Current 93 – Jesus As Black Moth (Castle) 2005


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People with good taste like Current 93. Hipsters love them, journalists love them, underground noise fans love them  blah blah blah. Me? I think they’re OK. I mean the guy can write a tune but it’s his bloody ghastly voice which has me holding off on labelling myself a fan. There is just something a bit to contrived, a bit too cabaret for want of a better word, about his spoken, theatrical delivery which can give me a dose of the shits. If I’m in the right mood Current 93 rocks my world, when not, I find the whole aural experience lame and pointless. A case in point is the track All the Pretty Horses. It’s a cracker of a tune and to hear Nick Cave and Shirley Collins sing on two versions contained in this compilation, I realise just what a good song writer David Tibet is. But after hearing Nick bust out the croon machine for his version I couldn’t help wonder how good the rest of the songs would be if it was Nick’s voice rather than Tibet’s. Tibet’s voice is a really limited vehicle and the reason why I decided to post on this record, an out of print compilation of all things, is because I doubt I’ll be lining up for any more records barring some of the very early records like Blood Dogs Rising and Nature Unveiled. This compilation goes back as far as 1990 and up to the mighty Black Ships Ate the Sky, the only other Current 93 record I own. In fact that record also proves my point about the limitations of  Tibet’s voice. Black Ships has numerous versions of Idumea, a lovely traditional hymn.  Baby Dee, Antony, Will Oldham, Marc Almond all provide versions of Idumea and oddly enough they are the best things on the record, each of them wedged between slices of Tibet’s dramatic monotone.

This compilation is labelled  the companion record to Nurse with Wound’s Livin’ Fear of James Last and there certainly seems ot be this connection between the two bands and it is also common for people to love both bands. Well I’m not  one of them. I like Current 93 but I fucking love Nurse with Wound. If you can track Jesus as a Black Moth down you would be wise to pick it up. It includes tracks from all of the important Current 93 releases which are either out of print of prohibitively expensive. As compilations go it is excellent and many of the  tracks, even with Tibet’s voice are absolute crackers. And lets face it, every music collection needs some avant garde, gothic, folk cabaret. Even yours.

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4 Responses to “Current 93 – Jesus As Black Moth (Castle) 2005”

  1. Wow, that’s why I’ve never picked-up any Current 93’s CD’s. I think people often overlook a singer’s lack of talent if he or she happens to be a great songwriter. I can’t do it with Tibet’s voice. Something about his voice and accent gives me visions of druids. Reminds me of early Genesis with Peter Gabriel dressed like a flower or what not.

  2. noisenoisenoise Says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one!

  3. you are not the only one… believe me 😉

  4. Oh, dear…

    I personally like David Tibet’s voice. At least, about 50% of the time. It is strangely engaging in its almost broken quality, like a repurposed toy instrument, but also versatile in that it is able to perfectly convey the necessary mood of a song. Which shows what he always was and still is, at heart: Not a musician, but a performance artist, a writer-director-actor in his own deranged touring production.

    Really, though, one could say the same of Steven Stapleton, William Bennett*, Genesis P-Orridge, any of them.

    *However, a classically trained guitarist…. Irony!

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