This week's Monday Magick entry is a massive tune from one of the most celebrated, not to mention most sampled, Jazz keyboardists of all time, Bob James. And while "The Golden Apple", from James' 1975 LP 'Two', isn't necessarily one of his most sampled tunes, it is one of the more ambitious recordings he committed to wax during the heyday of smoothed out Funky-Jazz at CTI Records. Lucky for us, it also happens to be a cut steeped in esoteric significance.
Clocking in at over seven minutes and comprised of several different "movements", "The Golden Apple" is a big, dramatic composition. It encompasses numerous influences, from Jazz, to Funk, to Classical, to Prog, and is invested throughout with the gravitas of a cinematic soundtrack. I don't know for certain, but the theatrical feel of the song may have been designed to convey the range of emotions associated with the mythology surrounding the titular gilded fruit, the Golden Apple of Discord, which was, according to Greek legend, cast into the midst of a gathering of the Gods by the goddess Eris, setting off a dispute among them over who was the most beautiful and therefor it's rightful owner. In Rome Eris was known as Discordia, and so the Golden Apple has become a symbol for the Discordian religion, founded in the 1960's by Greg Hill and Kerry Thornley, and propagated by the writings of Robert Anton Wilson. Both Eris and the Apple are significant to Discordianism, which incorporates the symbol into its signature glyph, the Sacred Chao. Additionally, the Sacred Chao and the goddess Eris are central to the plot of Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shae's 'ILLUMINATUS!', thus linking Eris, the Apple, and the Sacred Chao to traditions about the Illuminati and transcendental illumination, subjects of great interest to us here at Imageyenation.
Over the years James recorded a slew of other Jazz-Funk classics, including the oft-sampled "Take Me to the Mardi Gras", and "Nautilus", which might interest fans of a certain book about a certain golden submarine. Both "The Golden Apple" and "Take Me to the Mardis Gras" can be found on the 'Two' LP, but most of Bob James output, for both CTI Records and his own Tappan Zee imprint, during the '70s and early '80s comes with our recommendation. He's still performing, recording, and suing people over sampling his music, today.
Imageyenation dandies, Athens, Georgia-based Indie-Pop outfit of Montreal, make their second Monday Magick appearance this week with "Enemy Gene". Taken from their tenth studio album, 2010's 'False Priest', the tune features guest vocals from Alternative Soul/Pop singer Janelle MonŠe.
The impetus for posting "Enemy Gene", an uptempo, dreamy number bearing lite-Funk, Synthpop, and proggy influences with heady lyrics touching on a number of esoteric subjects, is a little odd. While working at my dayjob earlier today I spent a few hours battling the tedium by listening to various YouTube videos about random high weirdness, including an interview with noted occult/conspiracy writer, and possible author of the "Simon" 'Necronomicon', Peter Levenda. In the video (shared below) Levenda discusses several different subjects (ranging from 'Necronomicon' lore, to Nazi mysticism, to the so-called "Son of Sam" murders, to the JFK assassination) and at one point uses a metaphor about his field of research being like light which can be both a particle and a wave. He also repeatedly makes a point of blaming religious manipulations for many of the evils that have plagued and continue to plague human civilization. This immediately rang a bell with me, reminding me that almost identical sentiments are elucidated by Kevin Barnes and Janelle MonŠe on "Enemy Gene". The chorus hinges on the concept of "particle-wave duality" and the song ends with the question "How can we ever evolve, when our Gods are so primitive?" adding that "They destroy our hope for peace, hope for love". How you want to interpret lyrics about someone who is "not quite homo-luminous", and "zombies licking your window for black-body-radiation", not to mention the larger themes regarding breaking "the machine" by uniting the fractured halves of a whole via love, is up to you.
I sense hints of illumination at play myself.
As already mentioned, of Montreal's 'False Priest' was released in 2010. Their most recent album 'Aureate Gloom', featuring a song that ends with the refrain "I believe in witches, I believe in you", is in stores now on the Polyvinyl Records label.
But can someone please tell Janelle MonŠe to go back to making stuff like this instead of that "Yoga" nonsense?
Some of the clunky G-Funk revival beats and neo-Soulquarian affectations (dude owes Common royalties for how influential 'Like Water for Chocolate' must've been on this record) on Kendrick's 'To Pimp a Butterfly' were a little bit of a turnoff for me.
So was the tired anti-Luciferian moralist philosophizing present throughout the LP.
That said, there are several incredible moments on '...Butterfly', with "Alright" unquestionably being one of them.
And the video, which juxtaposes slick, visual-FX-assisted fantasy elements with wry social commentary with a focus on the scourge of police violence which has particularly plagued the African American community for ages is absolutely beautiful.
"Alright" is one of my favorite cuts from Kendrick Lamar's most recent LP 'To Pimp a Butterfly', in stores now via Top Dawg Entertainment.
We are not going to be able to operate our Spaceship Earth successfully nor for much longer unless we see it as a whole spaceship and our fate as common. It has to be everybody or nobody.
Imageyenation is an online cabal of "free thinkers" dedicated
to "immanentizing the eschaton". We propose to complete such a momentous
undertaking via nothing less than the dissolution of nation-states, the
desecration of organized religion, the abolition of private property,
the redistribution of wealth, rampant miscegenation, Gay marriage, the
abuse of psychoactive substances, using your tax-dollars to pay
for healthcare (including abortions!), and the summoning of unspeakable
"supernatural" entities via the performance of debauched rituals. To that
end we'll also be posting TONS of streaming MP3s, record, book, and film
reviews, funny photos, and streaming video clips, not to mention in-depth
essays and editorials, directly to the undercurrent of the underground
stream that is "the internets".
Please note, all content offered for veiwing, streaming, or download
on Imageyenation is for promotional or educational purposes only. If you
happen to be a content creator ó or you legally represent the interests
of a content creator ó whose work is featured on this blog and for whatever
reason you'd prefer it wasn't, please let
us know via e-mail and we'll happily remove it from the server as soon as
possible. And finally, if you're a reader who happens to enjoy any of
the myriad material you encounter here ó assuming said content doesn't
originate with us in-house ó please take the time to seek out more of
that particular materials' creators work and support them by sharing your
hard-earned Federal Reserve notes, or some other officially approved method
of credit, or form of fiat currency, with them.