1. ''Roman Numeral no.1 - Trio Phantasma'' 09:24
2. ''Roman Numeral no.2 - Cubenga:Volcano God'' 06:22
3. ''Roman Numeral no.3 - Shepherd's Firth Infirmary'' 13:08
Liner Notes by my Psychiatrist:
I imagine it to be loud and angry - wild and disharmonic - saying a lot without being understood. In fact, it’s not supposed to be understood. It’s communication in an incomprehensible language, so its inhabitants can show without being seen. All the while hoping for the few that can understand and see. Hoping to show their treasures, all their treasures that belong to them - and just them. To let them see and be awestruck.
It’s a place for colossal boys, with soft features, wild hair and their mysteries. Sometimes, I look at them and wonder what their eyes see and their souls translate when we look upon the same affair, and I wonder what they see when they look at me...and sometimes I fear their judgment. They are sensitive, brooding, melancholic, hurt ...and I can just imagine them in their hiding place, removed from the world and its ways. Full well knowing their anger is just there to ease the pain.
I don’t know how often they realize their solitude or feel alone, but I can sense their hunger for a person to reach them.
And sometimes I think I can hear them calling.
More than three years in the making, "An Adoration Prayer and Ritual" was Anatomy of the Heads first official release of Hyperbest Records issued in 2017. Recorded in a home studio (The Primate Compound), the pieces on this album were constructed from recordings dating all the way back to 2011 using tape manipulation, loops, found sound and conventional instruments to describe characters, places, and covert observations of an imaginary island. There’s a lot of other material from this era that was never finished for one reason or another. Although we did not have a detailed preconceived storyline, the songs seem to create a picture show for the listener. Our personal catalog of images and scenarios would go something like this.....
Roman Numeral No. 1 - Trio Phantasma
1) Trip to the Batcave - Hula Girl Aloha-He
Imagine stranded, on a white beach scene. Where the ocean kisses lush palm trees and bamboo-villages. You gather your coconuts and your seashells and head to the village for a cool drink and some food. You march past the dunes of white sand, where neon-lit nomads and other dubious characters offer their finest spices, gold, frivolous entertainment and everlasting enlightenment. You take it step by step and are bombarded by different smell, sights and sound. Oppressive jasmine, pure silk, smiling jade, man-eating flowers and bush-meat awaken your desires. You visit a few stores, the bearded lady, and other sleazy establishments, but fail to realize until the last minute that no one likes a coconut.
This track is quite fragmented and consists mainly of a duet for guitar and bass with a very prominent vibraslap to accentuate the action. The high level of fragmentation is achieved through the continuous layering over overdubs and their partly removal, until only a very skeletal but fragmented composition remains that mimics a stroll through a bustling and hectic marketplace that only seems inviting to the most hardened of shoppers. The music video made for 'Trip to the Batcave' is an expression if exactly these types of sentiments, as it depicts daily live with all its facets of long gone bye Balinese village.
2) Complete Permutation of G7#9 (Live at the Sands)
The marketplace falls silent, incense and coffee beans clear the air. No more iterations, no more haggling, no more turmoil - the monks have arrived. Their procession is ugly, but graceful. Their words preach about freedom in desolation, and their aim is to grace your ears in velvet shroud. They begin to play and some lost souls heed their call. Demonic to some angel to others, the marketplace rests in tribute. Enthusiasts of self-doubt explode in spasmodic prayers and cry upon the priests' feet. Offering their fertility and passion to their ancient gods. Ugly, but graceful they mount their camels and disappear with their bounty as silently as they have appeared. Leaving only the smell of coffee in their trail.
This is the only song we actually wrote down note by note, and it turned out just they we heard it in our heads. As the name suggests the whole piece is based on permutation of a chord. Although commonplace, the specific technique we used to generate permutation can be found in volume two of Joseph Schillinger's Schillinger System of Musical Composition (1978) that was used by Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman. After that we composed multiple lines of melody that rhythmically interlock and break with the permutation pattern to either emphasize harmony or rhythm. The drums were the only thing that were created through multiple takes of spontaneous improvisation.
