian Circuits to carry out cthonic soil experimentation in search of buried suns and waning solar temples. With the intent to destabilise human neurophysical function over distance. The Tempel of Sekhmet issue a new warning to the curious: unleash your curiosity for all that is eldritch or else die the cold, cold death of doxic submission...
nb. Semantic meltdown may occur when taken in significantly large doses, Tempel of Sekhmet take no responsibility for any sensory or cerebral overload or awakening... Ooft!

Unearthing Forgotten Horrors will feature rare cinema screenings of classic English horror film Blood on Satan's Claw, and Peter Sasdy's masterwork of supernatural television The Stone Tape.

Andy Black Forest (Radio Black Forest) will DJ.

Saturday 9 November from 4.00pm at The Star and Shadow Cinema, Stepney Bank, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Tickets: £9.00 in advance from We Got Tickets:

The first 50 tickets include an exclusive handmade CDr mixed by Melmoth the Wanderer, featuring all of the artists on the Unearthing Forgotten Horrors bill.

Tuesday 15 October 2013

"Anti-Heroes" talk and film 19th October

Talk and film at Volcanic Tongue Store 19th October, 7.00pm

The English Heretic occult roadshow takes to Volcanic Tongue. Expect an evening of revved up readings, films and soundtracks from their new project “Anti-Heroes”: a collision in the suburbs somewhere between the clinics of JG Ballard and the kitsch gnosticism of the Hellfire Club. “Anti-Heroes” is the result of a 5 year investigation into dangerous mangers constellated around the locations of Ballard's Crash, taking in its intersection with the scuzzy cult of Psychomania, suburban warlocks, and host of pop culture chimeras. “Anti-Heroes” also weaves in the poetic paradigm of Robert Graves' White Goddess to reveal its tendrils in the work of Ballard, the lives of tragic figures, and the folk horror of Blood On Satan's Claw.

English Heretic is a creative occult organisation, in operation since 2003. Over 10 years, English Heretic has set out to explore a new approach to ceremonial magic and archetypal psychology inspired by the outre work of Kenneth Grant, James Hillman, situationism and pop culture signifiers. English Heretic attempts to manifest a deliciously troubled soul of our world, through ludic and heuristic engagement with horror film, pulp fiction and the esoteric arts. They have released and reported their findings via numerous books, CDs and events.

More details and directions over at the VT site

Tuesday 8 October 2013

Mondo Paranoia: A Medieval History Of The Early 1960s

The next English Heretic release Mondo Paranoia: A Medieval History Of The Early 1960s will explore the thanatological synchronicities of 22nd November 1963: the simultaneous deaths of JFK, Aldous Huxley and C.S. Lewis. Paradoxically 22nd and 23rd November also witnessed the activation of two pop mind bending Pop programs: The Beatles' world conquering second album and the first episode of Dr. Who.

With music constructed from forensic size sampling of JFK's funeral, amplifications from ancient television transmissions, field recordings at the Kennedy memorial at Runnymede and much more, Mondo Paranoia returns in style to the creeping ritual electronics of our first release Curse Of The Conqueror Worm. 

Pop culture considered as a vast necromantic spell book, life as one long katabatic voyage.

 the ideal companion for unraveling the plague of conspiracies that ravage our media landscapes.

Mondo Paranoia will be available as a limited souvenir edition CD and essay, or as a digital download.


Excerpt from 'Mondo Paranoia'

Our mythic inner life is the double of our literal life and to bear witness to a myth in reality is to kill that myth and start a new myth cycle.

By definition myth only exists as a metaphor, so when we act out myth and or bear witness to myth, our soul's journey move to another orbit, concentric to our previous trajectory, distilled with the essence of the experience before.

This process of deepening is analogous with the alchemical process and reflects much of the work of archetypal psychology – particularly the dalliance between literalism and “seeing through, or revisioning”.

With the assassination of President Kennedy 50 years ago on the 22nd November 1963, the mythic sphere crashed to earth leaving a debris of mutant pop Gods, fertilising with bizarre flora, our innocent fields, and opening the eyes of our inner cinema to a new reality, where memory could be directly burned upon by mediated experience. The kennedy assassination became the gold standard for studying the phenomenon of flashbulb memories.

