INTERVIEWS AND MISCELLANEOUS ARTICLES
Car & Woman Magazine #365
Welcome to another episode of IN THE CAR. The segment of the magazine where we escape from the world and retreat in into the woods during a ten-mile drive through picturesque Manitoba. This time
we find our ride restricted by the government-issued COVID-19 restrictions, however these restrictions provide us with a rare opportunity to break with tradition, go beyond any physical
proximity, and to reach out to artists who would normally be beyond the reach of a drive through Manitoba. Just like Anatomy of the Heads from the small island state of Kiribati in the South
Pacific. Joining us on the Zoom is Michael van Gore - guitarist composer and chief medicine man for indefinable exotic music.
The world renowned philosopher Plato once stated that 'Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.' I ask the reader to keep in mind that Plato lived in time when the word 'gaiety' meant happiness and carefree-ness. And when I listened to your debut record, my mind just sprouted wings and flew to new levels of mathematical and conceptual understanding previously unknown to man. "Wow, that's a bit much, but I like it." We here at Car and Woman Magazine are glad to hear that. What time is it at your place? "Let's just say that I am speaking to you from the future and its almost midnight." In the spirit of the plague. Tell us a good PG-13 Corona story! "Okay, so I am in an Airport in Indonesia at a security checkpoint where they screened for corona. A Dozen people are jammed in the narrow corridor with plastic
barriers on each side and suddenly I feel my nose itching. I held my breath. I held my nose shut, but I couldn't stop it. So, I went ACHOOOOO! So, I was officially THAT guy. Everybody turned into
a public health agent. People were horrified and started asking where I come from, if I'm sick or have allergies and blablabla. It was morbidly hilarious how sudden the mood shifted after I
sneezed." Ah, Persona non grata. A travelers curse. Anyhow, back to the music. What we find most interesting about you is isolation.
You were born into a time and place when there was an abundance of traditional music that you could experience first hand. But at the same time you experienced popular music almost laboratory-like as just this phenomenon on the radio or on records. How did this influence your musical development? "I didn't knew that the song Nothing to lose by KISS was about anal sex, and I was under the impression that The Melvins were millionaires. You know, the whole scene-aspect to it was completely lost on me. The only glimpse into this world was provided by the few pieces of artwork or band pics featured on records. In short any cultural subtext was lost on me and I related popular music into my personal experience with the world. Also, English is not my first language, so neither did I understood the lyrics. I experienced these records simply as absolute music that are not particularly about anything. Later on, I noticed - wow these lyrics to this song I like are horrendous, or hey this is funny. But stuff like that was never a deal breaker. Because even now it is easy to just tune-out the lyrics and to be ignorant among the depths of the internet. So, the very romantic idea of absolute music and music as individual expression always appealed to me. Kind of the way I think it still should be from an artistic standpoint." Interestingly enough we became aware of your music on the radio-show Aural Bazaar. I guess this romantic sentiment resonated with us too. Can you give us a little teaser for the upcoming album? "The album will be a sequel to our debut record. We keep and embellish what worked turn up the exotica-factor. On the first record most allusions to the genre where purely conceptional or something aching to an insight joke. But the upcoming album will scream Martin Denny." During the South East Asian tour you premiered two video projects - are there any plans to release them in the future? "Yes, we will release them after the second studio album to bridge the gap to the third studio record." So it is going to be like Triptych Terror Oriente 2? "Yeah, in a way - it has been the tour that keeps on giving." The resurrection of the weird exotica will be a marriage of opposites. Imaginary traditional music in balance with the best of Western experimental genres. Sonic brilliance, or devious marketing strategy?? It's up to you to decide.
Thank you for joining us!
The "Chi-Chi: A History"-add as it was printed in multiple underground music magazines in 2018
do you like making love at midnight and cutting through all the red tape? Then you'll like the Chi-Chi. Like Piña colada, Chi-Chi is a creamy, sweet drink that makes you think of real or imaginary holidays. However, in this tropical cocktail, the characteristic taste of rum is exchanged with vodka. By using vodka as the basic spirit, there is more room for other ingredients such as spices and nuts. Discover the taste of an unjustly forgotten cocktail from the 1950s, which dominated the Tiki bars for several decades, and experience a piece of history that reflects the rise and fall of exotica music. This pineapple and coconut delight, relatively unknown since the death of Exotica, made a small comeback when it was introduced as the Hawaiians' favorite drink in an episode of South Park in 2012. But what exactly does the name mean? Is it the name of an ancient kingdom of Hawaiians? A fearsome jungle predator? Well, as the band Home Grown famously declared: "Man, she had the biggest Chi Chis I've ever seen". However you want to flavor your drink, shake the ingredients vigorously to create a frothy, creamy cocktail. Ideal for settling down and celebrating a highly romantic depiction of faraway island kingdoms with Anatomy of the Heads.
Cream of coconut.................1/2 oz
Pineapple juice...................1/2 cup
Cloves (grounded)...............1/4 tsp.
Macadamia (grounded)......1/4 tsp.
*Serve with whipped cream topping (optional)
1. Pour all ingredients into a Shaker.
2. Shake until smooth.
3. Pour into a chilled glass
4. Garnish with pineapple
Haunted Age Magazine #3
Welcome to this month's featured interview of Haunted Age Magazine #3. The magazine for the monsters of the Anthropocene. My name is Eric Pounds and today we have the honor to play 20 question with the guys from Anatomy of the Heads and talk about music, women, and the future.
EP: In true Haunted Age fashion we would like to start this interview with a question that sparks much debate in the Haunted Age community. Who has the better rack Charlotte Flair or Billie Eilish?
