Current 93 – Birth Canal Blues (Durtro Jnana)

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There has been a lot of activity in the Current 93 camp this year – including concerts; 2xCD reissues of some 80s albums; a download only reissue program of rare albums; books; and a solo art exhibition by David Tibet in London. Now comes Birth Canal Blues, a 4 track mini-album which acts as a prologue for the forthcoming C93 album Anok Pe: Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain. This release sees C93 in a stripped down format, with David Tibet backed by just Baby Dee and Andrew Liles.

In some ways this is one long song divided into four parts. ‘I Looked to the Southside of the Door’ sees Tibet’s dual vocals backed by just piano. On ‘She Took Us to the Places Where the Sun Sets’ Tibet’s voice is multitracked, distorted and processed until it sounds almost demonic – this is one of the most disturbing tracks I’ve heard for a long time. A creepy organ joins the piano on ‘The Nylon Lion Attacks as Kingdom’ and Tibet’s voice is again distorted as he tears into his oneiric lyrics. The mood becomes calmer on the closing track ‘Suddenly the Living are Dying’, as Tibet’s voice appears clear again, backed by just piano. But just when you think the record is over, there’s a loud siren, with the sound of galloping horses’ hooves. The horses come to a stop, and then from out of nowhere there’s a final burst of speaker-shredding noise.

Ewan Burke

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