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Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg)

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Cop/Young God/Greed/Holy Money
Cop/Young God/Greed/Holy Money
Preis: EUR 14,63

4.0 von 5 Sternen Brutales Geräusch, feine Momente und unheimliche Atmosphären, 19. Januar 2014
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Cop/Young God/Greed/Holy Money (Audio CD)
This 2-disc compilation from 1999 encompasses Cop (LP 1984), Young God (EP 1984), Greed, Holy Money (LPs 1986) and songs from the 3-track EP's A Screw and Time is Money (Bastard).

On the Black CD, the first 8 tracks come from Cop, the following 4 from Young God plus one each from A Screw and Greed. By far the best music is found amongst the last 6 unless one prefers the noise of the apocalypse slowed down and compressed into one chord, two notes, berserk bellowing and radioactive feedback.

The White CD offers astonishing depth and innovation. In this "industrial phase" of Swans, core elements of their later work such as orchestral movements, atmospheric sampling and metaphysical modalities emerge that would continue evolving throughout the band's fascinating first incarnation.

BLACK CD (1984, 1985).
The Cop tracks are auditory and emotional carpet bombing: malevolence, violence, loathing, fear and degradation expressed in roars of rage and howls of anguish backed by equally brutal instrumental dissonance. Difficult to classify, the abrasive snail-paced pieces represent a singular, primal "metallics" where discordant guitar riffs and squalls of shriekback assault one another within and against shuddering drum eruptions. Traditionally delivered vocals first emerge on the Young God tracks I Crawled / RaS / Young God /This Is Mine. The stately ballad Sealed In Skin and the piano-graced closing track Fool represent the disc's loftiest moments.

WHITE CD (1985, 1986).
Since the vulture had morphed into a swan by the latter part of the black disc, nothing disappoints on the white one. Rhythmic coherence, melodic sequences and tonal twists provide sleek, stylish hearses for every form of the rage, anguish and melancholia that persist throughout. Jarboe's voice and keyboards bring harmony and haunting tones plus variation in timbre, pitch and modality. Chorales, preludes and contrapuntal lines access multiple dimensions of nuance and mystery. Subtlety and restraint balance Gira's excesses without sacrificing emotional intensity. In fact, the ominous and sinister assume a more tangible reality.

Time Is Money (Bastard)opens the white disc with Jarboe's vocalising as anchor for the swaying uptempo rhythms, elegantly contextualising MG's mumbling. Despite its odious sentiment, Time Is Money (Bastard) is rather catchy due to the alternation of chanted, spoken, sung and shouted vocals. Likewise, Money Is Flesh stomps along enjoyably, every plodding beat a drop of lube for the fertile industrial landscape.

The beat slows down for Another You where tortured instruments, found sounds and groans reveal the primordial mind of the abyss. The symphonic structure of Another You and Jarboe's fragile and haunting Blackmail foreshadow the "classical" styles Swans would perfect on albums like Children Of God.

A Screw (Holy Money) exerts an hypnotic effect, initially via the well spaced bursts of static and then through the mantra "holy money, holy love". Then Fool #2 undulates like gnawing guilt and pulses of remorse with guitars, drums and piano supporting Michael's aching lament about lies and self-delusion.

Stupid Child's weary recital is counteracted by lively percussion including a startling rattle. The contrast between groaning delivery and intricate polyrhythmic play lends it a certain sedative appeal. Anything For You starts off gently but soon escalates into ever increasing levels of intensity. What sounds like muffled voices may have been produced by instruments and that is where this song's brooding beauty resides.

Ominous vocal dynamics weave Nobody into a distressing highlight and the voices then excel themselves on the second version of A Screw which appears to satirize big band jazz and charms all over again with its chant to humanity's two most beloved deities.

Swans' Heaven has nothing in common with that of Talking Heads where "nothing, nothing ever happens". It bustles with the movement of blood, broken bodies, the spinning earth, misery and suffering. The guitars resonate to those cosmic e/motions with shudders, rumbles and jangling wails.

A more oblique agony characterizes Coward where disparate voices, bewildering dialogues and the refrain "I'm worthless" punctuate the edgy beat. The wretched dislocation of the two aforementioned tracks pales before A Hanging since Jarboe's massed chorales simultaneously caress the ears and amplify the terror – exponentially so where the tribal drums gain their galloping momentum.