Doomsday monks invading market places is also just what the video is depicting. The music video shows people of the Rajneesh movement practicing something called Dynamic Meditation™, which leads the practitioners through multiple stages of physical activity and silence following the credo "Let whatever happens happen - whatever you feel do it, do it!" Acts of violence and rape are not uncommon during these practices. Michael even had a run in with them as they descended upon his city in the late 90es, but that is a story for another time. The only thing we changed from the original footage was the cult leader, whom we dumped for the cult leader of our hearts horror-icon Bela Lugosi (better known as Dracula) from his most hypnotic movie White Zombie (1932). When the album was released in 2017 we even held a contest for people to send the Lugosis in the video and win a prize. No one ever guessed right. The right answer is, of course, 22.
3) Toki-Oh-Basement-Transmissions at 0.8 Hz
Fallen on hard times you discard your coconuts and seashells. You give up on your grand illusions of cornucopian live of fulfilled desires you descent into the unseen crevices of island life with a broken heart. Live like the bugs and caterpillars! Live under a stone and let your resentment grow! Become part of the underworld! The markets trash shall be their pleasure. Enter the radio! Your only companion in hard times ahead and curious object of desire, as only solving the enigma of radio waves will set you free.
For us this track represents much more than a nice story, as it was made with a tedious technique called data-bending, in which an audio file is opened as a .JPG modulated and then returned to an audio file. Opening any audio file as a .JPG will result in a visual representation of binary code - meaning it is just a fine-grained collection of black and white pixels. The sound of the audio can then be modulated by drawing in this visual representation. Which results in glitches, skips, speedups and slowdowns and other interesting glitches and even break the file completely. If the file breaks or not depends largely on the placing of any drawings - too high or low destroys the header of the file and it cannot be read properly. Since the files are technically damaged during the process. Opening them up in a DAW can be hard. Once a data-bended file was created, the audio had to be re-recorded into a fully functional file to be able to work with it. We created 50 different files to have a broad range of glitches to work with - it paid off in a big way, but it was a long and tedious process. The audio that used for this piece came from a segment of 1975es The Super Inframan - The First Superhero movie of China! Because the movie features a wild sound - design for the fight scene with little to no music. Ideal for an electroacoustic piece.
It was just another way to try something new. Once we had a basic idea for what the track is going to be like. We recorded some more sounds and noises to extend the musical palette even more. The music video primarily consists of scenes that showcase the visual capacities of early CAD drawing programs (such as the 'Graphic 1' computer system of Bell Telephone Laboratories), but it also plays up the Tokyo part of the title, and includes scenes from the hyper-violent anime Genocyber that are cut, glitches, and deformed in a rhythmic way to accentuate and make sense of the otherwise otherworldly music created through data-bending.
Roman Numeral No. 2 - Cubenge:Volcano God
1) A Dance of Intrigue and Seduction (Blue Dolphine Ball-Room 1893 AD)
The lure of the radio. The message in the white noise. The secret behind the veil - it has been revealed and it is oh so hard to swallow. The end of this world is here. No more islands, no markets, no more coconuts - so is the will of the volcano gods. The bad news drags you down as you sit among the insect people, getting high on fermented banana. A sense of urgency overcomes you. You mount your lowly centipede-steed and head towards the chief residing in the big hut above the market. But, you are too late. The dance of the merry monarchs has begun. The monarchs of the big hut join hands as creative destruction is the way of this world. Cubengea awakes and his birth cry announces death upon all.
