Homage to Betty Davis

Miles Davis was a genius within 20th century music and Betty Mabry was the short-time wife who had been „too wild for Miles“. She is considered funk music´s „deepest secret and most painful truth“. For me personally, she ranks #2 on the list of distinguished phenomena within popular music.

Betty Mabry was born July 26, 1945 in North Carolina into a music-loving family and began to write songs already in childhood (she said, she had always felt that something was inside her that needed to reveal itself and that needed to come out). At age 16, she moved to New York, to enroll at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she quickly became part of the hip Greenwich Village culture scene. Due to her extravagant taste she successfully worked as a model and became a center of attention also for musicians, including Sly Stone, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix to whom she became especially close. In 1968 she got married to Miles Davis, and although the divorce would come only one year later (with Miles admitting that Betty had been „too young and wild“), she had a considerable influence on his further artistic and stylistic direction. Miles Davis had become outdated in the late 1960s, yet with the help of Betty he managed not only to catch up with the hippie and psychedelic movement but also to become once more avant-gardist in jazz with his album Bitches Brew, where he would introduce electronic instruments into jazz and with which he would initiate jazz fusion. In 1973 Betty Davis released her own and self-titled debut album, a funk album, yet also an album that sounded like nothing anyone had ever heard before. Supported by a phenomenal band, you had an extremely heavy and raw, edgy and intense funk that would come in a strangely originate and primordial way, some kind of music that did not seem to have true or logical predecessors and that did not match up with any expectations. It seemed to be even a comment and some meta thing about how music could sound or could be conceived, i.e. something profoundly intellectual and philosophical, while at the same time being profoundly visceral (i.e. an extreme in both the cultural „highs“ and „lows“ (yet, as it would unfortunately turn out as concerns prospects for mainstream success, nothing in between)). Betty herself would come in as something more independent and originate than any woman´s liberation movement could have conceived at that time (and ever since), touching tricky and „forbidden“ subjects with baffling originality and naturalness. She was no great singer, yet overcompensated it with an extremely powerful vocal performance, which you would attribute rather to some big black mama and not a delicate being like her. This mix added up to something that comes in as heavy and confrontational as, maybe, heavy metal, despite metal would rise to such a level of sonic intrasingence and intensity only a decade later. On top of that, Betty Davis displayed a stage personae that was larger than life and more human than human all the like: a dominant, sexualised and forceful woman who is commanding and perfectly in control of herself (therein also not exactly helping herself in turning her into a sex object (for a larger audience), as she remained profoundly subjective). At the same time, her private persona was described as very different: thoughtful, sober and introverted, and, above all, „very spiritual“ in her own manner. Also, despite cranky anthems like Bar Hoppin` coming from her, she reportedly neither drank nor did she do drugs. Two more albums in the same fashion, They Say I`m Different (1974) and Nasty Gal (1975) would follow, while the fourth (and, as some say, the best), Is It Love or Desire? would only be released more than three decades later, in 2009. Tensions between Betty and the music industry and also between Betty and the band had become unsustainable within the recording process. During her career in the mid-1970s, Betty was a paradoxon: both a star and with great superstar potential, yet effectively a niche phenomenon. Muhammad Ali and other distinguished people would come to her concerts, artists like Prince would later cover her and rave about her as a major influence, while a more general audience would ignore her, radio stations would give her not airplay, and the mainstream media hardly touch upon her. Also the support of Miles did not get her much off the ground, and also not in the black community. „Black people are pretty appropriate“, she said, and at that time, after the end of official segregation in the 1960s, the majority of black people in America struggled to be accepted as „normal“ by the whites, i.e. copying some kind of petty bourgeois attitude that is naturally hostile to the extravagant and the exotic and sees it as a threat to their own integrity (as viewed by others). The (white) music industry tried to shape Betty and make her more mainstream-compatible, while she in turn wanted to remain in control over her artistic vision. Yet, with this stubbornness she has basically „ruined my career“, as she would later admit. The Funk Queen Betty Davis disappeared from the scene in the later 1970s. At the end of that decade she would nevertheless record songs in disco fashion that would only be released in the 1990s (Hangin´Out in Hollywood / Crashin For the Passion) – a failed experiment that is not even mentioned in her „official“ and „canonical“ biography. At the beginning of the 1980s, as her musical and artistic career seemingly had become directionless and she probably realised that there did not exist true outfits and outlets for her specific type of creativity in this world, also her beloved father died, which obviously took away a further fundamental source for her stability. She reportedly had a mental breakdown at that time, and began to vanish from the scene entirely. Somehow resemblant to another exuberant but short-lived genius of popular music, Syd Barret, Betty Davis lives in a small apartment in Pittsburgh ever since, although, unlike Syd, she does not refuse all contact to the outside world. There have been occasional celebrations and reissues of her albums every once in a while, and recently there has also been a documentary about her (Betty – They Say I´m Different, by Phil Cox), yet she remains an insider story until today. One wonders what this once highly flamboyant individual has been doing in such a long time and what has become of her. When she talks, she does so slowly and a bit hesitantly, but also in expressing herself in a precise way, with some warmth and interest for the other, while also keen to keep her privacy. Age and events seem to have taken their toll on her, yet at the same time she seems alert and aware, in control and grounded in herself. As she notes herself, her (though not absolute) silence is a (though not absolute) silence for good: (once a tormented creative), she has finally „found peace“.