VG: I have to google them both. I have no idea who that is.
JH: Billie Eilish for sure.
VG: Oh, you know them.
JH: Yeah, dude. I have Netflix.
JR: Let me see them tatas.
VG: Ok, so this is Charlotte Flair.
JR: Looking good. But that's not the one you picked?
JH: Nah, dude I don’t like her Face, she has way too much chin.
JR: But it’s about the boobs.
VG: Yeah, face got nothing to do with it.
JH: You can’t have Boobs without a face. Also, she looks like has the blue vain going.
VG: Spoken like a true gentleman.
JR: I can see the chin and vain thing, but speaking in terms of boobage, they look firm and strong.
VG: Ok, now the other one, what was her name again?
EP: Billie Eilish, she is a singer.
JH: Believe you me, she's got it going on.
VG: I see what you mean. She has the size advantage.
JR: Yeah, but proportionally speaking they seem to big for her small frame. She looks a bit lopsided.
JH: The hell you talk about proportions?
JR: You literally just now brought in boob with faces. Hence, proportions.
EP: So what’s the verdict?
VG: With the power invested to me by the Singapore Airlines Kris frequent flyer program I cast my vote for Charlotte Flair. Her awesome boobs are fit to lead the people.
JR: Same here, size is not everything. You need some balance. Plus, I think Billie Eilish looks like she has very large nipples. You know the type that cover the whole breast.
VG: Yeah, but it's not the nipple it's called areola.
JH: What's called areola?
JR: The dark space around the nipple.
JH: The more you know.
EP: So, do you stay with Billie Eilish?
JH: Yup, she is my girl - I stand by that.
EP: All right, that settles it. Let’s move on. You guys have been notoriously hard to get a grip on musically. So, describe yourselves and what you do music wise!
VG: Attention shoppers, Hyperbeast Records presents the most inspirational island prog band in the world. Anatomy of the Heads. Featuring the very best in good wholesome family entertainment. With such righteous jams like Island Gigantism and other modern classics. Our music is not available in stores, so order now!
JH: I’d say we try to solve a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma that is inside a goat on a farm run by lesbians.
EP: Lipstick or dyke?
JH: Clearly lipstick.
JR: Think of it like something out of Dracula. We are three deformed hunchbacks living in Gothic castles and try to resurrect the dead. While pitchfork wielding peasants storm the courtyard on a full moon night. In retaliation, we set their thatched-roof huts on fire.
EP: Who exactly are the peasants?
VR: The guy that takes phone calls way to loudly in restaurants or other public areas.
EP: What’s the best rumor about the band that you’ve ever heard?
JH: That we are from America, Germany or Israel because no ones knows about Kiribati.
JR: Blasphemy! We are Kiribati's number one band!
VG: That one or all of us are romantically involved with a woman named Nora Baker who stalked REM in the 80es. According to some internet rumor she extracts money from us to sue Michael Stipe for their alleged lovechild.
EP: What? Explain.
JR: As far as we can figure that out, it has something to do with the guy who masters our albums in Hawaii. He was involved in some sort of major music industry hubbub way back when, before settling down in Hawaii.
EP: How do you mean?
VG: Well, the only thing that I can think of that would make sense of it is that he could potentially be or has been connected to a woman from that crowd. We use his services, he gets cash, gives it to the woman, so she can have a lawsuit.
JH: The story dies for me with the money part. What money? Do we make money?
VR: We have no idea. Maybe ask the REM fans about that one.
EP: Name two albums everyone should own?
VG: Dr. John - In the Right Place, Steely Dan - The Royal Scam
JH: Death From Above - You're a Woman, I'm a Machine, Queens of the Stoned Age - Songs for the Deaf
JR: Captain Beefheart & Frank Zappa - Bongo Furry, Terry Riley - A Rainbow in Curved Air
EP: There is a notable difference between An Adoration in Prayer and Ritual and Triptych Terror Oriente. What happened and how did people like it?
VG: The Triptych terror Oriente albums were recorded live and it was an experiment that just came up spontaneously. We got the chance to play at some art festivals and took it. When it comes to reception of the album, I think the Triptych terror Oriente albums are more linear and less jarring to listen to, which is why “more” people liked it. Then again its noise so it's not that many people. Financially speaking the records where a success. Not a ton of money, but we made more than we spend on making them. So everything worked out.
EP: Let’s go more into detail. Triptych terror Oriente is made up of three albums - any favorites?
VG: Oh yeah, Exorcisme Langsung Di Dataran Minahasa is the noise album I always wanted to make. Its has that very dry, bassy sound that conjures up visions of ancient machinery in a black and white world and combined with the jungle aesthetic it creates the perfect movie. MAXIMUM:PLEASURE is cool and let's call it an artistic success, but I don’t listen to it that often.
JH: For me its Copper Clad Coinage, sometimes I fell like it is a little too long, but I really like how it turned out. It's dungeon synth from the swamps. I love it.
VG: Btw about dungeon synth, dude, check out Thusar - Journes to Jotunheim. I always forget to tell you.
JH: I will. Anyway, Copper Clad Coinage is in my opinion the best of them.
JR: I stick with the debut album. The concept was fun and all, but I am missing the guitars and drums.
EP: How would you kill a man?
JH: I guess hire a guy, who hires a guy in a different jurisdiction, who travels to the guy I want dead and then abducts him after work. Force a bottle of Jack Daniel's down his throat and stage a car accident.
VG: Yeah, that's the only direction to go under normal circumstances. Otherwise, just rise to power and have other people do the dirty work for you.
