Hypnopazuzu - Create Christ, Sailor Boy

by Andy Brown Rating:8 Release Date:2016-08-26

In the recently re-released documentary The Sound of Progress a young, angry and somewhat nihilistic David Tibet is seen bemoaning the death of culture and the apparent pointless “shallow pleasure” of Western music in the manner of an overly serious, yet perfectly sincere young man. Later in the documentary, following a temporary move to India, Tibet is interviewed again wearing shades and some kind of wizard’s cape and seems bitterly disappointed at the “hippies” and “fake guru’s” he found while travelling.

Tibet was no doubt the kind of young man that many would find a little infuriating, a pretentious sixth-former with allusions of grandeur yet there’s an undeniable passion to everything the man does. Tibet, now 56 years old, has produced a veritable treasure trove of esoteric musical wonders over the years. Usually found fronting his band, Current 93, Tibet has stepped out with Killing Joke’s Youth to deliver his latest apocalyptic evocations under the joint moniker, Hypnopazuzu.  

Current 93’s music has taken on many forms since their inception in the early eighties, from industrial noise to doom-laden folk yet Youth manages to provide Tibet’s restless muse with a pleasingly original, and suitably grandiose, backdrop. From the opening few moments Create Christ, Sailor Boy is an album that heaves with lofty ambition and, at times, an otherworldly sense of awe.

The album begins with the startling, transcendental swell of ‘Your Eyes in the Skittle Hills’.  We’re immediately drawn into a world of lush, spacious arrangements; heavenly drones that set the magickal tone for the rest of the LP. The music is an expansive avant-garde sprawl, intense soundscapes composed of chimes, organs, pianos and celestial drones. Clearly a labour of love, Youth has crafted something strange and captivating here, using a combination of acoustic and digital textures alongside Moog Synths and vintage guitars.

The music alone would be more than worthy of your time yet it’s the collaborative nature of this release that makes it so special. Tibet’s words might feel impenetrable at times but it’s these strange, devotional and unique lyrics combined with a passionate and somewhat theatrical delivery that really elevates this project. Tibet finds his usual space, lost in hallucinatory visions of stars, sex and magick as he pines and growls through Youth’s ominous yet beautiful compositions. It’s quite overwhelming at times and certainly feels a million miles away from anything that could be described as “shallow pleasure”. Even if they have got a song called ‘Pinocchio's Handjob’.

Create Christ, Sailor Boy may be a bit inaccessible for some but given time the album reveals itself as an incredibly impressive, deeply moving, piece of art. It’s  an ambitious and experimental work from the mind of two visionary musicians. The music lives and breathes between the worlds of modern classical and the avant-garde while the cryptic poetry of the lyrics provides endless motivation to listen again and again. Easily up there with David Tibet’s finest works (such as the Current 93 classic The Inmost Light) Create Christ, Sailor Boy is a dark, endlessly magickal trip into the great unknown.

 

 

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