Friday, January 23, 2015

the great annihilator

Swans went burning backwards through a cosmic gothic blood promise to create this insane unconscious true love annihilation.  After a decade  the group had developed from a visceral industrial onslaught ( 'Filth' , 'Cop' , 'Holy Money' , and  'Greed' )  into a more diverse and accessible sound (  'Children of God' , 'The Burning World' , 'White Light from the Mouth of Infinity' , and 'Love of Life' ) coinciding with a brief flirtation with major label Uni/MCA. The group took three years to record their next album 'The Great Annihilator' with Michael Gira on electric guitar, vocals, electric 12 string guitar, sounds, acoustic guitar, and production;  Jarboe on vocals, background vocals, sounds, organ, and keyboard;  Bill Rieflin on drums, percussion, sounds, and 12 string acoustic guitar;   Algis Kizys on bass guitar;  Norman Westberg on electric guitar;  Clinton Steele on electric guitar, acoustic guitar, and drone guitar;  and Ted Parsons on drums.   

Gira would recount:    "The new album was recorded in Chicago while we were still living in New York. That was a long disastrous process, though. We thought we had some pretty strong interest from major labels for the record, and that went on for over a year. When that didn't come through, we didn't know what we were doing. At the time, the person that was doing our business was associated with Martin Atkins at Invisible, so we just decided to put it out on his label because he was available and had good distribution ... Actually, we've recorded in a lot of different places around the world, and this just came about like most things, it seems, through inertia. We got hooked up with what was supposed to be cheap studio time there. I spent three months living inside a windowless warehouse, never going outside, drinking far too much and making fresh enemies with whomever had the bad luck to come in to work on the album or stare at me like an evil troll on display. A real fun time! Jarboe and I slept in a tent in the room next to the recording console because the warehouse was infested with mosquitoes that bred in the toxic sludge outside in nearby Cabrini Green and worked their way in through the air vents, honing in on our blood. It was like camping out, except in a subterranean cell where nothing ever changes. Most of my time was spent shuffling around comatose in the debris like a zombie, listening to the same sounds over and over, trying to remember what I was doing there - this is my impression of Chicago. But don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed myself. That's why the album sounds so great!  ...  I wouldn't say there is a single lyrical or thematic thread to it. There are a few references to a quasi-cosmic phenomenon, the great annihilator, I don't know if you know about that...I'm certainly no science freak but according to Stephen Hawking's theory, the ultimate black hole into which all matter, time and events get sucked into once-the universe starts reversing itself is called the great annihilator. So its like this inhaling and exhaling process of creation and destruction of the universe. To me. it was a nice image really, because I don't know much about science-l didn't even graduate from high school. It's kind of like a Buddhist concept. Actually. modern physics is veering toward Buddhism more and more. it seems, like all matter being sentient. I saw this physicist giving a lecture once about matter having intentionality."

Where Does A Body End?



'The Great Annihilator'
full album:

All songs by Michael Gira except "My Buried Child" (lyrics: Michael Gira, music: Michael Gira, Jarboe) and "Out" (Michael Gira, Jarboe).

1 - In
2 - I Am The Sun - 2:27
3 - She Lives! - 5:51
4 - Celebrity Lifestyle - 12:52
5 - Mother/Father - 17:02
6 - Blood Promise - 21:09
7 - Mind/Body/Light/Sound - 25:25
8 - My Buried Child - 30:18
9 - Warm - 33:17
10 - Alcohol The Seed - 38:11
11 - Killing For Company - 41:41
12 - Mother's Milk - 48:36
13 - Where Does A Body End? - 51:03
14 - Telepathy - 54:46
15 - The Great Annihilator - 1:00:57
16 - Out - 1:05:51

live 1995

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