pete dello writes :

This is  WGOMW's follow up CD to tao te ching and  quite definitely a

step forward - into the dark of course! Actually it seems that they have got

religion for this must be one the most ambitious recording projects of all

time, setting the great sacred text ,the Bhagavad Gita, to music.

The instrumentation is much as before, with Count Whiteberg's vocals

accompanied Philip Marinetti's Laboratory sound moduals,

the heavy drums of Ronnie Gurdjieff,

Pablo Ouspenski's bass guitar, and the ubiquitous Baron White on guitar (among other stringed instruments).

 

1. Despondency - This is a beautifully expressive and melancholic

instrumental, with tentative harmonies and little wisps of anxiously

interweaving melodic fragments giving a contrapuntal effect, sensitively

portraying Arjuna's sad and bewildered mind as he faces his relatives and

erstwhile friends on the field of battle.

2. Sacred Shores -  The plaintive musical atmosphere is continued with the

addition of a rhythm section as Arjuna gives vocal expression to his doubts

and fears.  The Count's vocals are unusual, a sort of Bryan Ferry with

hiccoughs.

3. Another Body - begins with a stax-like r&b accompaniment. Krsna tells

Arjuna in short to stop bellyaching - everything's gonna be all right - what

does it matter anyway who dies, we all pass from body to body anyway. This

was followed by what I assume was prenatal music. This left me a little

unconvinced as I clutched my little pink body even more tightly.

4. Sankhya - This begins with ...well the impression I got was of Bela

Lugosi (who I happen to know is a close friend of and mentor to the

Count)... where was I?...oh, yes, Bela Lugosi (or was it Christopher Lee?)

practising on the nose flute accompanied by Dr Calligari on organ. It

continues the dying and being born again in a new body theme and it doesn't

spare the agony. I hadn't realized until that point that I had a couple of

loose teeth, and the damp course was a bit defective in my studio. By the

time this track had ended I was feeling a tad too near the end of my

allotted span! I don't want another body, I'm quite satisfied with this

one!!!

5. Way of Action - Reminds one of Japanese ceremonial music, as Arjuna is

exhorted to face his embodiment and act in accordance with divine law. I'm

surprised he is still there, I would have skidaddled long ago!

6. Kharma My favorite - A really nice trance track with quite an ear

catching accompaniment, gently lifting our minds from  the horrors of  

transmigration. Based on Chapter three of the Geeta we find Arjuna still

unconvinced. Krsna decides to come at it from a different angle. 'Pull yer

sox up lad, gird tha' loins...no use worryin', you've gotta get up n' at

'em' - if you'll excuse a colloquial interpretation of the lyric. Some nice

chanting here from the Count rising slowly up the tetrachord. I liked this

track. Its actually quite commercial ...perhaps the first single, eh, Count?

7. The Way of Wisdom - A meditative solo piano piece reflecting on Jnana

Yoga. Somehow I expected Tom Waits voice to come in at some point. Very

atmospheric.

8. Standing Still - A rather startling vocal here from the Count, as Krsna,

in his deep  country and western voice (with a twist of Mongolian overtone

chanting), tells his devotee to sharpen his inner perception. Fades on a

piano solo which didn't remind me of Jerry Lee Lewis.

9. Samnyasa - Based on the fifth discourse on renunciation, the music sounds

like little drops of water dropping in various sized petrol drums. It tells

us that it is the inner quality of our actions that really free us from

desire. By the end of the track I had lost all desire.

10. The Nine Gated City - segues itself from track 9 where vocal and a

rather messy synth joins the petrol drums. The count uses an ocassional  

'telephone receiver' voice which give a interesting inflection upon his

normally sepulchral tones as he warbles on the theme of the soul at rest in

the body which apparently has nine openings or gates, although these are not

gone into in great detail...thankfully!.

11. Self Control - I didn't like the opening with its rather crappy roll on

the drum machine, but it got better as the vocals entered, but, try as I

might, I couldn't get rid myself of the image of Rick's Bar in Casablanca.

12 Dhyana - This remarkable track scared the hell out of my dog. It sounds

like the agony and the ecstasy of the soul as it breathes its last breath in

the body's death throes. But the strange thing is, it leaves you feeling

peaceful - a kind of carthasis. A quite remarkable track, listen, you won't

forget it in a hurry.

OK ... my overall impression. Sorry, Count but I  enjoyed it. Yes I think it

came off. Trying something ambitious like this was as I said a bit of a leap

in the dark but it was thoughtfully approached  and though  is my third

listening it wont be the last...I'll be at it again just as soon as my CD

player comes back from repair. My favourite tracks were 1,2,6 and 12.

Pete


 


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