Jarboe's delicately disturbing torch song You Need Me fades away too soon but her celestial harmonies and Mike's spooky delivery on Greed haunt one's hair to stand on end as the arrangement subtly unravels. Thus the white CD concludes with a sense of disintegration.

I cannot recommend the first 8 tracks on the black disc. Numbers 9 to 14 are good to great. The white disc gets 9 out of 10. Favourites: Sealed In Skin, Fool, Fool #2, Blackmail, A Screw (Holy Money), Another You, Stupid Child, Anything For You, Nobody, A Screw, A Hanging, You Need Me and Greed. Top Five: Blackmail, Sealed In Skin, Fool #2, A Screw (Holy Money and A Hanging.


Mystery Of Faith by Jarboe (2009) Audio CD
Mystery Of Faith by Jarboe (2009) Audio CD

5.0 von 5 Sternen An atmospheric masterpiece, 19. Januar 2014
This compilation consists of live recordings in Reykjavik, Tilburg, London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Brussels, Manchester, New York and Tokyo, plus studio recordings in Chicago, New York, London and Atlanta. The rehearsing sections are from Atlanta and New York. The material covers the period 1986 to 1997 in which Swans and World of Skin were active. The track listing on my copy does not correspond to the song sequence on the CD but it doesn't matter.

Representing eleven years of Jarboe's vocals, keyboards and found sounds, and songs by herself and Michael Gira (separate and together), this impressive album also includes compositions by Nick Drake, Ira Gershwin, Joy Division and Screamin' Jay Hawkins. There is thus plenty of variety in style and presentation, from torch songs like The Man I Love and Song For Dead Time to searing rock such as Mother Father and Black Eyed Dog live.

The general tone of the album varies from atmospheric, even eerie, to raw and powerful live performances. Of the former, highlights include a poignant perspective on the death of Maria Callas called Everything For Maria, the oneiric Dream Dream and the slow version of Mother's Milk. Amongst the outstanding live tracks are Love Will Tear Us Apart, two other versions of Mother's Milk, Can't Find My Way Home with its spookily churning rhythm and the arresting Wayfaring Stranger.

There are also some snatches of conversations and quarrels between band members during rehearsals, which add to the charm and atmosphere of the album. Although it spans more than a decade and various changes of direction in the sound of the band, plus the World of Skin side project, Mystery Of Faith is quite cohesive and serves as a breathtaking display of the anima of Swans.

This collection is more accessible than the early solo albums Sacrificial Cake and Thirteen Masks. Her magnificent voice and superb interpretive skills make Jarboe one of the most remarkable little-known vocalists, in rock and other genres. For more of this amazing music, I highly recommend her collaboration with Lary Seven, Beautiful People Ltd. and Swans albums like Children of God, Soundtracks For The Blind and The Burning World. And of course Jarboe's solo albums Mahakali and Anhedoniac.


Feel Good Now
Feel Good Now
Preis: EUR 19,17

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Kinder Gottes auf der Bühne, 12. Oktober 2013
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Feel Good Now (Audio CD)
This live album was compiled from performances during the band's 1987 tour of Czechoslovakia, Poland, Yugoslavia, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Norway, France, Netherlands, Belgium, England and Scotland. It was originally recorded on a Sony Walkman by the sound engineer and remastered in 2002.

Studio versions of all these tracks are found on Children Of God, where the astonishing juxtapositions that first emerged on Holy Money and A Screw attain remarkable cohesion. Keyboards, acoustic guitars and gentle vocals become haunting vehicles of the band's eerie torment, serving as startling contrasts to the abrasive Beautiful Child and New Mind. Thus the music gains an even more unsettling quality than the relentless industrial grinding and pounding of their 'no wave' beginnings.

On Feel Good Now, the emotional extremes still find expression in ferocity and volume, heralded by the primal shouts of the introduction. With the exception of Blackmail and Blood & Honey, the most fragile songs from Children of God appear with rough edges or in feral form with propulsive rhythms.

