Tuesday, 23 February 2010

IN MEMORY OF MIGUEL SERRANO [V/A]

Band: B-MACHINA and HROSSHARSGRANI
Title: In Memory Of Miguel Serrano
Format: CD pressed on the Valgriind label (Russia), cat ref VG31, released in 2009. A compilation album of 16 different bands from the Valgriind/Lost Reich Rex labels, mostly Russian in origin.
Edition: Believed to be 300 un-numbered copies

Track Listing:
1 Fanum - Girone Del Sangue 5:08

2 B-Machina - Conspiracy 4:34
3 Parchim - Асгард 5:09
4 Ryr - Rubedo 6:19
5 Hrossharsgrani - Unite Or Fall 7:06
6 Норма Реакции - Мироздание 7:10
7 Tchernoblyad - Gloria Eterna 6:38
8 F.k.fx - 3225 3:13
9 Akpan - A-Mor Siddhih 6:15
10 Dasein - Antinferno 4:39
11 Явь - В вечность 2:55
12 Orchid - Смерть героя 3:06
13 Sieg - Die Schwarze Sonne 5:07
14 Лютень - Дон Мигель 4:17
15 Lebensessenz - Farewell Letter 3:52
16 Зона Молчания - Memory 4:02

With this CD we find ourselves sailing into some potentially murky and controversial waters, so Nazgul feels a few explanatory notes and a bit of background to Miguel Serrano is in order here.

Firstly, however, an important point. In many of Alex's Bonemachine/B-Machina releases (and, it must be said, in some demos his from other projects) there is a statement to the effect that the band/music does not support war or war-based philosophy, that it is neither based on a political ideal nor is a political organisation, and that it is most assuredly anti-nazi in nature. The art in some of the early Bonemachine demo releases certainly depicts scenes of battle from real-life images of WWII but not for the glorification of war, nor for the pursuit of geo-political ideologies. Rather, it fits with the martial concept within the music, and emphasises the horror and futility of war.

Why all of this context, you may ask?

Well, unless you are particularly versed in obscure figures from the political canon the figure of Miguel Serrano is doubtless as unknown to you as he was to Nazgul (and indeed, as it transpires, Alex). Some internet research reveals pretty quickly, however, that he was in essence a Chilean neo-nazi philospher who propounded some pretty 'out there' theories that have become part of a movement called Esoteric Hitlarism.

To whit: "Miguel Serrano (10 September 1917 – 28 February 2009) was a Chilean diplomat, explorer and author of poetry, books (including 'The Golden Ribbon: Esoteric Hitlerism' in 1978, and 'Adolf Hitler: the Last Avatar' in 1984) Serrano is one of a number of Nazi esotericists who regard the "Aryan blood" as originally extraterrestrial. Serrano's forceful and anti-modernist neo-Gnostic philosophy - Esoteric Hitlerism - claims to elucidate the extraterrestrial origin of the Hyperborean-descended Aryans, image-bearers of the godhead, and postulates a global conspiracy against them by an evil inferior godlet: the Demiurge, worshipped by the Jews, lord of planet Earth, spawner of the primitive hominid stocks, and author of all base materiality.

The term Esoteric Hitlarism (or Esoteric Nazism) refers to semi-religious developments of Nazism in the post-World War II period. After 1945, esoteric elements of the Third Reich were developed into new völkisch (German: "ethnic") religions of white identity. Examples of post-war Nazi mystical philosophies include Esoteric Hitlerism and the Tempelhofgesellschaft. Esoteric Hitlerism includes the race-specific, pre-Christian religion (including references to Hinduism) of some Nazis Serrano finds mythological evidence for the extraterrestrial origins of man in the Nephilim [fallen angels] of the Book of Genesis.

Serrano suggests that the sudden appearance of Cro-Magnon Man with his high artistic and cultural achievements in prehistoric Europe records the passage of one such divya-descended race alongside the abysmal inferiority of Neanderthal Man, an abomination and manifest creation of the demiurge... "Of all the races on earth, the Aryans alone preserve the memory of their divine ancestors in their noble blood, which is still mingled with the light of the Black Sun. All other races are the progeny of the demiurge's beast-men, native to the planet." Serrano supports this idea from various myths which assign divine ancestry to 'Aryan' peoples, and even the Aztec myth of Quetzalcoatl (one of the 'White Gods' of the ancient Americas) descending from Venus.

He also cites the entirely respectable (but not widely accepted) scientific hypothesis of Bal Gangadhar Tilak on the Arctic homeland of the Indo-Aryans, as his authority for identifying the earthly centre of the Aryan migrations with the 'lost' Arctic continent of Hyperborea. Thus, Serrano's extraterrestrial gods are also identified as Hyperboreans. In attempting to raise the spiritual development of the earthbound races, the Hyperborean divyas (a Sanskrit term for god-men) suffered a tragic setback. Expanding on a story from the Book of Enoch, Serrano laments that a renegade group among the gods committed miscegenation with the terrestrial races, thus diluting the light-bearing blood of their benefactors and diminishing the level of divine awareness on the planet.