JR: I don’t know guys. I’d like to propose something with fire ants.
VG: I love it. Maybe add to the Jack Daniels’s with honey mustard sauce and let the animal kingdom go to work.
JH: Isn’t that basically what some people used to do. Like there is one torture method with logs, honey and poop.
JR: Oh, I know what you mean - boating.
EP: I think it is called scaphism and if I remember right it's just a legend.
VG: Perfect, we invoke mythical death upon some guy. Scaphism is our go-to method. Officially endorsed by us.
EP: But seriously, there was a lot of noise coming from you recently. I liked the debut, the noise stuff is a bit too anti-music for me.
VG: Yeah, we never bought into the anti-music thing. We enjoy noise just like a Frank Sinatra song or any other music. There is nothing anti-music about it. The focus on deconstruction and subversion of expectations is just something that is hyped up by people who went to a liberal arts college.
JH: Noise compositions have movements, with changing instrumentation and textures just like in contemporary classical music.
JR: The anti-music thing is French bullshit.
VG: Of course you need an ear for it. Understanding and valuing noise can be challenging. Its nothing you can dance or sing to. Its more introspective. Curl up with a book and some headphones and have your brain blown out by a noise record. It's like being submerged underwater and I feel refreshed and surprisingly calm or save listening to it.
JH: Its like being back in the womb.
JR: I like to add further that all of us are older than 13 and ate our fiber. So why would we want to listen to something that is going to hurt ourselves. You know what I mean - conceptually.
EP: I do.
VG: In the words of Chris Janson: "We are into them good vibes."
JH: Chris Jahnson BWaHaHaHaHa
JR: Our Pat Boone factor just increased massively.
VG: Regardless of that, just give noise music another shot. You’ll like it.
EP: That's interesting. To be honest I listened to your new records in the car. And I associated nothing but abrasiveness with most of the material.
JH: No wonder you didn’t like it.
VG: Take headphones, a book and a lazy afternoon. You can’t go wrong.
EP: I will. What are the plans for 2021?
JH: Expect to hear a lot from us in 2021.
JR: We are going to do a second studio album. It is almost done, but its very hush hush.
VG: Also we have two video projects left from the Triptych Terror Oriente tour. So we are going to release them as EPs. That is going to be the rhythm for now, we will use EPs, singles and the like to fill the time between the studio albums.
JH: The EPs will be different from the studio albums and contain shorter experiments. Solo work or whatever comes out way that is good enough to release, but is too short and different to be turned into a whole album.
EP: I have a question about that. Why not cut all these mini projects into an album?
JR: We are Rush-fans.
JH: Yeah, that is just not doable. We like to think of our stuff as concept albums and aim for some kind of coherency. Without lyrics this is of course highly conceptional. But yeah we have to fell that an album tells a story.
VG: Yeah, we tried cutting the live albums together into one, but the vibes were just too different.
JR: The vibes, man….the vibes.
JH: Yeah don’t be jiving, daddy-o.
JR: It’s like there's a planet of love waiting in the electrified cosmos in superposition of possibilities, man. So, how should you navigate this unlimited planet, dude? It can be like so totally difficult to know where to begin. Although you may not realize it, you are holistic. You can no longer afford to live with turbulence. Only a wanderer of the infinite may reveal this fusion of growth. You may be ruled by selfishness without realizing it. Do not let it disrupt the knowledge of your mission.
JR: It’s all about Consciousness, man. It’s the driver of transformation and consists of four-dimensional superstructures that generate psionic wave oscillations of quantum energy. An energy that could be described as the maturing of the non-local, do you know what I am saying?
VG: Namaste, turbulence is the antithesis of inspiration. So no worries there will be guitars, intricate instrumentation and bird calls aplenty on the next studio record. It won’t sound exactly the same of course, but it will keep what made the first one great and elaborate on it.
EP: Well that's good to hear. What’s the best advice your dad ever gave you?
VG: Live your life in a way that keeps lawyers and bureaucrats away from you.
JR: Never trust a woman with bruises on her knees.
JH: I grew up without a father.
VG: Dude, you should live your life in a way that keeps lawyers and bureaucrats away from you.
JR: So you are his father now?
VG: Yes, my boy. You don’t need you to call me dad if you don’t want to, but I demand obedience or it is five across the eyes!
EP: We are getting close to the end of the year, what are your best records for 2020.
VG: I had this amazing where-the-hell-do-I’ve-been-for-the-last-century-moment, when I was checking out Van Halen, DLR and Boz Scaggs records. It's all awesome and I listen to them quite a bit. Skyscraper and Middle Man are two records I played on loop this year.
JR: Yeah, but that's not 2020 - that is you being an ignoramus.
VG: Nah, that's me being a teenage sad boi. I always knew Van Halen, Hot for Teacher and all, but I never listened to a whole record. I dismissed most of the 80es mainstream heavy metal stuff as being too happy. But now, having ate my fiber and stayed in school, I love that stuff. As for 2020 I’ll go with Cirith Ungol - Forever Black, Abhomine - Proselyte Parasite Plague and Ak’chamel, the Giver of Illness - The Totemist.
JR: For me it's the new Deerhoof and Boris. I have been following both bands a long time, so it has been a pretty good year for me.
JH: I go with Paysage d’Hiver and Jaga Jazzist.
EP: Any disappointments?
VG: Oh yeah, there is a new Zombi record, but was mediocre. That was a disappointment, because we realy love Escape Velocity.
EP: One last question, is anyone of you simping on Onlyfans?
