"Perpetual State of Oracular Dream"
edition of 1053 on black vinyl - SOLD OUT
1030 copies featured screen printed cloth cover with artwork by Christoph Heemann, the last 23 copies instead had a 12" x 24" fragment of one of two large paintings by Small Cruel Party
all copies include a booklet with contributions from Premature Ejaculation, Genocide Organ, Arcane Device, Asmus Tietchens, Cranioclast, Debt of Nature, Crash Worship, The Haters and Plecid
label artwork by Christoph Heemann
While waiting to get the materials to release the debut album by Premature Ejaculation, I decided to put together a compilation. Originally intended to be more focused around local groups that I knew, I decided to expand my vision and ask artists from other parts of the world who records I spent more of my time listening to. Some of the artists I originally asked included Nurse With Wound, Current 93, The Hafler Trio, Coil and P16.D4. Nurse With Wound seemed interested but needed money for studio costs, which I didn't have. Current 93 said they didn't contribute to compilations other than U.D.. The Hafler Trio took a long time to write back (as this was when he was moving to Holland) and said he didn't generally do compilations, but for a certain number of gilders would record me a whole album. Coil were busy with "Dark Age of Love" recordings and couldn't deviate from that. P16.D4 just said no, in hindsight I think it was my choice of label name that might have put them off. Several others were to contribute tracks which never got them to me, including Kali in Ecstasy (Jacob and Ken of the then operating mail order Minotaure, apparently planning to cover "Hurdy Gurdy Man" and Vanishing Family (a side project by Fourwaycross's Steve Gerdes). Nevertheless, I did end up with many good contributions by people I respect highly.
Debt of Nature was an ensemble lead by Brad Laner. Debt of Nature was actually a few years defunct when this compilation was coming together, but as Steaming Coils, who I had originally asked for a track by, had recently disbanded, Brad suggested we use a track by this older project. I choose this piece, which is actually a collage of studio and live recordings from a 90 minute tape of unreleased tracks Brad gave me. Debt of Nature had existed many years played a large number of shows and recorded a fair amount of material, though never had appeared on record except for a few random compilation appearances. There were a few cassette releases with very limited distribution, though mostly it seemed material just circulated among friends. The band drew many members from the scene that had been associated with L.A.F.M.S., such as Dinosaurs with Horns (later Solid Eye) members Rick Potts and Joseph Hammer, who are featured on this track. Many others were not part of that scene such as frequent member Jim Goodall (also on this track) of D.D. Dobson, and later Whitehouse. The other person featured on this track was Spencer Savage, who oddly enough worked at the place where I had the plates for the booklet made. Brad, Jim, Rick, Joseph and Spencer can all be seen pictured in the booklet that accompanied this record, along with several other members who were not featured on this recording. Several people have thought that I was in the picture as well, though that person is apparently Spencer Savage, who I still have not met. For a while, I had hoped to bring out an LP of Debt of Nature material, but unfortunately this never happened. Quaquaversal Vinyl announced they would be doing a series of releases of Debt of Nature records many years back, but never got further than reissuing Steaming Coils' "Breaded" LP.
Genocide Organ was a group added toward the end of compiling this album. They had gotten in contact as they were interested in getting copies of the Premature Ejaculation LP for their TESCO mail order catalog, and also asked if they could submit something for the compilation. I had known their name only so far, as their first LP was already scarce by this early point. I said they could send a tape, and I would consider them after hearing something. They sent along a tape with two track, "Search A Place To Die" have a nice creepy sound which I thought would fit. I then asked them to send along a master for the the track and they then informed me that the metal cassette they had sent was indeed a master mix down from their four track cassette. Their visual contribution proved to be far more professional though, and their well laid out artwork was supplemented by rectangles of plastic with paint and other elements (such as needles and razors), which I needed to glue into each booklet, making each one unique in this way. I think their music may have well matched the name of the label, but overall ends up rather out of place in this collection. The diversity of the other selections better represented the scope of my interests, and where I was heading. The music (and accompanying visual imagery) steadily has become less and less interesting to me, as I find its viewpoint restrictively narrow and further hard to take very seriously or want to just dwell on the negative aspects of life. I still believe there is much horror, tragedy and violence surrounding us, but refuse to believe that is all there is to life as experience has shown it to be far more varied.
blackhumour was the time living in Vancouver, B.C. (since relocated to Seattle) and known for his pieces made entirely with human vocal sounds, up till that point only available on cassettes such as the ones released by Banned Production. The track he contributed was very different from I had heard from him previously (largely looped and layer fragments) being a collage of many sources. blackhumour was also an avid writer, and went on to start publishing a quarterly pamphlet with the same name as the track here. Unfortunately, he was one of the few people I did not get a contributor for the booklet from.
