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CURRENT 93

Prog Folk • United Kingdom


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Current 93 biography
CURRENT 93 is a longstanding project of musician/artist David Michael Bunting (aka David Tibet, aka Tibet), a loose collective who record and perform an eclectic brand of music that has roots in folk but employs sounds that range from metal to post-rock to industrial to neofolk, with nuanced sounds that encompass everything in between.

Founder member David Tibet has been the only constant presence in the band since their inception and his lyrical themes and subject matter encompass a wide variety of esoteric interests including: Christian eschatology, Aleister Crowley (from whom he took the band's name), Christian mysticism, Tibetan Buddhism, the iconography of the swastika and various occult left hand path traditions.

The group's direction is primarily guided by Tibet, but the group has close ties to many other groups including the avant band NURSE WITH WOUND (Steven Stapleton has recorded and toured extensively with both bands), as well as DEATH IN JUNE whose leader Douglas Pearce regularly appears with band. Other bands associated with the group include SOL INVICTUS, COIL, CRASS, HÖH and FIRE+ICE.

Tibet's prolific body of work has attracted significant attention from musicians of all genres over the years, and the band's album include appearances from an very broad range of artists from the folk singer Shirley Collins to Nick Cave to Marc Almond to the porn star Sasha Grey.

CURRENT 93's music challenges definitions of nearly every subgenre of progressive rock, and their inclusion on the ProgArchives will undoubtedly lead to an expanded definition of the Prog Folk label.

>> Bio by Bob Moore (aka ClemofNazareth) and ExittheLemming <<

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Buy CURRENT 93 Music


The Moons at Your DoorThe Moons at Your Door
unknown
Audio CD$12.45
$19.64 (used)
Black Ships Ate the SkyBlack Ships Ate the Sky
Durtro / Jnana 2006
Audio CD$17.76
$9.89 (used)
I Am the Last of All the Field That Fell: ChanneI Am the Last of All the Field That Fell: Channe
Spheres 2014
Audio CD$13.98
Aleph at Hallucinatory MountainAleph at Hallucinatory Mountain
Coptic Cat 2009
Audio CD$4.27
$4.15 (used)
Inerrant Rays of Infallible Sun (Blackship Shrinebuilder)Inerrant Rays of Infallible Sun (Blackship Shrinebuilder)
Durtro / Jnana 2006
Audio CD$5.99
$4.84 (used)
Thunder Perfect MindThunder Perfect Mind
Extra tracks
Durtro / Jnana 2005
Audio CD$15.46
$14.44 (used)
All the Pretty Little Horses by Current 93 (1996-11-21)All the Pretty Little Horses by Current 93 (1996-11-21)
Durtro
Audio CD$142.27
Baalstorm Sing OmegaBaalstorm Sing Omega
Coptic Cat 2010
Audio CD$3.88
$2.32 (used)
Dogs Blood RisingDogs Blood Rising
Durtro / Jnana 2008
Audio CD$13.50
$12.50 (used)
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CURRENT 93 Tamlin 1994 UK 12"EP w/ GF & POSTER #ed 2000 DURTRO 025, BEVIS FROND USD $45.00 Buy It Now 7m 58s
Current 93 - The Great In The Small (Vinyl) USD $39.61 [0 bids]
2h 18m
Current 93 - Dawn (Vinyl) USD $79.22 [0 bids]
3h
Current 93 - Imperium (Vinyl) USD $59.42 [0 bids]
3h 16m
Current 93 - Hypnagogue (CD & Book) USD $59.42 [0 bids]
4h 51m
Nurse With Wound / Current 93 - Scrambled Egg Rebellion... (Vinyl USD $66.02 [0 bids]
4h 51m
Myrninerest - Jhonn, Uttered Babylon CD David Tibet James Blackshaw Current 93 USD $1.72 [2 bids]
8h 47m
Current 93 - Honeysuckle Æons (2013) CD USD $4.65 [9 bids]
8h 48m
Current 93 - Of Ruine Or Some Blazing Starre (2007) CD USD $5.55 [6 bids]
8h 49m
Current 93 - Black Ships Heat the Dancefloor DualDisc USD $2.88 [3 bids]
8h 52m
Current 93 - Baalstorm, Sing Omega (2010) CD USD $2.83 [5 bids]
8h 52m
Current 93 - Swastikas for Noddy/Crooked Crosses for the Nodding God 2CD USD $8.58 [5 bids]
8h 54m
Current 93 - The Moons at Your Door CD USD $4.05 [4 bids]
8h 54m
Current 93/Om - Inerrant Rays Of Infallible Sun (CD 2006) USD $3.01 [4 bids]
8h 55m
Current 93 - Dogs Blood Rising CD USD $2.90 [5 bids]
8h 57m
Current 93 - Nature Unveiled (2008) CD USD $2.90 [4 bids]
8h 58m
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9h
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14h 12m
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18h 25m
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23h 46m
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1 day
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CURRENT 93 clear Vinyl LP Musikalische Kürbishütte (1996) USD $89.99 Buy It Now 2 days
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Michael Cashmore - Snow Abides (2007) [CURRENT 93 ANTONY COIL ETC] CD SEALED USD $9.89 Buy It Now 2 days
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2 days
Current 93 Misery Farm CD Single USD $52.82 [0 bids]
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A Gothic Love Song [EP] by Current 93 (CD, Jan-1999, World Serpent) USD $1.50 [0 bids]
2 days
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CURRENT 93 Live At Bar Maldoror 1992 UK orig CD issue USD $34.00 Buy It Now 4 days
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CURRENT 93 has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