However, it's anything but 'Children of God on the crest of no wave'. Within a framework of bludgeoning drums, swirling keyboards and polyphonic bass/guitar patterns, churning textures arise that accommodate both the bellowing voice of Gira and Jarboe's exquisitely articulated soprano and contralto. Multiple dimensions and intriguing depth are the result.

Besides hollers and howls, the blistering nineteen minute long Blind Love includes roars, bawls, shouts, yells, whoops, and yelps like those of Alan Vega. Categorising these cries from the event horizons of rage and despair sorely taxes the vocabulary. One of the mutations might be a demented yodel.

Children of God's exquisite Like A Drug becomes a high wired metallic gallop, whilst New Mind gains hypnotic power by its speedier, even tempo and ends as if it were sucked into a black hole. With Jarboe on lead vocals, Blood and Honey's slow pace and droning resonance have a subtly sinister effect.

The intro to Sex, God, Sex might be mistaken for a snatch of Edgar Varèse after which it takes a mournful, meandering course, more anguished than angry. In these ten and a half minutes, the male and female vocals weave a spellbinding tension that overpowers the sound of the instruments.

Frenzied drumming opens Beautiful Child where Gira again finds himself in extremis, which is followed by Jarboe's shimmering Blackmail. She holds the notes towards the end for what seems like an impossibly long time, which adds to the magic.

The intoxicating interaction of female/male vocals returns to adorn Children of God with its dense wall of sound and the spacious Beautiful Reprise Backstab. The album provides 75 minutes of the band at their ferocious and disquieting best.

Feel Good Now is highly recommended to Swans fans, particularly due to the radically different interpretations of familiar tracks which make it much more than just another "live" album.


Anhedoniac
Anhedoniac
Preis: EUR 21,18

5.0 von 5 Sternen Eindrucksvolles Manifest des Todes und der Wiedergeburt, 8. Oktober 2013
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Anhedoniac (Audio CD)
This remastered 2004 reissue of Anhedoniac is enhanced by two added tracks – an a capella and an instrumental version of I'm a Killer that bookend the album. Most striking is the thematic and spiritual continuity with mid-1990s Swans. Anhedoniac is closer to the band's repertoire than Jarboe's solo albums Thirteen Masks or Sacrificial Cake, and far superior to the disappointing 2010 album by the reborn Swans.

These emotional tones resonate with many of the original band's moments of greatest grandeur and with Body Lovers' Number One Of Three as the music further explores the styles pursued in different eras of World of Skin and Swans. The narrative and the omnipresent sonospheres ensure cohesion.

One of I'm a Killer's agitated voices warns of "words that draw blood" which sets the stage. Over the title track's melodic loop, the chanting voices summon up a haunted fairground. Then the red velvet wound of Soundtracks For The Blind returns. Later, Anhedoniac Bottle displays a similar pattern, becoming ever more unsettling as diverse voices, including that of a little girl, join in as a bottle hits the floor with a clunk.

The fairground turns into a Cage where a robotic male vocal repeats a phrase that reveals spiritual yearning despite its crude carnal expression. Sudden roars, muffled outbursts, repressed disembodied voices and crashes pierce the rolling thunder and grinding guitar drones.

Then a gentle acoustic ballad charms the listener for a while before the music morphs into pounding harshcore industrial with another unhinged voice. The bellowing, bleating, roaring, lowing and shrieking cacophony of Not Noah's Ark subsides for a brief narration on the primordial "greyish translucent slime."

Another type of terror haunts Mississippi where an old lady recounts an eerie tale to a backdrop of chimes, insects, rumbles and squawks. The ferocious Burn, in the style of Mother Father from Great Annihilator, sears the mind and the ear.

Sorrow leads to the sublime in the numinous track Forever where the weary speaking voice lifts itself up to sing in a painful but triumphant process which is the inverse of the entropic decomposition on Sinner. Despite the lingering melancholia, despair dissolves midway by the intervention of a subtle ululation that momentarily hovers over key words.

Except for a few spoken phrases by a male vocal, Under Will is a majestic lament of wordless vocals and hypnotextures shaped by chromatic, harmonic and modal shifts reminiscent of Warm on The Great Annihilator or Lou Reed's The Bells.

