Culture is not your friend review
“Tiger, tiger, burning bright
in the forest of the night,
what immortal hand or eye,
could frame thy fearful symmetry?”
As it happens, I found myself watching the first episode of some random Sci fi TV series (I think it’s called ‘outcasts’). The picture fades in. A little child sees light through the morning landscape on the other side of his room’s window and shouts the William Blake’s poem that I have written above. The first thing that came to my mind, as it happens, even before my memories from being in his exhibition in London several years ago, was the brilliant book ‘Watchmen’ by Alan Moore, which used that same quote on one of its pages. It is a natural thing to happen, since Blake was represented and recycled infinitely through every medium and every genre (well, the darker you get, the most inevitable it is for you to cross path with an artist mentioning him), but there are rare moments when William Blake is brought to life in a refreshing, remarkable way, and Holism Gaea is responsible for one such beautiful moment.
Drawing their translation to Blake’s book – “The marriage of heaven and hell”, Dekhay, who is behind this project and Kirpitch, who adds guitar and sounds on the third track, team up in order to conjure their vivid and powerful approach from reading his words. They say that it’s a game in hell and a hard work in heaven, but Holism Gaea works hard in order to paint the road to both the realms of darkness and light with vibrant sounds and deep voices. Unsettling sonic movements create a chilling world that crashes, like on “The argument”, with the charming serenity of paradise. The conflict and confrontation between these two realms of sound surrounds me as I am drawn into the spiraling storm, and in the middle of it, cold, desolate and beautiful, stands “Ah! Sunflower”, a poem that is brought out in a moment of distinct clarity through terrific vocals and music that manages somehow to send forth rich layers and textures, and keep this song intimate and almost naked. Few seconds before it ends, I suddenly realize I am about to be drawn back into the demanding and turbulent music that exists around this song. Like they say in this movie – we have to go deeper. I am able, and more important, I am more than willing.
If you know Topheth Prophet and Heart&Crossbone, you know to trust their releases with blind eyes and stretched hands. The same goes with Holism Gaea, which ends up with another intense work that should not be missed, and that can’t miss. Magnificently maneuvering between the cosmic, the carnal, the epic and the spiritual, Blakesian Williamness will get you one way or another and bite you in the forest of the night.
The art of William Blake finds its reflections in different creations all over the world for many years. It is really understandable, because the true genius usually lives for centuries influencing generations of people with its power and beauty. Of course, our post-industrial age cannot stand aside with such a rich theme to exploit and contributed lots of material that uses Blake’s visions and ideas. Though, the piece of art that I receive today from the duo under the name Holism Gaea is entirely different from what I’ve ever heard as an interpretation of “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”. Hailing from Israel, the truly exotic area for industrial music, those guys certainly have something special in hand in the form of their first official album ‘Blakesian Williamness’.
I am sure, that aerial environment affects ideas of specific artist and Holism Gaea is definitely that case. It is really hard to define a particular genre that the music of this record fits in. The total mix of cultures and influences flows out of my speakers from the very beginning.
An opening track “Antares Fall” is based on a gentle Mediterranean melody creating an exotic basement for the upcoming action. Lots of additional special effects slowly enter the stage, atmospheric disturbances, different scratches and pulsations, waving noisy sounds, all of them fill the air with a thick and colorful soundscape. The long eighteen minutes composition fades away with a total cacophony of those effects, squeezing the conscious to the size of a small point. Different ticks and clicks alongside with some airy pulsations expand the universe back to the level of “But in the Wine Presses”, where analog noisy instrumentation swoops up the immortal words of William Blake’s poetry through the voice of one of the members of Holism Gaea. What I’ve heard until now reminded me strongly of Legendary Pink Dots, and this voice strengthens this impression being very similar to Edward Ka-Spel.
“Ah! Sunflower” takes the music even higher with 70’s psychedelic rock influences that is driven with different noises and very dirty pulsations in the vein of early Young Gods and Phallus Dei. This composition is a really important part of the whole album, injecting wide colorful textures together with a mechanical resonance that is felt much stronger in the following track “The Human Grapes Sing not nor Dance”. A storm of sounds and electronics is blown through this track; randomized wave of energy captures me into the deepest void of desperation and sorrow which is uncovered through the gentle “The Argument”. While Blake’s poetry is back again adding from its beauty to the extremely creepy atmosphere, the duo continues their manipulations with naked feelings, pressing the buttons of pure emotions. The album ends with “Weeping Meadow”, a track on the edge of white noise which I personally didn’t like too much because of its long running time and high density, full of radio turbulences and Brownian motion of electronic elements.
When the last tune of the record faded, it left me in a totally dreamy condition. Even when the cd has lots external references and influences, the guys succeed in creating deeply personal and spiritual experience, using techniques of psychedelic rock and post-industrial music. I think it is one of the best releases so far that saw light through the local labels Heart & Crossbone and Topheth Prophet and it is highly recommended to all those into intelligent experimental music