CURRENT 93 discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

CURRENT 93 top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.21 | 11 ratings
Nature Unveiled
1984
3.87 | 13 ratings
Dogs Blood Rising
1984
1.50 | 2 ratings
Meet Their Waterloo as Aryan Aquarians
1987
2.55 | 6 ratings
Dawn
1987
3.81 | 7 ratings
Swastikas for Noddy
1988
3.94 | 9 ratings
Crooked Crosses for the Nodding God
1989
3.08 | 6 ratings
Island
1991
4.61 | 13 ratings
Thunder Perfect Mind
1992
4.03 | 10 ratings
Of Ruine or Some Blazing Starre
1994
4.42 | 14 ratings
All the Pretty Little Horses
1996
3.92 | 5 ratings
In a Foreign Town, In a Foreign Land
1997
4.50 | 10 ratings
Soft Black Stars
1998
3.86 | 7 ratings
Sleep Has His House
2000
2.96 | 4 ratings
Faust
2000
1.33 | 3 ratings
The Great in the Small
2001
4.57 | 5 ratings
Bright Yellow Moon w/ Nurse with Wound
2001
2.00 | 1 ratings
Maldoror is Dead
2002
2.00 | 1 ratings
A Little Menstrual Night Music
2003
2.50 | 2 ratings
How He Loved the Moon (Moonsongs for Jhonn Balance)
2005
3.81 | 12 ratings
Black Ships Ate the Sky
2006
1.00 | 1 ratings
Black Ships Eat the Sky
2006
3.63 | 8 ratings
Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain
2009
1.00 | 1 ratings
Monohallucinatory Mountain
2009
4.00 | 6 ratings
Baalstorm, Sing Omega
2010
3.50 | 4 ratings
Honeysuckle Æons
2011
4.00 | 1 ratings
And When Rome Falls
2012
2.09 | 4 ratings
My Name Is Nearly All That's Left
2014
3.71 | 7 ratings
I Am the Last of All the Field That Fell: A Channel
2014