The poem Circles In Red Dirt opens with spoken voice which is gradually adorned by exquisite background vocals. The Finnish band Pan(a)sonic transmutes Circles into a brooding blend of voice, drones and shifting percussive patterns. Panasonic in Red Dirt brings to mind the most striking of what was termed 'intelligent techno' in the 1990s – the instrumental textures of inter alia Autechre.

The gently swaying Sacred Disciple Wannabe and the seemingly soothing Honey adhere to conventional song structure, as the lyrics become the sole vehicle of the theme. Honey resembles World of Skin's torch songs or from another perspective, the intriguing Blackmail from Children Of God.

The legion of voices returns in all their wounded splendour for a final outburst on the original version of I'm a Killer. Thus the chthonic force is spent as this magnificent work concludes with the instrumental version that surges with a different kind of controlled power.


Beautiful People Ltd.
Beautiful People Ltd.
Preis: EUR 18,73

5.0 von 5 Sternen Early collaborative masterpiece by Swans vocalist and composer, 8. Oktober 2013
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Beautiful People Ltd. (Audio CD)
This music of shifting moods and interweaving themes comprises intricate layers of sound. The album is challenging and addictive and mostly not reminiscent of Jarboe's solo work or that with Swans and World of Skin. It's astonishing that no instruments were conventionally employed in creating these haunting textures. Even more remarkable is the cohesion of an album of such stylistic diversity: breezy pop, techno, electro, tribal and industrial collages, folk, spoken poems, lullabies, nursery rhymes, experimental and ambient pieces.

Themes cross musical and emotional boundaries. For example, the major theme of childhood weaves through Bebe Marie, Coruscation, Liquid Bebe Psychedelia, My Bruise, I Know You Don't Like Me, Newborn Child, Show and I Feel Pretty. These tracks represent numerous distinct styles and/or contradictory emotions although stolen innocence characterizes all the darker ones.

'It's ok to be afraid,' Jarboe soothes Bebe Marie over exquisite percussive patterns, glockenspiel and reverberating chimes. The vocals alternate between spoken word and delicate phonation in the upper registers. One gets the impression of walking down a dark tunnel which is collapsing behind you.

Suddenly the scene changes to children playing a ritualistic circle game and the mood swings to mockery as her lilting contralto intones a hypnotic folk /gospel chant to harpsichords and handclaps. Sinister and compelling, A Coruscation warns of cult mind control in a manner that imitates the vocal and rhythmic techniques employed by mind manipulators. "Give up your religion, your skepticism, come along with me now, your mysticism" and it sounds simultaneously rousing, eerie and confusing.

The tale of Bebe Marie resumes in Liquid Bebe Psychedelia, mournful now despite the enchanting mid-tempo pop arrangement with its fuller harmonious instrumentation, undulating rhythms and choral vocals. This track is characteristic of the entire album; upfront many a track sounds like a lovely simple tune but somewhere things are happening to create a state of unease.

A choir of squawking crows welcomes the listener to the abyss, the recital My Bruise with its harp or sitar interlude. Then the deathly voice again, chilling in its resignation amidst the chorus of dark consorts. Still in the childhood milieu, I Know You Don't Like Me is a tuneful, minimalist, semi a cappella nursery rhyme. This brief moment of innocence which speaks of unreciprocated love must also be a send-up of the music hall genre. The dreamy Newborn Child evokes the image of Nico as soprano humming a lullaby to her harmonium.

In lighter vein, a phone conversation between a stalker and a teenage girl introduces Bernstein/Sondheim's I Feel Pretty. The flamboyant, exuberant vocal delivery with its operatic tonal gymnastics, skittering percussion, bleeps, raucous guitars and mock jazzy feel raises a smile so the concluding burst of maniacal laughter is irresistible.

Amongst the tribal types the semi-instrumental Danse Dementia's complex percussive patterns combine with distant wordless vocals for a spacious feel, whilst No has hardcore industrial percussion with muffled, perhaps vocoderized sighs, whispers and no's. Atmospheric ambient introduces L.S.B. where an intriguing call-and-response interaction develops between the torch song vocals and the instruments.

Innovative and exquisitely arranged percussion adorns the album throughout but particularly so on The Witch. This ballad's sitar, xylophone, chimes, pitches and tones are embellished by shimmering vocals, vocalising and whispers, bringing to mind the demented ghost of Cathy in Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights.

