• Jehovahkill (Julian Cope)

    4. Jul. 2008, 9:32

    When people jump through time, they give themselves up to rhyme
    and reasons of the heavens.

    Up-wards at 45°

    In 1992, after being totally blown away by Peggy Suicide the previous year, I walked into a record shop on Kilburn High Road and bought Julian Cope’s latest offering, the anti-monotheistically titled Jehovahkill. Due to the phasing out of vinyl LPs, it was very low priced and packaged with a CD inlay cover tossed inside, apparently to compensate for the cheap paper inner sleeves. Like the Peggy Suicide L.P, Jehovahkill came on 2 discs, but was only cut on three sides of the vinyl. Engraved on the uncut (or shall we say unhewn) side of the 2nd LP is the the same aerial shot of Callanish stone circle, that adorns the blue and gold album cover, with its pre-Christian cross formation: a living symbol of Cope overcoming his staurophobia, that he further celebrates in the solar worship of Akhenaten. The tracks are therefore divided, like the Goddess Moon, into Three Phases.

    I immediately fell in love with tracks such as Up-wards at 45° and Know (Cut My Friend Down). Less accessible than Peggy Suicide and even more paranormal than Autogeddon, Jehovahkill, the centrepiece of Cope’s so-called trilogy, reveals a Cope transformed into a fusion of the Hindu deity Shiva and Iggy pop. I remember, in the bedroom of another Cope lover, both of us freaking out to the climatic end of Know (Cut My Friend Down*), and wondering what friend is Cope referring to? Jesus? Odin? Himself? Is Cope Hanging upon the Cosmic Ash with the spear of fundamentalism in its various forms, sticking out of his side? If so, then the Arch Drude surely overcome and won the boon of runic gnosis for JehovahKill. Like a shamanistic initiate, he is willingly stripped down to his Daffy Duck Shorts, becoming one with the cultural and musical landscape, and reclothed in an adamantine loincloth by attending spirits, swan-winged and hovering in the background throughout the entire recording. Cope himself revealed that “Jehovahkill is the most mysterious of my own albums because it had genuinely occult moments which even freaked out the record-company, in whose studios I was recording” (Story of the Drude: Enlightenment & Occult Forces Haunted Cope's Jehovahkill). The instruments are the psychically charged bones of the ancestral dead. The tribe gather them up from surrounding barrows and drag them back to the world cave where the ritual is to take place.

    Jehovahkill is an astral journey across the British Isles, transcending time and space, and like a silver swastika spacecraft it radiates into glittering space, on a fragmented journey to dismantle the cosmic Mind, returning with the cosmogonic myth of the solar system:

    In the beginning, all the planets formed,
    Earth was a burning globe,
    Spinning in chaos round a star called the Sun,
    It was like all the other burning globes.
    Except for one difference:
    Boobies on the side,
    A huge spirit moving through and onward through the burning wastes,
    Of all intention the spirit was the soul:
    Loving and beyond and indefinable.

    Poet Is Priest

    Prior to the recording of Up-Wards at 45°, Julian was convinced he would die if he didn’t record it as soon as possible, loosing the “High Knowledge” forever. Thankfully Julian’s Cyclopean eye throbbed and burst open, spilling out ample amounts of song writing mead (Sullivan: 2001 & An Interview With Julian Cope). It’s about ontological orientation and our modern disconnection with the macrocosmic (Fear Loves This Place, Gimme Back My Flag, No Hard Shoulder To Cry On, Soul Desert); ancient Humankind finding its place in the world and making a mark on a megalithic level, and Modern Humanity rediscovering their own cultural landscape hidden beneath the concrete. Drawing his electric bone energy from the sea, sky and underworld, Cope is ever-willing to translate for the tribe.

    In the stomping space rockers Necropolis and The Subtle Energies Commission, Julian pays homage to Kosmische Musik/Krautrock (compare Hallogallo from Neu! Neu! [1972]). Not only does Cope drag us kicking and screaming through the womb of the Mother, he can also guide us back out again, elevating us to the Skies, such as in the pop rock of Fa-Fa-Fa-Fine. He injects some lyrical humour via Julian H. Cope, while Slow Rider introduces themes of serial killers and cannibalism “I’m making soup from your bones, I’m clogging up your drains,” later explored in Autogeddon’s Don't Call Me Mark Chapman, which contains a reference to Silence of the Lambs: “All night Barry Banilow loud over the speaker system just trying to drive the fucker out.” In The Skellington Chronicles Wayland's Smithy Has Wings identifies the Mothership from Up-Wards at 45°, “400 meters across and hanging like a football field,” with the S*T*A*R*C*A*R of Autogeddon.

    It was a S*T*A*R*C*A*R… 400 meters across.
    Wings outstretched and megalith powered.
    Hovering over the Mother Earth
    Suspended but descending to the MOTHER,
    the great lady MOM!

    Wayland’s Smithy Has Wings

    Jehovahkill’s (almost) closing track is the mini-epic The Tower, which transports both Cope and his audience into the mythic matriarchal past, Das Mutterrecht style. This "Jump through time," is reminiscent of Robert Graves' analeptic mimesis, an "intuitive recovery of forgotten events by a deliberate suspension of time," (Graves and the Goddess: p.167), that Graves' used to 'reconstruct' forgotten historical events for novels such as I, Claudius and King Jesus. It is the tale of the first male initiation into the All-Female tribe and its destructive consequences. The rest is history.


    *In his article The Illustrated Armand Schaubroeck, Julian reveals that he "used a song title of his for a Jehovahkill song, 'Cut My Friend Down'."