Asmus Tietchens is a rather well known German composer with a large discography ranging from Residents-like instrumental synthesizer music to industrial soundscape and many points in between. His works are now documented very well in a book published by Auf Abwegen. His track here processes the voice of Iris Pompesius, whose picture is also featured on his page of the booklet.
Crash Worship arrived on the scene after I had started compiling this record. I think I had first seen them at Lectisternium in 1988, a show which I didn't think was that impressive. But with each successive show, they seemed to get better and better, evolving into the chaotic and aggressive presence they became known for, and quickly becoming one of the best live acts around. Their record never really seemed to truly represent their live sound, especially as they often thought of the studio as a different situation which called for different results. Still they produced some very nice recordings. This piece was named after a terrorist group, and later was included on their "Asesinos" CD on Cold Spring Records (England).
Premature Ejaculation gave me two different tracks, I chose the shorter and less industrial sounding video piece to use. For more information on them, see the entry for their "Assertive Discipline" LP. As with the LP, I believe the audio was done entirely by Chuck, while the collage in the booklet was done by Rozz.
Cranioclast was a band I discovered after I had starting compiling this record and was actually rather glad that some other people had turned me down so that I could include them. Their four LPs and one cassette, along with the related LP by C.O.R.E., were my favorite music at the time. The track these mysterious Germans provided is probably still my favorite on the album, and they were the only group to get two pages of the booklet.
Arcane Device was yet another act I discovered after starting this project, and because of the very impressive contribution to the "Testament" compilation and double 7" (both on RRRecords), was glad to be able to include him. He went on to do many other releases, but some years ago to decided to complete stop. One less known aspect of his creative output was drawing, which is represented nicely in the booklet. It's this track that helped impress upon me how well this record was cut.
Hirsch Quadrat was a short lived project of Christoph and Andreas Heemann. I had actually written to Christoph to ask for a track by H.N.A.S., but he informed me that H.N.A.S. had a contract with K.K. Records and was not free to give me something. He went on to state that the band was falling apart, and asked it I would like a track by a new project. I of course accepted this. The resulting track is one of only two tracks by this project to surface, the other being a companion piece to this one release on a split single with D.D.A.A. on the Belgian Electrip label. A short fragment of raw material by Hirsch Quadrat was also used on the Schimpfluch LP "Stuhlgangblockade N!".
The Haters are the great masters destroyed noise and come from nowhere in particular. At the time I was putting this together, they had a contact address in Vancouver, B.C., though from the letter I got it was obvious that spending as little time there as possible was already a goal. G.X. wrote back apologizing for the lateness of response and hoping he was still in time to contribute something. In fact, his was the first track that I received. In addition to the track, I was sent the essay "Explained" by G.X. Jupitter-Larsen, which is in the booklet. Over the years, I was able to present a few Haters performances, as well as an art show of his paintings. A couple of these paintings still hang in my house.
Mimir was a collaborative project by the members of Hirsch Quadrat and Edward Ka-Spel and The Silverman of The Legendary Pink Dots. From the title, this would seem to be an outtake from their debut double LP / CD on Flabbergast, although "December...Whatever" was later included on the CD version of "Mimyriad". This is one of my favorite moments on the record (along with Cranioclast and Hirsch Quadrat). It was also something that held up the album a little. It was a last minute addition to fill in some space left by other contributors who never got me their tracks and unfortunately the DAT was at Edward's house in Holland. This was a problem because at the time, The Legendary Pink Dots were going through a particular tragic time due to the death of Bob Pistoor. Additionally, they were just leaving for a tour of America. Which lead my first meeting with Edward Ka-Spel to start with, "Hi, you've got this DAT tape I need." (And it ended with us talking about releasing a 7" single by him.) In the end, Frans de Waard was very helpful in being able to go over and collect the DAT and mail it to me, as he lived in the same town at that time. After getting their copies, Edward told me he thought it was the best compilation they had ever been on (a lot of this having to do with the cover), though I find that hard to believe considering all the other things they have appeared on.
