The occult playlist

Manson magick and orgone accumulators

The pursuit of some kind of higher knowledge or illumination as the Bavarians would call it (think Illuminati) is a common thread throughout the human race especially amongst those we would call artists. If reality is what we perceive and we are able to change our perceptions then how many layers to our reality are there? Can it be manipulated? There are those who believe it can.

My interest in the occult began as a teenager by way of smoking weed and an obsession with heavy metal and its stunningly evil aesthetics. Around the time I turned 19 I discovered Throbbing Gristle started taking mushrooms and studying tarot. One of my ex-girlfriends turned me on to Hermann Hesse Aleister Crowley Austin Osman Spare and Death in June. Magickal and occult connections and associations now bubbled up from beneath all my most beloved musicians and artists. Sexual experimentation drugs meditation and yoga trance-states astral projection sigilization crystals and industrial music are things I take a very serious interest in now. What follows is a list of relatively “cult” bands that have accompanied me down the rabbit’s hole of consciousness augmentation.

Psychic TV “Terminus-Xtul”

A song of initiation. Ritualistic repetition. In 1966 after an internal collapse The Process Church of the Final Judgement (a shadowy more austere splinter group of Scientology) moved to Xtul on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico where they developed and refined their theology. Some believe Charles Manson studied both Scientology and Processean theology. Psychic TV has spurred my interest in the occult more than any other force. Their history and impact is too overwhelming to include here. Those who want to know will find out themselves.

Death in June “Rule Again”

From what is maybe my favourite record of all time. Rife with allusions to the works of Crowley and Austin Osman Spare this is just a beautiful song. The gong and the trumpet send a shiver down my spine every single time. Gothic perfection.

Rudimentary Peni “The Evil Clergyman”/”Brown Jenkin”

Taken from a frightening concept centred on the life and work of probably the greatest writer of occult/supernatural fiction the world has ever seen: Howard Phillips Lovecraft. These songs both instrumentals are the sound of falling down the rabbit’s hole. There are things you cannot unlearn sights you will never unsee.

Throbbing Gristle “Looking For the OTO”

Basically a version of “Still Walking” from Throbbing Gristle’s last show ever in San Francisco 1981 (Flipper were the supporting act). The Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO) is a fraternal occult organization founded around Aleister Crowley’s philosophy of Thelema. It was originally intended to mimic European Freemasonry — members are ritualistically initiated into higher and higher degrees of knowledge and it is draped in all the dramatic ritualism of The Golden Dawn. ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.’

The Cultural Decay “Brave New World”

Orwell and Huxley’s visions of mankind’s future differed greatly but I would say our current situation lies somewhere between the two.

Zounds “Demystification”

All those secret doings and plots and schemes that shape our world — poor shits like you and I will never be privy to these things. So many symbols. So many unspoken agreements. What does it all mean? Who pulls the strings?

Siouxsie & the Banshees “Helter Skelter”

Better than the Beatles could ever be. This ain’t the summer of love.

Pink Floyd “Chapter 24”

Syd Barrett lays the I Ching on you. Sublime.

Current 93 “Beausoleil”

Bobby Beausoleil is currently serving a life sentence for the murder of Gary Hinman. He is a former member of the Manson Family who appeared in two films by occultist and filmmaker Kenneth Anger. He composed the soundtrack for one of these — Lucifer Rising — after Anger’s first choice Jimmy Page (who now owns Aleister Crowley’s famed house in Scotland) failed to deliver in time. It is well worth checking out.

Hawkwind “Orgone Accumulator”

Wilhelm Reich was a radical Austrian psychoanalyst who wrote many influential books and espoused a breadth of sexually permissive opinions. During the 1930s he fled Europe for New York and began researching an ethereal cosmic energy he dubbed “Orgone.” He constructed Orgone Accumulator machines that were said to cure cancer among other things. In 1956 after troubles with the FDA he was sentenced to two years in jail. His books and other works were burned by order of the court. He died one year later.