Current 93

Bright Yellow Moon

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Two of the U.K.'s most enigmatic goth/post-industrial groups, David Tibet's Current 93 and Steven Stapleton's Nurse With Wound, have simultaneously shunned and defined genres in their respective projects. The groups have evidently worked together in the past, but this release is the first official, and inevitable, collaboration between the two projects under their combined names. Stapleton is responsible for inventing British industrial, experimental noise, working nearly exclusively under the Nurse With Wound banner, while Tibet has played with everyone from Death in June to 23 Skidoo and Psychic TV. The pair created this album based on lyrics written by Tibet while in a hospital as he recovered from a nearly fatal appendix disease; subsequent hallucinations and visions of death inspired the text for Bright Yellow Moon. There are great moments of Tibet's "apocalyptic folk" and passages with striking similarities to NWW's Homotopy to Marie, yet the collaboration unfortunately doesn't quite gel into the musical tension one would expect from the duo. Passages of spoken word from Tibet break things up, lending the album little more than a sporadic fractured mixture of ideas. The outstanding highlight is "Mothering Sunday (Legion Legion)," which is an astonishing sound collage recalling the musique concrète of Iannis Xenakis. This piece is followed by "Nichts," an acoustic piece reflective of the British folk revival evidently dear to Tibet; in all its bleak droning, the piece recalls the devastating sadness of Shirley Collins and Bert Jansch. Tibet's rumination on the futility of human existence becomes a little bit heavy-handed and hard to swallow after a while; nonetheless, the album is a great late-night loner album even if it is a little substandard for what listeners could expect from two overlooked geniuses.

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