The tracks added for the enhanced 2004 release include the melodious techno pop Volcanic Ash Mix which resembles a track on the Swans album Soundtracks for the Blind.

No Mix approaches earlier Swans terrain in its stomping metallic beat and machine like vocal modality. Whereas Warm Liquid Event is a sensuous mid tempo pop ballad, the Warm Liquid Pleasure Mix merges reverb, echo, laughter, edgy percussion and mesmerising chanting into a hypnotic loop. Only about 5/6ths of the way does it start to resemble the opening track.

In the vocals, Suicide Song Mix has something of I Feel Pretty and I Know You Don't Like Me but this is disrupted by the chaotic arrangement which cleverly incorporates gurgling, bursts of laughter, croaking and spoken vocals. Somehow this blends well with the noisy backing in a dance of dissonance.

The thunder of galloping hooves opens Badge of Courage Mix, soon joined by propulsive percussion, resonant flutes, bells, whistling and a perfectly timed repeating reed or chime sound. A charming, stunning arrangement which appropriately ends in applause.

The brooding Unraveling Thread Mix is equally impressive. Vocals encompass Jarboe's spoken poem plus a variety of ominous unclear voices and eerie echoes. Some are slowed down, some in foreign languages, and they fade in and out of the atmospheric rumblings, tinklings, whirrs, drones and other metallic/industrial emanations. Beautiful People Ltd ends on a melodic high with an unlisted mystery track.

It takes a while to gain full access to all dimensions of this album of many moods and multiple mysteries.


storm the gates of heaven LP
storm the gates of heaven LP

4.0 von 5 Sternen Punk songs and slow, sad songs, 26. März 2012
Rezension bezieht sich auf: storm the gates of heaven LP (Vinyl)
Storm the Gates of Heaven reveals unusual aspects of County's work: serious, reflective and profound. The monologue introducing the title track is the only part that may be considered offensive. The sound is a blend of bass, lead & rhythm guitar, drums & percussion by the versatile Electric Chairs.

Embellished by Hammond organ, the title track rages against and laments the suffering caused by religious wars. Anger may dominate but it does not lack humor. Cry Of Angels is an eloquent, even anthemic defense of Enlightenment values on which the guitar textures and the hook around the chorus superbly complement one another.

The special guitar effects, fierce vocals and the subject matter make Speed Demon unusual - and the words are prophetic. Side One concludes with Mr Normal, another mix of angry rant & plea for tolerance that reveals extraordinary psychological insight. Here also the arrangement impresses through dynamic interactions of vocals and guitars.

Side Two opens with Man Enough To Be A Woman where the tempo slows down from the uniformly fast pace of the first side. This song has a rich instrumental mix that includes Hammond organ & synthesizer, whilst piano & Vox organ adorn the ironic and witty Trying To Get On The Radio. What a pity it didn't stay on the playlists long enough (if it ever got on the radio in the first place) as it's quite catchy and should have been a hit.

The psychedelic classic I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night gets a dreamlike though still uptempo treatment - think of Bowie's cover of Let's Spend The Night Together on Aladdin Sane.

Storm The Gates concludes with the mournful track Tomorrow Is Another Day, a reflection on the life and death of a certain Andrea of Warhol Factory fame; it resembles the wistful Sunday Morning on The Velvet Underground & Nico as well as some of the later work of Nico. Acoustic guitar and harmonium reinforce the association with the German chanteuse. County outvelvets Nico & co on this haunting composition with its aching sense of loss and regret.

The color of the vinyl record resembles a type of marble in a blend of mauve, pink, green and white and Martyn Goddard deserves credit for the striking front & back cover pictures. Most of these tracks are available on the albums Rock 'n Roll Cleopatra and Let Your Backbone Slip but Storm The Gates of Heaven forms a cohesive and very special whole.


Steve Jackson Games 3002 - Principia Discordia
Steve Jackson Games 3002 - Principia Discordia

4.0 von 5 Sternen Minor flaws of omission, 17. Mai 2011
These numinous scriptures come close to rivaling James Robinson's edition of the The Nag Hammadi Library as the most important contribution to 20th century metaphysics. And not only for those who consider Discordianism as a form - albeit a weird one - of Gnosticism.

