Brother in Revolt and Lawgiver supreme gets the skinny from our favorite sonic alchemist, Black Tempest…
Using that old saw known as “linear time,” we can see that not a great deal of time has passed since we first found ourselves in the orbit of Black Tempest. But then, we didn’t need much time to become enthralled by the sounds of the tempest, and since that time, our admiration has grown boundlessly. After all, space is dark and it is so endless.
Black Tempest is also dark, it should come as no surprise, and some are likely to find the sprawling, gravitationally-uninhabited soundscapes that populate brilliant albums like “Proxima” to approach the definition of “endless.” Certainly these sounds are not governed by any conventional notions of time. Rather, the Black Tempest listening experience owes more to an observation of the limitless and then seeing that limitlessness transformed into a finite expression.
And what an expression it is. Black Tempest’s cosmic creations – informed equally by a direct line of influence from space-and-krautrock pioneers (shadows of Klaus Schulze, Popul Vuh and Tangerine Dream abound) and the more indirect influence of simply being a limitless music-obsessive living in the 21st-century – make great use of the dark reflections one sees when staring into the void of space, but never seem detached from the human element, the magnetic impulse that directs ones attention toward the void in the first place. It’s a sound alien in immediate appearance, yet coursing with human blood at the heart of the machine.
We’re elated to have been brought into the orbit of Black Tempest – an elation upon which time will have only a compounding effect – and equally thrilled to have the heart of this darkness, Stephen Bradbury, provide answers to our ridiculous questions below. Enjoy.
Can you recall a time when either a single piece of music, the single performance of a band, a particular album, etc., changed your way of thinking about music in total? What was that music and what was it about that music that made such a distinct impression on you? How have your thoughts about it evolved since your first introduction?
I guess that’s happened to me a few times over the years. The first time, and thus probably the most profound, would have been Steve Hillage’s “Fish Rising.” I was probably about 12 or 13 when it came out. I used to hang around in our local record shop in the shopping arcade, and the long-haired bloke behind the counter, a few years older than me, recommended it to me. I took it home and it promptly blew my tiny teenage mind. It made me realise that music could take you outside of your normal consciousness to “other places.”
Since then the “classic” Hillage albums (“Fish Rising,” “Green,” “L,” “Motivation Radio”) have become touchstones for me, reminding me that my own music could, possibly fulfill the same function for other people. This is, essentially, what I aspire to.
A few years later I had similar revelatory experiences with Jimi Hendrix’ “Rainbow Bridge” album, and Spirit’s marvelous “Spirit of ‘76″ double. I first heard both of these during my first full-on hallucinatory experience, back in the days of “proper” microdots. They opened my eyes to the fact that I wasn’t the first person to tread those mysterious paths, and that music could be a guide and a teacher. This is also something I try to give back to people who take the time to listen to my own music.
via BLACK TEMPEST « Revolt of the Apes.