“The group’s name Hypnopazūzu brought together 3 beings, and 2 languages, that move me and delight me and trouble me. Hypnagogia. Hypnos. Pazūzu. The Coptic language. The Akkadian language,” he explains. “Youth kindly allowed me to choose the name, on the basis that we called the album Create Christ, Sailor Boy, which was a line of mine that he liked, and which opens the album.”
It seems apropos to open this with the words of David Tibet. This album reunites of two multi-talented and eclectic musicians and artists last together on Current 93’s classic debut Nature Unveiled; David Tibet (Current 93, erstwhile eschatologist and so much more) and Youth (Killing Joke and all the rest with a terrifyingly eclectic cv of production credits from Alien Sex Fiend to Paul McCartney…). Perfect to begin as not only does the music here provide the summoning space for his words but also because to me it seems to encapsulate the collaboration at work and at play here. An entrance of almost innocent accessibility that opens, blooms and displays staggering levels of complexity, hints at hidden mystic meanings and simply slips through your fingers as you finally, fully wake. If you’re a fan of either artist then I expect that you are already at the link below. If not acquainted then I shall attempt to… help? Clarify?
That is beyond me.
Hopefully. Hopefully. Maybe.
The album opens with ‘Your Eyes In The Skittle Hills’ which sets the general soundscape upon which the album is built. The music has an orchestral feel, but built instead upon rising waves of mellow keyboards that swell and fade with the percussion. It is a sound that seems almost simple but as it blossoms into every corner of your space the complexities of the arrangements, the subtle shifting beneath the basic currents allow glimpses of the great depths it is built upon. Slow, stately and deftly footed it advances at this pace throughout the album with consummate certainty and assuredness.
And then there are the vocals.
Oh; the vocals.
From a voice that has a natural level of rasping to the edge, David Tibet summons one of the clearest, most rich and distinctive voices in music. Twisting and sinuous, his singing writhes and wrestles with the intimations and frightening depths of expression here. With a sentence he can step from a dark and at times almost monomaniacal melancholy malevolence to a simple childhood innocence even as he grapples with lyrics that taunt and defy exploration.
You want to name the lyrics ‘stream of consciousness’ but they are more than that. They are akin to channelling; the expression of the mystical and the deeply profound as filtered through the outsider mind of David Tibet. Attempts to explain the inexplicable by a mind flicking through references from their own life, almost mundane and twee aspects of popular culture, visions and symbolic shambolic psychoactive shuffling and picking and bursts of accusatory finger-pointing leaving you bewildered as to what you have actually done. Sometimes these words sit uncomfortably next to each other, coupled in a manner that is somehow disturbingly but indefinably inappropriate; at other times the images they spark into life are suddenly bright summer day beautiful, delicate and revelatory. Within the twin skinned capsule of the voice and the gentle but all-encompassing music they travel deep into you.
This is a true collaboration: The music is like fine silk, layered and impossibly light but with a rare strength that belies its seeming delicacy and if perfectly shaped and wrapped around its companion. The skill, empathy and understanding that Youth shows here to provide the perfect transport and clothing for the mystic street corner prophet spirit of Tibet is quite staggering. And Tibet’s response to this music, his full embrace of it just makes the fit beautiful.
Really. Whatever music you like, this is something you should at least try. Take the journey or not but at least see where the sailor departs from and then decide. Weird, accessible and yet so layered I will never penetrate to that core, still from where I stand on the dock it is towards a magnificent, beautiful sunset.
It probably shouldn’t be reduced to a score, but…