JH: Nah, dude. Why in the world would you pay for something like that? I mean really, have you ever been on the internet? It’s 60% porn and most of it is free.
JR: Exit the cave and actually talk to a member of the opposite sex.
VG: I am married, so I am not even going to dignify that with an answer. But as we are not making money, expect us to become DIY-folk trio singing socially aware songs about the coming Onlyfans-based economy in a college dorm room near you.
You heard it here folks, enlightened boomerism is alive and well in Kiribati. So check out, Anatomy of the Heads collection of live records named Triptych Terror Oriente or their 2017 debut An Adoration in Prayer and Ritual and look forward to 2021 for all things Anatomy of the Heads.
You’d thought you could get away with it, didn’t you?
But we know...naughty boy!
For your reading pleasure we will present to you a letter that was published by the Dutch version of Penthouse Magazine in 2002. The story was published anonymously, but it is signed 'MvG' and features a pineapple - so you just know it's him. We even called up Penthuise and got permission to post whole page scans of the letter. It is important to point out the letter was originally published to accentuate some spicy pictures of a foxy model. Which means that the story in the letter is not about the lady in the picture, although we would wish it for him. Further, the letter unfortunately does not extend into the juicy pics - bummer. Nonetheless, a big thank-you and much love to everybody involved in shaming our band mate for his obsession with heaving bosoms. Don't forget Fabio hates you.
Without further ado, enjoy!
Dear Penthuis Forum,
I’d never thought something like this would happen to me, I experienced an event of sexual perfection and just have to brag about it publically. So, I have been lusting after a certain woman for years. I see her every time I go to this crappy little market at the end of the month when money is short. Day in day out she sits on a cheap little plastic chair selling fried fish in a clothing market. And yes, hers is the only stand that sells food there - who does that? And honestly she must be annoying everybody with the smell, but then again... she is gorgeous. She can do whatever she wants. I secretly asked the other merchants about her. Each one told me the same: everyday she sits there, elegantly, in a tight-fitting dress that doesn't show much skin, but does a good job showing off her tight little body. Her hair is covered up too. The only thing you can see are two made up eyes with mascara, eye shadow, lashes - the works. And despite being in front of a cauldron of hot oil and fish all day the smell of jasmine envelops her. You can even smell it when you walk close by her stand.
Everyone can tell that she is more than meets the eye. Her perfectly manicured hands are as out of place as the rest of her stand and on top of that she seems to be the only one having fun in this crammed rundown place. While other merchants get beat down by the boredom and heat, she is always playfully bopping her cooking utensils to last years pop hits coming from an old radio that is quietly playing the background. An air of aloofness surrounds her. It is like nothing concerns her, not the little radio that is stuck between two channels and plays lots and lots of static, not the desperate salesman trying to make a sale and not even the petty thieves that wait for a lapse of attention to relief a tired merchant of some bothersome goods. She and her little stand are an island upon themselves. I always knew that I would regret not talking to her. But, until last week I didn't even had the balls to buy some fish from her yet. But money was short again and I thought - what the hell? I got nothing to lose. Set up for failure but hoping for more, I approached her stand and ordered some fish. She gave me the food but literally nothing else - no smile, no nothing. Begrudged I sat down and ate my food. I wasn’t able to enjoy it at all. I waited till business was slow to return my plate, the radio played a song called Soak Up The Sun. I made eye contact, grinned like a horse and jokingly said “Do you want to soak up some sun, too?” Her eyes, softened up, and I was sure she was throwing a smile at me under her scarf. It was like something out a fantasy. We made chit-chat for quite a while as no new customers came to her stand. We talked and suddenly she touched my hand and said “Let’s go to the beach.” Instantly my cock tented in my trunks. She closed up her stand, I took her on the back of my moped, and we headed towards the beach. She held on to me while I embarrassingly tried to hide my erection and leaned in her touch.
I knew that I've hit the jackpot when she took off her scarf and dress right then and there in the parking lot. It turned out that her parents made her dress like that while working the stand. And just like that she stood in front of me in panty-like bikini bottoms and a sleeveless next to nothing blouse. She had pitch black hair, a gorgeous smile, and I could see her nipples forming into hard little pebbles. Again the moment was right out of a fantasy. I followed her dutifully to the beach. I didn’t swim but rather spend most of the time admiring her gracefully playing in the waves. I was so hard I could barely stand it. She perfectly knew what was on my mind and played it up big time. She let the waves take away her flimsy blouse and flashed bits and pieces of her breasts. It drove me crazy and my cock stood blazingly erect, throbbing with every beat of my heart. I grabbed her, and she let me know she loved it. She jolted and squealed with pleasure in my touch and immediately began rubbing herself against my blatant bulge. I embraced her touch and kissed her deeply to sample her unique taste. Even now the taste of jasmine still lingered on her. She puckered her lips and began to greedily suck on my tongue while I held her perfectly heart shaped ass in my hands.
