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Current 93

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Current 93 is mainly a vision of one man – David Tibet (born David Michael Bunting), who, prior to formation of his main project, was a member of Psychic TV. C93 serves as a way to express Tibet’s views on subjects that he’s interested in / obsessed with – from Christianity to writings of Yukio Mishima to work of Louis Wain, 20th century artist whose drawings of cats are gracing some of the project’s covers.

Musically, Tibet is mixing folk, industrial / noise / drone and gothic chanting by employing tape loops and synthesizers.  Tibet himself describes the music style of C93 as “apocalyptic folk”.

Although C93 is Tibet’s solo project, throughout years he also worked with numerous collaborators, including John Balance (Coil / Psychic TV), Fritz Haaman (23 Skidoo),  Steven Stapleton (Nurse With Wound), Nick Cave and Tiny Tim.

Current 93 first records came out in the early 80s –  one was the single “Lashtal” (on Laylah Antirecords label) and “Mi-Mort”, a split cassette with Nurse Wih Wound, which came out on the label of the same name.

Nature Unveiled - 1984
Nature Unveiled - 1984

The project’s first proper full-length was 1984 “Nature Unveiled”, which came out in 1984 on Laylah Antirecords label and was reissued a number of times (originally, it was an LP, but CD version also appeared in 1992). All Music Guide commented – “Elegant Gregorian chants and cut-and-paste environmental recordings provide a bed for the muddy, disturbing gothic folk on this collection of Tibet’s early-’80s recordings.”

1984 “Dogs Blood Rising” LP was described by AMG as “one of the most frightening, nerve-wracking records ever released”, while Trouser Press called it “the best Current 93 album to date”. The album featured Steve Ignorant from punk band Crass and mixed everything from chants to flanged/looped vocals and even a medley of two Simon & Garfunkel songs – “The Sounds Of Silence” and “Scarborough Fair”.

Further on into the 80s, C93 released “Nighmare Culture”, a split EP with Sickness Of Snakes (one-off project that included members of Coil and Boyd Rice / NON), 1987 LPs “Dawn” and “Imperium” and 1988 LPs “Christ And The Pale Queens Mighty In Sorrow”, “Swastikas For Noddy” and “Crooked Crosses For The Nodding God”.

AMG commented on “Imperium” album – “If Current 93 was darkly difficult before — all scarred industrial landscapes, ticker-tape percussion, and Gregorian goth-folk — there was no longer any doubt where the band stood after Imperium‘s release. With four dissolving, soundtrack-ish introductory title tracks taken to varying levels of old seer, spoken word, and slasher techno, the album’s impact largely relied on the listener’s acceptance of experimental repetition.”

Soft Black Stars - 1998
Soft Black Stars - 1998

90s saw the release of “Thunder Perfect Mind” (a companion album to a work of the same name by Nurse With Wound), “Of Ruine Or Some Blazing Starre”, “All The Pretty Little Horses”, “Soft Black Stars” and “Hitler As Kalki”, among other material.

1998 “All The Pretty Little Horses” featured appearances from Coil’s John Balance and Nick Cave. AMG commented on the album – “”All the Pretty Horses,” which Tibet describes as a personal favorite, features guest appearances from Coil’s John Balance and Nick Cave, and Stapleton’s surrealistic tape manipulations are once more to the fore, transforming what would be reasonably normal folk guitar stylings into strangely queasy pitch-shifted nightmares.”

New millennium saw the release of live albums “Cats Drunk On Copper” and “Halo”, as well as 2000 “Sleep Has His House”, 2006 “Black Ships Ate The Sky” and its companion remix album “Black Ships Heat The Dancefloor”, among other works.

Aleph At Hallucinatory Mountain - 2009
Aleph At Hallucinatory Mountain - 2009

May of 2009 saw the release of the latest studio album by C93 – “Aleph At Hallucinatory Mountain”, which came out on Coptic Cat label. It featured numerous guests, including Andrew Wilkes-Krier / Andrew W.K. and pornstar Sasha Grey.

Pitchfork commented that “Aleph‘s music synthesizes many of Current 93’s directions over the last three decades into a potent, relatively lean 54 minutes”. Rockfeedback website called it “fascinating, frightening and funny as hell” in its “relentlessness, persistent discomfort and wry perversity”.

Discography:

Current 93 / Nurse With Wound Split Cass (Mi Mort, 1983 / Staalplaat, 1985 / RRRecords, 1987)

Dogs Bloods Rising CD / 2xCD / LP (Laylah Antirecords, 1984 / 1988 / Mi Mort, 1985 /  Durtro, 1995 / Durtro + Jnana, 2008)

Lashtal 12″ (Laylah Antirecords, 1984 / 1988)

Nature Unveiled CD / 2XCD / LP/ Cass / 12″ (Laylah Antirecords, 1984 / Mi Mort, 1986 / Maldoror, 1989 / Durtro, 1992 / Durtro + Jnana, 2008)

Current 93 / Nurse With Wound Split 7″ (Laylah Antirecords, 1984 / Harbringer, 1990)