CURRENT 93 Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

1.00 | 1 ratings
NL-Centrum Amsterdam w/Nurse with Wound
1985
3.00 | 4 ratings
Live at Bar Maldoror
1986
4.00 | 1 ratings
As the World Disappears...
1991
0.00 | 0 ratings
Frankfurt Sound Depot 24-03-1991 (with Death In June and Sol Invictus)
1992
3.50 | 2 ratings
Hitler as Kalki
1993
5.00 | 1 ratings
All Dolled Up Like Christ
1999
4.00 | 1 ratings
Cats Drunk on Copper
2001
1.50 | 2 ratings
Who is the Sufferer?
2001
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live At Saint Olave's Church (with Antony And The Johnsons)
2002
4.33 | 3 ratings
Halo
2003
1.00 | 1 ratings
Live at the Teatro Ibérico, Lisbon, Portugal on Saturday 8 February 2003
2003
4.80 | 5 ratings
How I Devoured Apocalypse Balloon
2005
3.00 | 1 ratings
Birdsong in the Empire
2007
1.00 | 1 ratings
Live at Hotel Island, Reykjavík, 11 February 1988 / Live at the 100 Club, London, 23 April 1985
2010
1.00 | 1 ratings
Aleph at Docetic Mountain
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live At Hotel Island, Reykjavik, 11 Febuary 1988
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live In Tokyo, 20/21 December 1988
2010
4.00 | 2 ratings
Live At Off Festival 2011, Katowice, Poland 4th August 2011
2011

CURRENT 93 Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

1.00 | 1 ratings
Since Yesterday: A Peek into the Pit
1995
2.00 | 1 ratings
Black Ships Heat the Dancefloor
2008

CURRENT 93 Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.83 | 5 ratings
Christ and the Pale Queens Mighty in Sorrow
1988
4.04 | 4 ratings
Earth Covers Earth
1988
3.00 | 1 ratings
Emblems
1993
4.00 | 5 ratings
Horsey
1997
4.00 | 1 ratings
Calling for Vanished Faces
1999
4.00 | 1 ratings
Untitled (with Michael Cashmore and Christoph Heemann)
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
England's Hidden Reverse (with Nurse With Wound and Coil)
2003
4.00 | 2 ratings
SixSixSix: SickSickSick
2004
5.00 | 1 ratings
Judas as Black Moth
2005
3.00 | 1 ratings
I Am Black Ship
2006
5.00 | 5 ratings
The Inmost Light
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Current 93 Compilation Part I
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Current 93 Compilation Part II
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Like Swallowing Eclipses (Current 93 As Dreamt By Andrew Liles)
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Unreleased Rarities, Out-takes And Rehearsals Volume II 1991-1995
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Unreleased Rarities, Out-takes And Rehearsals Volume I 1984-1990
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Untitled
2014