As soon as we left the water and found a more comfortable place, she tossed away her blouse and slid down her panties to reveal a perfectly kept bush in form of a racing stripe. I could think of nothing but how much I wanted to feel my cook drain into the plush warmth. From the beginning she was exceedingly responsive and told me how she wanted it and showed no inhibition to the pleasure she was giving or receiving. Rather, she wanted this moment to special for the both of us. She reached into my trunks and planted her hands on my mushroom head and started to entice me by stimulating the sensitive flesh. Her gaze locked onto mine as she stroked, massaged and grazed my crown with her manicured nails, while pre-cum spread across her fingers like nail polish. Finally, she asked me if I wanted to be inside her while biting her lower lip. I speechlessly nodded and pushed her playfully into a large beach chair. She receded on the edge of the bank with her legs with her legs spread as if to invite me deep into her. I grabbed her hips and spread her legs to give me the leverage I required to pound her like a jackhammer. Her head turned side to side, she cried out in momentary pleasure and soon giggled “slowly but surly.” Her wish was my command, and she blushed in a thousand shades of red. From this point on she was like putty in my hands, being overcome and worn down by waves of orgasms. Overcome by a passionate exhaustion, she communicated with the desperate language of her toned body that she wanted it faster and harder again. I affirmatively grunted as our vocabulary shrank with every passing second. During the act my eyes closed and thoughts of our possible future invaded my mind. But I forced myself to stay in the present as it was so much better than everything I ever experienced. I desperately hoped that we could be suspended in time and that this moment could last forever. When I opened my eyes I saw her returning my gaze with an ecstasy drunk face. The look of her hazy eyes hit me like thunder and made me not want to miss another moment of her pleasure. Her limp arms lazily worked up their way to her breasts. She kept a hold of them and squeezed them playfully. I reached down with my upper body to suck on them while I kept pounding away at her. My body strained and I felt it harder to breath in this position. But these breasts needed to be sucked. Her limber body flexed and a groan of animalistic delight announced one last orgasm. I proudly grinned as she announced her ecstasy. She was so wet that I could drown in her juices and I longed to decorate her body with stringy beads of cum. A moment later, while she was in the pleasant state of orgasmic afterglow she held me closely and I came deeply inside her.
Immediately a great exhaustion came over me. I fell into her arms and our naked and sweaty bodies seemingly fused into one. With every heavy breath our connection become more real. I practically inhaled her jasmine scent and reflected on how I would always remember this moment even if it would be just a temporary affair. She stroked my hair, and I was unable and quite frankly too unwilling to move. With the sun standing high over the ocean the world went
dark for me and I peacefully fell asleep. I cannot clearly remember what or if I dreamed at all. But I do recall an impression of her smiling and giggling as she walked off into the nearby trees. I woke up in the sand with the sun sitting low above a purple sky. Overcome by her bittersweet departure, I lazily enjoyed the moment as this is the way these things usually end up or, that is what I heard from others. After a while I decided that it is time to head home, but to realized to my horror that I was unable to move. I panicked and desperately shouted out to attract attention, but no sound was able to leave my throat. The world stopped making sense. Even though I felt no pain at all, I could observe my body mysteriously withering away. Within in what must have been an hour I noticed spots and wrinkles on my skin where they were never any. The decomposition accelerated rapidly, and within the next hour a swarm of insects descended onto me. Due to the absence of pain or other discomforts, my initial panic turned into a morbid fascination. My conciseness seemed to exist outside but bound to my former body. Day turned into night and everything would stay this way forever as some creatures must have probably eaten my eyeballs as the decomposing continued. Now, I am dead and realize my mistake. There was a reason the other merchants ignored her. She stole my seed and with it my life force. I don’t know where I am now or what constitutes the basis of my current residual existence. My sense of time has all but vanished since I cannot see, hear, feel, taste, or smell anything. But my impression is that years have passed by now and that my dead body has turned into pineapple tree. I cannot comprehend exactly how I know this, I just know it as truth in the darkness that surrounds me.
- MvG, via email
The original letter has been printed to accentuate photos of Janice Bendiz shot by Ignacio Gutiérrez.
All photos along with the printed version of the letter belong to Penthuis Magazine and have been reproduced with explicit written permission of Penthuis Magazine and Ignacio Gutiérrez.
Compiled and authored by Dr. Yaron Schwebitz-Yamamoto
Professor for Musicology, Laurentia University
The word kraton (Javanese for 'royal palace, castle, seat of gods') is an elusive musical concept or idea that is currently popularized by a Kribatian Band named Anatomy of the Heads. A band that fuses jazz, progressive rock and contemporary classical music into an eclectic music language that, according to the band itself is not novel, but rather highly traditional and supose to invoke a transcendental or religious experience of uncertain theological content. The music itself ambitious in scope, and uses large rock ensembles to create a dense, disciplined and ultimately majestic music. However, often dismissed as posturing of the Band. The term however has a long and interesting history that is presented here for the first time in a comprehensive form. In the presented analysis the term kraton, specifically understood as referring to music, can be traced back to early human history according to various sources. Of course it is of note that the elusive nature of the this musical idea makes serious investigations almost impossible unless one is willing to look beyond the narrow scope provided by musicology. As a result the presented results need to be taken with a grain of salt as they refer to mythological accounts of history that have been pieced together from varous sources. The complied history often negates mainstream sciences, commen sense as well as good taste. The second part of this paper is dedicated to the a detailed musical analysis compiled from testimonies of musically educated people who have experienced the original kraton music. The second section makes also reference to the studio album work Anatomy of the Heads, as people can listen to it right now; while the 'original' Kraton music is harder to come by. As a final side note, the term kraton is of course not to be confused with the similar term kratom, which describes a popular a tropical tree (Mitragyna speciosa) native to Southeast Asia, whose leaves contain compounds that can have psychotropic (or mind-altering) effects. Although the similarity is likely not to be coincidental as the celestial and the psychedelic often go hand in hand.
