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coverpic flag US - New York - Full Moon 169 - 06/26/10

Copernicus
Nothing Exists
MoonJune Records/Nevermore, Inc.

I first put on this album without knowing anything about it, nor Copernicus himself. I thought it smelled of the alternative/underground scene from the 1980s and was pleased to find that it was recorded in 1984. Copernicus was a New York street poet at the time and had just recently started to collaborate with musicians. In Norway we had a gang of poets calling themselves stunt poets in the 1980s, and Copernicus would've fit nicely as one of them. On Nothing Exists he teams up with a gang of 13 musicians and vocalists for seven hairy tracks. The instruments treated and mistreated range from the usual drums, bass, guitars and keyboards to flute, marimba and affected trombone! The music is fairly improvised, quite chaotic in parts, not least due to the howling and growling voice of Copernicus himself. So far I prefer the most rhythmically structured stuff like "Quasimodo" and the first half of "Nagasaki", that nods in the direction of Pere Ubu without a solid blues basis. Also, "Blood" that builds gradually from the sedate to the noisy and the slowly evolving "Let Me Rest" works fine. But all in all I guess the words are what matters the most. Pretty nerve-breaking stuff:

Stampeded by the teachers,
Stampeded by the gods,
Stampeded by my mind.
Stampeded by men,
Stampeded to the desert,
where the sun burns dry
and
the silence crashes into
its own sky
(from "Let Me Rest!")

Nothing Exists is a remastered re-release of an LP from the mid 1980s. It was the first in a string of releases from the man that has kept going to this very day. It's an interesting album, and definitely a grower, though an acquired taste. Check it out if you fancy poetry of the blood-dripping kind backed with original soundscapes.

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