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Current 93 are a British folk-based, neo-medieval music group founded in 1982 by David Tibet (né David Michael Bunting, renamed 'Tibet' by Genesis P-Orridge sometime prior to forming the group).
Tibet has been the only constant in the group, though Steven Stapleton (of Nurse With Wound) has appeared on nearly every Current 93 release. Michael Cashmore is another frequent collaborator. Douglas P. of Death In June has played on well over a dozen Current 93 releases, and, Steve Ignorant of Crass (using the name Stephen Intelligent), Boyd Rice, runologist Freya Aeswynn , Nick Cave, Rose McDowall, Tiny Tim, and Ian Read of Fire + Ice have also lent their talents over the years. Tibet is fond of the works of American writer Thomas Ligotti, and invited him to collaborate with Current 93.
Current 93 have released some twenty albums, and many singles, as well as having been a guest on many of the above listed artists' records, and others' such as Magic Lantern Cycle, Nature and Organization and The Hafler Trio.
Much of Current 93's early work was similar to late 1970s and early 1980s industrial music: abrasive tape loops, droning synthesizer noises and Tibet's distorted, ranting vocals. Later works found Tibet mostly casting off such trappings in favor of a more organic sound, labeled by some as "apocalyptic folk" music, occasionally featuring his sinister nursery rhyme-influenced singing and primarily acoustic folk-styled music.
Tibet's lyrics have been fairly consistent, regardless of delivery: The earlier recordings reflect his preoccupation with death, Christ, mysticism, Aleister Crowley (Tibet borrowed the term "93 Current" from Crowley - the 93 Current being the current of Thelema or Agape), Tibetan Buddhism, Gnosticism, runes, swastikas, Noddy, The Wicker Man, and a variety of occult notions. The later to present-day period of Current 93's recordings increasingly reflect Tibet's interest in Christian mysticism.
Literary influences include Lautreamont's Les Chants de Maldoror, The Bible, The Poetic Eddas, Francis Parker Yockey's Imperium, Hildegard von Bingen, John Dee, Heptarchia Mystica, The Thunder, Perfect Mind, William Blake, Louis Wain, James Joyce (esp. Finnegan's Wake), writer Thomas Ligotti, M.R. James's various ghost stories, The Cloud of Unknowing, and Count Eric Stenbock.
Musical influences include religious chants, traditional folk music, The Tam Lin ballad, The Incredible String Band, Sand, Comus, Blue Öyster Cult, Love, Shirley Collins, and the Parsi composer Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji
Recommended further reading: England's Hidden Reverse - A Secret History of the Esoteric Underground by David Keenan (SAF Publishing 2003)
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