Current 93

Current 93
Current 93

Current 93 in 2007
Background information
Origin Britain
Genres Apocalyptic folk, experimental music, dark ambient, neofolk, post-industrial
Years active 1982 – present
Labels Coptic Cat
United Dairies
L.A.Y.L.A.H. Antirecords
Beta-lactam Ring Records
David Tibet
Steven Stapleton
Michael Cashmore
Past members
Douglas P.
Rose McDowall
Christoph Heemann

Current 93 is an eclectic British experimental music group, working since the early 1980s in folk-based musical forms. The band was founded in 1982[1] by David Tibet (né David Michael Bunting, renamed 'Tibet' by Genesis P-Orridge sometime prior to forming the group).



Tibet has been the only constant in the group, though Steven Stapleton (of Nurse with Wound) has appeared on nearly every Current 93 release.[2] Michael Cashmore has also been a constant contributor since Thunder Perfect Mind. Douglas P. of Death In June has played on well over a dozen Current 93 releases, and Steve Ignorant of Crass (using the name Stephen Intelligent), Boyd Rice, runologist Freya Aswynn [1], Nick Cave, Björk, Andrew W.K., Will Oldham, Ben Chasny, Rose McDowall,[2] Tiny Tim, Tony Wakeford of Sol Invictus, Marc Almond, John Balance of Coil, Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons, Baby Dee and Ian Read of Fire + Ice have also lent their talents over the years. Tibet is fond of the works of American writer Thomas Ligotti, and invited him to collaborate with Current 93.

Current 93 have released some twenty albums, and many singles, as well as having been a guest on many of the above listed artists' records, and others' such as Nature and Organisation and The Hafler Trio.

Much of Current 93's early work was similar to late 1970s and early 1980s industrial music: abrasive tape loops, droning synthesizer noises and Tibet's distorted, excoriating vocals. This early work became influential with the goth scene. Later works found Tibet mostly casting off such trappings in favor of a more organic sound, labeled by some as "apocalyptic folk" music, occasionally featuring his sinister nursery rhyme-influenced singing and primarily acoustic folk-styled music.

Tibet's lyrics have been fairly consistent, regardless of delivery: The earlier recordings reflect his preoccupation with death, Christ, mysticism, Aleister Crowley (Tibet borrowed the term "93 Current" from Crowley - the 93 Current [2] being the current of Thelema or Agape), Tibetan Buddhism, Gnosticism, runes, swastikas, Noddy, The Wicker Man, and a variety of occult notions. The later to present-day period of Current 93's recordings increasingly reflect Tibet's interest in Christian mysticism. Tibet has stated that he identifies as a Christian.[3]

Literary influences include Lautreamont's Les Chants de Maldoror, the Bible, The Poetic Eddas, Francis Parker Yockey's Imperium, Hildegard von Bingen, John Dee, Heptarchia Mystica, The Thunder, Perfect Mind, William Blake, Louis Wain, writer Thomas Ligotti, occult British author Arthur Machen (originator of the title "The Inmost Light"), M.R. James's various ghost stories, The Cloud of Unknowing, Count Eric Stenbock, and Russell Hoban's Riddley Walker.[4]

Musical influences include religious chants, traditional folk music, The Tam Lin ballad, The Incredible String Band, Sand, Comus, Blue Öyster Cult, Black Sabbath, Love, Shirley Collins, some progressive bands such as Yes, King Crimson, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and the British composer Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji.

David Keenan's book England's Hidden Reverse - A Secret History of the Esoteric Underground (SAF Publishing 2003) extensively covers Tibet's musical evolution along with that of Coil, Stephen Stapleton, and others.


