Monday, 18 June 2012

LONG BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE SUN & MOON

Smell The Stench 1st pressing
Tryby 2nd pressing

Band: URUK HAI
Title: Long Before The Creation Of The Sun & Moon
Format: There are 3 pressings of this release currently existing.  The first 3"CDr pressing was on the Smell The Stench (Australia) label.  This was followed by a second pressing with the same artwork (with an alternative shade of green for the artwork) on the Tryby label (Poland).  A tape version also exists,on the Wulfrune Worxx label (France), cat ref WW315.  Both CDr pressings have colour front and rear inlays, the tape inlay is black and white.
Edition: 1st CDr pressing in an edition of 13 hand-numbered copies; 2nd CDr pressing in an edition of 25 hand-numbered copies. The tape pressing is also limited to 25 numbered copies.

Track Listing:
01. Long Before The Creation Of The Sun & Moon  20.38

One night in week just ended, Lord and Lady Nazgul escaped from the blood-curdling wails of baby Nazgul in order to pillage the local town for drinkable cocktails, and visit the local moving picture emporium where Prometheus is currently being shown.  A supply of expendable serfs was laid in for the evening for young Nazgul to sharpen his teeth on, whilst an evening of culture and terror was enjoyed by all outside of the Castle.

The reason for mentioning this rare outing is that during Prometheus it became evident that the sort of music that accompanies this sort of film is eminently suitable to be provided by Uruk Hai on releases such as this.  Those epic 'huge-spaceship-moving-effortlessly-through-space' moments, or the 'intrepid-but-soon-to-be-killed-explorer-enters-vast-alien-craft' bits are always accompanied by suitable scores that give the impression of great distance and immutable time and space.  Ridley Scott could have saved himself a few quid on the budget of this film by taking the first 11 minutes of so of "Long Before The Creation..." to use to this effect (and if you're reading this, Ridley, and the sequel is being planned, then you know where to go).

Truly epic in scope yet simple in construction, this EP effectively comes across as an ambient journey into the formless clouds of stars at the beginning of the universe (hmmm...the effects of those excellent cocktails are clearly still being felt!) and ranks amongst the best ambient creations of the band in recent years.  From the mid-point of the song is heard a regular percussive beat, followed by vocals coming in near to the end, which pulls the sound of the song back into more 'standard' Uruk Hai territory of Lord Of The Rings ambiance (not least as it becomes more synonymous with past recordings).

Interestingly, and going off on one of Nazgul's now traditional  tangents, there may in reality have been a time in living memory on Planet Earth that we were without a moon!  There are currently four (make that five) theories of the origin of the moon:

(1) The Moon originated at the same time as the Earth, being formed substantially from the same material, aggregating and solidifying in orbit.  [Boring!]
(2) The Moon was formed not in the vicinity of the Earth, but in a different part of the solar system (or galaxy),and was later captured by the Earth's gravity pull. [Better.]
(3) The Moon was originally a portion of the terrestrial crust and was torn out, after the formation of the Earth,leaving behind the bed of the Pacific Ocean.  [Possibly, but the specialeffects would be tough to duplicate.]
(4) The Moon is an artificial satellite,which was brought into the vicinity of Earth by extraterrestrials in order to carry out some unknown agenda.  [Yes!]
(5) The Moon is made of green cheese,and was placed in space as a NASA PR stunt.  [Tell Kenji Siratori. He just might believe it.]

Giordano Bruno (a 16th century Italian philosopher) is reputed to have written in De Immenso: (Bk IV, x, pp. 56-57): "There are those who have believed that there was a certain time (as our Mythologian says) when the moon, which was believed to be younger than the sun, was not yet created.  The Arcadians are believed to have been in existence before it (the moon)."  Theodorus writes in his first book that the moon had appeared a little while before the war which was fought by Hercules against the giants.  Aristochius and Dionysius Chalcidensis, in the firstof their works, confirm the same.  Mnaseas said that the Arcadians were born before the moon, and so they were called 'proselenian'; meaning,'before the moon'.  

Velikovsky  has discussed this same idea by noting that one of the most remote recollections of mankind is in regard to the period of Earth’s history when it was Moonless.  Velikovskyquotes everyone from Democritus and Anaxagoras to Aristotle and Apolloniusof Rhodes to show that such a pre-Hellenic time existed.  Those humans living at the time were called Pelasgians, Proselenes (“before the Moon”),and Arcadians (pre-Danai and pre-Deukalion).  They were said to have dwelt in the mountains, fed on acorns, and lived as aborigines.

Plutarch, Hippolytus, Censorinus, and a doubting Lucian wrote of pre-Lunar people, as did Ovid, who said that the Arcadians possessed their land before the birth of Jove, and were older than the Moon.  There are even Biblical references (Job 25:5 and Psalm72:5) which allude to a Moonless Earth - or at least can be so interpreted. The memory of a Moonless Earth is contained in the oral traditions of such Indians as those of the Bogota highlands in the eastern Cordilleras of Columbia, i.e. according to tribesmen of Chibchas, "In the earliest times, when the moon was not yet in the heavens" and, finally, references to the aboriginal nature of the pre-Moon folk, and the fact they lived before "the birth of Jove" are particularly noteworthy.

So, make of that what you will.  Nothing is ever as straightforward as it seems...

Back to this release, as you can probably now tell Nazgul personally enjoyed it a lot, and it's become a regular fixture on the Castle death-deck.  It even apparently sooths the voracious demands of Nazgul-junior, which is no bad thing let me tell you.  Copies are still around for sale online I notice: Glorious North Productions (www.gloriousnorth.co.uk) had one listed in their store, and I'm sure the usual source of Hugin himself might prove fruitful in sourcing yourself a copy.

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