preamble, the questions are great, but for someone who’s where we are now, theres a terrible trap that i’ll waffle like yoda, saying that its always both things and none, small and large, simultaneously wrong and right… etc ad infinitum, just now walking back from the local shop on a uselessly beautiful afternoon, i recalled the ‘neglect not the dawn meditation’ stanzas in book of lies, and realised what a help against those chinese finger traps of mind, that work is, so resolved: to make a start, and not look back. therefore our answers must contain some measure of untruth, untranslateable existences etc. we will embrace this and see what comes forth…..- Matthew Bower
Your music is like a fresh breeze of a universe, where listener can dissolve nearly fully, fly over and above, and then go back clean and continue his living process in a new level.
thank you, whether a breeze or a cosmic howling, the dissolving, the dissolution, the destruction of self, is the first principle of our sound. It also allows for us to be ridden and channel music from outside ourselves.
What is the meaning of noise music? What kind of energy does it produces? What do you take from it? What do you express with it?
there is no meaning inherent in noise per se. for us it is a carrier frequency. we improvise musically in much the same way as eyes closed automatic drawing. We express the elements, spirits, chaotic behaviour, fata morganas from the never blank canvas of walls of noise.
Do you know where your inspiration comes from? We would like to try to understand it, if it’s possible to explain.
I know and can never know. It comes from the south and north. It is part of a dark worship and nurturing, a tribe of outside, an alien strain from sirius, running like a thread of dark beauty through the boring hideous tapestry of genetic driven world history. all our forebears; baudelaire, blake etc etc were tainted. Therefore, Set is the name of our god, Sirius the star of origin. We are the opposers of the sun god and white bread family. We will ‘lose’, but every empire crumbles anyway, and whilst we lose we will blaze with beauty, glory, dance and music, that to the ‘other side’ just appears a mad incoherent howling and convulsions.
You are a painter as well. How did you make your pictures, and what we can see there? What kind of manifestation is it? How do you paint? In what state of mind?
I generally work when inspired, intoxicated or otherwise ‘in the zone’, and I do so with eyes closed, letting the line go where it will. Ideally I then will not look at the drawing until I am ready to work in a more, general, workmanlike fashion. I then subject the raw mass of line to my subjective gaze, and bring out, embellish the forms I see (the manifestation). We can see the usual accumulation of totems and fetiches, but discovered, retreived, not dictated by what I what I wish to depict.
What do you think about situation with occult knowledge in a present time in England\Europe\world?
All civilisation is tending toward degradation, therefore this is also present in occult knowledge/practice (“chaos magic” would be an example) but simultaneously, good work, as ever, is being carried out. One aspect of becoming enlightened is to be able discern that what is proclaimed, or proclaims itself, to be “occult” is most certainly not, it just misappropriates the trappings, and truly occult, enlightened work is often being carried out ‘hidden in plain sight’. example: tawdry dance music, such as britney spears often has more kundalini in it, than an over reverential black metal ‘L.H.P.’ album.
Tell us please, how everything starts in your life. Where and when did you found your real self, what helps you to inspire thousands of people all over the world?
The thing that helps me, is me, feeds me my instinctual pre rational loves and hates, is the darker strain that is a fine web from sirius. autobiography: maybe one childhood witchiness each. 80’s recollect in englands reverse answer. much later! zen reading inspired by salingers glass family chronicles. dh suzuki, rh blyth on haiku, bliss. during the 2000’s sympathetically vibrated by the misanthropy of black metal, I was inspired by the sheer beautiful seeming insanity of the suicide of Jon Nodveidt of Dissection, apparently comitted as a concious act of crossing over, death seen as the ‘orgasm of life’, as I read a little I learned of his occult affliation, and that he had slain himself before an open copy of his order’s grimoire ‘liber azerate’. This led to my own joining of a fraternity, becoming aware of the western tradition and concepts of crossing the abyss and magickal rebirth, et al, which led me to ‘Nightside of Eden’ by Kenneth Grant, which was my true beginning.
(And as a lover of weird fiction and cosmic terror in literature already, a continuance, but through the mirror, a great work of art was not just that, but a grimoire, a grammar, a way) Probably within a year of that reading, I had found Samantha, and of course, lent her the book. During her time with it, she was visited by strange dream visions, of an intensity which she had not experienced since early youth and childhood, and of a nature which I found powerful, yet was unable to understand, until we were much further down our way. Aquiring the rest of the three trilogies (and the necessary supporting texts) and working through, and finally being shown our way, that the exit door leads in, all follow.