The entire planet received news of the king's killing by violent intrusion into their mundane radio programme schedules. Orson Welles' War of the Worlds prank was merely a rehearsal for the shock tactic neural photography of the cataclysmic new bulletin. The power to apply darkroom techniques to the human psyche.

J.G. Ballard in his autobiography Miracles Of Life likened the assassination to the death of the corn king, J.G Frazer's agricultural christ and, like the death of a tribal king JFK's assassination re-energised us all and brought life to the barren meadows.

The high velocity Shakespearean psychodrama in the days following the assassination, the acting out of biblical justice by the killing of Oswald and the gothic state funeral  gave the public their enactment of the crucifixion. The blood on Jackie's Chanel suit a turin shroud for the future. She refused to change her clothing for the swearing in of LBJ stating she wanted the world to see what they had done to Jack. Her only regret was washing the blood off her face.

In 1895, The symbolist poet Alfred Jarry turned the crucifixion upside down by portraying it as the bull sacrifice of Caesar Anti-Christ, a Taurobolium, a blood bath in a cesspit. Replace Jarry's  Pompe Rouget with brain stained upholstery of the back seat of Kennedy's Lincoln convertible. Jarry also identified the doppleganger of myth exposed by bearing witness to such an event and the paradoxical awakening of the soul that had previously slept.

That the assassination of Kennedy was in fact the crucifixion of christ is ancient history, a medieval woodcut from a quaint but tired manuscript, that day when the 1960s will be along time ago is now.

Its Bayeux tapestry has faded.

Tuesday 17 September 2013

Psychotic Geography

This weekend 20-22nd sees the 5th conference of Hannah Gilbert and Madeleine Castro's wonderful "Exploring The Extraordinary" event. There are plenty of fascinating talks lined up: Iam particularly looking forward to Mark Valentine discussing book hauntings, and to James Riley exploring William Burroughs' use of the tape recorder as a magical instrument.

My talk is entitled Fiction And Its Double. The title is a homage to Artaud's Theatre And The Double, and I'll be attempting to explain some of the intentions behind the last ten years of psychotic peregrinations and hyperbolic extrapolations. I'll be looking at the synchromysticism of James Shelby Downard as a key conceptual influence, Bob Black's polemic against the leisure complex as the moral molotov cocktail for English Heretic and James Hillman's psychology as a possible therapy for all this psychotic geography. I'll be using the latest project "Anti-Heroes" as a case study.  My argument is that just as Artaud called for theatre to rediscover its proximity to 'another archetypal and dangerous reality', we need to extend this call to arms to the theatre of our realities, and that we can do this by investing in the fictional charging of place, particularly by horror film and dystopian fiction: to up the ante on the civil war of historical sanity; in fact to up the ante on sanity itself.

Thursday 22 August 2013

Autumn Roadshow

A number of gigs and talks coming up this Autumn

* 23rd August  - MotherLive supporting Orryelle Denefestrate Bascule & Akoustic Timbre Frekuency
 details here:

* 20-22nd September - I'll be talking at Exploring The Extraordinary 5
details here:

* October - with Matt Shaw and John Bowers, venue and date to be confirmed

* 19th October - English Heretic Present "Anti-Heroes" at Volcanic Tongue
details here:

* 9th November - Live appearance at "Unearthing Forgotten Horrors" - The Star And Shadow,      Newcastle
details here:

more on each event as they approach.

Tuesday 13 August 2013

The Poisoned Chalice

A short post to really thank Gavin Semple for providing inspiration for the track Two Hundred And Forty Hours on our latest release. I read Gavin's excellent booklet on Robert Cochrane a few years back. It's called The Poisoned Chalice and is an incisive and well researched investigation into the end days of the Slough magister. Gavin's also been very helpful and supportive in discussion over this part of the project. Gavin recently pointed out a fascinating synchronicity in the death of Cochrane... Cochrane passed away on 3rd July 1966, after ten days in a coma. On 3rd July 1969 Brian Jones drowned and two years later on the same day, in 1971, Jim Morrison passed away in his bath tub. Of course the chalice in Tarot is synonymous with the cups and water. Perhaps this is the Poisoned Chalice. I made the allusion between Cochrane and Ian Curtis, but these synchronicities make it all the more "oo-ee-oo" to use Ed Sanders' phrase.