The story of Betty Mabry Davis. Is it a story of success or of loss? Is it a story of the triumph of individuality or its perils, eventually causing breakdown? Nothing around the story of Betty Davis and the idiosyncratic appeal of her records seems easy to describe. There always seems to be something that evades such efforts. Betty Davis and her records had actually been a profound cultural phenomenon, one that shatters the earth; you would even think of a metaphysical event, a trembling in the universe. Nietzsche says, the genius wants to carve a trace into being, into the universe, he wants to trench existence. Upon reflection, such a thing you might have with Betty Davis. Yet why is there so little effect, of something so universal? Well, the paradoxon of the universal and the absolute is that it puts the local and the relative under threat, and its impact on the world is both little, but also lasting and profound, as it amalgamates the universal and the local anew. Religious figures are hardly those who found and institute a religion, its their disciples that will do. Filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky remarks that the story of the genius is of universal appeal and significance, as the struggle of the genius illustrates the struggle of any individual to both become oneself and to unite, realign and reconcilliate oneself with society. The genius struggles for happiness; happiness, according to Tarkovsky, would be „complete freedom of the will“. Yet the more complete the freedom of the will, the more one would become detached from society and its norms and traditions and the possibilities to communicate with society; finally, such an individual would become „as lonely as Beelzebub“. The loneliness of the long distance runner (with Betty throwing the race, because it seems all so futile, for good). When you listen to Betty Davis, you are, and remain, under the impression that you are confronted with something distinctly residing above you, above your head and above your soul, a superior, (yet, as you sense, a therefore consequentially tragically) seperated entity. That does not make people feel they can relate, of course. „If you want to be an original, get ready to get copied“, said Coco Chanel. Yet unlike rebellious female icons within popular music, from Debbie Harry to Madonna to Pink, Betty Davis could not be truly copied. She was an almost insular being, composed of too many qualities – and having taken those qualities to their extremes – that may be in perfect harmony within herself but seen as oppositional or as a confusing mix from the perspective of regular people. She is one of the very rare individuals who are not even a part of society and cannot be influenced by society and its norms (for good) but reside above it; therefore, seeemingly, their powers to influence contemporaries a lot seems naturally restricted. Her problem was that she was not only different, but too different from anyone or anything else. Betty Davis´ records, not only her performance but also the music may seem confusing. They seem to transmit many messages. It is a music that is there, and very present, but also elusive. Vibrating, escalating, punching the line, alongside the pathless path. You´re always under the impression that this music has its own meta level inherent, it seems both music playing and music permanently evolving, improvising, creating itself, experiment with itself, and experiencing itself; frustrating expectations and then coming up with more than anyone would ever expect. It is highly interesting, and so she seems to end up with making music for people who are extremely interested in music. Yet, despite music being omnipresent and making the bourgeoisie and the rebel, most people, and mainstream audiences, aren´t truly interested in music. To reach them, you supposedly need to come up with something more uncomplicated (and who would ever think that the raw and terrifying funk of Betty´s records would be something for mainstream audiences in the first place?). Yet the heart of it all seems to be indifferent to such elitist ruminations: Betty was fed up with being a niche phenomenon for insiders. She wanted to become a true star. Yet, in order to become a great star, you have to come up with catchy music. Among her many talents, writing catchy popular music was not among them and her efforts to leave raw funk behind and turn into contemporary disco sounds proved lacklustre at all. She seems to have been – consciously or not – a philosopher of music, and the philosopher needs to stand aloof from society. She saw too many dimensions, and her music and artistic vision had many layers and was not only multidimensional but seemed to display dimensionality itself, and most people cannot truly see these dimensions, only the shadows which get projected into ordinary world. Betty Mabry Davis´ life probably has been a rare life outside Plato´s cave, the realm of shadowiness and obfuscation. She probably directly gazed into the „ideas“. Who ever gives an idea about the „ideas“? Hardly anyone gives an idea about the ideas! Think of an abstract space where music happens, or where anything happens. Near the coordinate origin, in the void, or in a white cube, something, some vibration, violently emerges, originary, primordial, yet already heavily armed and in full clothing: That is If I´m In Luck I Might Get Picked Up. That is like the heartbeat, that seperates being from nothingness. Who has ever done such a thing? It is a most genuine achievement.

