Current 93
Swastikas For Noddy


4.0
excellent

Review

by Meatplow USER (111 Reviews)
June 8th, 2009 | 11 replies | 6,556 views


Release Date: 1988 | Tracklist


3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Swastikas for Goddy is the 1988 album from experimental folk group Current 93, labeled by fans at the time as their "pop" album as previous to this a defined structure was often lacking in their compositions which had a lot more in common with the droning, abrasive sounds of early industrial music. The original title of the album was Swastikas for Noddy, but due to copyright infringement issues with the childrens television show of the same name in 1993 the album was re-released with the new title.

This album is best described as a rollercoaster of varied textures. Whilst the neo-folk aspect of the group formulated its origins here with the inclusion of lush acoustic guitars, the group was still prone to experimentation and never falls short of curious ideas. Benediction begins the album with a suitably apocalyptic spoken word section by Current 93's singer and main man David Tibet, but it isn't until Blessing kicks in that you know you are in for something different. A haunting, deep female voice paints an immeasurably dark soundscape all by itself which brings to mind the tradition of the monophonic compositions of medieval classical music. It feels like a distant fire, but the warm and nostalgic tenderness of it is completely heartwrenching.

Many of the tracks on Swastikas for Goddy are mere soundbites, nearly half of the album is composed of tracks which are under two minutes in length and most of those are only under one minute. The traditional neo-folk acoustic guitar songs Current 93 are known for are here in force, songs such as North, Black Sun Bloody Moon, Oh Coal Black Smith, The Final Church, and Hello Angel are suitably excellent and will satisfy any fans of their later material. Though there is some decidedly less polished off songwriting then that of Thunder Perfect Mind and All The Pretty Horses the group had a bolder tendency to experiment with unusual arrangements and subtleties, such as the rather creepy nursery rhyme accentuated by a lonely music box at the start of Black Flowers Please (a similar motif is later used in(Hey Ho) The Goddy (Oh)), the rest of the song being an acoustic ditty wrapped around a lo-fi drum machine. It's strange, but good.

Panzer Rune is where the experimental side of the group really shines. The haunting female vocal element of Blessing returns, coexisting this time alongside what sounds like a train stumbling along its tracks as well as samples from a classical opera piece. Once again this is a very bizarre composition, but a hypnotic one that just manages to be completely captivating somehow. When you thought things couldn't get any more off the wall they even manage to rope in Cajun music specialty act Beausoleil to guest star on the track... Beausoleil. This song is long and repetitive, but quite upbeat and cheery as it does Cajun neofolk with some unusual samples ducking in out which is once again odd. The album ends with Valediction, which features some strange male vocal shrieks that ultimately give way to closer Malediction. This is basically a polyphonic extension of the monologue at the start of the album, which is fitting but inconsequential to the overall album.

Swastikas for Goddy is the sound of Current 93 attempting to find a musical niche, perhaps feeling an increasing need to ditch the experimental sounds of old in favour of trying to properly flesh out some songwriting. As a result, it is a rather spastic effort at times with the number of tracks and their inconsistent average length but one that can only be admired for being unique despite all its flaws.



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user ratings (19)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Jim
June 8th 2009



5110 Comments


i'll probably never hear this but sick review

KittensandScorpions
June 8th 2009



172 Comments


Great review.
I got this a while ago but never gave it a proper listen. I'll do it today on the way to class!

fireaboveicebelow
June 8th 2009



6837 Comments


this could be interesting

iranscam
June 8th 2009



469 Comments


thanks for reminding me I need to finally listen to this project

ThusSpokeZarathustra
June 8th 2009



293 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fuck yeah…. Current 93 are awesome. This isn’t Tibet’s best work (that honor goes to ‘Thunder Perfect Mind’) but he’s starting to reveal the full extent of his genius, especially on classics such as ‘Oh Coal Black Smith’ and ‘The Final Church.’
The guy is truly one of the most chilling vocalists around.
Everyone needs to check out Nature and Organisation’s ‘Beauty Reaps the Blood of Solitude.’

Anyways great review! I was almost starting to worry there weren’t any other neofolk fans here..



Meatplow
June 8th 2009



5524 Comments


I got this a while ago but never gave it a proper listen. I'll do it today on the way to class!


Hope you like it

this could be interesting


This is definitely a group worth hearing at least once.

Fuck yeah…. Current 93 are awesome. This isn’t Tibet’s best work (that honor goes to ‘Thunder Perfect Mind’) but he’s starting to reveal the full extent of his genius, especially on classics such as ‘Oh Coal Black Smith’ and ‘The Final Church.’
The guy is truly one of the most chilling vocalists around.
Everyone needs to check out Nature and Organisation’s ‘Beauty Reaps the Blood of Solitude.’

Anyways great review! I was almost starting to worry there weren’t any other neofolk fans here..


Thanks. As far as neo-folk goes, I am only familiar with Current 93. I have some Death In June to listen to, looking forward to it.

ThusSpokeZarathustra
June 8th 2009



293 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Death In June are cream of the crop.

Meatplow
June 9th 2009



5524 Comments


I've heard such sentiments before.

Definitely later tonight now.

fireaboveicebelow
June 9th 2009



6837 Comments


this is pretty good... but is anything else as good as thunder perfect mind and all the pretty little horses those are just damn good

Meatplow
June 9th 2009



5524 Comments


agreed, they have set a high standard

lovin' this group heaps lately

Dryden
July 14th 2010



12928 Comments


album is good



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