You can check out Gavin's blog, which includes a bibliography of his other work and news of a release from his sound project Spectral.

Cheers Gavin!

Two Hundred And Forty Hours from English Heretic on Vimeo.

Wednesday 24 July 2013

"Anti-Heroes" CD and Book out now.

English Heretic present the results of a five year report, with a portmanteau of Black Plaque commemorations constellated in the suburbs West of London. “Anti-Heroes” excavates the intersection between the clinics of J.G. Ballard and the Hellfire Club's kitsch gnosticism, disinterring the suicide cult of Psychomania and celebrating the nihilism of George Sanders. Conjuring a host of clown demons congregated at the periphery of sanity’s goetic circle, necromancy and pop culture collide in the fast lane to create a casualty list of self-sacrificing warlocks and paranoid would be assassins. Unbuckle your seat belts and experience a near death trip along the luna corridors of Ballard’s Crash, accompanied by a litany of pathological spirits and pulp chimeras, remnants from a yellowing mashup of forensic fiction and cinema grimoires. Apprehend the aesthetic conspiracy of place as we unearth startling evidence of a May-Eve coven near Henley-on-Thames and realise the elements in your psyche that pertain to be poet or blood brother, mother, maid or pucelle.

Dr Robert Vaughan - Hoodlum Scientist of JG Ballard's Crash
Angel Blake - Child coven leader in Blood On Satan's Claw
George Selwyn - Monk of Medmenham
Ian Ball - Dangerous working class dissenter of Uxbridge
Robert Cochrane - Suicidal witch-cult leader from Slough
George Sanders - Patron Saint of misanthropic cads

8 track CD of feel bad songs to accompany your eternal journey to Tartaus

60 page book, to while away time at the termini of life’s tragedy.

CD Track Listing
1: The Dangerous Gift
2: Hell's Angel Blake
3: Goetia AD 72
4. The Mall Timeslip
5. Heart Burial And Soul
6. Vaughan To Lose
7. Fungi From Suburbs
8. Two Hundred And Forty Hours 

Available at the shop

Thursday 20 June 2013

"Anti-Heroes" Chapters

A preview of the chapters in the "Anti-Heroes" booklet

1. Prologue
2. The Mangled Destinies Of Carriages And Men
3. Rex Mundi In Action: George Selwyn
4. Names That Widdershin Around The Mega Therion
5. Gnostic Doctors: Vaughan And Evans
6. Fungi From Suburbs
7. Northolt - World Heresy Site
8. The Luna Corridor
9. Constellation: Broadmoor with TRL Ascending
10. George Sanders: The Patron Saint of Misanthropic Cads
11. The Self Sacrificing Suburban Warlock: Robert Cochrane
12. Hell's Angel Blake: An Annotated Guide To A Coven Near Henley-On-Thames
13. Rituals In The Park
14. The Aisthesis Of Psychopathology

Sunday 2 June 2013

The Summer Feel Bad Album for 2013

Hey kids, The black sun is finally here - it's nearly time to unwind the roof of the convertible, head out to the Heathrow Flyer and traject your car at a coach party of holiday makers. "Anti-Heroes" is mixed and mastered, 8 summer feel band songs and a booklet packed full of psychopathological characters to compound your misery. Provisional release date 3rd July, anniversary of self-sacrificing warlock Robert Cochrane's endless sabbatical in Hades...

Artwork for the CD - featuring fantastic photo etching cover by Lisa Cradduck.

Wednesday 15 May 2013

Documentary Evidence

Following the recent Weekend OtherWorld event with Goldsmiths, here are a few links offered by participants. Splendid contributions to enjoy.