The Wisdom of Motörhead

Lemmy from Motörhead was a bearer of huge charisma, a god for heavy metal fans. Charisma (as well as godliness) is mysterious and difficult to explain, even more so in the case of Lemmy; probably due to his unique mixture of a straightforward and „what you see is what you get“ person and the complexities of his irony and his wit and his many characteristics in general. How would you define him in a single line? To refer to him as a force of nature somehow neglects his distinct humanness, to speak of him of an iconic figure also does not seem to excactly get it neither, as he was too much alive to resemble something rather static. To speak of his distinct humanness, singularity and sharp personality does not pay tribute to the complexities within his personality and the softness associated with the easiness and naturalness he was able to handle them. A simple man of humble origins (that would not even qualify him as a working class hero) he nevertheless carried too many facettes and too much wit to be possible to catch, in his sharp autonomousness also an elusiveness; if you tried to nail him down, he would already be somewhere else and, likely, make you look stupid. Heavily participating in the vibrancy of life, he never seemed to get suprised, perplexed or overwhelmed by the occasional complexities and abysses of the life game, much rather, he remained above, even aloof of them. In his amalgam of a counterintuitive charm and a mild sarcasm, he remained untouchable, and undefeatable. Although he impersonated the angry man, Ute, his promotor for many years, says she had never seen him getting angry with anyone; despite his signature feature being the extended middle finger, he also never became impolite with anyone (although he likely had to deal with a lot of unpleasant stuff throughout his life and career), rather, he would walk away. Despite of his heavy consumption of cigarettes, drugs, alcohol and his excessive way of life in general, there were – over a period of many decades – no grave incidents, near-death experiences or need for rehab as he obviously always remained in control over these passions, a user but not actually an abuser of drugs and booze; despite of his sex, drugs and rock n´ roll lifestyle he never produced any scandals. Never mind his unfortunate appearance and usually displaying a (mildly) sarcastic outlook on the great theme of romance (and sometimes also on women) in his songs he was a major womanizer who had become romantically involved with more than a thousand women in his life, because women loved him. A party animal and obvious great extrovert, people close to him described him as personally rather being an introvert and a lone wolf guy who does not need many friends but is self-sufficient (his bandmates nevertheless referred to him as a great friend and a father-like (or at least paternal) figure). Despite being the essential promotor of loudness, during long trips on the tour bus he would remain quiet and a reader of books, interrupting the tranquility only occasionally, for instance when they passed through a region where battles of wars from the past had happend; then he would explain the incidents in great detail. Apart from his passion for war and military history, he was an educated and interested man in general. Slash sums Lemmy up in his own words: “There’s so many guys out there that think you have to, you know, wear your leather jacket and be the tough guy, be rude and a fucking slob and break shit, to be rock’n’roll. And Lemmy dispelled all that because he was a perfect fucking gentleman. Very considerate and polite to everybody around him, and yet he was as hard-core a fucking rock’n’roller as you’re ever going to find … He’s a complete bad-ass yet always thoughtful. We need more people like this!” 

