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Cover of Gathering of the Tribe

Gathering of the Tribe

Music and Heavy Conscious Creation

An album by album look at the role of the occult in popular music.

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“There is in sounds a virtue to receive the heavenly gifts” — Henry Cornelius Agrippa

Much of the music discussed in Gathering Of The Tribe deals with the special power of sound and tone. Frank Zappa may have said that ‘writing about music is like dancing about architecture,’ but this book explains how music can — or for a moment believed it could — move mountains.

It is a matter of record that over the centuries composers and musicians have been consistently inspired by the occult. Few music lovers can fail to have been intrigued by the rumours of magick and mysticism that surround many of their favourite albums.

In chapters that cover the different musical styles, from jazz through folk, rock, pop, noise and experimental forms, Gathering Of The Tribe sketches a fascinating overview of this provocative and enduring relationship with heavy conscious creation, offering en route a guide to the ultimate occult record collection, ranging from the Beatles to the Stones, Led Zeppelin to Nick Cave, Captain Beefheart to the Wu Tang Clan, Debussy to Throbbing Gristle, Charles Manson, Barbara the Gray Witch, Coven and more.

Illustrated with album sleeves.

The various sections include:

  • Cosmic Sounds / experiments with music and the supernatural
  • Jazz and the Spirit World / improvisation and revolutionary jazz forms
  • Freaky Folk / weird manifestations of a documentary form of music
  • The Law of Octaves: Esoteric Music / esoteric philosophies, religion and the law of octaves
  • Psych-Out and Countercultural Occult / the peace and love flipside
  • Sorcery and the Cinema / the spirit world on film
  • The Devil’s Interval / the rock horror show: rock music and the occult
  • Mindf*ckers / cult groups, outsider artists and their sounds
  • Electric Storm in Hell: Weird Soundscapes / modernist mood music

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David Kerekes

DAVID KEREKES is co-founder of the publishing house Headpress. He has given talks and written extensively on film and media, including the books Killing for Culture (1994; expanded and revised in 2015), See No Evil and Sex Murder Art. His novella Mezzogiorno is rooted in the impoverished Italian South, touching on themes of family, community, place, and deep-rooted occult and folkloric beliefs. He has contributed to zines and books, most recently the foreword to Snuff: Real Death and Screen Media (Bloomsbury Academic, 2016).

Gary Ramsay

GARY RAMSAY is a freelance journalist and editor. He has contributed to numerous film and music publications including Creeping Flesh, interviewed cult figures such as Tura Satana and Mike Mignola and is currently writing the book Sonic Celluloid — film and music soundtracks.

Jennifer Wallis

JENNIFER WALLIS is a historian of science, medicine, and technology, also distracted by British film and television of the 1970s, Canuxploitation cinema, and power electronics.

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Mark Goodall

MARK GOODALL is an academic who teaches and writes about film and music. He is also a musician and composer, filmmaker and has worked as a journalist, bookseller, community artist, printer and cheesemonger.

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Mick Farren

MICK FARREN was born on a wet night at the end of World War II and complained prolifically about it ever since. During his long, occasionally hallucinatory, and sometimes hell-raising career, Mick Farren published twenty-two novels that ranged from the psychedelic fantasy of The DNA Cowboys Trilogy, to the neo-goth vampirism of The Renquist Quartet, and the far future militarism of Their Master’s War. He also published more than a dozen non-fiction works on topics that range from music to drugs to conspiracy theory. An unreconstructed rock & roller, he continued to function as a recording artist and songwriter, with more than a dozen CDs to his credit, and cult followings in the US, Europe, Japan, and even India. He made detours into anarcho-agitprop like editing the underground newspaper IT, and defending both his liberty and the comic book Nasty Tales through a protracted obscenity trail at the Old Bailey. He was part of what is now called (by some) the NME golden age, during which time he helped explain punk to people who still thought Rick Wakeman had merit. As a lyricist, Mick's words have been sung by Metallica, Motorhead, Hawkwind, Brother Wayne Kramer, the Royal Crown Revue, and the Pink Fairies. He died in 2013 after collapsing on a London stage while performing with the Deviants.

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Gathering of the Tribe

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