CURRENT 93 Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
Mi-Mort w/Nurse with Wound
1983
3.91 | 3 ratings
LAShTAL
1984
1.50 | 2 ratings
Nylon Coverin' Body Smotherin' w/ Nurse with Wound
1984
3.50 | 2 ratings
No Hiding From The Blackbird / Burial Of The Stoned Sardine (with Nurse With Wound)
1984
3.95 | 3 ratings
In Menstrual Night
1985
2.67 | 3 ratings
Nightmare Culture w/Sickness of Snakes
1985
3.00 | 1 ratings
Dawn
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
Ekki Er Allt Gull, Sem Gloir... Skamt Er Öfganna Á Milli
1987
3.00 | 2 ratings
Crowleymass w/ HÖH
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
Augenblick #5 w/Nurse with Wound
1988
2.00 | 1 ratings
The Red Face of God
1988
2.00 | 2 ratings
Faith's Favourites w/Nurse with Wound
1988
0.00 | 0 ratings
Hourglass
1989
3.00 | 1 ratings
She is Dead and all Fall Down / God has Three Faces and Wood has no Name
1989
4.17 | 8 ratings
Imperium
1989
3.00 | 2 ratings
????! (with Nurse With Wound and Sol Invictus)
1989
0.00 | 0 ratings
American Society / Broken Birds (with Randy California)
1990
0.00 | 0 ratings
Horse w/Nurse with Wound
1990
0.00 | 0 ratings
Summer of Love
1990
3.50 | 2 ratings
Looney Runes
1990
4.00 | 1 ratings
1888 w/Death in June
1991
3.00 | 2 ratings
The Nodding Folk
1993
4.80 | 5 ratings
Lucifer over London
1994
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Fire of the Mind
1994
4.50 | 2 ratings
Tamlin
1994
4.67 | 3 ratings
Where the Long Shadows Fall (BeforeTheInmostLight)
1994
4.00 | 3 ratings
The Starres are Marching Sadly Home (The InMostLight ThirdAndFinal)
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
When the May Rain Comes
1996
5.00 | 2 ratings
Seven Seals (w/ Nature and Organization / Tiny Tim / Nurse With Wound)
1996
3.50 | 4 ratings
A Gothic Love Song
1998
3.50 | 2 ratings
Misery Farm
1999
4.87 | 4 ratings
I Have a Special Plan for this World
2000
4.00 | 1 ratings
Immortal Bird / Cripple And The Starfish (with Antony And The Johnsons)
2000
3.50 | 2 ratings
This Degenerate Little Town
2001
4.00 | 1 ratings
Music For The Horse Hospital / Sounds From The Horse Hospital (with Nurse With Wound)
2002
0.00 | 0 ratings
Calling For Vanished Faces I / Virgin Mary (with Antony And The Johnsons)
2003
4.00 | 1 ratings
Some Soft Black Stars Seen Over London
2003
3.67 | 3 ratings
The Seahorse Rears to Oblivion
2003
4.50 | 4 ratings
Hypnagogue
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
Niemandswasser
2004
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Courtyard / Jerusalem
2004
3.00 | 1 ratings
Time Of The Last Persecution / Black Flowers, Please
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Ntnau Nhôtp Mprê Ahenjêu Eukêm Ouem Tpe
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Dream of the Green Goddess
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Moonbird
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Deuteronomy XXXIII:14 / Joshua X:12
2005
3.00 | 1 ratings
Black Ships Ate the Sky Tour Single
2006
3.67 | 3 ratings
Inerrant Rays Of Infallible Sun (Blackship Shrinebuilder)
2006
3.00 | 1 ratings
Black Ship In The Underworld (with Sebastian Horsley)
2007
3.00 | 1 ratings
Black Ships Heat the Dancefloor
2007
4.50 | 6 ratings
Birth Canal Blues
2008
4.50 | 2 ratings
Haunted Waves, Moving Graves
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Drank Honeysuckle Æons
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
Suddenly The Living Are Dying
2011
4.00 | 1 ratings
Passenger Aleph In Name
2012
3.00 | 1 ratings
Purtle (with Nurse With Wound)
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
I Arose As Aleph, The Speller, The Killer
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Channel
2014

CURRENT 93 Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 In a Foreign Town, In a Foreign Land by CURRENT 93 album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.92 | 5 ratings

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In a Foreign Town, In a Foreign Land
Current 93 Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is a bit of a side-project for Current 93, with David Tibet stepping back to the dark ambient territories that the project had begun in but had largely drifted away from for the past decade. The inspiration for this was a chance to work with Thomas Ligotti, the legendarily reclusive horror author; the four pieces here are composed as a soundtrack to a clutch of four stories that accompanied the original release. (They have since been reprinted in Ligotti's excellent collection Teatro Grottesco).

Interestingly, going away from ambient music and coming back seems to have allowed Current 93 to produce a rather different piece from they once would have; there's a bit more drone to it and much less abrasiveness, the atmosphere - in keeping with Ligotti's style - being more of a slowly and gently developing dread than a sudden shocking terror. It shows more restraint and subtlety than, say, the all-out assault of Nature Unveiled, and on that level I find it an interesting and worthwhile exercise in returning to the old stomping ground with several years' worth of experience and growth away from it.

 All the Pretty Little Horses by CURRENT 93 album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.42 | 14 ratings

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All the Pretty Little Horses
Current 93 Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars After a transitional phase following his artistic parting of the ways with Doug Pearce, David Tibet led Current 93 to another storming success on this album. Having already taken the group's neofolk style in a more gentle direction on the previous album (Of Ruine Or Some Blazing Starre), Tibet and his musical collaborators (including guest vocalist Nick Cave and horror writer Thomas Ligotti) work in more variation, ranging from childhood lullabies to aspects of the drone and ambient styles of Current 93's pre-neofolk days. The end result is one of the group's richest musical concoctions yet, with even Tibet's lyrics taking in a more diverse range of moods and styles than before.
 Of Ruine or Some Blazing Starre by CURRENT 93 album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.03 | 10 ratings

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Of Ruine or Some Blazing Starre
Current 93 Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is a rather transitional album for Current 93, being the first album since David Tibet parted ways with Douglas Pearce of Death In June infamy. The duo had been close musical collaborators for almost a decade, but would not work together again. Pearce claims that he ended his friendship with Tibet because Tibet and Steven Stapledon (of Nurse With Wound, and Tibet's longest-standing and most consistent collaborator in Current 93) had begun working with, of all people, the classic eccentric ukelele-master Tiny Tim, Peace claiming to have been offended by Tim having homophobic views.

