Friday, 27 April 2012

Riddle of the Rise of Magik

It was only recently that I came under possession by the latest Ramesses release, 'Possessed By the Rise of Magik'. As much as the band enthrall me - 'Take the Curse' was the finest album released in 2010 - having been so out of any loop (well, apart from Loop's loop, perhaps), let alone 'THE Loop', only recently did I realise it was out. The philosophy that says that any media can wait is the right one to adopt in these oversaturated times: what exactly would have changed had I heard this when it was released last year? Would I have gained mastery over time and space? If so, the chance is gone and I will just have to be sober about it. No one can do everything everywhere. And considering certain sources which come my way unbidden, I thought I might have heard. Still...

Nearly an hour in length, 'Possessed By the Rise of Magik' is as enthralling an offering as its predecessor specifically because it is quite distinct. There was a whole saga behind getting 'Take the Curse' from its creators' minds to their audience's ears. The experience may well have driven some people (almost) insane. It's a story that will be explored in this space another time. The important point for the present: 'Possessed' was recorded live in two days and then overlaid and perhaps toyed with a little. The difference between it and 'Curse' is, appropriately, awe-inspiringly stark.

A proper write-up of 'Possessed By the Rise of Magik' will appear here another time - track by track most likely, and then perhaps something about its totality too, we'll see. Right now I'm more concerned about the riddle which this simple digipack hides in plain sight on its back cover, as follows:

Ramesses were:
Tim Bagshaw - Flesh and Claws
Adam Richardson - Blood and Spells
Mark Greening - Skulls and Bones

If you scanned it read it again. Yes, were, as in are not any more - we can assume they don't mean 'Ramesses were', as in the wolfy kind; you can hear quite clearly that this could be the work of no other core triumvirate.

So is this the last Ramesses release, a final full-length trip into blackened pschedelia for the road? That was the first thought that sprung to mind, but it seems doubtful. More likely Ramesses were a triumvirate and will now become a quartet. For while the skeleton of 'Possessed' was recorded in 2 days in August of 2010, we are informed on this same unassuming digipack sleeve: "Vokills and keys recorded by Rodaidh McDonald at XL Studios January 2011", and while all the music is credited to Ramesses and all the lyrics to Adam Richardson, "Additional korg MS-20 and moog prodigy" is by, you guessed it, Rodaidh McDonald.

The suspense is killing, the record killer. More news as it comes in.

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