My dear Travellers,
January is rampaging past me as the skies remain stubbornly grey. How joyful it feels then, and how fortunate I am, to spend a couple of hours over recent days engaging in repeat listens of the completed masters of N Λ Ṇ D‘s second album inspired by the Journal of Gerard Arthur Connelly. Two tracks are already available via Bandcamp (see above and here) and Vol I is of course on there too.
It’s incredibly inspiring to get feedback in this form and being able to collaborate with N Λ Ṇ D on the audio versions of the Journal has been one of the high points of this whole experience. Very soon I’ll be able to share refreshed and remastered versions of the Volume I chapters thanks to a campaign of improvements on my part, bringing the audio quality of the vocals in line with more recent chapters, and revised and updated N Λ Ṇ D scores. The final result will be two ‘audiobook’ volumes and two companion albums. Once complete they’ll go on Bandcamp and patrons will receive download codes. The versions previously uploaded as patron extras can therefore be considered as ‘works in progress’ and will be replaced.
In podcasting news, we have another episode in the can thanks to Graham and Miles where we take a tentative peek into the Uncosy Catastrophes of UK authors that span out of James Herbert’s success with The Rats and The Fog. On this occasion we cast our eyes over Herbert’s The Dark. We’ll be following this up with some more musings on TV and films, with an additional focus on Moorcock’s own apocalyptic fables (which we’ve already touched upon with My Experiences in the Third World War).
In three short days Loz will be visiting Derry & Toms to pick up Part Two of our dream quest with The Fortress of the Pearl and I have some sufficiently nightmarish stouts and porters ready to go.
Over on twatter, Iestyn pointed to a Spotify playlist that gathers some choice Moorcock-inspired cuts that includes several I was unaware of. The Navigator did point out though for some arcane reason it doesn’t include Black Blade *shrug emoji*. The cheese level is variable but there are some real standouts in there beyond the better known numbers (eg BÖC, Hawkwind, Diamond Head etc), my personal favourite being the absolute banger that is Ilian of Garathorm by Smoulder. And, as we know, Spotify is evil so, if you have the readies, you can support independent artists like Smoulder on Bandcamp. Their album Times of Obscene Evil and Wild Daring has a glorious Michael Whelan cover too so I picked the vinyl version up (whilst digging my nails into my palms at the shipping costs).
I do take issue with Deep Purple’s Stormbringer being on the playlist though. I know it’s regularly quoted as being Moorcock-inspired but I’m not buying it. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the song and the Coverdale/ Hughes era of DP is my favourite, but at the very most Coverdale saw the name on a paperback and just liked the word or he read it but couldn’t be arsed to write lyrics related to it.
M’lud, I point to the following evidence:
On a stallion twister
On the eye of the sky
Stormbringer coming down
Meaning to stay
Thunder and lightning
Heading your way”
Great 70s rock lyrics incredibly delivered by a soaring Coverdale at the height of his powers, but fuck all to do with MM.
Anyway, ride the rainbow and crack the sky my friends, and I’ll see you out there… on the moonbeam roads.