Motörhead´s signature song is Ace of Spades. Therein, it says, it opens:

If you like to gamble, I tell you I´m your man

You win some, lose some, it´s all the same to me

Ace of Spades has been interpreted as being about the „game called life“ (although Lemmy has dismissed such thoughtful interpretations, insisting that it was merely inspired by his passion for gambling). Irrespective of that, it says something about the most central aspects of life: diving into it, and taking its vicissitudes lightly – to a point where they do not even matter or become experienced as such. Way too often, if you lose some on the life game, anger, frustration, trauma and revengefulness set in, may even hollow out the personality and become a life theme for the respective individual. If you win some, instead, other vices may come out („If you want to find out what a man is to the bottom, give him power“, as it says). Maybe this is so because ego and vanity play a big, all too decisive role in ordinary human psychology. Therefore the Buddha teaches us to leave the ego behind. Motörhead seem to always have known –

I don´t share your greed,

The only card I need

Is the Ace of Spades,

The Ace of Spades

LaRochefoucauld says, the surest sign of nobility of character is the innate absence of envy (or, also, if you may, greed, that is the same egoic passion in another disguise). Lemmy does not share envy nor greed nor egoic passions and is not interested, his only passion and the only thing he is interested in is the Ace of Spades, that is to say the Joker of the life game, the magic jewel that is able to represent the essence or signficance of any other card.

You know I´m born to lose,

And gambling is for fools;

But that´s the way I like it, baby,

I don´t wanna live forever

…. And don´t forget the Joker!

Gee, I think that´s the way it should be done.

What added to the enigmatic charisma of Lemmy and his larger-than-life persona was that his psychological and intellectual indestructibility seemed to have been gladly accompanied by physiological indestructibility. Even more than Keith Richards he seemed to epithomise physical immortality regardless of a very unhealthy lifestyle. I wanted to see Motörhead in 2013; yet just on that day the cancellation of the show had to be announced, due to health issues of Lemmy Kilmister. Although he recovered and continued to play a lot, his fragility had become visible and that day initiated the final act of the comedy that came to an end more hastily than anticipated. Although he had been investigated and treated medically in various ways, it did not become obvious that he suffered from cancer that was, then, already in its very final stage. When he got informed about the vast progression of his cancer and that he would only have some weeks left to live, he reportedly reacated with the reaction of a true man: with an outburst of anger. He died two days later, reportedly while playing a computer game. Some weeks after that, in February 2016, Motörhead were expected to come to Vienna, with Saxon and Girlschool as support. I wanted to see them then. Again, it could not happen. The day he died, shortly after his 70th birthday, was a sad day all over social media. Years before, he had said in an interview: „I´m gonna play until I´m seventy. Then I will drop dead from the stage!“

„The most important thing in life? A sense of humour. Lose it, and you´re done. You might as well take a bullet in the head.“ Kierkegaard said somehow the same; that the only attitude that might triumph over the necessary vicissitudes of finiteness, is humour. And Kierkegaard was praised as „by far the most profound philospher of the 19th century“ by Wittgenstein (himself by far the most profound philosopher of the 20th century). Kierkegaard (as well as Wittgenstein) was exalted as well as depressed about life. Lemmy was beyond that. My extremely careful study about Kierkegaard I ended with the expression that Lemmy was God, and Kierkegaard was his prophet (if you think that I´m stupid or employ stupid jokes all the time, take into consideration that I´m by far the most profound philosopher of the 21st century. Thus spake Zarathustra). The only time I´m easy is when I am killed by death.

Aliens Looking for Real Fun (Spellling, Shampoo, Sheidlina and the Antisphere)