Tristam Adams - As Sonorous Murmurs Rise
More background on the piece here

Dean Brannagan - Weekend OtherWorld Interlude

John Cussans  and Roberto Peyre  - Ponto for Banbha Mooira

More background and research for the piece here

Dean Kenning - Prospects For Growth

 Nicola Woodham - The Gift Experience

More background on the piece here

Wednesday 8 May 2013

May Activities

Grant and Machen At Treadwell's

I'll be talking on 9th May at Treadwell's on the magical geographies of these two mystics. More details over at Treadwell's - only a few places left. We had gorgeous time exploring Wentwood, climbing Grey Hill and visiting the stones that inspired The Novel Of The Black Seal. Returning home, I experienced some very weird hypnagogic images consisting of confabulations of some of the architecture we had seen. I had this once before after a day in Rome. I need to explore this more!

Night of Esoteric Music

English Heretic will be playing on a bill put together by Orryelle Defenestrate Bascule. This'll take place on Sunday 26th May at The Aces and Eights in Tufnell Park.

The blog has been a little sparse this year, mainly due to being ridiculously busy with work, events and my darling family. "Anti-Heroes" is coming close to conclusion. We showed a 30 min film recently which went down very well. CD and Booklet probably be out between July and September. Works already started on Wish You Were Heretic, Iam hoping we'll showcase the genesis of a track from there on 26th May  - imagine Fulcanelli's mystic cow and Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother floating over Sizewell B...

Tuesday 2 April 2013

Living Stains - Magick Concrete Performance and talk

Mark and I will be performing and in discussion with Blue Firth and John Firth on Friday. It's our first performance as Magick Concrete. We've conducted a Tarotic tour of the vicinity of the RA. The piece will feature modular synthesised field recordings and a conspiratorial hermetic series of haiku texts backed with a triptych of slowly dissolving representations of the major arcana culled from our walk. It's been a very interesting Oulipo like exercise and Blue's stylish intervention at the RA well worth a visit. Details here.

The Heirophant V

Burroughs at  duke street
Hating the Moka cheesecake
cuts sound, closes down

Monday 25 March 2013

Black Harvest Vinyl Edition

Fresh off the hermetic press, copies of the 7 inch vinyl version of Black Harvest, available at the shop

Wednesday 27 February 2013

Weekend OtherWorld

We're delighted to be invited to collaborate with the Aural and Visual Cultures department at Goldsmiths to present an afternoon of talks, films, readings and sound pieces on Saturday 27th April.

Location: LG01, New Academic Building, St Donnat's Road
Cost: Free
Department: Visual Cultures
Time: 27 April 2013, 13:00 - 20:00

Weekend OtherWorld aims to realise a new form of aesthetic broadcast. It imagines a parallel present where the forensic documentary intensity of 1970s television, evidenced in World In Action, Man Alive, Weekend World and Chronicle still exists but at a sorcerous angle to reality. What if the earnest authority of these programmes could be extended to occult aesthetics. With hard hitting, convincingly paranoid reports of the concrete irrational, Weekend OtherWorld subverts the roundtable format of the current affairs programme to broadcast a series of films, presentations and concomitant discussions from a potent broth of hermetic psychogeography, revolutionary sacrifice,  aesthetic psychopathology and eerie capitalism.  Distilling the essences of the recent AGM, the afternoon programme will further attempt to define these new breeds of creative research. By exploring reality at a sorcerous angle, might we also find that the machinery underlying politics and culture is a magical construct?

1.00pm The Actophile Society
Haunted Shoreline, Antony Clayton
The South Bank Show recast as a cultural occult documentary on the applied surrealism of an hermetic beachcomber along the Sussex coast and a memoir the final days of Aleister Crowley by the sea. Actophiles are creatures that love the beach, and The Actophile Society can be construed as  Bataille's decadent cult of L'Acephale on holiday in Brighton and Hastings, searching the shoreline for mineral truths and revelling in the memory of wickedest man in the world.

2.00pm Cinema and its double
Mark Pilkington, Will Fowler, Hannah Gilbert, Alison Gill
Cinema and its Double will explore the intersection of horror film location, urban legend and folklore. Do the myths imposed upon a place by its representation in film create or feed from new and existing realities? Can this be seen as a form of geographical vampirism in itself, a magical ripple in the space time continuum, or more sorcerously a means of opening up a fault line in its contours – to cut-up and collage reality and let the future leak through?