1. The History of Kraton
This is a chronology of events related to kraton as a musical phenomenon. Each entry in this timeline is based on one or more written sources which 1) explicitly establish the connection between the word and the subject of music and 2) form a coherent form of narrative when linked to other sources. Due to the revisionist and supernatural nature of this narrative, it is important to note that neither the author nor related editors of this article consider the events described to be true. They are presented here solely for the purpose of musicological research.
c. 200. 000 BCE: The heavenly melodies (kraton) appear and are destroyed by a grand coalition of the last tribes of technobarbarians - last remnants of the once great industrial kingdom of homo erectus, which ruled Pangaea in the Mesozoic era; the Panthalassasians - a seafaring pirate people who made a name for themselves as merchants, explorers and warriors; and the reptoids of Mu, who emerged as the dominant race on Earth after the battle. They accelerated culture, science and sorcery far beyond anything that existed at that time. The initial appearance of the heavenly melodies is still shrouded in mystery.
c. 100.000 BCE: The reptoid empire of Mu reaches peaks and successfully enslaves the proto-human kingdoms of Pangea. Arrogant in the belief that they are the true masters of the world, the Muvians spend more and more time on esoteric pursuits dedicated to many gods and vulgar pleasures to escape the ennui that set in during their centuries-long life of comfort and convenience.
c. 18.000 BCE: A great cataclysmic event probably destroys the old world and ushers in the Hyperborean age.
c. 20.000 BCE: According to campfire stories told by mythical creatures in the Mahābhārata, which inspire the Southeast Asian shadow puppet theatre, the remaining proto-human slave tribes, who still remembered the heavenly melodies, were sacrificed and buried in the middle of the ancient temple complex of Gunung Padang. The next morning, an upside down version of the temple complex, complete with the now covered, windowless basalt cities below, hovered menacingly over the megalithic site and was said to be made of "a strange matter such as has never been seen before", only to disappear at sunset when it was said to "ascend into heaven and all creation was spread out beneath it."
700 CE: Experiencing a dark night of the soul after the death of his father, the Sufi Saint Abu Hasim (or Jami, Abd-Allah ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah) encounters ‘Iblis’ rising from the depths of the Red Sea in the form of a tiger, an elephant, and an asmak 'uwranus (أسماك أورانوس) - probably an ancestor of the modern deep-water stargazer (Kathetostoma nigrofasciatum) - with a strange head not common to any of the animals, with protruding eyes, horns that are said to be "melting without end", the absence of a nose and beetle-like jaws. Abu hasim called upon the powers of Allah, but was instead supported by "heavenly melodies" that "swung in a great wind". The onslaught of "fiery tongues" or "winds" drove the monster back into the blackness of the Red Sea.
1476 CE: Haunted by a vision of the battle between Abu Hashim and the sea monster, Prince Cakrabuana of the sultanate of Cirebon orders his vassals to construct a brass head according to his designs. This included a mechanized set of crude lungs to reproduce the heavenly melodies. He ordered the head to be mounted on a war elephant and intended to use it as an ultimate weapon in the expected battle against an encroaching army of the Ming dynasty in today's Jakarta. Prince Cakrabuana never saw his invention in action during his lifetime.
1650 CE: The brass head is used by the Cirebon Sultanat in the naval war of Pagarage against the neighboring Banten sultanate. The head was mounted on a ship and is said to have driven the crew and all who heard its sounds into a murderous rampage that brought down friend and foe indiscriminately and contributed to the catastrophic defeat of Cirebon and the public decapitation of their leader by the army of the Bantanian sultanate. There was never an invasion by the Ming Dynasty, and the whereabouts of the head remained unknown for centuries.
1933 CE: Dutch East India folk tales about a "vain product of ancient hatred buried in the Java Sea" led a secret reconnaissance team of the Royal Dutch East India Army to the remains of the brass head. The Dutch army searched for all sorts of magical weapons to protect the sovereignty of the Dutch state during the rising tensions in Europe. The head was uncovered after a 60-day search and secretly brought to Amsterdam.
1941 CE: The Netherlands are occupied by the Nazis. The brass head is recovered by scientists in the rubble of Rotterdam and brought to Adolf Hitler. He orders that the brass head be reverse engineered as part of the Wunderwaffen program in order to create a revolutionary super weapon. Germany's top scientists collaborate with a secret cabal of Muvian reptoid sorcerers to construct a variety of directed energy weapons from the ancient mechanism. Among them the infamous orbital Sonnengewehr.
1944 CE: In a desperate attempt to win the war, Hitler, armed with the Lance of Longinus, activates the brass head to protect the Berlin bunker from Soviet troops. The distorted melodies of the mechanism over-stimulate the fight or flight reaction of all listeners and create "men who could not be de-brutalized". Hitler and 150,000 Soviet and German troops are slain in a massacre of blind berserk rage. Hitler's body and the brass head are recovered by the Soviet military. The Kremlin orders that all reports of this event be destroyed and the event is subsequently erased from all modern history books.
1945 CE: The Soviets continued the Nazi experiments with the brass head under the clear goal of creating a global cataclysmic event that would destroy the old world and usher in a new utopian era of socialist equality and brotherhood among all humanity under Soviet leadership. The mechanism is recast in Siberian gold from the notorious gulag Kolyma. The coarse lung mechanism is replaced by an early electronic sound synthesis model. In the search for global destruction, the golden head is mounted on an orbital flight mechanism that would later be used for the Sputnik 1 satellite.
1947 CE: The Soviet space program tries to bring the golden Head into orbit from a secret launch station in the Siberian tundra, but the flight and activism mechanisms prove unreliable and the golden Head crashed somewhere in Central Asia. Some sources speculate that the Soviet Union's clandestine recovery attempts escalated the 1947 Indo-Pakistani war. In addition, there are prominent reports from across Asia of a coinciding UFO sighting that are said to have caused unrest in at least three countries (Pakistan, Mongolia and Laos). However, the golden head was recovered and returned to Moscow.