Spellling I find to be the contemporary Queen of Pop and the greatest Queen of Pop since Shampoo! Consequently, Shampoo are barely remembered and Spellling is barely known (currently she has 1.824 followers on FB). Shampoo were perfect individuals, and individualism is what (some) people try to achieve and some collective phantasma; in the final instance, nevertheless, the individual is an antithesis to any collective and therefore disembedded. The perfect individual will be truly monadic, and the highest degree of individuality gets achieved when someone erects his empire in the highest anarchy, as a loner and a hermit, says Nietzsche. Whereas Shampoo were a fusion of punk, kitsch, girlie pop, abrasiveness, cuteness, Sex Pistols, East 17 and Gary Numan; Spellling is commonly characterised as an amalgam of afropop, R & B, darkwave, vintage electronic, howling, whispering, presence and elusiveness, something that is child-like as well is it is uncanny and haunted. Yet, by all means, the music of Spellling is perfectly pure and in no way derivative. Bhagwan, the 20th century Zarathustra, says: One who wants to transcend this obnoxious humanity will need to be so extreme that humanity will deem him/her crazy! Spellling appears highly eccentric, also (occasionally) in the way she dresses (at most occasions she is just rather casually clothed though, like I am, since we are no pretenders), in reality she is just completely sane and is the magic source and the center from which all rationality and creativity pours out. There she stands, in stasis, where everything around her revolves! Nietzsche says, (when the highest level of consciousness is reached), there shall be „something inexpressible, to which joy and truth are only feeble after-images … earth is losing its gravity, the incidents and the powers of earth become dream-like, like on a summer evening a transfiguration and glorification comes into place….“ (Schopenhauer as Educator). Yes, indeed, strange celestial realms, which are beyond that what is commonly imagined as Heaven (since they also incorporate, as a necessary by-product of totality, Hell). It is the Antisphere! In Heaven you are in a permanent communion with Christ, the Grand Unifier. However, how should the wandering mind be in an everlasting communion with anything, including the Grand Unifier?! The Antisphere explodes with colours. It is the phase space of creativity. In the Antisphere you are in a negatively curved space, on a line of flight into infinity, as you are in permanent communion with your own transgression. In the Antisphere you do not want to confirm of affirm yourself. You want to get rid o fand away from yourself. All my life I just tried to get away from myself, said Marcel Duchamp, the Holy Ghost of 20th century art. That´s the spirit of art and of (any sort of) enlightenment! In the Antisphere you are in perfect harmony with yourself, since in the Antisphere you are the source. Janis said, of all the great artists he had personally met, only Duchamp and Mondrian had been truly harmonious and uncompetetive personalities. This is the Antisphere. Spellling says she loves the figures of wizards, tricksters and jesters. Yorick, the Fool. Spellling says the essence of Spellling is about capturing the essence, the magic of every moment. As concerns the heavens, Spellling says she does not know about the afterlife, but she is interested in parallel lives. Her dad has synaesthesia. In the video to Under the Sun (set up by congenial collaborator Catalina Xavlena and in which you see the Antisphere) she dances like the most intelligent person in the world. In general, in the Antisphere the dances between signifier and the signified are beyond common understanding and beyond the limits of (post) structuralism, they become a unified whole, reality and dream become one, the phantasma becomes transgressed; it is the mind of the Grand Unifier death to false metal.

Solange, the little eccentric sister of Beyoncè, I find also charming ->

Sheidlina is also from the Antisphere. She once said, after doing this stuff for years, she has come to recognise that coolness like that will only ever be something for a tiny minority to be grasped (haha, very cool!).

Der Barbier von Sevilla

Rossini ist der Yorick unter den Opernkomponisten und Der Barbier von Sevilla ein vollendetes komisches Meisterwerk wie der Goldrausch von Chaplin oder das Satyricon vom Arbiter, seine Musik ist heiterer und unbeschwerter als die von Motörhead (wenngleich sie freilich nicht ganz deren kämpferische Energie hat). Da es, außer evtl dem Don Giovanni, keine vollendeten Meisterwerke in der Oper gibt, steht somit in einem gewissen Sinn der Barbier von Sevilla über allen anderen Opern.

Marcel Proust Goes to the Rocky Horror Picture Show

I found something lovely  (gives me some terrible thrills)

Philip Hautmann I especially like this song and the lyrics as they transport – well – nostalgia for a more perfect world within a mind that is otherworldy and that is at home in outer space repectively that lives in the future which is, paradoxically, the subject of his inverted nostalgia. It leaves open room for various other interpretation as well. It somehow makes you feel such secureness and embeddedness in something that cannot be explicitly described and Patricia Quinn as the nostalgic as well as timeless Usherette looks very cute. It is Proustian as recovery of memory and lost time, the climax of the Proustian enterprise to achieve total information awareness and completion of self as Time Regained. What is especially admirable is that does not stand at the end point of the geniuses quest, something he has won after hard effort of creating a hyprcycle out of his own self, but as a somehow light and fluffy introduction to the enterprise, thereby clearly taking Proust unexpectedly and by surprise. Hail Richard O´Brien!

Stephan S
vor 4 Monaten
Does anybody know if this is really the voice of young Patricia Quinn?
However, it is badly sung but so genuine and authentic that I wish I’d been there in 1973. Times of craziness and creativity. So sad it’s all over.

vor 5 Jahren
I wish they had kept the usherette to introduce the movie. I think she’s just so delightful. She’s so adorable, she seems to represent an age to true movie escapism. You could almost imagine her being yelled at by her boss because she keeps lingering in the theater to watch the movie instead of working.