It may well be true that Tiny Tim said some hurtful things, but Pearce's reason for his musical divorce with Tibet doesn't ring true with me. For one thing, both before and after this Pearce was happy to work closely with Boyd Rice, who has expressed a range of vile opinions over the years and cultivated relationships with a range of noxious people (including numerous neo-Nazis and even, no [&*!#]ting, Charles Manson), many of whom have proven to be far more overtly and violently homophobic than Tiny Tim ever was... and indeed, Boyd Rice cultivated his own close friendship with Tiny Tim and regularly praises him, so the excuse rings rather false.

Moreover, there were signs on the preceding Thunder Perfect Mind that Tibet was beginning to become unsettled by Pearce's longstanding fascination with fascism and Nazi Germany, with A Song For Douglas After He's Dead being fairly unambiguously directed at Pearce and raising severe questions about Pearce's various obsessions. In addition, and bringing things back to the music here, David Tibet had also by that point brought into the mix a new musical collaborator in the form of Michael Cashmore, an intensely talented multi-instrumentalist, and part of me wonders whether Pearce felt that his place in Tibet's coterie was threatened, since Cashmore's gentle guitar playing - a major highlight of this release - puts Pearce's rudimentary strumming into the shade. (It's notable that, whilst Cashmore did guest on Death In June's 1992 album But What Ends When the Symbols Shatter? along with most of the other Current 93 lineup at the time, he was conspicuous by his absence from the sessions for Rose Clouds of Holocaust, the last Death In June album that David Tibet and many of his allies would participate in.)

Whatever the truth of the matter, the departure of Pearce manifests in a shift in musical style here; the harsher and spookier directions that the preceding albums had regularly indulged in are dialled back, and Tibet's poetic lyrics and the musical backing from Stapledon and Michael Cashmore taking a somewhat gentler and more personal bent, of the sort which had begun to flower on Thunder Perfect Mind. Because of the reduced ensemble, it is a cozy and intimate affair, and due to its transitional nature it doesn't quite hit its predecessors heights, but its interesting excursion into gentleness suggests a new direction in Tibet's thinking which would lead to further fruit soon enough. Cashmore's influence is in fact especially strong, and in some aspects the album feels like a development of the sound pioneered on Cashmore's personal project Nature and Organisation.

 Horsey by CURRENT 93 album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1997
4.00 | 5 ratings

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Horsey
Current 93 Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Horsey is an expanded edition of Horse, which was originally issued as part of a three-disc set in 1990 with Lex Talionis by Sol Invictus and Lumbs Sister by Nurse With Wound. Unlike in some cases, where David Tibet's addition of extra tracks to an album doesn't offer much, here the two additions (the two parts of Broken Birds Fly) actually fit in nicely, since they were recorded in the same jams between David Tibet and Japanese session musicians that yielded the title track.

The first side of the album consists of a number of pieces recorded with a lineup broadly similar to that responsible for the Swastikas for Noddy/Crooked Crosses for the Nodding God era, and are decent pieces in that general vein. (Notably, there's a near-unrecognisable cover of Diana by Comus). The second side consists of the aforementioned Japanese jams. The first side tracks and the parts of Broken Birds Fly are decent enough, but the real highlight of this album - a five star track in three-and-a-half star surroundings - is the epic Horsey, in which David Tibet begins talking about some (hopefully fictional) character's alarming heroin consumption ("horse", geddit?) and then runs wild with the horse = heroin motif, working in his ideas about spirituality to depict a life and mind in freefall under the influence of a drug habit that they can no longer control.

