Current 93 @ Volksbühne Berlin | Monday 21.04.2014

Current 93 is essentially the extended project of David Tibet – one of the most idiosyncratic figures to emerge from the 1980s industrial scene. Having played with Psychic TV and 23 Skidoo, Tibet struck out properly with a series of austere, punishingly dark releases, most notably 1984′s astonishing Dogs Blood Rising.

Subsequent releases – and there have been many – took their cues from English folk and devotional music, with an emphasis on acid-fuelled mysticism and a burning occult streak. These days, Tibet’s something of a grandee, having worked with Björk, Nick Cave, Will Oldham and Anthony Hegarty.

Current 93 | Those Flowers Grew

The new “I Am the Last of All the Field That Fell: A Channel” is perhaps the most uncategorizable album in Current 93’s catalog. Though it employs a vast array of musics, it strategically integrates them in new ways and dynamically adds elements of improvisational jazz to the mix.

David Tibet’s present lineup includes regular collaborators – James Blackshaw, Andrew Liles, Ossian Brown, Antony Hegarty, and Nick Cave – as well as new ones: Comus’ vocalist Bobbie Watson, the Groundhogs’ Tony McPhee and Carl Stokes, These New Puritans’ Jack Barnett, Dutch piano wizard Reinier VanHoudt, reed and woodwind master Jon Seagroatt, and saxophonist John Zorn.

Current 93 | I Remember The Berlin Boys

The album’s tracks are a suite meant to be played in order, as dynamics, textures, and styles touch, repel, contract, attract, expand, and merge, often disintegrating into sound itself. At times, Tibet’s half-sung/half-spoken poetry is framed by musical arrangements that can evolve so slowly they feel static.

It’s a given that Tibet’s brand of art song is an acquired taste: it’s arcane, transgressive, and sometimes excessive. But as displayed on I Am the Last of All the Field That Fell: A Channel, it’s also simultaneously holistic, maddening, erotic, bleak, bright, and most of all, visionary.

Current 93

Monday, 21 April 2014 | 20:00 CET
Volksbühne | Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz | 10178 Berlin/Mitte |

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