White Light from the Mouth of Infinity

Recently I bought me some books, anthologies by female Christian mystics Mechthild of Magdeburg, Teresa of Avila and Marguerite Porete (as well as male Christian mystic Dionysius the Areopagite (although Dionysius probably also was a woman, since his true identity remains obscure – therefore s/he is also commonly referred to as Pseudo-Dionysius)). Mysticism strives for the unio mystica, the becoming one with deity through purification of personality (which is therefore often a nuisance to clerics, since it undermines the authority of the church as intermediary between man´s world and the divine: especially Mechthild had no easy life and Marguerite was sentenced to death by the Inquisition). Especially both Teresa and Marguerite were talking about stages of enlightenment, in the highest form the soul becomes a medium of divine perception. Teresa said, God can be understood as a diamond, greater than the entire world, where everything can be seen, and in which she happened to see herself and her actions at incredibly speed and heavily concentrated (leaving her a bit embarassed to see her noble deeds as well as her sins without any true distance from each other). Such a soul has been touched by the divine light. Yet, interestingly, both Teresa and Marguerite say that seeing the divine light is just a short flash, that may happen only once or a few times in life. Full unio mystica, i.e. becoming one with the divine light, is only possible after death, in this life the soul is to still remain in the body and to wander the earth, and also the fully developed mystic still remains, in parts, an earthly, human creature that is object of suffering and possible setbacks. – I am somehow relieved to hear that from such distinguished persons, since I was thinking that my own enlightenment was incomplete. Furthermore, I see there seems to be no use in expecting anything more than that, to achieve an entire clear (of complete balancedness): No hope = no fear. Bucke wrote in his book about Cosmic Consciousness about the white light, and also Colin Wilson wrote about it in The Outsider. Colin Wilson saw the white light too at a young age, and he said all his life has been a strive to bring back that moment. I also saw the white light when I was writing my second book, I thought, compared to the epiphanies described by those people mine was a weak epiphany, but I think indeed it was a higher one, since I am more rational than they are/were. Bucke said, of all the enlightened people in history Walt Whitman was the only true (highly modern) individual that did not fall prey or become an instrument of his divine perception, but rather turned it into an instrument for himself. I think I also remain in control (if I am not mistaken about my enlightenment at any rate). I called this form of enlightened perception the White Lodge, as readers of my convulsions may now know. (Dionysius the Areopagite spoke of God as a „dark light“ that illuminates the earth, but that can be truly seen only through his absence to the obvious gaze. A deep bass I connect synaeasthetically with the headlight of this dark light).

White Light from the Mouth of Infinity is a major album by Swans. It combines the most outstanding songwriting, majestic elegy, triumphantly arranged, with extremely depressing lyrics. The cover is one the coolest I´ve ever seen. On the front you have a human rabbit, reaching out his carrot antenna at the end of the world, likely in search for someone else, his soulmate, his counterpart. On back you have him eventually have found him. I wrote to Jarboe many years ago and mentioned the album and the artwork, she was asking in return whether I want to purchase the original artwork „at a reasonable price“. But I could not afford it anyway. In my apartment there is a poster of it, hanging on the wall nevertheless.

Wir wollen also sagen, die Gottheit sei wie ein überaus klarer Diamant, der weit größer ist als die ganze Welt, oder ein Spiegel nach der Art desjenigen, welcher in der früher gedachten Vision die Seele empfing, nur dass er auf eine weit erhabenere Weise sich zeigte; auf eine Weise, die ich nicht hoch genug vorzuführen vermag und dass alles, was wir tun, in diesem Diamanten gesehen wird, so gesehen wird, dass er alles in sich schließt, und weil es nichts gibt, was über diese Größe hinausgeht.

Staunenswert war es für mich, in so kurzer Zeit so vieles in diesem klaren Diamanten nebeneinander zu erblicken. Höchst bedauerlich ist es mir andererseits jedes Mal, wie so garstige Dinge, wie es meine Sünden sind, sich in jener klaren Lauterkeit ebenfalls darstellten. Gewiss, wenn ich daran denke, weiß ich nicht, wie ich es ertragen kann. Deshalb wurde ich auch mit Scham erfüllt, dass ich nicht wusste, wohin ich mich wenden sollte…

Teresa von Avila

Update About Extreme Metal (Architects and Iconoclasts/Morbid Angel)