Like the titular horse, it begins at a deliberate, plodding pace... then it trots... then it launches into a full gallop, the backing closer to flat- out psychedelic rock than anything on a Current 93 album preceding these sessions. Finally, the tune collapses into chaos, a powerful musical evocation of the horse's legs crumpling underneath it as the hapless rider is thrown into oblivion. It is a true masterpiece, and one of the best things David Tibet has ever done.

 Crooked Crosses for the Nodding God by CURRENT 93 album cover Studio Album, 1989
3.94 | 9 ratings

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Crooked Crosses for the Nodding God
Current 93 Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Current 93's Swastikas for Noddy had gone for an incredibly sparse, stripped-back production style, perhaps the barest and starkest release the band had put out up to that point. Much of the audio wizardry on previous Current 93 had come from the hand of Stephen Stapledon, the man behind Nurse With Wound, and whose presence was barely felt on Swastikas aside from some cello contributions.

For Crooked Crosses, David Tibet and Stapledon absolutely run riot on Swastikas, remixing parts, reconfiguring others, and outright rerecording some bits. The end results are remarkably transformative. Some of the tracks - typically the more traditional songs - are not changed that much, but gain a very different atmosphere with the textures that Tibet and Stapledon add. (Their cover of Blue Oyster Cult's This Ain't the Summer of Love - retitled The Summer Past here - gains some of the blood and thunder of the BOC original, for instance, and their tribute to Bobby Beausoleil, whilst still repetitive, is a bit less irritating than it was). Other parts, however, are radically transformed; for instance, Tibet seems to distance himself a bit from the rabid Social Darwinism espoused by Boyd Rice in his little speech on Swastikas for Noddy by truncating it greatly and turned it into the distantly-heard snippet "From Boyd's Bunker".

On balance, I think this is an interesting experiment in taking some very bare-bones raw ingredients and cooking something spicier out of them, and I'd give this a solid extra half-star over its predecessor.

 Earth Covers Earth by CURRENT 93 album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1988
4.04 | 4 ratings

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Earth Covers Earth
Current 93 Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Emerging originally as a sleep little EP before David Tibet, in his constant process of reissuing and fiddling, cluttered it up with inessential bonus tracks to album length, Earth Covers Earth represents some of the first new directions David Tibet would grow Current 93's sound with after wiping the slate clean with Swastikas for Noddy. Whilst that album presented an extremely stark, bare, stripped-back style, Earth Covers Earth finds Tibet taking this neofolk style and beginning to add new embellishments to it again, working out a new musical vocabulary which would eventually be used to great effect on Thunder Perfect Mind. (There's even, as on that album, a song that seems to consist of David Tibet side-eying some of the dubious politics and stances of regular collaborator and Death In June mastermind Doug P.)
 Swastikas for Noddy by CURRENT 93 album cover Studio Album, 1988
3.81 | 7 ratings

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Swastikas for Noddy
Current 93 Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Swastikas for Noddy is notable in the Current 93 catalogue for being the definitive break from the industrial ambient tape loop-happy style of their earlier material - the moment where David Tibet dedicated himself to his new apocalyptic folk style with full force. Indeed, so sparse is the production on this that several of the songs sound like field recordings.

With that title, you know that controversy couldn't be far away, but aside from "Oh Coal Black Smith" (whose rape- happy title character might just be dark from the coal dust, but it's not entirely clear that's the case) and an audio snippet about how the Antichrist won't be Caucasian, there isn't as much coy playing with fascist/racist imagery as you'd find on, say, a Death In June recording from around this same time period (despite the presence of Doug P. and Boyd Rice) . Still, deeply uncomfortable subject matter is never far away (Beausoleil is a tribute to the electronic musician Bobby Beausoleil, famous mainly for being one of Charles Manson's band of killers). It's a deeply strange sonic artifact all round, but one which despite its moments of tastelessness and repetitiveness exerts a compelling power.

 Christ and the Pale Queens Mighty in Sorrow by CURRENT 93 album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1988
3.83 | 5 ratings

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Christ and the Pale Queens Mighty in Sorrow
Current 93 Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Another product, like Imperium, of Current 93's transition from industrial soundscapes to esoteric neofolk, Christ and the Pale Queens Mighty In Sorrow is also yet another Current 93 release that has suffered over the years from David Tibet's constant mucking about with track orders. In this case, later editions of the album rename "Night" as "Mighty In Sorrow" and tack on "The Red Face of God" and "The Breath and Pain of God".

