Tag: music

Odin’s Booty Live, by the Dragon Ritual Drummers

By Mike Gleason | March 14, 2009 | Leave a comment

Odin’s Booty Live, by The Dragon Ritual Drummers
CD: Labyrinth House Publishing, B001P810JG, 2009

This CD consists of five live performances by a group which never fails to stir their listeners. If you can hear these guys perform and not feel your pulse rate go up, check into the nearest morgue – you’re dead.

After a compilation of introductions they move immediately into a performance in Salem, Massachusetts on Halloween night. Continue reading


Review: Pagan Summer, by Thoth Ganesh

By Mike Gleason | December 7, 2008 | Leave a comment

Pagan Summer, by Thoth Ganesh
CD: CD Baby, 2008

There are eight tracks on this release. They cover a lot of territory from “Dionysus is Rising” (written for a Paganfest performance) to “Jai Ganesha” (a Hindu praise song).

Thoth Ganesh did all the performance work on this album (singing and playing all the instruments). And, with the exception of the lyrics for “Jai Ganesha” (which are traditional) he wrote all the lyrics. Obviously, this is a multi-talented individual. Continue reading


Review: The Singing Tadpole & Best Before the End of the World, by Peter Carroll

By Psyche | May 29, 2005 | Leave a comment

The Chaos Magick Audio CDs, Volume 6: The Singing Tadpole & Best Before the End of the World, performances by Ray Sherwin & Nigel Mullaney; commissioned by Peter J. Carroll
CD: New Falcon Publications, 1-56184-262-1

The first CD, The Singing Tadpole, contains the poem of the same name, by Thessalonius Loyola, read by Ray Sherwin against a musical backdrop reminiscent of those old meditation tapes – poor sound quality and a twangy instrument in the background, but still sort of neat sounding. Five short electronica pieces follow, with the last titled ‘Nothing is True’ with this phrase repeated throughout.

The second CD, Best Before the End of the World, consists of eight tracks, titled ‘Best Before Sex’, ‘Identified Alien Intelligence’, ‘Unnatural Selection’, Kundalini Me’, ‘Mayday’, Darkbud’, ‘Never There’, and ‘Androgene’, though you wouldn’t know this to look at it. The only place I found the song titles was the New Falcon website. No liner notes accompany the CD – there’s not even a cover. It seems sort of pointless to name tracks then but not identify them to listeners. The music is predominately instrumental, electronic, but fairly laid back. Likely suitable for use in ritual, though one may want to have listen through first before incorporating them into one’s practice.

That said, I’m not certain exactly why it’s dubbed a chaos magick CD set. The Singing Tadpole does weave in a mention of sigil work, but I don’t see that as being exclusive to chaos magick, nor is electronica particularly associated with it as far as I’m aware. Perhaps simply it is virtue of the fact that Ray Sherwin is half the team, and Peter Carroll is associated with it? Either way, it’s a neat set, perhaps more so if you’re a fan of electronica. Personally, while I dig the poem, punk rock better suits my musical tastes and my chaote aesthetic.


Review: Sacred Sounds of Santeria, by Raul Canizares

By Mike Gleason | April 24, 2004 | 2 comments

Sacred Sounds of Santeria: Rhythms of the Orishas, by Raul Canizares
CD: Destiny Recordings, 1594770026, 60 min, 2004

This CD is a reissue of a previously issued cassette tape. It is not likely to appeal to a large audience, since it consists of songs to the orisha of Santeria (or Lucumi as it is sometimes called). There are no translations provided.

The liner notes provide a bit of background and recommendations from a Cuban high priest on who could benefit from each of the songs included in this collection.

The songs are divided into two sections – those recorded in the studio and those recorded “in the field.” The recordings, therefore, vary in quality. The studio versions have much more polish and consistency, while the field recordings are not as crisp and sharp. For all of that, the field recordings come across with a certain level of power and immediacy that the studio sessions just cannot convey.

For those who have an interest in this faith, who have never actually attended a ceremony, these songs and rhythms can begin to give a feeling for the energies involved. For those who are occasional participants in the ceremonies, these recordings can serve as a reminder between attendances.

Because these songs were recorded in Cuba, and are primarily in the language of the orisha (various African-derived dialects), they can be used as a meditation tool without distracting the conscious mind by easily understood lyrics. One can allow the sounds and rhythms to carry one along.

One word of warning may be appropriate with reference to these songs. They are designed to invoke the orisha, so they may “ride” their followers. The orisha expect to possess their followers, and even when they don’t do so, the power of their presence may be unsettling (and/or overwhelming) if you are not used to it.

This disk is a welcome addition to an all-too-small group of readily available recordings of “traditional” or “indigenous” music. There is a need to preserve these songs and rhythms, and the technology available today should make this easier to accomplish. Field recordings offer a better feel for the culture they come from.

Mr. Canizares has added a few non-Lucumi songs, also recorded in the field. These are from faiths which are related to Lucumi, and share the same sense of power. There is an instance of a song in Spanish (after all, Cubans do speak Spanish in their daily lives), but most of the songs are untranslatable to the average listener.

The CD is enjoyable on several levels – as an example of Afro-Cuban music, as a sampling of the power and majesty of Afro-Cuban religious expressions, and as background when reading material relating to the Lucumi faith (such as Mr. Canizare’s excellent Cuban Santeria). While it isn’t for everyone, it can certainly by an eye-opening experience if you allow it to be.


Review: The Best of Pagan Song, by Serpentine Music

By Mike Gleason | March 8, 2004 | Leave a comment

The Best of Pagan Song, by Serpentine Music
CD: 0247710042, 2004

My 23 year-old daughter and I have many differing opinions, and we often agree to disagree on things, but as soon as she saw this CD, she asked if she could give it a spin on her player. Looking over the play-list she cheered the inclusion of “Burning Times” (Charlie Murphy), “We Won’t Wait Any Longer” (Gwydion Pendderwen), “Christians and Pagans” (Dar Williams), and “Magick” (Gypsy). Then she started reading the liner notes and discovered that “Every Woman Born” (Ruth Barrett) was written in honor of my daughter’s Fairy Goddess Mother’s (Z. Budapest) 40th birthday. Needless to say, that made her day. [See her impressions attached to the end of my review]

The hour’s worth of music on this disc runs the gamut from irreverent to deeply moving (kind of like the spread from Discordians to family traditions). As such, it is a great metaphor for the Pagan movement in its entirety.

Although there are some songs and artists I am unfamiliar with, many of them are old favorites I have worn out copies of tapes and LPs with, and by, some of them. I have, as a result of listening to these wonderful songs revised and expanded my “wish list” of albums to add to my collection.

I have to agree with my daughter’s comments and evaluation. I must say I look forward to exploring the catalog of Serpentine Music. I am sure I will find more treasures waiting to be discovered.

Sheri’s Comments: A magnificent compilation for ritual, parties, or even a teaching tool. Old timers like me will find this a wonderful reminder of why we have come this way and why we’ve stayed. Newbies who may not be aware of our universal presence in the arts will most likely find themselves inspired to pick up the standard. All said, it’s just an incredible album. Whether you’ve been an initiate for 30 years or a student for three months, “The Best of Pagan Song” affects all that connects to the self, the Mighty Ones, and to the universal Pagan community we can all achieve if we believe in ourselves, each other, and the Lord and the Lady.


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