Current 93 / Nurse With Wound Split Cass (Mi Mort, 1984)

Bar Maldoror CD / 2xCD / LP (Mi Mort, 1985 / Durtro, 1990 / 2002 / Durtro + Jnana, 2008 / Soyuz Music, 2008)

NL Centrum-Amsterdam (with Nurse With Wound) Cass (Staalplaat, 1985)

Current 93 / Sickness Of Snakes Split LP (Laylah Antirecords, 1985)

In Menstrual Night CD / 2XCD / LP (United Dairies, 1986 / 1988 / Durtro, 1994 / Durtro + Jnana, 2008)

Current 93 / Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson Split CD / 12″ (Maldoror, 1987 / Durtro, 1997)

Dawn CD / 2xCD / LP (Maldoror, 1987 / Durtro, 1990 / 2002 / Durtro + Jnana, 2008 / Soyuz Music, 2008)

Happy Birthday Pigface Christus 12″ (Laylah Antirecords, 1987)

Imperium CD / LP (Maldoror, 1987 / Durtro, 1992 / 2001 / 2002 / Soyuz Music, 2006)

Christ And The Pale Queens Mighty In Sorrow CD / 2xLP (Maldoror, 1988 / 1993)

Earth Covers Earth CD / LP / LP + 7″ (United Dairies, 1988 / Supernatural Organization, 1989 / Durtro, 1992 / Free Porcupine Society, 2005)

Current 93 / Nurse With Wound Split 12″ (Yangki, 1988)

Current 93 / Nurse With Wound Split 7″ (Augenblick Magazine, 1988)

Swastikas For Noddy CD / LP (Laylah Antirecords, 1988 / Durtro, 1993)

The Red Face Of God 12″ (Maldoror, 1988)

Current 93 / Nurse With Wound / Sol Invictus Split 12″ (Yangki, 1989)

Crooked Crosses For The Nodding God CD (United Dairies, 1989)

She Is Dead And All Fall Down / God Has Three Faces And Wood Has No Name 7″ (Shock, 1989)

Current 93 / Death In June Split 12″ (New European Recordings, 1990)

Current 93 / Randy California Split 7″ (Ptolemaic Terrascope Magazine, 1990)

Edda (with  Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson) CD / LP (Durtro, 1990)

Current 93 / Sol Invictus / Nurse With Wound Split 3xLP (Cerne, 1990)

Looney Runes CD / LP (Durtro, 1990)

Current 93 / Sol Invictus Split 7″ (Cerne, 1990)

As The World Disappears… CD (Durtro, 1991)

Island (with Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson) CD / LP (Durtro, 1991)

Frankfurt Sound Depot 24-03-1991 CD (World Serpent, 1992)

Thunder Perfect Mind CD / 2XLP (Durtro, 1992 / 1994 / 2003 / Durtro + Jnana, 2005 / Soyuz Music, 2005)

Emblems: The Menstrual Years 2XCD / 12″ (Durtro, 1993)

Hitler As Kalki CD (Durtro, 1993)

Lucifer Over London CD / 12″ (Durtro, 1994)

Of Ruins Or Some Blazing Starre CD / LP (Durtro, 1994 / Durtro + Jnana, 2007 / Soyuz Music, 2008)

Tamlin CD / 12″ (Durtro, 1994)

The Fire Of The Mind CD (Durtro, 1994)

Since Yesterday: A Peek Into The Pit VHS (Durtro, 1995)

Where The Long Shadows Fall (Beforetheinmostlight) CD / LP (Durtro, 1995)

All The Pretty Horses CD / LP (Durtro, 1996 / 1998 / 2004)

The Starres Are Marching Sadly Home (The Inmostlight Thirdandfinal) CD / LP (Durtro, 1996)

When The May Rain Comes CD (United Durtro, 1996)

Dogs Blood Order LP (Durtro, 1997)

Horsey CD (Durtro, 1997)

In A Foreign Town, In A Foreign Land (with Thomas Ligotti) CD (Durtro, 1997 / 2002)

Meet Their Waterloo (with Aryan Aquarians) CD (Durtro, 1997)

A Gothic Love Song CD / 12″ (Durtro, 1998)

Soft Black Stars CD / LP (Durtro, 1998 / 2005 / Soyuz Music, 2006 / Coptic Cat, 2008)

All Dolled Up Like Christ 2XCD (Durtro, 1999)

Calling For Vanished Faces 2xCD (Durtro, 1999)

Misery Farm CD (Durtro, 1999)

Untitled (with Michael Cashmore and Christoph Heemann) CD / LP (Durtro, 1999)

Faust CD / LP (Durtro, 2000 / Durtro + Jnana, 2007)

I Have A Special Plan For This World CD/ LP (Durtro, 2000)

Current 93 / Antony & The Johnsons Split 7″ (Durtro, 2000)

Sleep Has His House CD / 2XCD / 3XCD / 2xLP (Durtro, 2000 / Durtro + Jnana, 2006 / Soyuz Music, 2006)

Bright Yellow Moon (with Nurse With Wound) CD (United Durtro, 2001)

