LOVE Julian Cope..and that means virtually all his stuff, the pop, the utopian/dystopian, the folk, the Brain Donor'd metal via LAMF heavy meditations, and very much his instrumental ambient/kosmiche 'useful music' pieces that send you into theta space (or somewhere) but with a groove in their hearts. Even love ODIN the 72 minute vocal WAH mantra recorded in a cave. Sadly this companion piece....well, it's just so second rate for him, especially the first piece, which is much akin to static hiss. (this is sort of his metal-machine music). Piece 2 encroaches a little on the territory of his former instrumental berks werks...But this 'un..Well, for completists only..and I've just stopped being one.
I am a big fan of Julian Cope. I am a bigger fan of the man than of his music (if I am honest). I simply love the period in the 90s that included Peggy Suicide and Jehovahkill. I love those records more than almost any others. I love Cope's interests (passions) around history, and was never happier than when he was interviewed on Radio 4's PM as a bona fide expert on Neolithic Britain. I loved his lectures at the British Museum - surely the first time the BM had a lecturer in 6" platform boots and a yellow and blue painted face. I also love the fact that he keeps going, and is as passionate about music now as at any time in his life. I also love the fact that the rise of digital music has enabled him to keep creating material at a furious rate and releasing it. Cope is a national treasure, it's just that most of us don't realise.
As he has aged, his already catholic tastes have broadened. I wasn't much into his metal phase. But now he is publishing pretty much anything he has. Sometimes this works. Sometimes it doesn't.
This album is a game of two halves. The first half sounds like this: imagine you were fighting at Stalingrad, and are sheltering in the freezing cold inside a bombed out factory. The fighting around you has stopped and there is silence. BUT all you can hear is a huge space battle taking place over Moscow. Occasionally, a stone falls down and clatters through some pipework. But mostly you can hear the space battle from a thousand miles away. That's the first 34 minutes of this.
The second half is much more open, and ambient. It's washes of sound, church bells and the sort of thing you'd expect to find if they slowed down the theme tune to Antiques Roadshow by 800 times. It's much better than the first half. Much much better.
But, overall, this is basically disappointing. I love Cope. I am a huge fan. And I absolutely LOVE his Odin ([...] which is basically another album of ambient washes of noise. But this isn't for me. Fortunately, Amazon had a deal on and I paid 99p for it. Sad to say, it's not worth more. But you should buy it anyway, as Cope is fabulous. Long may he continue and long may he publish his notebooks. Because, let's be honest, that's what he's doing here with Woden.