pete dello writes :
This is WGOMW's follow up CD to tao te ching and quite definitely a
step forward - into the dark of course! Actually it seems that they have got
religion for this must be one the most ambitious recording projects of all
time, setting the great sacred text ,the Bhagavad Gita, to music.
The instrumentation is much as before, with Count Whiteberg's vocals
accompanied Philip Marinetti's Laboratory sound moduals,
the heavy drums of Ronnie Gurdjieff,
Pablo Ouspenski's bass guitar, and the ubiquitous Baron White on guitar (among other stringed instruments).
1. Despondency - This is a beautifully expressive and melancholic
instrumental, with tentative harmonies and little wisps of anxiously
interweaving melodic fragments giving a contrapuntal effect, sensitively
portraying Arjuna's sad and bewildered mind as he faces his relatives and
erstwhile friends on the field of battle.
2. Sacred Shores - The plaintive musical atmosphere is continued with the
addition of a rhythm section as Arjuna gives vocal expression to his doubts
and fears. The Count's vocals are unusual, a sort of Bryan Ferry with
3. Another Body - begins with a stax-like r&b accompaniment. Krsna tells
Arjuna in short to stop bellyaching - everything's gonna be all right - what
does it matter anyway who dies, we all pass from body to body anyway. This
was followed by what I assume was prenatal music. This left me a little
unconvinced as I clutched my little pink body even more tightly.
4. Sankhya - This begins with ...well the impression I got was of Bela
Lugosi (who I happen to know is a close friend of and mentor to the
Count)... where was I?...oh, yes, Bela Lugosi (or was it Christopher Lee?)
practising on the nose flute accompanied by Dr Calligari on organ. It
continues the dying and being born again in a new body theme and it doesn't
spare the agony. I hadn't realized until that point that I had a couple of
loose teeth, and the damp course was a bit defective in my studio. By the
time this track had ended I was feeling a tad too near the end of my
allotted span! I don't want another body, I'm quite satisfied with this
5. Way of Action - Reminds one of Japanese ceremonial music, as Arjuna is
exhorted to face his embodiment and act in accordance with divine law. I'm
surprised he is still there, I would have skidaddled long ago!
6. Kharma My favorite - A really nice trance track with quite an ear
catching accompaniment, gently lifting our minds from the horrors of
transmigration. Based on Chapter three of the Geeta we find Arjuna still
unconvinced. Krsna decides to come at it from a different angle. 'Pull yer
sox up lad, gird tha' loins...no use worryin', you've gotta get up n' at
'em' - if you'll excuse a colloquial interpretation of the lyric. Some nice
chanting here from the Count rising slowly up the tetrachord. I liked this
track. Its actually quite commercial ...perhaps the first single, eh, Count?
7. The Way of Wisdom - A meditative solo piano piece reflecting on Jnana
Yoga. Somehow I expected Tom Waits voice to come in at some point. Very
8. Standing Still - A rather startling vocal here from the Count, as Krsna,
in his deep country and western voice (with a twist of Mongolian overtone
chanting), tells his devotee to sharpen his inner perception. Fades on a
piano solo which didn't remind me of Jerry Lee Lewis.
9. Samnyasa - Based on the fifth discourse on renunciation, the music sounds
like little drops of water dropping in various sized petrol drums. It tells
us that it is the inner quality of our actions that really free us from
desire. By the end of the track I had lost all desire.
10. The Nine Gated City - segues itself from track 9 where vocal and a
rather messy synth joins the petrol drums. The count uses an ocassional
'telephone receiver' voice which give a interesting inflection upon his
normally sepulchral tones as he warbles on the theme of the soul at rest in
the body which apparently has nine openings or gates, although these are not
gone into in great detail...thankfully!.
11. Self Control - I didn't like the opening with its rather crappy roll on
the drum machine, but it got better as the vocals entered, but, try as I
might, I couldn't get rid myself of the image of Rick's Bar in Casablanca.
12 Dhyana - This remarkable track scared the hell out of my dog. It sounds
like the agony and the ecstasy of the soul as it breathes its last breath in
the body's death throes. But the strange thing is, it leaves you feeling
peaceful - a kind of carthasis. A quite remarkable track, listen, you won't
forget it in a hurry.
OK ... my overall impression. Sorry, Count but I enjoyed it. Yes I think it
came off. Trying something ambitious like this was as I said a bit of a leap
in the dark but it was thoughtfully approached and though is my third
listening it wont be the last...I'll be at it again just as soon as my CD
player comes back from repair. My favourite tracks were 1,2,6 and 12.