Cats Drunk On Copper CD (Durtro, 2001)

Xhol Caravan / Current 93 / Nurse With Wound / Christoph Heemann Split 2XCD (United Durtro, 2001)

Purtle (with Nurse With Wound) CD (United Durtro, 2001)

Some Soft Black Stars Seen Over London CD (Durtro, 2001)

The Great In The Small CD / LP (Durtro, 2001 / Soyuz Music, 2008)

This Degenerate Little Town (with Thomas Ligotti) CD (Durtro, 2001)

Who Is The Sufferer? LP / 12″ (Durtro, 2001)

Live At The Saint Olave’s Church (with Antony & The Johnsons) CD (PanDurtro, 2002)

Maldoror Is Dead CD (PanDurtro, 2002)

Current 93 / Nurse With Wound Split 2XCD (PanDurtro, 2002)

The Seahorse Rears To Oblivion CD / 12″ (PanDurtro, 2002)

A Little Menstrual Night Music CD (Anomalous + United Durtro, 2003 / Soyuz Music, 2008)

Current 93 / Anthony & The Johnsons Split 7″ (PanDurtro, 2003)

England’s Hidden Reverse (with Nurse With Wound and Coil) CD (SAF Publishing + World Serpent, 2003)

Hypnagogue CD (PanDurtro, 2003)

Live At The Teatro Iberico, Lisbon, Portugal CD (PanDurtro, 2003)

Halo CD (Durtro, 2004 / Durtro + Jnana, 2005 / Soyuz Music, 2006)

The Courtyard / Jerusalem CD (Durtro + Jnana, 2004)

Time Of The Last Persecution / Black Flowers, Please 7″ (Durtro + Jnana, 2004)

How He Loved The Moon (Moonsongs For Jhonn Balance) 2XCD / 2XLP (Beta-Lactam Ring, 2005)

How I Devoured Apocalypse Baloon 2XCD (Durtro + Jnana, 2005)

Hypnagogue | / Hypnagogue || CD (Durtro + Jnana, 2005)

Judas As Black Moth 2XCD (Castle Music, 2005)

Niemandswasser CDr (Durtro, 2005)

Ntnau Nhôtp Mprê Ahenjêu Eukêm Ouem Tpe CD (Durtro + Jnana, 2005)

The Dream Of The Green Goddess CD (Absinthevertrieb Lion, 2005)

Black Ships Ate The Sky CD / 2XLP (Durtro + Jnana, 2006 / Soyuz Music, 2006)

Black Ships Eat The Sky CD (Durtro + Jnana, 2006)

God Is A Man Eater CD (PREcordings, 2006)

I Am Black Ship CD (Durtro + Jnana, 2006)

Current 93 / OM Split CD / 10″ (Neurot, 2006 / Durtro + Jnana, 2006)

Birdsong In The Empire CD (Durtro + Jnana, 2007 / Soyuz Music, 2008)

Black Ship In The Underworld CDr (Durtro + Jnana, 2007)

The Inmost Light 3XCD / 2XLP (Durtro + Jnana, 2007 / Soyuz Music, 2008)

Birth Canal Blues Live CD (Coptic Cat, 2008)

Black Ships Heat The Dancefloor 12″ / DualDisc (Durtro + Jnana, 2008)

Aleph At Hallucinatory Mountain CD / 2xLP (Coptic Cat, 2009)

Aleph At Hallucinatory Mountain (Subsrciber Edition) CD + DVD (Coptic Cat, 2009)

Monohallucinatory Mountain CD (Coptic Cat, 2009)

Selected Compilation Tracks:

“Salt” on Meridians 1 (Touch, 1983)

“Christs First Howling” + “Falling Back In Fields Of Rape” on From Torture To Conscience (New European Recordings, 1984)

“Jesus Wants Me For A Moonbeam” on Devastate To Liberate (Yangki, 1985 / United Dairies, 1987 / RRRecords, 1987)

“I’m The One” on Ohrenschrauben (Dom, 1985 / Musica Maxima Magnetica, 1986)

“A Visit To Dogland” on The Fight Is On (Laylah Antirecords, 1985)

“Holy Holy Holy (For Dusa)” on Absolute (Parade Amoreuse, 1989 / Soleilmoon, 1989)

“Some Morning When The Moon Was Blood” on Myths 4: Sinople Twilight In Çatal Hüyük (Sub Rosa, 1989 / 1996)

“Nihil” on Succour (The Terrascope Benefit Album) (Ptolemaic Terrascope, 1996 / Flydaddy, 1996)

“Frolicking” on Terra Serpentes (World Serpent, 1996)

“Mockingbird” on Transmissions From Sinai (Arthur, 2009)


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1 thought on “Current 93

  1. current 93 has been one of my favorite bands for 8 years, and I have to say, their material has yet to disappoint me. I suggest checking out their music. Especially David Tibets artwork, and some of his literature. I would also suggest checking out Death in June, Nurse with wound, Boyd Rice, Sol Invictus, Psychic TV, Throbbing Gristle, Chris and Cosey, Baby Dee, and others like that.

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