Certain passages inspire more than others, like The Enlightenment Of Zarathud and Lord Omar's Epistle To The Paranoids of which only the orthodox version appears here. According to the Samaritan Codex (jealously guarded by a heterodox Discordianist cult) and the Octuagint there is an additional verse which reads: "Ye erect tall buildings, only to cast yerselves from the rooves."

The same Codex - but not the Octuagint - also contains The Epistle To The Neurotics by St. Euthanasius which regrettably didn't make it into this edition. For nearly 3000 years scholars have been debating its authenticity. The editors could at least have added it as an appendix.

A welcome improvement over earlier editions is the inclusion of the variant reading of verse 4 of the Epistle To The Paranoids from the Codex Sinaiticus: "O how the darknesses do crowd up, one against the other, in ye hearts! What fear ye more than [not "that"] what ye have wroughten?"

Despite the aforementioned omissions, the familiar exegeses of the thoughts of Eris, Greek goddess of Chaos, by Malaclypse & Omar continue to illuminate, enlighten and comfort millions. If you appreciate these insights, you will love the work of Robert Anton Wilson.


Sacred Geography: Deciphering Hidden Codes in the Landscape
Sacred Geography: Deciphering Hidden Codes in the Landscape
von Paul Devereux
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 19,38

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5.0 von 5 Sternen The living planet, 13. Mai 2011
Paul Devereux integrates evidence from archaeology, archaeo-astronomy, archaeo-acoustics and sacred geometry to discover the hidden meanings of ancient sites and the mystical connections that our prehistoric ancestors attributed to the landscape. Since time immemorial they invested places with metaphysical and healing powers where the physical and the spiritual came together.

Illustrated with photographs, satellite imagery, diagrams and maps, the work reveals global patterns of pilgrimage and places of power whilst illuminating the concepts of acoustic and cognitive archaeology. Ancient humans seem to have viewed the world as consisting of three parts: the underworld of ancestors, the middle world of the living and the heavenly world of spirit. Our ancestors must have considered nature to be alive in some way and this was quite universal as the author demonstrates by taking the reader on a tour through Europe, Asia, Australia and South America.

Sacred sites where the three worlds met include familiar places like the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Mount Fuji, the source of the Ganga and caves like those of Altamira. Numinous features encompassed dolmens, trees, hilltops, crevices and waterfalls. An important aspect of many of these was the sounds emanating from them or their acoustic properties of amplification.

Temples, dolmens, menhirs and caves were built or adapted to enhance or amplify ritual sounds. The author has interesting thoughts on the origins of music when echoes were regarded as spirit voices. This knowledge assists our understanding of the biochemical and physiological reasons why dance, rhythm and percussion are such powerful emotional experiences. Richard Rudgley explores objects possibly used for creating sound that date back to 50 000 BP in chapter 15 of his book The Lost Civilisations of the Stone Age.

Entheogenic substances played a part in the rituals performed at sacred sites; there is evidence that hallucinogens and music were used together. In his book The Mind in the Cave: Consciousness and the Origins of Art, David Lewis-Williams theorizes that the people of the Upper Paleolithic harnessed altered states of consciousness to fashion their society and used imagery as a means of establishing and defining social relationships. Graham Hancock supports Lewis-Williams' theory; his experiments with mind-altering substances are lucidly described in the absorbing book Supernatural.

Devereux believes that urbanization has removed the link between humans, earth and mythology to detrimental effect. An earlier work by him, titled Stone Age Soundtracks, is less detailed, more concise but equally fascinating. Its text is enhanced by black & white illustrations, musical notations, striking color plates; it is another valuable resource highly recommend to those who are interested in mankind's unknown past.


The Boatman'S Call
The Boatman'S Call
Wird angeboten von M U S I K B O E R S E
Preis: EUR 18,00

5.0 von 5 Sternen Grave, weary, solemn and resigned, 9. Mai 2011
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Boatman'S Call (Audio CD)
This album with its metaphysical imagery contains the odd anthemic ballad like the rousing There Is A Kingdom, and intimate, subdued songs such as Into My Arms, Lime Tree Arbour and the resigned People Ain't No Good. Cave interweaves spiritual and sensual metaphor much like Leonard Cohen. On Where Do We Go Now But Nowhere? one half expects those Cohenesque female vocals to frame his deep voice but they never appear.