Tell us about Broken Flag times. How did it started, what happened, why did you stopped doing this?
To fully tell of the broken flag 80’s would be a major chapter in my autobiography, a true englands hidden reverse, and I guess my fear in trying to remember too fully, is that it would fail, and just produce a degraded reflection. on a mundane level, my ‘industrial romantic’ project ‘pure’ played concerts alongside ramleh. when pure dissolved in 1984 i continued, first with hugh harwood from Ake, then alone, as Total.
Gary Mundy of Ramleh/Broken flag, liked Total enough to issue the ‘hard and low’ cassette, and commissioned the long piece for his compilation lp ‘never say when’ (itself musically based on a ‘hard and low’ track) that track was titled with a quote from Georges Battailles ‘story of the eye’, namely “Face to face in the howling night” and with its themes of sex and sin and whirlwind, also referenced in its ‘lyrics’ the lost souls in the whirlwind, Francesca di Rimini section of Dante’s Inferno. The tornado/storm equalled loss of self, the elemental passions, and the ouroboros nature of the spiral (time/existence is circular, but also a spiral, so you encounter the same periodic urges, episodes, but as you travel each time round you are little nearer the source you circle (I could add here that we are stalking our source, our goal))
What do you think about fate and destiny? Are they real? Are they not? Something else? What are your personal feelings based on experience? And what about free will? Why we met certain persons in the certain time on the crossroads of our lives? (Question from our readers)
its a delicate web, and the diametrically opposed freewill/fate scenario we have erected via first religion/theology and then added to via philosophy, gets us further than ever from apprehending, what was always intended to be hidden.
we drift, victims of our ‘free will’, and occasionally, ‘chance’ is in fact destiny and everything conspires to bring us to that person at that moment.
Could the human being evolve in such manner to obtain the complete information about the past (or about anything that this human being would wish to know)? (Question from our readers)
This is one of those twisty, mind overcoming mind, thoughts. It often seems the answer is on the tip of our tongues, the dream that is on the point of revealing everything, then you awake. in david foster wallaces estimable story ‘good old neon’ (in the collection “oblivion”) that complete information all at once inside out, everything existing as a concurrent now, is held out as what we enter upon dying. So: Yes! every human being completes that evolution when they die….. maybe
What is Metaphysics for you? What is your relationships with this area? Could you name some examples from literature, art or cinema (maybe music too) that are most Metaphysical and/or spiritual for you? (Question from our readers)
metaphysics: a great physics? science of all? probably for us mysticism, magick…
a web, a world map (that is in turn a world) a model temple within the temple (and within that model?) linking festat, old london and thibet, with our yorkshire moors and groves, where once viking sacrifice hung from the same trees we caress.
wuthering heights by emily bronte. the film possession (isabel adjani/sam neill)
these two are the eternal love story, to which I may add tristan and isolde by Richard Wagner (which i first saw with a minimal spiral stage setting) as it encapsulates the spiralling loop/leitmotifs, and further all of Wagners operas (and them as the ultimate blurring of holy/profane and performances of them as acts of worship/enactment) Bayreuth a temple, and itself an instrument, the sounding box for his music.
The death of Maria Malibran by werner schroeter. the paintings of Leonora carrington, dorothea tanning, ithell colquhoun, steffi grant.
investigations of a dog by franz kafka (for the description of ‘music’ as a dance, a geometrical ordering of objects (also similarly frater achad liber31, the improvised rite in prison) and again kafka with the leopards in the temple fable, because every rite was improvised once (and maybe that improvisation was the only true enactment of the rite, all the subsequent versions are ‘going through the motions’) but then any dead religion may be just dreaming, awaiting rebirth. Kenneth Angers films as lessons in devotions, bobby beausoleils soundtrack for lucifer. the elementals in lucifer, the presenting…
the shadow of the golden fire by David Murgatroyd, who shewed us what is and was hidden, our dragon lands, the omniprent wyvern, (and a skein of star links therefore from yorkshire to bhutan to yuggoth to the stars; and therefore, another book, cosmic meditation by Michael Bertiaux, where we awake in a room, just like our room, at the far end of the universe.
When, having become free, thou findest thyself in prison, yet knowest it not.
When, Thy prison of freedom appeareth unto thee as the open road.
When, thou who hast longed for the company of Saints findest thyself among the scum of the earth, yet knowing it not thinkest thyself in the company of all the Buddhas, and taketh thy place as the least of these in silence.
When, having sought and found gestures of Magick Power, thou findest thyself among the lewd and unclean, yet knowing it not perceive in their common actions the supreme and perfect Art of Magick.
When, having sought for Words of Power, thou findest thyself in tune with the words of low men, knowing not that they speak ought but the Highest Truth.
When, having given all, thou art offered the cup of charity, yet thinking it to be the most abominable mixture of poison, thou drinkest it, thankfully.
When, having rushed forward, thou findest thyself whirled backwards, yet knowing it not, thinkest thou art still.
Then, it may be, thou hast comprehended wherein Sorrow is Joy, and Change is Stability, and Selflessness is Self.
(Frater Achad, Liber 31)
Leopards break into the temple and drink all the sacrificial vessels dry; it keeps happening; in the end, it can be calculated in advance and is incorporated into the ritual.
Have you got any hyperdimensional experience? What do you think about mind-travelling through time-space warps? (Question from our readers)
probably just dreaming is ‘mind-travelling through time-space warps’. after all, what date and time is it in your dream? where are you in your dream? in your head or ‘in’ 1872? or 2059? in your room in a city?
but where does that city precisely end? everything bleeds into everything else. Whenever you try and ‘think’ of a 4th dimension you’re further away, than those instinctual moments where you feel the boundaries have become fluid, porous. (the onset of ‘madness’ as hyperdimensional experience, yet not always, we set up rules, names to protect us from what we would worship/enshrine.) Many magical practitioners have emphasised ‘good manners’ ‘impeccability’, this we have found is so true, by the time you try and evaluate its gone. like the young witch in Machens ‘the white people’ we must circle three times with lowered eyes, No peeping!
“Strange Keys to Untune Gods’ Firmament” is probably one of your most striking works. It is like great body of storming sky, somewhere here is a shipwreck, somewhere a ghost city created by wind and twilight, and somewhere there is a destroying thunder and lighting. While the names of the tracks implicate “gaining the lost knowledge in forbidden regions” (City of Dis, Enochian Tapestries, Gateway To Blasphemous Light), the title of the album itself is the most explicit about the _method_ of finding such knowledge. It provokes thoughts about changing the decorations, about changing the position of assemblage point (according to Castaneda). Is it what you do with your art, like direct impact?
Samantha introduce me to ‘assemblage points’ (and a deep reading of Castenada, some of which is beautiful and terrifying and weird/familiar and deeply un-familiar) originally the conception of the strange keys was the idea of a system or order that had the key to its undoing within its structure, a cancer cell or an infernal design in the architecture of a cathedral, or a bible that is also our book.
Your brilliant latest LP, “The Spirals of Great Harm” is said to be inspired by Dante. However, you also have called it “hymns to lost Albions”, and imagery of William Blake was used in promotion of your recent Moscow gig (Not to mention, that our first personal association with the phrase “spirals of great harm” is this Blake’s picture (which, incredibly, is upmentioned “Francesca di Rimini section of Dante’s Inferno.” – MAGREB). Are you familiar to the “Jerusalem: The Giant Albion” and other “Prophet Books” from William Blake? What do you think about this artist and his art?
Yes! WB (along with EB) is our English precursor and saint (tho I must add that he is a liitle too needful of a ‘christ’, and too critical of the Druids ‘evil’ (he has large problem with human sacrifice) in ‘Jerusalem the Emanation of Great Albion’. Interestingly, my true introduction to these quintessentially (for me) english artists was via the French writer Georges Battaile, author of a comparative history of ‘Evil’ or transgression (‘Literature and Evil’ in which, as well as chapters on the usual suspects (Genet, DeSade etc) included beautiful essays on WB and Emily Bronte
Stephen Thrower of Coil once was a member of the Skullflower. How close you were in general to this 80s-early 90s “England’s Hidden Reverse” movement? In David Keenan’s book your name is mentioned exactly one time, like “and there was Matthew Bower with his band Skullflower”, and that’s all. But as we read and look at your blog, it seems, that the very essence of that “hidden movement” is in your life and thoughts.
exactly, thank you. history, a time and a place, when put in a museum, dies. but we are living, day by day, in the realm i dreamed of from childhood til 1985.
What really exciting and/or unusual had happened to you recently, in real life or in a dream?
we went to russia and got lost and found in playing. the great bear reversed itself in the heavens.