Plecid was David Woodard from Santa Barbara. He had made some impressive cassette releases and performances blending together the sound of early Cure and Durutti Column with altogether sinister and subliminal undertones of his literary influences William S. Burroughs and "Maldoror". He also wrote a short pamphlet which he gave to various stars and was often displaying quotes from the reactions of Robert Smith, Andy Warhol and Burroughs. He was someone else I wanted to release on LP early on. His original track was to be "I am Your Arch-Enemy" (or something of that nature), though it was switched, with his permission, with the track he gave to Chuck Collison for a Happiest Tapes on Earth cassette compilation, because I needed something a little shorter. Unfortunately, by the time the record was released, our friendship had completely dissolved. I included his track out of a feeling of commitment, though he later made some ridiculous statement that it wasn't even him on the record. Considering these last facts, I sometimes wished I had just left this track off.
For the cover, I had originally asked Kris Fuller to do something. Unfortunately, I lost contact with her. Then I asked Rozz Williams but he wasn't able to do anything in the end either. I then hoped to get Nick Greene to do something but again nothing happened. In the end, I got a beautiful piece of artwork from Christoph Heemann, in addition to the label artwork he already provided, which left me very, very happy. Not wanting to settle on a regular printed cover, I finally hit upon the idea of doing a cloth cover. My mother, Kris, turned my idea into a physical mock-up and in the end sewed all the covers. The cloth itself was bought as remainders which allowed us to cheaply get a large variety of colors of cloth ranging from the more common tan and light blue to fluorescent pink, purple, and couple very beautiful red and green ones. The screen printing was done by Motr Egg, two friends who had just started their business (a flyer for them was included with the LP). I guess I was their first customer and one of the only ones that paid them. Their work very admired, especially considering the fine print and detail of Christoph's artwork which they skillfully reproduced. They also made me a t-shirt with the cover art, though never produced any to sell. In the end, I was short 23 covers for the LP. By this time, I had become close friends with Small Cruel Party and ask him if we would like to make a handmade cover for these remaining copies. He of course agreed, and made two very large paintings which were cut into 12 by 24 inch sections and folded in half. While the regular edition had sold out within three months of release, this more limited edition with handmade cover stuck around for a lot longer and eventually most copies went to Japan.
The title "Perpetual State of Oracular Dream" was actually taken out of the book "Apocalypse Culture" while randomly looking through books trying to come up with a good title as Asmus had asked about this aspect. I would like to point out however, that I liked the phrase out of the context of the article it was taken from (which actually didn't interest me so much), as it resonated some other personal meanings at the time.
The diverse master tape formats (reel-to-reel, DAT, and cassette) were all assembled onto two sides by Rod Cervera (who at the time was in a band with my former wife) at his father's studio in Hollywood. Last I heard, I think he was playing in some pop band called The Rentals.
The album was compiled from November 1998 through July 1991, and not finally released until December 1991. Certainly a very long process and much longer than I had wanted it to be. It could not have been released without the financial help of Chuck Collison, who loaned me a good deal of the money I needed to get the record out. Other thanks were listed on the back of the booklet, mostly being the names of people who were directly involved with either of the two Baader-Meinhof releases, along with a few other people who proved helpful to me during those times (like Stuart Swezey and Brian King of Amok Books whose Mac and LaserWriter I had used to do all the text for this LP). By the time this record was released, I had already decided that the name Baader-Meinhof did not represent what I was interested in doing and already started distribution some months earlier under the new name of Anomalous Records. As the record was announced and planned to be on Baader-Meinhof, that was the way it came out, though with clear recognition that Anomalous Records was responsible for its distribution and who to contact in the future. By the time the record came out, I was 20, and had a much better idea of what I wanted to do.
Eric Lanzillotta, March 14, 2000