3.00pm Woman's Hour
Blue Firth, Cerys Thomas
Join us for a live UNwomans's Hour, exploring the darker side of the fairer sex (musically)

4.00pm Musical Interlude.

5.00pm Aesthetic Psychopathology
English Heretic, Ken Hollings
English Heretic – Anti Heroes: Imagine the slightly salacious Man Alive series, car jacked by Crash's Dr. Vaughan. A road movie of English Heretic's forthcoming album and book. Easy Rider on the M4 corridor of a pathological ambulance chaser, Anti-Heroes celebrates with morbid relish the suicide cult of Psychomania, the nihilism of George Sanders, the sleazy intersection of JG Ballard and Peter Wyngarde. Necromancy and pop culture collide in the fast lane to create a casuality list of self sacrificing warlocks and paranoid would be assassins. A portmanteau of Black Plaques, where the ghosts of the Fool wonder forever in Slough's grey zone.

Ken Hollings – Psychoanalysis Of Trash: Imagine Antony Clare's maudlin In The Psychiatrists Chair hosted by JK Huysmans? A session of decadent psychoanalysis, but also a profoundly cogent argument illustrating the inevitable self-destruction of the child-king. Taking in the lives and  tacky luxuries of Prince Rudolph, King Ludwig, Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley, Ken demonstrates a reverse alchemy in their demises. The Kings may not die, but they do gradually decay into the empires of their excess. They do, also, like the angels of some lurid occult system display a common set of correspondences - a love of artifice, an asexualisation to the point of infantilism, retreat, military fetishism and the power to indulge every parameter of their self-disgust.

6.00pm Revolutionary Sacrifice
John Cussans, Lisa Cradduck, Roberto N Peyre
Including The Pomba Gira working: a compelling journal of John Cussans and Roberto Peyre's recent collaborative work for Plastique Fantastique's "There is not and never has been anything to understand" show at ASC. A delicious picaresque and diasporic journey taking in the Crossbones graveyard at Southwark, pimp aesthetics and the occult use of talcum powder in the rites of Northern Soul: pure voodoo poetics.

7.00pm Horror Capitalism
Mark Fisher, Dean Kenning, Savage Messiah, Nicola Woodham, Tristram Adams, Carey Robinson
Explore attempts to create a new genre of documentary of Horror Capitalism. Short Films and collage as de-indoctrination rites.
Dean Kenning Prospect for Growth (film), A situationist subversion of the party politcal broadcast. Biological education loops pulse like a 70s psychiatrist's hypno-wheel, a map of England infests with maggots as divisive political diatribe heckles over a  high pitched siren. A 5 minute warning for the immediate future.
Eerie AngliaUnvisited Vastness (film). England as the alien planet. Combining field recordings from Felixstowe with Mark Fisher's prose poem  - a hymn of a vague disease. Unvisited Vastness attempts to remove humanity from the container port, recasting the space as the speculative hinterland of some recent and unfathomable invasion. Eerie Anglia will also premiere the report of a Communist uprising at Shingle Street, Black August.
Nicola Woodham - The Gift Experience (vocal performance and soundtrack)
Car radio in the distance: a news report is brought to you in fragments on the shifting current of the wind. The threadbare words get louder as you approach the warehouse. You’ve brought a votive candle and a cuddly toy elephant. The others come into focus, they are waiting for you. A host of characters tell a story that starts with an anomalous algorithm within the workings of an electronic commerce giant. A cult springs up - devotees of impossible spaces.
RO/AD (Carey Robinson, Tristam Adams) - As Sonorous Murmurs Rise (10 min sound performance) 
Explores the elusive ‘grain’ of the voice; the parts that hold a libidinal energy, a vo-corp-aural energy traded in service industry, media and music. Taking Jean Francois Lyotard’s visceral prose from the 1993 translation of his Libidinal Economy essay as a starting point, the piece trades upon the aesthetic of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR). The ASMR aesthetic is explored and renegotiated to question the preconceptions of such seemingly innocuous sounds. The hope is to conjure an intense vocal undoing; a tangibly sonic and performative deconstruction of voice that may be peculiar, strange or even horrifying. It is in this sense that notions of libidinal vocal capitalism and the traditional apportioning of subordination and domination within service intonations are deconstructed. Framing the narrative will be soundscapes compiled from Carey Robinson’s archive recordings. 