A highlight is the weary yet erotic Green Eyes, the first line of which is a translation of a sonnet by the medieval French poet Louise Labe. She was the first to write sonnets in French (the style originated in Italy) and was famous for her passionate style. Cave turns her love poem into a lament of epic proportions filled with equal amounts of romantic yearning and despair. Quite a tour de force and enhanced by a strategic swear word or two. The poetic effect is greatly enhanced by the vocal technique: lines are first spoken then sung, which gives it a very ritualistic flavor.

Fans of The Boatman's Call would love the work of Michael Gira's Angels of Light, especially New Mother, since it contains similar solemn ballads of great impact and gravitas.


Israele siamo noi
Israele siamo noi
von Fiamma Nirenstein
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 19,19

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5.0 von 5 Sternen The deadly sling of David, 10. April 2011
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Israele siamo noi (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Fiamma Nirenstein describes the reality of a democracy under siege that remains strongly committed to liberty and human rights. She also speaks of us, of Western society which is under assault by Islamic extremism. Israel is at the frontline yet the war is against us all; we are Israel because we are all under attack by the same fanatics who have undertaken a reconquest after centuries of resentment at Western predominance. Our own destiny is tied to that of Israel.

Of course Europe doesn't want to know. Europe doesn't want to recognize the new threat, hoping instead that by sacrificing Israel and turning against the United States, it will avoid conflict. The EU is blind to the Axis of Thugocracies that is taking shape to its east and south. The European left is waging a relentless propaganda campaign against Israel, painting a picture of Israeli society which doesn't remotely resemble reality.

The propagandistic rhetoric of the so-called pacifist movements, antiglobalist intellectuals and revisionist historians are intended to delegitimize the Jewish State through words that equate Zionism with "colonialism', "imperialism", "racism", "oppression" and "occupation." The author describes this European generation that has lost its mind in vivid and moving autobiographical references.

She examines the reasons why the global media reduces the Middle Eastern conflict to idiotic condemnations of the right to self-defense. The shrill chorus of European chattering classes - the cicadas of Oriana Fallaci - has progressed from parlor anti-Semitism ("That little, shitty state' in the words of a French ambassador to London) to openly questioning Israel's right to life and the resurrection of medieval blood libels, especially in Scandinavia.

Nirenstein counteracts every one of the lies while revealing the hope and strength obscured by the propaganda of the haters and the pessimism of some of Israel's supporters. The Israeli people are not at all discouraged by the weakness of their governing and media elites. Israeli society is vibrantly alive as confirmed by Giulio Meotti.

A passionate commitment to democracy coupled with the constant threat of war and the need to counteract terrorist attacks have created citizens uniquely equipped to survive difficult circumstances. The average Israeli is as devoted to peace and liberty as he is prepared to confront the reality of jihad, terrorism and the asymmetrical war.

Contrary to the pervasive and widely accepted propaganda, Israel is a positive role model for those in democratic societies that cannot ultimately avoid a defensive war. That description encompasses the entire West plus countries like the Philippines, India, Japan, Thailand and South Korea.

Tenacity, courage and an almost supernatural determination characterize the people. Although a secular state, Israel has a culture of values within a powerful collective moral framework which implies that beyond immediate interests there are transcendent ones supported by powerful symbols.

According to the French intellectual Chantal Delsol, this very lack of transcendent ideals is what ails Europe, breeding a shallow materialism, hedonism and nihilism. Thus, Europe could recover by emulating the state it so vilifies. And judging by the conclusions in Michael Polanyi's valuable book Science, Faith, and Society, Israel is perfectly capable of meeting any challenges.

The initial euphoria which greeted the 2011 uprisings in the Arab World is already proving premature. Signs are that the worst dictatorships will survive while in other cases, bad tyrants might be replaced by even worse ones. It is therefore comforting to know that the only democracy in the Middle East is essentially healthy and in a much better state than the rest of the civilized world to face the future.


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