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Highbury Working a Beat Seance


Currently unavailable.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (20 Nov. 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Re
  • ASIN: B00005205C
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,723,332 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A. C. Walter on 15 May 2001
Format: Audio CD
"The Highbury Working: A Beat Seance" is the third of Alan Moore's mystical performance poetry monologues to be released on CD with a supporting soundscape designed by the talented Tim Perkins--this being perhaps the most musically opulent album so far. In the first of these monologues, "The Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels", Moore investigated London as a phenomenological entity, a "city of the mind". For the present work he narrows his scope, focusing his unique method on the Highbury neighborhood, north of central London.

As psycho-spiritual detective, Moore's end goal is to perform "voodoo CPR" on Highbury. He begins by creating a working profile of his subject. He probes at Highbury from every possible angle: mystical, forensic, historical, and archeological. Moore, we quickly learn, is a specialist:

"This is where we come in. Think of us as Rosicrucian heating engineers. We check for pressure in the song lines, lag etheric channels, and rewire the glamour. Cowboy occultism. Cash-in-hand feng shui. First you diagnose the area in question, read the street plans' accidental creases, and decode the orbit maps left there by coffee cups. Then go to work. Slap up a wall of ectoplasm, standard Moon-and-Serpent contract, 'tables titled while you wait,' Manifestations-R-Us. Money for old brimstone. Obviously, this was all before we'd seen the patient. Highbury wasn't at Death's door; it was halfway down Death's passage hanging up it's coat, an anecdote freeze-up."

Moore's Dragnet-style intro, suffused with dazzling mystical camp, sets the stage for the seance, throwing wide the doors of perception and possibility. Just the speculations, Ma'am.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The occult detective, still hard at work. 15 May 2001
By A. C. Walter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
"The Highbury Working: A Beat Seance" is the third of Alan Moore's mystical performance poetry monologues to be released on CD with a supporting soundscape designed by the talented Tim Perkins--this being perhaps the most musically opulent album so far. In the first of these monologues, "The Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels," Moore investigated London as a phenomenological entity, a "city of the mind." For the present work he narrows his scope, focusing his unique method on the Highbury neighborhood, north of central London.

As psycho-spiritual detective, Moore's end goal is to perform "voodoo CPR" on Highbury. He begins by creating a working profile of his subject. He probes at Highbury from every possible angle: mystical, forensic, historical, and archeological. Moore, we quickly learn, is a specialist:

"This is where we come in. Think of us as Rosicrucian heating engineers. We check for pressure in the song lines, lag etheric channels, and rewire the glamour. Cowboy occultism. Cash-in-hand feng shui. First you diagnose the area in question, read the street plans' accidental creases, and decode the orbit maps left there by coffee cups. Then go to work. Slap up a wall of ectoplasm, standard Moon-and-Serpent contract, 'tables titled while you wait,' Manifestations-R-Us. Money for old brimstone. Obviously, this was all before we'd seen the patient. Highbury wasn't at Death's door; it was halfway down Death's passage hanging up it's coat, an anecdote freeze-up."

Moore's Dragnet-style intro, suffused with dazzling mystical camp, sets the stage for the seance, throwing wide the doors of perception and possibility. Just the speculations, Ma'am. We then move on to meet a long procession of characters from Highbury's past, characters both real and imagined: Epona the underworld horse goddess and her ghostly mount, a crowd of performing freaks and magicians, a team of football players high on "courage pills," Aleister Crowley, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and the musician Joe Meek.

We follow Moore's associations and are encouraged to make our own. Highbury may not be our place; it may be completely unknown to us. But this is no real obstacle. We can simply abstract the place, associate it with a setting we know, people it with the characters of our imaginations. Here subjective inference and free association are everything.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
More mindblow from Moore 8 April 2001
By Jason Louv - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Few people are doing as much to expand the borders of traditional literature and performance as Alan Moore. Known mainly for his high-profile work in American comics in the eightiesÑwhen, along with a few other key creators, he turned comic books into a serious literary medium and more or less invented the graphic novel. The mainstream media gave him an unprecedented amount of attention for creating masterworks with searing attention to character and ultradense, Pynchonesque plots like Watchmen and The Killing Joke. MooreÑa six foot, huge-bearded EnglishmanÑcontinued churning out increasingly bizarre work for independent publishers, before declaring to the world in 1994 that he had decided to devote his life to the study of magic and the occult. The Highbury WorkingÑthe third spoken word album Moore has recorded with his collective of like-minded musicians, The Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of MarvelsÑis an attempt to conjure, through occult and artistic methods, the spirit of a geographical location. Conceived as a live performance piece, The Highbury Working was performed on Nov. 20th, 1997 at LondonÕs infamous Highbury Garage concert venue (and then rearranged for the studio and only recently released on CD), with Moore reading an hour-long prose poem written specifically for the evening over music prerecorded by Tim Perkins. Over the course of the hour, Moore recounts the past of the Highbury region, charting events from the gangland murder of Jack the Hat McVitie to the crowds that lined up to see Chang and Eng, the first Siamese twins. He eventually pulls the threads of these stories together, forming a cohesive whole that he describes as The Angel Highbury, the incarnated spirit of Highbury itself. ItÕs not exactly Michael Bolton, but The Highbury Working has plenty of rewards to offer with every listening. Track it down and buy it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
fascinating but... 1 Feb. 2010
By K. S. Eggert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Fascinating and intense work, but recorded in such a way that the music drowns out the spoken word. Not that the music isn't interesting, but I needed to hear Mr. Moore better to fully appreciate the piece.
A rare find 15 Jun. 2014
By Alex Newbold - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've been looking for this rare album for years now. I'm glad that I finally stumbled across it, such an amazing experience.
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