TITLE / format : Themes 2 - CD
LABEL: Cold Spring, 87 Gloucester Ave, Delapre, Northampton NN4 9PT

John Eden

Yet another quality release from Cold Spring. This slots in nicely with their re-issue of Those Who Do Not and the T.O.P.Y. Angels ov Light release. Themes 2 was originally released as an LP of ritual music in the mid 80s. This sort of thing was often ridiculed at the time for trying to do something other than the standard rock 'n' roll schtick. However, it has stood the test of time and is now revealed as a precursor to a lot of the weirder dark ambient or isolationist music of today. It's easy to deride people who experiment, or use the terminology of magick as part of their work. Closer inspection reveals that Psychic TV were experimenting with musical loops and peaks 10 years before they were turned into an everyday act of bliss by dance music.
I guess rock critics are unhappy with music that is designed to elicit a response, that demands some interaction beyond being entertainined (not that there's anything wrong with being entertained, mind). The sleevenotes describe the theories and intention in some detail, but the only way to see if it's any good is to give it a go and see what happens. Your experiences and insights whilst listening are what the music is about.
The pieces from the original LP were also used as theme music for some of Derek Jarman's more abstract films. This CD is therefore dedicated to him and contains an additional piece entitled Prayer for Derek. The extensive sleevenotes also outline Genesis P-Orridge's relationship with Jarman and are a great read. A classic.