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Bobby Beausoleil - Lucifer Rising (OST) CD (album) cover

LUCIFER RISING (OST)

Bobby Beausoleil

 

Progressive Electronic

3.89 | 40 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars The story behind the film of director Kenneth Anger's 1972 cult hit LUCIFER RISING and its corresponding soundtrack by BOBBY BEAUSOLEIL AND THE FREEDOM ORCHESTRA is actually more interesting than the surreal cinematic clip and equally tripped out music itself in many ways. The development of the film started as far back as 1966 when Anger was living in San Francisco and wanted to document the countercultural moment that was taking place in California. Heavily influenced by Aleister Crowley's form of Luciferianism, Anger soon met BOBBY SOLEIL and began to film in his typical fragmentary style which resulted in one of the most bizarre and authentic period short films to have emerged in the late 60s / early 70s timeline. Shot between 1966 and 1972, the year of its release the film was designed to be about "the Rebel Angel behind what's happening in today's world" with the tenets of Aleister Crowley's maxim that "the Key of Joy is Disobedience."

While the film appeared in 1972, the soundtrack as recorded by BOBBY BEAUSOLEIL AND THE FREEDOM ORCHESTRA wouldn't emerge until 1980 on the fly by night record label ACR and wouldn't find a proper reissuing until 2004 on the Arcanum label. The storyline of how this all came to be is straight out of Lucifer's melodrama and began when Anger offered the role of Lucifer in the film to BEUSOLEIL who only accepted under the condition that he would write the musical score to the soundtrack. After a fallout, BEAUSOLEIL moved to Los Angeles where who would live with Gary Hinman in Topanga Canyon where he met Charles Manson and become part of the Manson Family. As he fell deeper into the cult life eventually things turned sour and he murdered Hinman over some financial stuff and was then convicted of murder. While originally on death row his sentence was commuted to life without parole.

On Anger's side of things, in 1972 he approached Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin to compose the soundtrack to the film and even found himself living in his London residence before a nasty fight with Page's wife resulted in the whole project being scrapped. Dismayed and in need of a soundtrack to accompany the dialogue free surreal visual feast of the eyes, Anger turned back to BEAUSOLEIL who at this time was confined in the Duel Vocational Institution near Tracy, CA to finish the score which he started when the film was in the making. With a mere $3000 worth of recording equipment, Anger provided BEAUSOLEIL with the basics and he set forth to finish the soundtrack from within the Tracy Prison and in the end provided a 44 minute soundtrack to a film that was only 29 minutes in length however there was even more music to emerge on the 2004 release which brought the playing time up to 102 minutes.

In order to understand the music of the LUCIFER RISING soundtrack i would recommend first watching the film which is readily available on YouTube in order to understand the context. While the soundtrack more than holds up on its own it is greatly amplified with the visuals of one of the most surreal short films ever made which is rich with occult imagery ranging from Egyptian mythology to the dark occult arts of Crowley's Magick. Musically speaking BEAUSOLEIL was quite a gifted composer and took the classical sensibilities of composers like Claude Debussy and married them with the early psychedelic space rock of Pink Floyd. The original soundtrack consisted of six "Parts" each shifting the theme slightly to amplify a new segment of the film. The music sounds a bit like Goblin's later horror film keyboard rich thrillers and also reminds me of an early attempt to create something in the line of Philip Glass' "Koyaanisqatsi."

BEAUSOLEIL perfectly nailed the mystical experiences brought out in the film and provided the most suitable dark and sinister sounds to match the occult images of the film. Despite almost 15 minutes of this recording not finding its way into the film, the music presented here still flows almost flawlessly as themes gently shift from one mid-tempo sweep to another. The album is completely instrumental and excels at scoping out a true interdimensional feel and made all the stranger by the fact that BEAUSOLEIL was involved in one of the most bizarre personalities of the 60s in the form of Charles Manson and recorded deep inside a prison for the crime of murder. This is definitely one of the most unique albums ever to have been released but more than that it's a wickedly pleasant listening experience as well.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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