„Kingdoms Disdained“ by Morbid Angel is (once again) unbelievably strange and otherworldly death metal, this time from 2017 Chaos A.D. Guitar riffs that have no resemblance to guitar riffs, song structures that are incomprehensible, nevertheless architectures and structures that stand erect, tall, upright, intimitating and as ancient relicts from the future, it reminds of Kataklysm´s opus magnum in aloofness from anything commonly accepted, „Temple of Knowledge“. As you gradually awaken, it appears to you that even the solipsistic production seems to make sense. Architects and Iconoclasts. I am very happy with it, and that it took them 17 years to actualise a really good album since „Gateways to Annihilation“ can be forgiven as you see them opening another gateway to strange dimensions and stranger aeons and giving new impulses to the most philosophical genre in popular music – extreme metal – and paving ways for a bright future (although the album is, of course, and as always, about world downfall caused by the resurrection of the Ancient Ones blabla). „Kingdoms Disdained“ is a major event, almost like their first two albums, centuries ago. Hell yeah, death to false metal. 


Metaphysical Note about Extreme Metal

Update About the Fourth Dimension

I have repeatedly stated that the genius sees things in an additional dimension, as there are no conventions how higherdimensional objects are to be seen and recognised in society, he has no true instrument to figure out and has to rely on his own „intuition“ and „vision“ (respectively rationality). That is, originally, private and primordional, I have spoken about how the genius sees a field of intensity (as the soul-like abstraction of an entity he wants to describe), and then wants to move through this intensity and let the intensity shoot through itself, to, somehow, turn the field of intensity inside out and open it into a space of negative curvature (at least in the case of the transcendent genius as opposed to the immanent genius) – that is an immediate expression of the intellectual and somatic processes that happen in the mind and the body of the genius if he deeply thinks about something. In the note about Giacinto Scelsi I think I have illustrated that, whose „compositions“ where vibrating spheres of an extreme interplay of intensity and stasis, etc. – it was the intensity shooting through itself. Intensity vs form you have, prominently, in Beethoven´s music, and that kind of inversion and erecting a somehow paradoxical structure that opens into another dimension in some of John Lennon´s compositions like Strawberry Fields Forever, I am the Walrus and, most perfectly, Tomorrow Never Knows, or in the entire The Piper at the Gates of Dawn album by Pink Floyd/Syd Barrett.

When I read that Duchamp was keenly interested in the „fourth dimension“ respectively in painting how fourdimensional bodies would appear in a threedimensional world, how their „shadow“ would be, or how it would be if a threedimensional object took a ride through the fourth dimension, it said that if a threedimensional object would take a demi-tour through the fourth dimension, it would return mirror-reversed and inside out. (That is to say, the genius intuition proves correct or adequate.) If I remember correct, that is also how Cube2 – Hypercube can be interpreted, the sequel to Cube, an enigmatic mystery/horror film where people are trapped inside a gigantic cube-like structure for unknown purpose: In Cube2 – Hypercube they are trapped inside a hypercube/tesseract! Despite the dramaturgy and grouppsychological dynamics are a bit of a cheap copy of the original (which is why it got largely dismissed by the audience, including my friends), I found the enigma of the hypercube (and of the conspiracy behind it) extremely immersive and, as also quantum physics got mentioned, it made me think a lot about it. In that respect, Cube2 – Hypercube was one of the coolest films I´ve seen.


UPDATE 011518: LOL


Metaphysical Note about Extreme Metal

More recently I purchased the following CDs:

  • Abyssal: Antikatastaseis
  • Adverserial: D.E.N.A.T.B.K.O.N.
  • Mitochondrion: Archaeaon
  • Pyrrhon: Growth Without End
  • Sarpanitum: Blessed Be My Brothers
  • This Gift Is A Curse: All Hal The Swinelord

I welcome it that after a period of stagnation there are fresh and fruitful developments in extreme metal again! While extreme metal bands of former generations like Morbid Angel or Meshuggah sounded like if they came from another planet, bands like Abyssal, Pyrrhon or Mitochondrion sound as if they directly came from the depths of outer space (maybe from close to the region where Azathoth dwells). I call this progressive. Within those song structures we have nice chaos invocation and abstract beauty amalgamated with uncanniness giving an impression of the sublime. It gives you a sense of place – of belonging and forlornness. Of your attachedness and your seperatedness in the universe, etc. It´s a borderline, exurbia and edge phenomenon; look at how ambiguous it is and how much enigmatic meaning it carries, permanently shifting the Great Frontier! It´s metaphysical.

