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Current 93 - In Menstrual Night CD (album) cover


Current 93


Prog Folk

3.02 | 4 ratings

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2 stars This strange album was released in 1985 when David Tibet's project Current 93 was going through some stylistic changes and trying to find a place to land in the passage from their more abrasive sound to trying out different formats and experimental styles. I'm not exactly sure what the underlying purpose or reason for this album, and it may be from this lack of understanding that it doesn't make a lot of sense to me as to what purpose it would serve.

On the original vinyl album, there were only two tracks which took up a side each of the album. In 1994, the CD reissue added a third track that was taken from an earlier work to help flesh out this project. The album doesn't seem like a proper concept album or typical sounding recording, but more of a ritualistic recording of some fashion, or maybe just an experimentation, probably with vocal sounds and percussion (on the 2nd track), I'm not really 100 percent sure here. But it is one of the toughest Current 93 albums to sit through.

Sucking Up Souls - This is a surreal, vocal sound collage with a mixture of spoken word, chanting and singing. The snippets and loops come and go, usually playing over each other and feature Tibet and various other guests male and female. The vocals are all under the influence of various types of special effects to give it all a spooky and psychedelic effect. It's not until 10 minutes into the track that you start to hear some minimal brass and subdued percussion which soon fades deep into the background of the layers of vocal loops. Unsettling sounds and vocalizations appear at different times throughout this 21 minute track. Not much musical going on here, but more of a curious art piece.

To Feed the Moon - An interesting 12/8 percussive passages fades slowly in building up intensity as it rolls along. When it finally levels off in volume, you can hear more vocalization loops superimposed over each other similar to the first track. The percussion will continue in the same beat for long sections with some variance coming along once in a while. The vocalizations fade to the back ground, but other electronically produced tones and noises start sounding off, and the voices fade in and out as the percussion shifts position and beat in long intervals. After nine minutes, the percussion stops and we are left with just vocal loops again, but in a more minimal vein. After a few minutes, the percussion fades back in again. The track continues to roll along with the percussion and vocal loops for almost 20 minutes.

KillyKillKill (A Fire Sermon) - This was a bonus track that was finally added to the CD reissue released in 1994. It was originally part of a collaborative album released with the project "Coil" on an album named "Nightmare Culture". It has a somewhat regal sounding beginning that seems like it could be lifted from some recording. After a short beginning, tribal chanting and deep, dark instrumental sounds give this track a much darker atmosphere. As it moves along, vocalizations and instrumental noises ebb and flow along. This one sounds more like the heavier and darker style of the project at the time. It is more of their pre-neo-folk style. You'll recognize a musical sample here and there as it rolls along. It's probably the most interesting of the tracks, but it's still not something you would play for listening pleasure as it continues to be totally experimental and bizarre. Five minutes in, you can hear a recitation from Tibet in the mix of strangeness, and at points, his recitations become quite animated and even violent as does the bits of instrumentation signifying some impeding doom and destruction.

This album would end up generating a remix album called "A Little Menstrual Night Music" which features remixed versions of the 3 tracks done by Andrew Liles. This is a completely different sounding album and seems to be more of a total restructuring of the tracks that a simple remix. But, this is not an album that I would recommend anyone beginning with when exploring Current 93's massive discography. In fact, it is one that is probably left with the rabid fans, followers and completionists out there, and would be of very little interest to most casual listeners. To me, the only real interesting track here is the 3rd track because of it's darker and more industrial style. The other two tracks are too difficult to sit through.

TCat | 2/5 |


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