Monday 11 February 2013

The Golden Book Of Knowledge

Over the past few years, I've worked creatively with a number of dream paradigms ("the software theory" of Dr. Chris Evans, James Hillman's dream as nekyia, dreams as alchemical revelations, and even Jim Shaw's exploration of dreams as pop cultural collages). What was most revealing about all these investigations is that the dream begins to apprehend its systematic landscape, gradually within each paradigm, the dream talks with the jargon and rubric of its chosen arena. It is buzzword and image compliant, like a scientist or a corporation; and it is even ahead of the dreamer, challenging the conscious mind like a knowing guru of our explicit intent. Funnily enough this insight reminds me too of Raymond Cass' introduction to the EVP recording anthology, The Ghost Orchid, where, with the paranoid alignment of a true obsessive, he remarks that the recordings he made soon began to home in on the operator himself.

Hannah and I recently spent a very enjoyable afternoon visiting Jim Shaw's Rinse Cycle retrospective at the Baltic in Newcastle. It also compounded for me an idea about the subconscious being a driven entity forever accelerating and demanding more from the disciple of our conscious. Early in his career  Shaw created a non-linear autobiographical alter-ego, Billy, whose exposure to Americana and adolescence is told in a wonderful series of heavily referential cartoons, form based pastiches and homages. Encounters with drug culture and sex, those teenage tribal rites of passage are apotheosised to the status of comic book hero. Billy is the nervous creative energy of the adolescence and the imp of a fervent surreal libido, inverting, subverting and confabulating reality to a more playful realm. One of Billy's imagined childhood inspirations appears to be an Encyclopedia, The Golden Book of Knowledge featuring Pinocchio on its cover - Billy as the made up boy.

But Billy grows up, or more to the point, inward to be subsumed by Shaw's adult creativity and to manifest as his muse in the artist's fascinating study of the perpetual motion ricochet between the irrational and concrete most evident in Shaw's "Dream Objects" project. Shaw's twin inspiration of comic book narrative and his own career storyboarding for advertisement companies provides the form for the blue-print "Dreamt of Drawings" sketches. These serve both as hilarious debunkings of angst-ridden Freudian ideology and revelations as to the nature of the alchemical garbage in our image banks. We do not sleep in some ruined acropolis of limbless and alabaster Greek Gods, creating carved, melodramatic and obvious text book myths: but in a trashy saturated prima-mater of talk show demi-urges and prog rock landscapes. Our Necronomicon's are not sealed with Babylonian demons but B-movie monsters. Above all there is a honesty and, as a very beneficial result, a psychotic humour in Shaw's storyboards. Even the titles with their transparent self-awareness manage to convey the impossible wit of the dream theatre... "I was in Vegas in a show with a Viking Farmer" - a pithy description like a game of exquisite corpse cutting up the sentential boundaries of history and the immediate.

What is particularly illuminating about the progress of Shaw's Dream Objects is the demands they make on the artist himself. Imaginary books - pulp Necronomicons in effect - synopsied by sleep need their covers designed in the day world. The artist becomes an hyped up copy agency for hypnos. Even the canvases of the dream world are irregular, creating objects that mutate between painting and sculpture - the facets of the work homages to disparate influences. The piece Of this man shall no nothing redrafts Max Ernst's enigma above a mock up of the Led Zeppelin IV album cover. These curious monoliths are Shaw's occult cornerstones, sigilised with ancient memories of his aesthetic lineage. 

Shaw is forced by his hungry dream muse to create ever more outlandish monuments to his nightworld. He dreams a monster piano in the trunk of a tree and through his talents carves a bizarre instrument  - piano keys for teeth. The result is a psychotically funny statue, part Rapa Nui, part Martin Denny.

