Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Queen Elizabeth 2 -Elizabeth Vagina,2CD,1997,UK

Queen Elizabeth is Julian Cope and Thighpaulsandra's ongoing "sonic ritual" project. Birthed in 1993, the first album was released in 1994 and the second double album, newly reissued, in 1997. Well over three hours of improvised music is spread over the three discs, the "shortest" of the seven tracks being thirteen minutes. As one might expect from these two space cadets, languid analog ambience (or "Ambulence" as Cope refers to it) via Mellotrons, Moogs and ARPs is the primary mode of space-time travel here, though percussion, guitars and miscellany also play a part. On the debut, brash quasi-arpeggios make up the bulk of "Superstar" while intentionally distorted piano chords interrupt the knob twiddling drift in "Avebury: The Arranged Marriage of Heaven and Earth". Moving on to "Elizabeth Vagina", "Tal-y-Fan" is a shocker kicking off with bombastic rock drums and bass guitar groove, later settling into extensive modulations. And the tail end of "Temples of Ker" breaks into a charming piano and guitar led ditty, nearly negating the 11 minutes of chugging synths preceding it. It surprises me that with this much meat, there's not that much to really sink my teeth into. That is, instead of being engrossed, I more often than not find myself impatiently waiting for something better to happen. I love ambient minded music but I feel that most of this material is lacking in magick and is, well, rather self-indulgent. And everything here pales in comparison to Thighpaulsandra's later work with Coil and on his own. He took the Queen Elizabeth concept to the next level for his brilliant solo debut "I, Thighpaulsandra" by fashioning ingenious songs amongst the meandering moments. Even Cope cops to this by admitting in the sleeve notes, in reference to a track on 'I' originally intended for a third Queen Elizabeth release, that it "vastly transcends the breadth of musical vision originally destined for the Queen Elizabeth version"...
From Brainwashed

get it here and here


nortoncommando said...

Would really like the solo Thighpaulsandra stuff, esp. the Double Vulger CD(s), have heard good words regarding this (first?) solo.
Thank you for the blog, one of the best out there in the b'sphere. -David in Texas

Anonymous said...

This compared to the other great stuff you post is really boring. Julian Cope and Company are boring old men clowns. Just look at his years of pop music, the man looked stupid then even. I would never listen to his music, it is boring, and so overrated!

J Albers