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Current 93

Gender: Male
Country: United Kingdom
Description: An eclectic British project, whose stylistic range spans from experimental electronics, through dark and ritual-industrial, minimal-ambient structu- res, psychedelic and neofolk up to popular music. It was started in 1982 by David Michael ”TIBET” BUNTING (b. 1960), an ex-member of PSYCHIC TV, 23 SKIDOO and the O.T.O. (ORDO TEMPLI ORIENTIS) occult order, as well as a vocalist, lyricist, painter, one of the originators of the WORLD SERPENT distribution centre and the owner of an independent record label DURTRO. Initially, and only for the recording of its debut release, LAShTAL, CURRENT 93’s included two other musicians, Geoff RUSHTON (aka JOHN BALANCE) and Fritz ”HA?AMAN” CATLIN of 23 SKIDOO.The following years saw considerable personnel rotation, which resul- ted in the forming of a short-lived spin-off project DOGS BLOOD ORDER. Apart from TIBET himself, Steven STAPLETON (aka NURSE WITH WOUND), Douglas PEARCE (one of the founders of DEATH IN JUNE), Michael CASHMORE (the founder of NATURE & ORGANISATION) and Christoph HEEMANN (a co-founder of H.N.A.S.) had the most influence on the project’s arti- stic development. The early works (1982-1987) contained numerous refe- rences to industrial avant-garde rock music, and their characteristic dark ritual atmosphere was achieved owing to some interesting arrangement solutions and the diverse use of antimusical sound generating and proces- sing techniques. The ideas behind TIBET’s concept albums of that period revolve around the notions of the eternal battle between Good and Evil, the meaning of Christ’s suffering, Aleister CROWLEY’s worldview, the dark nature of man and the symbolism of Maldoror, the protagonist of LAUTREAMONT’s Les Chants de Maldoror, as well as eschatology and inevi- table apocalypse. Between 1987 and 1990 he established a close collabo- ration with a number of artists and bands of various stylistic background (e.g. NON, DEATH IN JUNE, Hilmar O?rn HILMARSSON aka HO?H, MAGICK LANTERN CYCLE and Rose McDOWALL), which resulted in rather chaotic attempts at changing the aesthetics of his music and pursuing new musi- cal inspirations. By now, TIBET drew on from the psychedelia of the later 1960s and early 1970s (e.g. KLUSTER, The INCREDIBLE STRING BAND, AMON DU?U?L II), folk (e.g. COMUS, Tiny TIM, Shirley COLLINS, Leonard COHEN), classic hard rock (e.g. BLACK SABBATH, BLUE O?YSTER CULT) or even pop music (e.g. VANGELIS, Peter GABRIEL). His lyrics increasingly referred to his own life experiences and the ideas of Buddhism, gnosis, paganism, besides certain symbols of mass culture (cartoons) and sexual intimacy. After a short period of stylistic disorientation, between 1990 and 1996 he focused on exploring folk music, which brought several highly acclaimed albums, e.g. As The World Disappears..., Thunder Perfect Mind or Of Ruine Or Some Blazing Starre, now considered the most classic and most notable albums of the apocalyptic folk (neofolk) genre. After 1997 his compositions became more sparing, involving a limited range of instruments, and very personal and nostalgic in mood. He has collaborated with a great deal of artists and has also actively participated in recording sessions with the likes of DEATH IN JUNE, NURSE WITH WOUND, NATURE & ORGANISA- TION and WHITEHOUSE (he actually wrote the lyrics to Thank Your Lucky Stars).The name CURRENT 93 (recently also CURRENT NINETY THREE) was a homage to THELEMA, a magical system created by Aleister CROWLEY. The fascination goes back to the early records, whose characteristics were represented by a ritual-like atmosphere and innovative arrangement ideas. Even though the project gained the most recognition for their more recent, neofolk albums, it is their early works that have enjoyed the most appreciation within industrial culture. For artists like SIGILLUM S, SLEEP CHAMBER or MAURO TEHO TEARDO, they became the key of reference in composing their own works. Incredibly expressive, with an unpretentious application of magical and religious references in both the music and the lyrics, portraying a bleak reality dominated by Satan and the impending apocalypse proved to be a valuable source of artistic ideas for others. These ideas were ingeniously conveyed by STAPLETON’s sound structu- res, relying on looped electronic feedback, a drum machine and TIBET’s distorted vocals, masterly complemented with voices of children, excerpts from religious and classical music as well as passages from the 1960s top hits (SIMON AND GARFUNKEL’s The Sound Of Silence and Scarborough Fair; The MAMAS AND THE PAPAS’ California Dreamin’ or Barry McGUIRE’s Eve Of Destruction). In 2000 TIBET returned to studio work of electronic prepa- rations of noise material, experimental collages and the seeking of new aesthetic possibilities in sound montage. Discography: split with NURSE WITH WOUND Mi-Mort (Mi Mort 1983) tape LAShTAL (L.A.Y.L.A.H. Antirecords 1984) 12” EP Nature Unveiled (Durtro 1984) CD split with NURSE WITH WOUND Nylon Coverin’ Body Smotherin’ (Mi Mort 1984) tape split with NURSE WITH WOUND No Hiding From The Blackbird (L.A.Y.L.A.H. Antirecords 1984) 7” EP Dogs Blood Rising (Durtro 1984) CD Live At Bar Maldoror (Durtro 1985) CD split with SICKNESS OF SNAKES Nightmare Culture (L.A.Y.L.A.H. Antirecords 1985) 7” EP split with NURSE WITH WOUND NL Centrum-Amsterdam (Staalplaat 1985) tape In Menstrual Night (Durtro 1986) CD Happy Birthday (L.A.Y.L.A.H. Antirecords 1987) 12” EP Dawn (Durtro 1987) CD Imperium (Durtro 1987) CD Crowleymass (Durtro 1987) CD The Red Face Of God (Maldoror 1988) 12” EP Christ And The Pale Queens Mightly In Sorrow (Maldoror 1988) CD Swastikas For Noddy (Durtro 1988) CD split with NURSE WITH WOUND Faith’s Favourites (Yangki 1988) 12” EP split with NURSE WITH WOUND Time Stands Still (Augenblick / Supernatural 1988) 7” EP Earth Covers Earth (Durtro 1988) CD Rome / Hourglass For Diana / Fields Of Rape (Supernatural Organisation 1989) 7” EP She Is Dead And All Fall Down (Shock 1989) 7” EP split with SOL INVICTUS / NURSE WITH WOUND The Death Of The Corn (A True Love Knot For Ajn) (Yangki 1989) 12” EP Crooked Crosses For The Nodding God (United Dairies 1989) CD split with DEATH IN JUNE 1988 (New European Recordings 1990) 7” EP Looney Runes (Durtro 1990) CD Horsey (Durtro 1990) CD split with SOL INVICTUS Summer Of Love (Cerne 1990) 7” EP