Billy, the restless adolescent urge, by now has blossomed into a lascivious anima, coiling in  its own desire. This is perhaps epitomised in the Dream Object, which Shaw describes thus  - "I was working on a landscape sculpture that was actually a big garbage pile of all the dream objects I'd done and on top of it all was a sculpture of the whore of Babylon riding the beast with 7 heads and 10 horns"

So at last the muse reveals its true nature, the very whore of Babylon (which Crowley depicts as Lust in his Thoth deck). Creativity is Lust sublimated. Shaw's dream devours and subjugates all his previous dream objects beneath the rampaging beast of Revelations. Brilliantly Shaw bows down in supplication before this dream, creating miniature versions of all his dream objects piled up in a perspex box beneath a figurine of the whore of Babylon. Included in the garbage pile of miniatures is a miniature version of    the perspex box containing all his dream objects. The dream demon has taken full possession of Shaw, it is infinitely procreating - Shaw is a slave but also a puppet master aware that he has successfully brought to life an alchemical Golem from  "The Golden Book Of Knowledge"

Saturday 19 January 2013

Black Harvest, Dossiers and Futures

A chance to catch up on a very hectic start to the new year. Last week's Black Harvest event went swimmingly. with a very well received set. We had a great sound and the use of Legend Of The Witches as backdrop greatly complemented the set. All the guests received a tarot card on entry and Hannah Gilbert helped them decode their card with her deck reading skills.  

Mysterium's set against Stanley Spencer's The Scarecrow fitted in very well with the theme of the night, employing musical saws and rustic canes to great effect. Here are a couple of pics from their set.

Big thanks also to Eleanor Sopwith and Hannah for some great shots of English Heretic.

We had on sale a few copies of the new single as a limited edition CD. We've since put this online as part of a new series of "Dossiers": handy information packs for the budding magical geographer and modern necromantic. The first Dossier has now sold out, but the 7 inch vinyl will be out in the next week or so, complete with Dean's highly grimoiric blood red Black Pullet sigil. I am hoping the "Dossier" series will enable us to release compact ideas from events and field studies.

We showed the film Black Harvest, four scenes of alternative soundtracks with footage from the Straw Bear festival at Whittlesea which takes place during the same plough weekend as our event. The film is now available online.

Following the event, Hannah and I had a lovely Sunday visiting the Wellcome Death Collection and then a trip to the Buddhist Centre in Bermondsey where Hannah is organising a retreat for August. We were given a short tour including an incredible new shrine room designed like a Nepalese temple. It had a profound effect on me, bilocating the ancient and exotic to a very urban setting. Actually this week, I've had three utterly unworldly dreams of impossible terrains: mountainous landscapes of Gods carved in rocks; gruesome Towers Of Silence; Satanic cults in Bocklin like groves; irreal Japanese lagoons and red dust graveyards of ruined tanks and rogue elephants. I can't help but feel Magick Concrete is calling.

Anyway, onwards. We're now preparing for Glasgow in February and our Polanski event. The set we hope will be a willed exercise in paranoia induction - sound and vision as psychotic mimetics - literally a psychiatric happening.

A few other events in the pipeline:

An English Heretic event developed from our recent AGM is scheduled for April 27th at Goldsmith's - more on this soon.  

I'll be talking at Treadwell's in March on Arthur Machen and Kenneth Grant's Magical South Wales.

I've been collaborating on a image reel with Mark Fisher, to accompany his and Justin Barton's majestic sonic essay "On Vanishing Land". That'll be opening in early February at the Showroom Gallery

Wednesday 2 January 2013

Lisa Cradduck: The Blue Plague

Dear friend Lisa Cradduck has a solo show called Blue Plague opening at WestLane South in Bermondsey on 9th January. Lisa has also a new website detailing her recent work too, which is quite simply incredible. Blue Plague is a giant linocut panorama / crime scene reconstruction of the kettling of students during the protests of December 2010. 

And it's a masterpiece - really - think Goya, think Otto Dix, think Hogarth. Anatomically unnerving and skeletal police officers on apocalyptic horseback strip bare the deeper implications of that day. Lisa's also running workshops during the exhibition on each Saturday which sound like they will be very inspirational too.

Details of the private view event on facebook.

Lisa provided one of the artworks for the Wyrd Tales 2 CD, which too is a beautiful piece of work and a large print of it adorns my studio. I also have her saucy Guede postcards on the wall above my desk! A rare, surreal talent,  Lisa's work is filigreed with the finest and precise applications of black humour.