1953 CE: The golden head continues to malfunction in tests. It emits nothing but hot air and screams of extreme rage and anger. A dying Stalin suspects Muvian sorcery behind the failed experiments and reluctantly orders the golden head to be recast and fused with Hitler's bones in a necromantic ritual that saw nine million Russians sacrificed as so called ‘class traitors’ in order to gain control of the golden head.
1961 CE: After perfecting the flight mechanism with the launch of Sputnik 1, the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin is ordered to bring the golden head into orbit. The mission is successful, but control is quickly lost. Because the head spontaneously activates itself and uses its powerful flight system to fly out of orbit and escape detection. Nikita Khrushchev speculates that the head has gained some kind of sinister consciousness and abandons the project. He orders all scientists who have worked on the head to be shot.
1972 CE: N.A.S.A. discovers the presumed remains of the upside down temple complex of Gunung Padang on the lunar surface in a region that later came to be known as the Sea of Tranquility. But what they really found was the golden head enthroned on top of a dead volcano. It is brought back to Earth for testing.
1991 CE: American filmmaker and former Pentagon insider David Blair directs a film entitled Wax or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees, which contains numerous thinly veiled references to the kraton phenomenon and its deep history. The film is released on the Internet and David Blair disappears from public view.
2000 CE: Several reports in early Internet chat-rooms speak of clear memories of an incident in which a politician wearing a golden mask came to power in Eritrea and united the Middle East thanks to his ruthlessness and futuristic weapons. According to these ‘memories’, after a ten-year reign of terror in the countries of the Middle East, a Golden Horde set out on the road to world domination and unleashed an ultimate weapon that was thought to destroy "all of Europe by sound waves". On New Year's Eve 1999, however, elite troops of the army raged, killing many of their own citizens and friendly military personnel. Later conspiracy theories assume that the space-time continuum returned to zero when the millennium time paradox occurred. The events in the Middle East no longer exist, history is erased, and ripple effects caused by the disruption of the space-time continuum cause some people to remember this alternative timeline. The phenomenon is called the Mandela Effect, because in the alternative timeline the South African politician Nelson Mandela died in his prison cell in the 1980s.
2014 CE: The megalithic complex of Gunung Padang on Java is rediscovered and excavated by the Indonesian government. The excavation coincides with reports of mass hallucinations in Southeast Asia and Oceania and the rare conjunction of Venus and Jupiter, which has been described as "fire in the night sky". The strange content of these hallucinations is strikingly similar between people and describes of a kind of eschatological prophecy that summarizes earlier events related to the kraton phenomena. The prophecy reads as follows: On a day more gloomy than night, a monster (or devil) will rise from the waters (some people have described it as a sea or ocean). In response there will be the terrible descent of a crystal mountain. Its shape is in constant flux, carrying the reflections of many fire-eyes in the endless refractions of its complex geometry. It will be as if all the bells will suddenly go into furious frenzy to make a great roar against Satan. Even the wandering spirits and lost souls under his control - those without master, faith or country - will burst into a persistent, whimpering cry. Vibrations will imitate solid walls, and the earth will turn into his vast prison. Satan will continue to rage with eternal hatred and strike relentlessly at the walls of his dungeon. Without drums or music, long pale spider creatures will descend from the crystalline mountain to take his soul, while all struggles, hatred and hope are defeated. And we will rejoice when the spider beings spin us deep into their webs while Satan weeps in impotent despotic fear. Sudden drums from the crystalline mountain will announce the end of the spectacle. Satan's wretched soul is brought to the center of the mountain where the song of bowed skulls in front of an empty throne birth the world in oceans of blood.
2016 CE: Research into these hallucinations is carried out by an international team of scientists. Among the people interviewed, several people who are familiar with musicology and classical music theory are identified and asked to describe the intangible and vague musical motive of the hallucinations. All respondents were able to vividly recall the heavenly melodies and were equipped with the necessary musical vocabulary to describe what they heard. They describe it as transcendental maximalism or as a rich musical tapestry full of symbolic meaning. The report explains this in more detail: "The listener does not hear the sophisticated symbolic structures that underlie this music. It is beautiful, it moves the heart, and it creates feelings that can be described as orgasmic, frightening but calming, or simply religious. But the music itself does not convey any theological information that must have been incorporated into its composition. Only by studying its ‘grammar’ is one really able to theorize what has gone into the music and what is happening in it". The report closes with the following words: "It is a kind of music that aims at a deeper communion with the divine. A kind of music that expresses the existence of absolute truths in faith. It evokes and is on the one hand very earthy and earthly, as it is played on raw ancient instruments (e.g. drums, bow skulls, bells), but it also evokes something heavenly in a strange way."
2017 CE: A music group from Kiribati called Anatomy of the Heads calls their eclectic music kraton.
2. Musical Analysis and Conclusion
Now that we know the rich and baffling history of the genre, a discussion of the actual music is necessary to understand what kraton is as a genre. The compositions, if you can call them that, consist of large, fused sections of unequal length and duration, in which there is a great variety of structural and compositional techniques. From a macrostructural point of view, a piece can often be divided into three parts, which consist of three different subsections: (a a a b) (a a a a a1 b) (c d b1). This structure is in the form of a song in a popular style. Each subsection in it is heard twice, either sequentially or alternately, and often all end on the same note. The popular familiarity of this simple structure is hidden by all sorts of tricks, which will be discussed afterwards. Remarkably, even for occasional listeners, notice the dramatic change between sophisticated maximalist sections of dense composition and technically less complex and formal sections such as long instrumental solos, which are reminiscent of sequences from medieval Plainchants. Symbolically, these sequences can be understood as a musical addition to a sermon, like an alleluia or a hymn response to the incarnation of a world. The perceived impressions of the structures have a certain degree of accessibility, namely through the use of a familiar rhythmic form.
