Feb 25 2014

Sing Omega

Published by at 5:44 am under Book Reviews,Crowley,Current 93,David Tibet,Musick

Today, I received something momentous and beautiful in the mail.

Goodies in the mail today!

Goodies in the mail today!

Sing Omega collects the lyrics (and more, and less) of David Tibet, from 1983-2013, in reverse chronological order, beginning with I Am the Last of All Field that Fell, and ending with Nature Unveiled  and LAShTAL.

This is a beautiful book.

Have I read all 550 pages in the 2.5 hours I’ve been home?  Of course not. But I know most of the book’s contents anyway, having been a fan of David’s band, Current 93, for quite some time now.

Around the time I discovered Coil (late 90s), I became aware of Current 93. Like Coil, the only way to find Current 93 (and Death In June, and Nurse With Wound, and sundry other bands that would eventually -for a while- fall under the “World Serpent” umbrella), was if you were at the right music store, at the right time, and happened to have a good chunk of money in your pocket. This made taking a chance on a band that you instinctually knew you would fall in love with at some point in your life, difficult, to say the least.

Occasionally, I’d run into a used CD.  My first actual Current 93 purchase was the EP, Crowleymass, which is, perhaps, not the best place to start. Later, a gifted copy of In Menstrual Night enlightened me a bit further as to what might be happening, even though there was still no reliable (and affordable) source for any other albums.

I still only knew Current 93’s reputation more than I knew the music.

It took moving to California, and the Bay Area for me to finally be able to investigate Current 93 (and the other bands I mentioned above) in a manner that allowed me to fall in love with each of them, as I had always known I would. The album that changed everything for me was All The Pretty Little Horses – simultaneously chilling, hypnotic, and possessing an unearthly aura of mystery; so beautiful, in fact, that I couldn’t stop listening to it.

I finally “got it.”

I’ve since amassed a rather extensive C93 library.

David Tibet’s songs – both musically and lyrically – are like nothing else you’ll ever hear. At times maddening, jaw-dropping, and transcendent, his songs are visionary, and completely support the term “apocalyptic folk” (in every sense of the term) that has been used to describe them. To listen to them is to immerse yourself in Christian esotericism the likes of which hasn’t surfaced in centuries – yet there is still a sense of play, innocence, and wonder. It is these wild juxtapositions (not to mention my genuine love of the music) that keeps me coming back for more.

Is that someone's signature on the Customs Declaration?

Is that someone’s signature on the Customs Declaration?

I’d always hoped that one day, I could pore over Tibet’s collected writings.

That day finally arrived.

The book does not disappoint.

If Thee Psychick Bible by Genesis P-Orridge is a textbook in magick and a manual of techniques, Sing Omega is pure gnostic revelation. If Tibet’s lyrics enrapture the listeners of his albums, the written versions are no less powerful. “Did I just hear that?!” can now not only be double-checked, but reviewed in context with other lines in each song, as well as with Tibet’s full body of work. Connections that may have eluded a listener, are now available for the reader to find.

Long Satan and Babylon went walking...

Long Satan and Babylon are walking…

The book itself is a hardcover, clothbound, with a ribbon bookmark sewn in. The book is 560 pages, contains not only lyrics for Current 93, but also previously unpublished poems, and lyrics written for other artists. The endpapers are facsimiles of Tibet’s handwritten lyrics for “The Invisible Church” from I Am the Last of All Field that Fell, and “I Looked to the Southside of the Door” from Birth Canal Blues.

As if all of this wasn’t full of enough awesome, there’s also an afterword by Thomas Ligotti.

The first edition is a print run of 930 copies, un-numbered.

You can get your copy for £41, directly from David Tibet.

I have no idea how long these will last.  I worried (unnecessarily, it turns out) that the week I had to wait between the day they went on sale, and the day I had the spare cash to order a copy would be my undoing. I don’t know if future editions are planned or not. If this plays out like Tibet’s other publishing endeavors, I suspect once these are gone, they’ll start commanding high prices on the secondary market.

This is a book to be enjoyed, picked up, perused, delved into, and referred back to, and savored. I had long hoped that a similar book would be published with Jhonn Balance’s writings – alas, it was not to be (yet?).

I am beyond grateful that Sing Omega has incarnated.

Given the prolific nature of Tibet’s musical output, I eagerly await the second volume.

I would also be remiss if I did not mention Current 93’s latest album, I Am the Last of All Field that Fell. This album continues the maturing of Tibet’s music that began with Black Ships Ate the Sky. It features a number of guest artists, including Norbert Kox, Nick Cave, and John Zorn(!) – this is beyond apocalyptic folk and neo-folk, and moves into an even more complex style of composition that only continues to innovate and challenge – and I mean that in the best way. The Black Ship sails onward to new but no less haunting waters. Even if you’re not familiar with Current 93, this is one well worth your time and money.

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3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Sing Omega”

  1. Disappointedon 19 Apr 2014 at 1:45 pm

    To quote Johnny Rotten “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated ”

    I’m thoroughly disappointed with the special edition of this book, after eight years waiting for it to be released and various promises of a publication date. Not to mention the £350. It’s probably the worst presented C93 production visually and value for money that David has released since the inception of C93. Which surprises me as this is the whole of David’s work up to the present date. Those of you that feel you have missed out because the special edition is long sold out. Thank your Soft Black Stars you missed it.

    Mine will be up for sale as soon as i have time to get round to it. And before i get slagged off, that was not my original intention, I have enough clutter and don’t have the space for somethig that I hold no emotional Value to

  2. Kev.on 19 Apr 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Just curious… what did the special edition entail? I remember it being announced years ago, and didn’t have the £350 to even consider it (especially with the $ to £ conversion). It’s been so long that I can’t recall the goodies that were supposed to come with it.

    Eight years is a long time to wait. I can understand that disappointment would probably be inevitable.

    I was, as David would say, “Overmoon” that there was a second chance to order the book (£41, I can do). I’m happy with what I got for that price.

    For me, it’s a chance to sit with the lyrics, to peruse, cross-reference, and immerse myself in them in my head. I love Current 93, and the music, but for me, the book offers a chance to approach the body of work from a different angle.

    It’s a shame that the deluxe edition was a disappointment. For £350, I’d expect something pretty special.

  3. Disappointedon 26 Apr 2014 at 6:18 pm

    It doesn’t appear to be that much different. The book is slightly bigger than the other edition. The end papers are different and comes with a CD and two prints and this piece of art work.

    Comparing it to the standard of Davids other works this package is below par. And considering the 8 year wait I would he thought that he would have pushed the boat out a bit, in appreciation of the support.

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