The concept of Hyperborea has a simultaneously racial and mystical meaning for Serrano. He believes that Hitler was in Shambhala, an underground centre in Antarctica (formerly at the North Pole and Tibet), where he was in contact with the Hyperborean gods and from whence he would someday emerge with a fleet of UFOs to lead the forces of light (the Hyperboreans, sometimes associated with Vril) over the forces of darkness (inevitably including, for Serrano, the Jews who follow Jehovah) in a last battle and thus inaugurating a Fourth Reich."

Add to this the fact that the Valgriind label is a sub-label of Lost Reich Rex, itself affiliated with the Wotanjugend web-site from which the following is drawn:

"So we, Wotan’s Youth, named our union, called to join our strength in independent, strong-willed and spiritual clean tank attack through walls of philistine to Hearts of those ones, the Spirit of North and White Rebirth lives in. We are Heathen Creative union based on the united strength of M8L8TH, Shepot Run, Nezhegol, Orchid, A Tower of Icy Ravens bands; Lost Reich Records label and Wolfenerbe portal. We are Voices of Nordic Self-expression, Panzer KampfWagen of Black Art, a Morning song of Wanderer in forest’s silence…. And all, that lives in our Hearts!

WOTANJUGEND are dedication to our art, fulfillments of all our life and our struggle, that interlaced with tragedy’s thread in our fates. Pure and cruel blow to the enemy’s backbone!

We – Wotan’s Youth, Spiritual Youth of our Kin, a part of it, that keeps and grow up in it’s heart sprouts of native Traditions of our Race, Race of Creators, Warriors and all those, who decides it’s fate itself, according a will of Norn, the will of our Father, a Universe Spirit, that revolves Star Wheel of Planets and Suns. We are those, who are not indifferent to the Future of our Kin, to the purity of our hearts, to clearness of our gazes, deep of our Weltanschauung, a Soul flight over the untermensch’s crowd chaos. In the rays of morning Sun and in the light of full moon, it the silence of forest, that falling asleep and in twilights, that are waiting for a New Dawn."

And it becomes pretty clear pretty quickly that this is propaganda for a neo-nazi cult figure from an organisation itself versed in neo-nazi tendencies and statements.

Now the burning question of the hour is, of course, how our friend Alex got embroiled in all of this. The answer is simple, and not sinister in the slightest: given that Valgriind operates as an independent sub-label "created for issuing experimental music" it had previously released a couple of Uruk Hai and B-Machina releases in its own right. The nature of the main label behind Valgriind is obscure, and Alex tells Nazgul that the subject matter for this compilation CD was unknown to him when Valgriind asked if any recorded material could be provided for its content.

To Nazgul's eyes it seems that the artist has been misused and misrepresented by the label, and the problem is that it is easy in the eyes of the ignorant to tar all bands present on this CD with unsavory political views. Nazgul knows not the history of other bands represented here, so won't make any judgements thereof.

Now, it's true to say that it is entirely possible to listen to music without being swayed by any social/political/religious connertations supposed to lie within. Listening to so-called Satanist bands does not make one a Satanist by implication, and Nazgul's general view on life in the main is "live and let live" as far as it does not hurt others. In short, listening to this music does not turn the listener into a nazi suppporter, but the financial implications are that buying the CD will put money into the coffers what ostensibly can only be called a neo-nazi organisation.

All of which is rather unfortunate, not least because you have had to read all of this background and detail without having come across any mention of the musical merit of Alex's contributions. So allow Nazgul to set the scene. Neither track was recorded specifically for this collection (in fact, given most of the music is instrumental I suspect little of it was, as there are few spoken words that could be supporting any form of policial view) but were remixed from older material.

The B-Machina title is by far the best of the two pieces: the acoustic flamenco guitar is wielded by Max in an expert manner to add intruiging melodies to what initially sounds like an acquatic/industrial background, full of electronic drips and plips as if in a swamp. Things become clear at the end, with some samples from the 1954 classic "The Creature From The Black Lagoon". Esoteric Hitlarism this is not!

The Hrossharsgrani track sounds like an outtake from the "Pro Liberate Dimincandum Est" recording sessions, with a similar sound and feel to it. A spoken word introduction (again sampled from somewhere...!) gives way to an industrial sounding soundscape (using that same 'recorded in a tin shed in a sandstorm' noise effect in the background as noted in the "Sanguis" review on this Blog) with a single word spoken over the top periodically. Definitely fits in with the experimental concept of Valgriind, but very different to 90% of other Hross' material, feeling more like an early Bonemachine track were it not for the keyboard section that kicks in at around the four minute mark.

So there you have it. Two interesting tracks from two of Alex's projects damned by association with a pretty doubtful subject for a tribute album. The sooner the tracks resurface on a release of Alex's own devising - and the B-Machina one really should, as it's really rather good - the better, to save anyone else feeling that they need to buy this particular release to hear them.

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