The strong sense of rhythm connects these phantasmagoric compositions with each other, although individual rhythmic patterns end abruptly or immediately before the point at which the beginning of the rhythmic cycles would reconnect, creating a feeling for the incomplete. This is often done to draw attention to another instrument that picks up or modulates the overall pulse of the composition. In addition, rhythmic patterns are often long or complex and are perceived as an improvised solo. For example, some parts of the album Anatomy of the Heads. Worship in prayer and ritual requires ninety repetitions of the upper rhythm and eighty repetitions of the lower rhythm to find the specific combination of departure. This music device is known from medieval music and is called isor rhythm, in which metrically defined phrases and patterns of stressed and unstressed beats are avoided. Rather, these isorhythmic patterns behave like wheels in wheels, destroying every sense of the meter and thus creating a piece of music that has the feeling of being out of time. The perceived pulse of the piece thus exceeds a simple idea of time. Beyond the use of the iso rhythm, both the upper and lower voices use very structured Hindu rhythms with considerable theological consequences. Because these rhythms match those found on a table of one hundred and twenty Dekî-tâlas codified in the thirteenth century. The underlying symbolic formula contains two equivalent notes (e.g. dotted eighth notes) that represent the entire human rhythmic creation and the subsequent development and shifting through reduction, withdrawal and return of the point. Old rhythmic patterns are linked and permuted in a kind of U-shaped pattern, in which the music does not jump from one extreme to the other, but has to change through movement through the center.
Despite the clear composition order and the pulse in the music, it often sounds chaotic due to harmonic overload. This is a music device in which chords are either stacked on top of each other or completed by the final note of the melodic material. While the chords used lie harmoniously on the dominant (the fifth of the scale), the abundance of melodic levels can be built up to all notes of the corresponding major or minor scale, as well as their darker modes (especially Aeolian, Phrygian or Locrian). For traditional western sensitivity to music, the resulting chord, which consists of all the notes of a scale, is hardly standard and questions the entire concept of harmony and dissonance. However, the final impression of a coherent harmony also arises for listeners who have no avant-garde sensitivity through the interplay of harmony and time. A deep (but not always conscious) feeling of harmonic unity is created by the basic chord preceding its harmonic additions. Another thing has to be said about the way in which harmonic addition interacts with time and melody. The exact order in which the additions occur is in itself a melody that interacts with the piece's already rich tapestry and creates something that can be described as micro-sensations, similar to a main theme, but of shorter duration and more subtle. These can be viewed as comments or footnotes that contrast or improve individual melodies. Regarding these micro-sensations, the heavy use of the tritone or ascending / descending chromatic runs is to fill, move or connect one tune with another, with fifths being the most common form in which harmonic overload is built up. In less harmoniously complex passages, an effect similar to the harmonic overload is created by chord movements in which a chord on the dominant is repeatedly transposed both up and down. The result is a kaleidoscopic treatment of a single chord that produces an effect like that of a stained glass window or a light reflected from the water. However, the previously discussed U-shape of permutation is not applied to instruments that carry a melody and appears to be reserved as a rhythmic device. As a result, melodies are used less fluently and more spontaneously, explosively and wildly.
Finally, the content of kraton melodies have compared with the melodic lines of ornate choirs such as those of J. S. Bach through his expressive and strict arabesques, which overload the often solemn, long and slow chord progression. However, an obvious difference is the abundance of melodies that lie on top of each other. This transcends any consideration to the skills of an individual actor. Often, the first three melodic phrases (about nine measures) are playful and contain about fifty-three notes: Three added notes in the first phrase, fifteen added notes in the second phrase, and thirty-five added notes in the third phrase, musical repetition of the second phrase. While decorating a melody, which has been transferred to a new mode, is the most common way to modulate an established melody. At least three other compositional techniques are used to alter melodic lines. added-value rhythms to transform original rhythms with the occasional addition of extra time, typically by means of an additional half-value. Second, melodic lines are changed by eliminating melodic notes. While this technique is much more difficult to identify, especially in such an ornate environment, it seems to be used at least frequently in easily observable places. Finally, through the interplay of the micro-sensation discussed earlier, which adds a perfect interval or tritone to the melody line to highlight the note after the added sensation. Ultimately, the relationship between harmony and melody suggests a fairly appropriate correspondence with the other musical layers of the compositions: Heavenly salvation contradicts the standards imposed by the world, and yet the community of faithful voices, despite this gift, sings praises of harmony to the heavenly in frequent harmonic clashes .
About the Author
Dr. Yaron Schwebitz-Yamamoto is a Dutch ethnomusicologist, music collector, curator and sound engineer. Schwebitz-Yamamoto's passion for the music of India and Central Asia led him to study, travel, and record various music, theater, and dance traditions throughout India from the late 1950s to the early 2000s. His collection includes original audio and video recordings, commercial records, books, magazine editions, photographs and slides. The Department of Musicology at the University of Laurentia houses most of this collection.
This article was first published as: “We Are All Musicologists Now”; or, the End of Ethnomusicology in Journal of Musicology (2020) 37 (1): 1-32.
This abridged version has been adapted for Gateway Magazine by Weena Mercator
Anatomy of the Heads are a work of fiction, so any resemblance to actual events, locale, or persons, living or dead, is merely