What I always liked about extreme metal is that it definitely confronts you with other, strange worlds (that aren´t so strange after all and for instance the occasional lyrics about Satan etc. are much more realistic and less phony than the love songs you hear on the radio). – It is both strange and surreal, and hyperrealistic and more human than human. It adds a (or multiple) dimensions to your perception. It confronts you with that that is the other and that that is unexpected. It unites the hemispheres.


Let us, ideally, say that the „Western“ mind is analytical, scientific. It is about isolating and analysing things to gain rational knowledge about the thing, with the possibility (or the permanent horizon) to get to know the „thing in itself“. It strives for knowledge to manipulate things and transform civilisation via technology. It is concerned with the possibility of solid knowledge.


Let us, ideally, say that the „Eastern“ mind, exemplified e.g. in the metaphysics of Zen, is more about getting to know and experiencing the faculty of perception and rationalisation itself. It is about dissolving the subject and amalgamating it with the object world, into a state of (for the sake of simplicity) productive mimesis. However, this state will involve serenity and sedateness, an acceptance of a certain resistance of things against manipulation and an acceptance of fate. It is concerned with the possibility of solid awareness.


Bhagwan says, people in the East have soft, fragmentary egos, and they are able to surrender and devotion (Hingabe) easily – yet their surrender is not very deep: it remains superficial. People of the West have strong and solid egos, and they are resistant towards surrender and spirituality. He concludes that a person that synthesises East and West may become something that is really interesting and transformative, but that is difficult.

„Eastern“ metaphysics somehow was designed as a pacification from unproductive upheaval and turmoil in a pre-scientific age i.e. when things could not fundamentally be changed. „Eastern“ metaphysics does not „solve“ the metaphysical problems but dissolves them, but unfortunately may also dissolve physics respectively the scientific mind, and its relaxedness may result in apathy, the insight that some things cannot be changed may make people forget to try to. The „Western“ metaphysics of the rational mind may lead to a tunnel vision and feelings of estrangement and disconnectedness from a greater whole, a disrespect for „soft“ sciences and arrogance. The „Eastern“ downside is being unscientific, the downside of the „West“ is being soulless. From a sociological point of view, Eastern societies are collectivist societies whereas Western societies are individualistic societies (with both easily abhoring each other or finding each other uncanny, although the productive synthesis includes the better elements of both).


It is said East and West are very different and difficult to unite. They are respective others. However, if you approach the other you can gradually internalise it. The trick is not to make the other a toy of your ideology and accomodate it to you, but to take it serious. The full internalisation of the man´s world is the overman. It can also be described as the so-called unitary consciousness where all forms of life, where reality, dream, fiction, time, space, matter unite into a single, fluid, penetrating experience, where contours of individualities do not dissolute but become osmotic. The analytical mind is not pacified but intensified and empowered. There is not perfect exchangeability of background and motif as you have it in the vision of Zen, rather a fractal geometry of the universe, i.e. where the „deep structure“ can be progressively revealed and calculated and where there is no stubborn resistance against „inconvenient“ truths or discoveries, since nothing is truly „inconvenient“.

By permanently approaching and confronting the other, you increase your experience and widen your perception. By trying to integrate the other and internalise it, you widen your intellect and your personality, and you reduce your indoctrinations and your ego (if, however, you don´t have much of an ego in the first place). You transcend personality into the transpersonal and become open space. It is very profound.

Meaning of life – and meaning in general – lies in establishing connections (and pathological/endogenous depression means inability to establish true connections to anything). By connecting to the other, the most wide-ranging and permanently evolving connectivity is possible. Overmen usually appear „otherworldly“ (whereas they are also the most realistic persons) because they primarily relate to the other and to their respective counterpart (Socrates and Kierkegaard talked to anyone in the streets, T.W. Hickinson noticed that obscure Emily Dickinson was very aware and concerned about him as her counterpart, Shakespeare is hardly tactile as an individual but rather seems a transpersonalised consciousness over the tapestry of life, Wittgenstein, Kafka and Beckett were also very concerned about others including the possibility of self-sacrifice, etc.). Therefore, they include otherness and the Great Other in themselves and therefore they carry and execute the so-called divine law in themselves. They appear „alien“ as nothing is alien to them. And why? Because they actually relate to the other!


(Written 2015-2017)

Postsciptum: If you think this is stupid and esoteric wait for the various Postscripts to the Metaphysical Note about Extreme Metal which shall appear over time since of course I am able to discuss Kripke and Quine as well, as well as Gadamer and Ricoeur et al.

Prelude to the Metaphysical Note about Extreme Metal