Current 93

All The Pretty Little Horses

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A central figure in the British post-industrial "esoteric" movement (Nurse With Wound, Coil, Death in June),David Tibet, after a brief stint with Genesis P-Orridge's Psychic TV, formed Current 93 (essentially his solo project, but more often than not the result of intensive collaboration with Nurse With Wound's Steven Stapleton) in the early '80s. After a series of apocalyptic and often disturbing albums, Tibet discovered the music of English folksinger Shirley Collins in the early '90s; since then his output has become more overtly lyrical and folk-inflected, though still shot through with heavy doses of eschatological imagery and Blakean mysticism. "All the Pretty Horses," which Tibet describes as a personal favorite, features guest appearances from Coil's John Balance and Nick Cave, and Stapleton's surrealistic tape manipulations are once more to the fore, transforming what would be reasonably normal folk guitar stylings into strangely queasy pitch-shifted nightmares. Tibet's texts are clearly enunciated (and reproduced in the CD booklet) and the album is beautifully structured to build to a shattering climax with the terrifying disembodied voices of "Twilight Twilight Nihil Nihil" and "The Inmost Light Itself," after which Nick Cave's reprise of the title track, which might seem maudlin out of context, makes perfect sense. Cave also reads the text (from the Pensées of Blaise Pascal) on the closing "Patripassian," built over a reverberant loop of English 16th century choral music, another one of Tibet's passions.

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