It is, however, the first four tracks that really offer the meat here, like Imperium travelling from industrial nightmare to neofolk songsmithery; as for the rest, Night/Mighty In Sorrow is a goof-off track, a hyper-repetitive loop which seems to have been produced mainly to have something on the picture-free side of the picture disc which came with the original LP release. (In other words, a track nobody seriously expected anyone to play very often for a side of vinyl doomed to stay pressed against a wall when someone displays their disc). The other two latter-day editions are remixes or reinterpretations of material better aired on the four core tracks. It's still a solid release overall, but in either configuration it comes with too much baggage to be a classic.

 Imperium by CURRENT 93 album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1989
4.17 | 8 ratings

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Imperium
Current 93 Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars David Tibet of Current 93's tendency to work with anyone and everyone who comes into the Current 93 gravity well has led to some collaborations with decidedly controversial types, and 1987's Imperium album (initially an extremely limited release) might well represent the apogee of that, with the musicians involved including Douglas P. of the ever- controversial Death In June and Tony Wakeford, who based on when this came out was presumably either in the National Front when it was recorded or had only very recently left.

Combine this with a title that shares its name with a Francis Yockey book much beloved by the more intellectual sections of the far right, and you have ample potential for controversy, especially when Imperium IV includes ill-judged lyrics about Christ being betrayed to and crucified by the Jews. (It was the Romans who crucified Christ, a point which somehow doesn't get across despite the chanting of "Imperium!" throughout the Imperium pieces, though since the same song also says Mary rolled away the stone of Christ's tomb perhaps orthodox doctrinal accuracy is not the order of the day here.) There's also ranting about "only the strong survive" in Locust, though in the context of that song it does not sound like something Tibet agrees with.

So, all in all a piece with some profoundly dodgy associations and implications (whether these were intentional or otherwise is rather besides the point), and one which I wouldn't blame anyone for veering away from. And yet, on an artistic front Imperium represents a remarkable creative transition for Current 93, representing the new "apocalyptic folk" approach of the project emerging from the shell of the old ritual ambient industrial format. As with many preceding Death In June releases, each side of the album is essentially one long piece - the four-part Imperium suite on one side and the mysterious "Be Locust Or Alone" quartet on the other.

From moaning, reverb-heavy industrial depths various sounds emerge until they ultimately coalesce into gentle neofolk strumming, with David Tibet rambling about his esoteric religious views and the depravity of the world. Lyrically, aside from the needless emphasis on sniping at Jews the piece is basically politically unobjectionable (though the Jew bit is a serious flaw which shouldn't be brushed aside), and whilst it's not always clear what Tibet is talking about in his sprawling maze of quotes and allusions, it's hard not to be terrified by some parts - such as when he screams "Take me to my dead Christ!" imploringly.

A marred piece, then, but one which is undeniably important to the Current 93 catalogue and musically rewarding in its own right.

 Dawn by CURRENT 93 album cover Studio Album, 1987
2.55 | 6 ratings

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Dawn
Current 93 Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Dawn is the end of night; so too is Current 93's Dawn the end of the ritual ambient-industrial style of the project's earlier work. Essentially following the same "two long sidelong tracks" format as Nature Unveiled, Live at Bar Maldoror and In Menstrual Night, Dawn feels like a bit of an afterthought - David Tibet throwing this release out there to save the material from vanishing completely.

On the first side, Great Black Time unveils its ranting, raving, and occasional intrusions from the Mamas and the Papas' California Dreamin' underneath a cacophony of church bells, making for a sonic experiment which doesn't quite manage to be as interesting as prior works by the group. Maldoror Est Mort is essentially the early version of Ach Golgotha from Nature Unveiled, as originally released on the Mi-Mort split with Nurse With Wound. On balance, I am inclined to say that the Nature Unveiled version is a greatly superior take on the track.

On the whole, then, an album which is not incompetent but not actually very good either. It was high time for Current 93 to move on - and David Tibet evidently recognised that, because after this they did just that.

Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the artist addition.

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