Celtefog – A Faded Wisdom

celtefog

The Knights Under the Round Tabel, version II

The Knights Under the Round Tabel were on a mission to discover the unknown. Like all members of their generation, they went about it with a curiously apathetic zeal, which meant that any ideas put to them may well get absorbed and acted upon, but self generated ideas were curiously lacking. And all the while they stared into the distance. Roughly about approximately a thousand yards into the distance.

They maintained the illusion that frontier pushing was somehow connected to altering states of consciousness, and they were not totally wrong in this regard. However, consciousness altering can occur in a myriad of ways, one of the least significant of which is imbibing synthetic chemicals. Sadly, this path was the one they travelled the most. They sometimes saw previously unseen colours and visionscapes that may have otherwise been denied, but any earth-shattering insights that may have occurred were kept to themselves, and then forgotten.

It is fairly easy to regard the Knights with derision. I do it regularly. But this self appointed sect were actually more representative of their society than they would be pleased to realise.

They were not averse to token mysticism, without really knowing what it was, and there was a certain amount of conventional cultural experimentation. They would psychically swallow much that would have been otherwise unpalatable had it been presented conventionally, but the result of all these outside influences was something of a homogenised mess which gave no discernible sign of having learned anything significant from the experience. They were a fiercely individual collection of sheep who all thought in remarkable similar ways, whilst revelling in the idea that they were amongst the first of their kind to be really ‘pushing it.’

At the age of 18, I graduated. I thought it was an honour, not realising that the Knights were not always choosy about who they admitted.

Some few nuggets of wisdom came about, some even from me. They were usually derided, sometimes loudly, sometimes by me. Yet future conversations would often find the mocker advancing the same view that once they had scorned, as if it had been their own idea all along.

Ultimately, the Knights Under the Round Tabel foundered, being casualties of their own incoherence and lack of determination. They were victims of their own self-hatred, undone by their disrespect for who they were, where they came from, and why they were here. Hence, their name. They became permanent residents under the table, unable to articulate the few coherent thoughts they were able to have.

Now I find I can reside under several different tables. It seems that membership of one clique makes it easier to become a member of others, as long as the table is a broadly similar shape. When I started residing under different shaped tables, however, then I found myself being sought by fewer and fewer knights.

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Horseback – Dead Ringers

hbdrJenks Miller brings us the first Horseback release since the really rather good ‘Piedmont Apocrypha.’ Dead Ringers sees a natural evlution in the Horseback sound, which is to say, he’s carrying on down the road that he was going down.

What this means in practical terms is that the rifftastic, droney, atmospheric, groovy, noisy mashup that is Horseback continues to be a rifftatstic, droney, atmospheric, groovy, noisy mashup. He’s kept his vocals exclusively clean this time out, which I think works for the better. There’s also quite the sonic crossover with one of his other projects, Jenks Miller & Rose Cross NC, lending proceedings an alt-country air.

Listening to it last night again I was reminded mainly of the wonderful Appliance, who probably fitted few of the descriptors I used previously – it may have been partly the crystal clean production (a feature of all Horseback recordings), partly the drum machines which feature on the early parts of the album. The night before I found myself thinking of Julian Cope, particularly on the tune most likely to have slotted onto his earliest releases, In Another Time, In and Out of Form. Before that it was the HP Lovecraft band from the late ’60s. It is entirely possible that this album will remind me of a different artist every time.

There is a minor imperfection in that the last tune is about 6 minutes too long for my money; he could have kept the post-dubstep experimentation down to a mere 10 minutes and it would have been fine! But this is an otherwise minor quibble, as this is otherwise my favourite Horseback album.

Verma – Mul.apin

mulapinI’m really not quite sure of the correct formatting for the word that is this album’s title, although if the the Wikipedia entry telling me what its interesting meaning is is correct, then it should be in all caps, only I don’t like shouting.

Neither do Verma, obviously. This album is instrumental, which I think is quite unusual for them; most of their albums that I play often have quite a good vocals-instrumental ratio (which is now an official measurement thing). Maybe Whitney said most of what she’s got for us at the moment on her latest as Matchess.

Or maybe not. It seems to be the result of a session in 2013, which may or may not have been improvised – I remain cautious about that, because if it was improvised, why is there the sentence ‘written and performed by?’ On the other hand, why is there the tag of ‘improvised’ in the tags?  Not saying it has to be either/or – it can be both/and – but I do like clarity in the use of language.

So, the album came out last year but I could only find it on vinyl, so I forgot about it until I stumbled across it via some commercial digital provider or other. It’s worth the wait, because it’s Verma, and I like Verma. If you don’t yet know Verma, then have these verbal reductionisms, copied form the bandcamp page: experimental atmospheric experimental rock improvisedinstrumental krautrock progressive psychedelic rock soundtrackspace rock Chicago . complete with tag links. damn, I dislike when that happens.

I haven’t embedded because the aforementioned page doesn’t give you the full album, and acts primarily as a pathway to the vinyl. So have a video instead: