Compulsion | PO Box 19577 | Kilbarchan |Johnstone | PA10 2WX | Scotland | UK




Last Dominion Lost - Snowdrops From A Curate's Garden
Last Dominion Lost - Snowdrops From A Curate's Garden cover Last Dominion Lost feature a trio of Berlin resident Australians including Jon Evans, John Murphy and Julian Percy. The original formation of Last Dominion Lost, behind the 1992 recordings that surfaced on The Tyranny of Distance, featured ex-SPK members John Murphy and Dominic Guerin (as well as Jon Evans), while their 2014 studio album, Towers of Silence, included Murphy (along with Jon Evans and Julian Percy), with lyrics from Annie Stubbs who had also spent time in the SPK ranks. Recorded in Australia in the early nineties The Tyranny of Distance was mastered from the sole remaining cassette copy of home studio sessions when the original trio were recording under working names such as DOM and Merge. The appearance of The Tyranny of Distance was as unexpected as it was revealing; many observers regarded it as a missing piece in the history of SPK. Fast forward to 2008 and now living in Berlin, Murphy and Evans reconvened along with Julian Percy (Ratbag) to form the current formation of Last Dominion Lost with the addition of Ash Wednesday (Crashlands, Einstürzende Neubauten) resulting in the 2014 album Towers of Silence which took their improvised sessions of drums, electronics, guitars and spoken word into a studio setting. Towers of Silence was a more vocal based take on post industrial rhythms and atmospherics.

Many words have been written about how Last Dominion Lost continue the legacy of SPK, and in many ways Snowdrops From A Curate's Garden does and it does more so than their previous releases. SPK were of course named after a group of mental patients in West Germany and Snowdrops From A Curate's Garden looks to the early settlers to Australia, many of whom, as the press notes states, were "drawn from the classes of the poor, dispossessed and desperate" and subsequently as a result of the conditions they were subjected to found themselves confined to asylums. Like SPK who expressed the content of various psycho-pathological conditions in their earlier releases, Last Dominion Lost consider the circumstances and condition that impacted the early settlers "effectively made mental illness ... one of the colony's very first imports." Snowdrops From A Curate's Garden features a number of archival photographs of Australia's mental institutions along with a cover shot featuring an exercise session of patients at one of Australia's mental institutions.

None of the tracks on Snowdrops From A Curate's Garden feature on any of the two albums of Last Dominion Lost, but a couple of them have appeared on limited audience only CD and vinyl releases to accompany live festival performances. There is also a wonderful live video recording of 'Shell in the Chamber' recorded by Network Awesome at NK Berlin in 2012 available on youtube. Recorded live at the Kalyug Festival, Berlin in 2011 Snowdrops From A Curate's Garden, named after the pornographic writings of a novel from Aleister Crowley, shares the same palette of sounds that featured on Towers of Silence but here they are forged into a live setting providing a harsher more ritualised set of industrial noise and atmospherics.

Snowdrops From A Curate's Garden opens to the unmistakable thunder of John Murphy's drumming. Laced with guitar feedback and windswept electronics with the occasional burst of taped debris, together with hollered and spoken vocals the harsh dense onslaught of 'Shell in the Chamber' could to the uninitiated be easily mistaken for a prime slice of Japanoise. But the sound of Last Dominion Lost performed by these veterans of industrial music harks back to and has its roots in early post-industrial electronics.

The trio step down a gear or two for 'Junk DNA' with an amalgamation of drones and drums. Voices here are delivered either as a twisted voiceover - the only phrase I can make out is a reference to "modern science" - or as an assemblage of cries, moans and screams of the patients, against ritual like drum rolls. A disturbed presence hangs over the processed voices, just as they do on 'Wolfsquinte' too. The atmosphere of 'Wolfsquinte' is much more ominous reflecting the confined conditions of the patients where distorted electronics, processed effects and the disturbing fixture of shredded moaning voices are set against rattling chains and the clank of metal drums.

The first side closes on 'Speed Racer', an unyielding evocation of revved up electronics, sliced with shrill frequencies and the by now ever present mass of disturbed voices. Heavy and unrelenting, it's an inventive take on industrial noise, on an album that seeks beauty and transcendence from the depths of despair.

Opening the second side is 'Erbkrank' that translates as hereditary disease. It shares its title with a Nazi propaganda film designed to demonise mental patients using footage from German psychiatric hospitals. With atmospheric and droning electronics over pensive ritual drum rolls it is by far the most restrained offering on Snowdrops From A Curate's Garden. It's followed by 'Ritual in the Dark' which was of course one of Colin Wilson's Gerard Sorme novels about a serial killing outsider. And while that may account for the title the music goes elsewhere. Moody and atmospheric, the harsh electronic shudders, ritual wails and disturbed voices from disturbed minds are anchored around spartan hollow drum beats. Amidst the chaos there's a definite structure within its gruelling movements.

An overriding feeling of desolation and despondency hangs over the industrial noise atmospherics of 'Abjection'. Eschewing rhythms and percussive flourishes it opts for explosiveness from bleak churning shudders riddled with frequency input and occasional blasts of guitar noise. Rhythms return on the dark atmospherics of the final track 'Perdue'; another restrained offering of undulating drones with the clang of percussive elements in the form of hollow metal drums thuds.

The live performance captured on Snowdrops From A Curate's Garden predates the studio recording of Towers of Silence. Towers of Silence transformed the live improvisations of Last Dominion Lost into a more polished and layered offering, with a couple of tracks resembling KnifeLadder, a UK based industrial polyrhythmic trio featuring John Murphy alongside Hunter Barr and Andrew Trail. It was one of John Murphy's main musical concerns before visa issues prevented his return to the UK. While Snowdrops From A Curate's Garden shares a musical palette with Towers of Silence, if it resembles anything in the works of Last Dominion Lost it is in the experimental industrial atmospherics of 'The Will To Win' and 'Hell To Pay' found on the early recordings of The Tyranny of Distance. It's worth pointing out that Towers of Silence sought inspiration from Zoroastrian and Tibetan funeral traditions but it is Snowdrops From A Curate's Garden that provides a fitting tribute to John Murphy who sadly passed away in October 2015. In its own way it brings things full circle and back to John's love of ritual music wrapped up in post-industrial atmospherics.

Snowdrops From A Curate's Garden isn't an easy listen; it's dense and disturbing but its post-industrial ritualism is given a contemporary relevance in its performance with a mastering from James Plotkin. The technology and instruments may have changed but Snowdrops From A Curate's Garden features classic industrial sounds from these Antipodean veterans of industrial music. Snowdrops From A Curate's Garden is released by The Epicurean in a limited hand numbered vinyl edition of 253 copies. For more information go to The Epicurean

Last Dominion Lost - Excerpts from Snowdrops From A Curate's Garden, Video trailer by The Epicurean



Subscribe
Receive our monthly news digest mailouts

New Interview: Tunnels of ĀH

The former Head of David singer, Stephen ĀH Burroughs expands on the influence of Gnosticism, Buddhism and mystic Christianity on the stunning post-industrial albums Lost Corridors and Thus Avici.

New Interview: Danny Hyde

Danny Hyde looks back on working with Coil, remixing Nine Inch Nails and his subsequent work with Peter Christopherson, in addition to his projects Aural Rage and Electric Sewer Age.

New Interview: Hirsute Pursuit

Created by Harley Phoenix and his musical partner Bryin Dall, Hirsute Pursuit create Gay Sex Music that offers no apologies. We caught up with Harley Phoenix to discover more about this provocative outfit, behind the stunning albums That Hole Belongs To Me and Tighten That Muscle Ring, which featured contributions from Boyd Rice and Peter Christopherson.

NEW REVIEWS:
Last Dominion Lost - Snowdrops From A Curate's Garden
Drew McDowall - Collapse
Cultural Amnesia - Bad Meditation
Hijokaidan - Emergency Stairway To Heaven
Pefkin - Liminal Rites
Coil - Backwards
Rose McDowall - Cut With The Cake Knife
Leslie Winer / CM von Hausswolff - (1)
Thighpaulsandra - The Golden Communion
Sion Orgon - Recognition Journal
Sol - Where Suns Come To Die
Attrition - Millions of the Mouthless Dead
Khost - Corrosive Shroud
Othon - Cobra Coral
Devon Loch - Sleep Scale
Ela Orleans - Upper Hell
Tunnels of ĀH - Thus Avici
Psychic/PTV3 - Snakes
Konstruktivists - Destiny Drive
Skullflower - Draconis
Legendary Pink Dots - 10 To The Power of 9
English Heretic - The Underworld Service
Pefkin - Inner Circle Outer Circle
Khost - Copper Lock Hell
The Nothing Machine - NMTRv2
Northumbria & Famine - Blood Orchid
Human Greed - World Fair
Blood Bright Star - The Silver Head
Protection - The 10" EP
Last Dominion Lost - Towers of Silence
Krank/The Grimsel Path - Verdant Hum
Trepaneringsritualen - Perfection & Permanence
Othon - Pineal
Burial Hex - In Psychic Defense
Theme - No Emotions Catered For
Shift - Altamont Rising
André Foisy - The End of History
Coil/Nine Inch Nails - Recoiled
D.Å.R.F.D.H.S. - Det Stora Oväsendet
D.Å.R.F.D.H.S. - Det Stora Oväsendet (Remixes)
Brennendes Gehirn & Dorian Williamson - Rites of the Aethyr
Stefan Jaworzyn - EP1
Stefan Jaworzyn - EP2
Ela Orleans and Skitter - De Fléchettes
Psychic TV - Hacienda
Psychic TV - Thee Fabulous Feast Ov Flowering Light
Psychic TV - Live At Thee Marquee
Kentin Jivek & Miro Snejdr - Voir Dire
Brian Conniffe / Suzanne Walsh / Diarmuid Macdiarmada - Landslide
Quttinirpaaq - Let's Hang Out
zoviet*france: - The Tables Are Turning
Tunnels of ĀH - Lost Corridors
Paul Ferris - Witchfinder General OST
English Heretic - Anti-Heroes
Splintered - Turned Inside Out
Compound Eye - Journey FromAnywhere
Bjarni Gunnarsson - Processes & Potentials
Wicked King Wicker - Evolving
Nikolas Schreck - The Manson File
Factrix/Control Unit - Elegy For Rusted Souls
High Aura'd/Blood Bright Star
Skullflower/Mastery - Skullflower/Mastery
David E. Williams - Trust No Scaffold Built of This Bone
Bestial Mouths - Bestial Mouths
Dream Into Dust - So Beautiful And So Dangerous
Iron Fist Of The Sun - Who Will Help Me Wash My Right Hand
JFK - La Bas 1987-1992
The Bleeding Peasant Orchestra - Sanctuary and Truce
Death In June - The Snow Bunker Tapes
Ela Orleans - Tumult In Clouds
Mekon - Piece of Work
Psychic TV/PTV3 - Silver Sundown Machine
Ax - Metal Forest
Edward Ka-Spel - Tanith And The Lion Tree
English Heretic - Black Harvest
Radio Werewolf - The Vinyl Solution
Sickness Of Snakes - Nightmare Culture
Adam Ant is The BlueBlack Hussar In Marrying The Gunner's Daughter
Black Sun Roof - Feral
Andrew Poppy - Shiny Floor Shiny Ceiling
Sion Orgon - Into The Dark
BMX Bandits - BMX Bandits In Space
Boyd Rice/NON - Back To Mono
Peggy Sue Play the Songs of Scorpio Rising
Eugene S. Robinson & Philippe Petit - Last Of The Dead Hot Lovers
Electroscope - Diapause
Strings of Consciousness - From Beyond Love
Schuster - The Circle of Angst
O.O.O. - A Presence
Naevus - The Division of Labour
JK Flesh - Posthuman
Locrian & Mamiffer - Bless Them That Curse You
Lull & Beta Cloud & Andrew Liles - Circadian Rhythm Disturbance Reconfigured
Valley of Fear - Valley of Fear
ASVA & Philippe Petit - Empires Should Burn
Burial Hex - Book of Delusions
Sutcliffe Jugend - With Extreme Prejudice
Z'ev and Nick Parkin - The Ascending Scale
Carter Tutti Void - Transverse
Mark Stewart - The Politics of Envy
Psychic TV/PTV3 - Mother Sky Vs Alien Sky
Skullflower - Fucked On A Pile Of Corpses
Psychic TV - Themes box set

Book review: The Manson File

The Manson File cover Extensive review of Nikolas Schreck's The Manson File: Myth And Reality of An Outlaw Shaman, summing up 25 years research into the Charles Manson phenomenon. If you thought you knew the true story of the Manson murders or thought you knew Charles Manson, Nikolas Schreck will make you think again.

Copyright ©