This features also Gristoph Gotsch on bass, who is another on-off early contributor. There exists a lot more recordings of his melodic bass playing that never got finished. By now we have lost complete contact with him and settled on J.H. bass who incidentally learned to play bass from the same teacher as Gotsch. So the melodic funk bass wasn't lost, it just grew a beard. Aside from the lineup change, this piece features one of our best playing and grew out of a guitar-solo which we recorded and slowed down to about two minutes and used as a basis for the song. So it is a guitar solo accentuated with more guitar solos and other instruments. This is a technique we often utilize. While it is satisfying to play a fast solo flawlessly it can be magical to it slow down and treat it like a speed-up song. The most intricate rhythms and phrases can be created in this way. The Blue Dolphin Ballroom is a purely imaginary place, mirroring the old-timey Tiki inspired dinner-entertainment places, which would be the perfect place for us to play this type of number. The addition of 1893 AD has been basically just there because it rhymes and to pay homage to 1966es One million years B.C. An indispensable documentary on the prehistoric history of humanity that reminds us that all cavewomen were drop-dead gorgeous babes dressed in fur-bikinis that invented mascara.
2) The Awakening of Cubenga:Volcano God
Experience the reign of Cubenga! Azure skies are covered in ash, his fiery demons taking the land and destruction reigns supreme. You die coughing and can see Cubenga towering in the mountains. The more of you leaves this world, the clearer you can hear his call. "Be gone! Be gone all of you. Be gone, so it can start anew." Even Though it is the voice of a thousand beasts rending meat. There is no anger in Cubengas voice, nor remorse, or exciting - there is just death. Cubenga now resides in your lungs and you have left this world according to his request.
But just what is Cubenga? In search for a Volcano God, we went beyond the real live mythology of the likes of Vulcan, Volos, and Lalahon, and got inspired by Arthur Lyman's 1959 The Legend of Pele which was the first concept album of exotica and features a percussion fever dream called the Cubana Chant, and the album title of Les Baxters' 1956 Tamboo! which is perfect onomatopoeia for percussion. Put both together and a new volcano god was born. Ironically, the term Cubenga can also be found in volume two of Charles Richmond Wallace' 1926 General notes on South Pacific island Groups. History proves us true.
Contrary to popular belief, there are no voices featured on this track. Most of the unusual sounds found on this piece are made with electrified strings, springs, and other household objects (which means they had a piezo pickup glued to it). The repertoire of noisemakers grew exponentially during the making of this album. Even plants, radios and a didgeridoo were converted into synths. The piece grew around the basic melody of the saxophone which repeats three times throughout. Each time it is surrounded by the hungry chatter of noisemakers and grows more menacing each time. Ultimately the saxophone joins the chorus of hungry voices and becomes distorted and unrecognizable.
Roman Numeral No. 3 - Sheperd's Firth Infirmary
1) From the city to the corn in 19-Oh-1 (Organum Spirituale)
Dying is a horrible thing to do, even in a fantasy world of your own making. It is painful, but Cubenga has brought you back to your familiar surroundings. You are left to remember your life and reflect on what you have experienced on the destroyed island paradise. You come to senses and recall leaving the rat race of the city for a quiet life in the country. Tilling the soil with your own hands sounded like a good idea when accompanied by the sound of fingers hitting keyboards all around you. You recall with nostalgia how you declared your independence from your corporate overlords. And the house you were able to afford. You relive the moments, the good ones and the bad ones, you savor the experience. The smell of old wood that engulfed you when you bought the house. The hundreds of early morning coffees at your desk and the little brown stains they left on pristine paper. The face of your boss when you told him you quit. You remember the accident....
From the city to the corn grew out of a very melancholic Nirvana level of teenage angst bass line that J.H. played. We added all the familiar bells and whistles of teenage depression like the squealing hard rock guitars that you learn to love when you are thirteen and bands like Kiss, Aerosmith, and Led Zeppelin become your favorite bands, the post-rock sensibility you develop as soon as you realize that you want to be in a rock band, but do not want to be destroyed by fame and the country rock you learn to enjoy after making fun of your parents in your youth for listening to. To pay tribute to the rock origins of this little psychodrama the bass solo pays homage to Queen's Another one bites the dust, repeating the song's melody in perfect rhythm and increased speed.