ASTRAL COLLAPSE/THE CLOUD DOCTRINE
Big up Loki for picking up the Angus MacLise baton and runnin' w/ it...
I picked up a copy of "Astral Collapse" 3 years back...am/zingly, Acorn, my local record shop was able to order in a copy of the Quakebasket vinyl release. The warped opulence of the cover looks like an Ira Cohen, don't it? The typo and design (espec. the photo inset w/in a detail of itself) reminds me of Vaughan Oliver/23 Envelope designs for 4AD in the 80s...I wonder if Cohen was an influence on their artwerk?
Anyways, I kno nuffink about peyotry, bein' a philistine/stein, but I really love Maclise's Beat style prose-ry pieces here...his words drip w/ mescale-dipped imagery and carry the zen brain-punch of a heavy-duty mystik, but there's a physical weight to his words; he understands how to juggle and twist rhythms and cadences a peco-second prior to delivery...he shifts and blurs, phase-shifting inbetwn the mind of a poet-mystophilosopher and the body of a drummer. Sorry, but I never really got over Burroughs' smack-magickal hyperqueer SF and Kerouac's benzedrine prose-riddims, 'cause I find this strangely moving (too much E E 'Doc' Smith as a child, probably):
"Immense harbours of unsullied light...jamming signals; rainbows dripping messages in delirium...golden spires glimpsed in avenues of what had gone before: it is present now, all of it...you are not limited to one room; there are many rooms..."
Loki is spot on: there are ominous/threatening drone-blasts here reminiscent of PTV's human thighbone pieces...so did Gen & Sleazy check MacLise, or did they check the same inspirations/sources as MacLise checked...?
And there's a ten minute+ organ meditationpiece that takes you deeeeep in/side the same throbbing chord. On the other side, MacLise manipulates Buddhist temple tapes and kicks up a serious racket w/ some primitiv electroniks, sounding at one point like a buzzsaw jamming w/ some oscillators...on another track, he sounds like he's climbing round inside a piano: notes bend and streeeeetch, wires hummmmmmmm and dark chords bounce around an echo-box...this is the soundtrack to "Forbidden Planet" played live by beligerent machine-elves...he may be searching for The Omniversal Drones that link all physical objects together via vibrational myth-physics (forget hyperstring theory; this guy's already found the next octave up), but a one trick pony, he's not.
And all this stuff links in perfekly w/ what's happening now...Sunburned's connection w/ Cohen has forged a direct link back to the 60s NY loft scene and threatens to open a floodgate of old/new thinking...psychik rocketfuel to propel the music into new astral strato-pastures b/yond cliched 'Free Folk' journospeak...
"The Cloud Doctrine" is a double CD of frazzled mystodrone Buddhissst refusnik prose n handdrum concrete/tape workouts...the stuff dates from 1963 to 1976 and features John Cale and Tony Condrad, amongst others; apparently it comes from a cache of 50+ analogue tapes that were found a couple years after he died in 1981...
I bought it in Imperial Records, Bristol (RIP) after I'd heard a solo electric gtr piece by MacLise that blew me away; this was back when I was writing comics regularly, so overnight stays to trade conventions and meetings w/ editors got charged as business expenses...(these days I stay in flop-houses and crack galleries)...I remember waking up in a Bristol businessmans' hotel full o'sub-Ikea bleached pine furniture w/ a headache of macrocosmic proportions after a late bar sesh w/ various comicfolk and slapping this on the nice little CD-player that came courtesy of the hotel chain; Angus and a full engleeeesh breakfast soon sorted me out. Totally recommended to all heads everywhere.
And if anyone out there is aware of a vinyl version of this, then clue me in and I'll send ya my CD copy as a reward.