Current 93 is an eclectic British experimental music group, working since the early 1980s in folk-based musical forms. The band was founded in 1982 by David Tibet (David Michael Bunting, renamed ‘Tibet’ by Genesis P-Orridge sometime prior to forming the group).
1. “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
St.Matthew XVI:26 (King James Version)
2. “The greatest hazard of all, losing ones self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss – an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. – is sure to be noticed.”
Soren Kierkegaard | The Sickness Unto Death
3. Jesus said: “If those who lead you say to you, ‘See, the kingdom is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty.”
The Gospel of Thomas: Logion 3.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Golgotha, the Second Coming and rushing excitedly to the local beach to have picnics with my Holy Graal.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
By listening to Uriah Heep, T. Rex, Yes and The Sweet and by reading the New Testament and Aleister Crowley and, after having meditated on their Uttered TRUTHS for 20 years, then making the decision to make an album full of A-sides and Antichrists and B-sides and Beasts “Nature Unveiled”
3. What are your 5 favourite albums of all time?
In no particular order: Bill Fay with Time of the Last Persecution; Shirley and Dolly Collins with Anthems in Eden; Leonard Cohen | Songs of Leonard Cohen; T. Rex | Greatest Hits; Judas Priest with Nostradamus. And I am giving myself one more: The soundtrack to the film of “Jesus Christ Superstar”
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
Lesbians and Liquorice, but mainly a Camel meeting a Lamb in a True Fairy Tale.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
Natural: the Sea. Man-made: The Dragon Bar.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Grow SunFlowers and Tulips in our Garden.
7. What was the last record you bought?
Spooky Tooth with Spooky Two.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Rob Halford of Judas Priest.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
I never see my own concerts. Sensational Alex Harvey Band 1974 or Black Sabbath 1975 or Thin Lizzy 1974 or Hawkwind 1974.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Not at all important; I find technology incomprehensible. However I do love Snap.
11. Do you have siblings and are they proud or jealous of you?
I have a younger brother. I think he is proud of what I do, but I doubt he has any idea of what it actually is that I do.
With a glut of industrial-pop hybrids on the market in the 1980s and ’90s, several bands stayed true to the experimental nature of early industrial music. The Psychic TV axis alone spawned many creative artists, including Current 93’s David Tibet, who blends Gothic chanting and haunting atmospherics with industrial noisescapes courtesy of tape loops and synthesizers.
Current 93 | The Frolic
Though Tibet doesn’t quite have bandmates, he frequently works with a core of collaborators including ex-Psychic TV compatriot John Balance (more famous for his work with Peter Christopherson in Coil); Fritz Haaman, formerly of 23 Skidoo (like PTV an offshoot of the most influential of the early industrial acts, Throbbing Gristle); Steven Stapleton of Nurse with Wound fame.
Others are Rose McDowall of Strawberry Switchblade and Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, also a former member of Psychic TV. Steven Stapleton is probably the most frequent member, appearing on virtually all Current 93 releases – a favor which David Tibet returns by working with Stapleton on most projects by Nurse with Wound.
Current 93 | Patripassian
The trio of Tibet, Balance, and Haaman debuted in 1983 by recording the single “Lashtah” for Laylah Records. Until the end of the ’80s, Tibet – utilizing the various lineups — recorded at a frenetic pace, issuing more than two albums per year for both Laylah and the Maldoror label.
By the ’90s, Tibet’s output and style changed slightly: his productivity slowed somewhat, and the sound grew more subdued, encompassing acoustic folk in its most sinister permutations. Productivity picked up in the 2000s with more Current 93 material being recorded and reissued.
Current 93 | The Seven Seals are Revealed at the End of Time as Seven Bows
2006 saw the release of both “Black Ships Ate the Sky” and “Sleep Has His House” on Durtro Records, followed by the reissue of the Inmost Light Trilogy in April 2007, originally published in 1995 and 1996 as “Where The Long Shadows Fall (Beforetheinmostlight)”, “All The Pretty Little Horses: The Inmost Light”, and “The Starres Are Marching Sadly Home (Theinmostlightthirdandfinal)”.
In 2009, they released Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain amid a flurry of other activity including Tibet’s art exhibitions and touring. Though it kept its mostly acoustic dreamy feel, Tibet expanded his sonic palette and added some real electric, nightmarish rock on this set. Some of its special guests included guitarist James Blackshaw, Rickie Lee Jones, and Andrew W.K.