Year Title Format and special notes
1983 Mi-Mort cassette split with Nurse With Wound
1984 LAShTAL 12"
1984 Nature Unveiled LP (reissued on CD,1992)
1984 No Hiding from the Blackbird 7" split w/ Nurse With Wound
1984 Dogs Blood Rising LP (reissued on CD, 1988 and 1995)
1985 Live at Bar Maldoror LP (reissued on CD 1990 and 1994)
1985 Nightmare Culture EP split with Sickness of Snakes (Coil/Boyd Rice)
1986 In Menstrual Night LP (reissued on CD, 1994)
1986 NL Centrum-Amsterdam live cassette split w/ Nurse With Wound
1987 Happy Birthday 12"
1987 Dawn LP (reissued on CD, 1994)
1987 Imperium LP (reissued on CD, 2001)
1987 Crowleymass (with HÖH) 12"/CDS (reissued in 1997)
1988 Christ and the Pale Queens Mighty in Sorrow 2xLP (reissued on CD, 1994)
1988 The Red Face of God 12" (reissued on CD with above, 1994)
1988 Swastikas for Noddy LP (reissued on CD as Swastikas for Goddy, 1993)
1988 Faith's Favourites 12" split with Nurse With Wound
1988 Earth Covers Earth LP (reissued on CD, 1992) (limited LP reissue, 2005)
1989 Rome/Hourglass for Diana/Fields of Rape 7" (live)
1989 She Is Dead and All Fall Down limited edition 7"
1989 Crooked Crosses for the Nodding God CD
1990 Looney Runes LP, CD 1992
1990 1888 split EP with Death In June
1990 Horse LP, part of a box set/split with Sol Invictus and Nurse With Wound (reissued on CD as Horsey with extra/reworked tracks, 1997)
1991 Island (with HÖH) LP/CD
1991 As the World Disappears (live) CD
1992 Thunder Perfect Mind 2xLP/CD (reissued, 1994)
1992 Current 93/Death In June/Sol Invictus (live) Recorded in Frankfurt, Germany, 1991. Originally a bootleg called Day of Dawn, officially reissued on CD.
1993 Emblems: The Menstrual Years LP, issued as 2xCD retrospective
1993 Hitler as Kalki CD
1994 Of Ruine or Some Blazing Starre LP/CD
1994 Lucifer Over London EP/CD
1994 The Fire of the Mind CD
1994 Tamlin 12"/CDS
1995 Where The Long Shadows Fall (Beforetheinmostlight) 12"/CDS
1996 All The Pretty Little Horses: The Inmost Light LP/CD
1996 The Starres Are Marching Sadly Home (Theinmostlightthirdandfinal) 12"/CDS
1996 Untitled, a.k.a. Seven Seals CD-EP with Tiny Tim, Nurse with Wound and Nature and Organization
1997 In a Foreign Town, in a Foreign Land limited CD, accompanied Thomas Ligotti book of same name
1998 Soft Black Stars LP/CD, (reissued on CD in 2005)
1999 Calling for Vanished Faces 2xCD retrospective
1999 An Introduction to Suffering Current 93/Michael Cashmore/Christoph Heemann LP/CD
1999 Misery Farm CDS
1999 All Dolled Up Like Christ 2x Live CD
2000 I Have a Special Plan for This World 12"/CD, Thomas Ligotti prose poem read by Tibet, treated by Current 93
2000 Sleep Has His House LP/CD
2000 Faust LP/CD
2001 The Great in the Small LP/CD
2001 Cats Drunk on Copper CD (Live at the Union Chapel, London, May 3, 1997)
2001 Bright Yellow Moon 2x12"/CD Current 93/Nurse with Wound
2001 Purtle CD Split w/ Nurse with Wound
2001 This Degenerate Little Town CD with Thomas Ligotti
2002 The Seahorse Rears to Oblivion 12"/CD
2002 Music for the Horse Hospital 2xCD Current 93/Nurse with Wound
2003 A Little Menstrual Night Music CD containing remixes of tracks from In Menstrual Night
2003 Calling For Vanished Faces/Virgin Mary 7" split with Antony and the Johnsons; UK PanDurtro 008
2003 Live at St. Olave's CD EP split with Antony and the Johnsons; UK PanDurtro 007
2004 Halo CD
2004 SixSixSix: SickSickSick CD compilation of Tamlin, Lucifer over London, Misery Farm, and two pieces from Looney Runes
2005 How I Devoured Apocalypse Balloon 2xCD (Live at St. George The Martyr Anglican Church, Toronto, June 18–19, 2004)
2005 ⲛⲧⲛⲁⲩ ⲛϩⲱⲧⲡ ⲙⲡⲣⲏ ⲁϩⲉⲛⲉϫⲏⲩ ⲉⲩⲕⲏⲙ ⲟⲩⲉⲙ ⲧⲡⲉ CDS (promo for Black Ships Ate the Sky; the Coptic title reads "At Sunset Black Ships Ate The Sky")
2005 Judas as Black Moth (Hallucinatory Patripassianist Song) 2xCD "best of"/introduction to C93's works
2005 How He Loved The Moon (Moonsongs For Jhonn Balance) 2xCD/2xLP (ltd. 1200)/2xLP+7" (ltd. 200), a remixed version of In Menstrual Night
2005 Hypnagogue/Hypnagogue II CD
2006 Black Ships Ate the Sky CD / 2xLP
2006 Inerrant Rays of Infallible Sun (Blackship Shrinebuilder) Split 10" with Om
2006 Black Ships Eat the Sky CD - Alternate mixes
2007 The Inmost Light 3xCD/2xLP reissue of Where The Long Shadows Fall, All the Pretty Little Horses, and The Starres Are Marching Sadly Home
2007 Birdsong in The Empire Live CD (ltd. 1200) Recorded in Toronto, Canada, 2005
2008 Black Ships Heat the Dancefloor Blue 12" single/DualDisc, remixes by JG Thirlwell and Matmos
2008 Birth Canal Blues CD EP April 2008
2009 Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain CD/LP
2010 Baalstorm, Sing Omega (December 1971) CD/LP
2010 Haunted Waves, Moving Graves Limited-edition CD (999 copies) and 12" picture disc (666 copies). Both editions have different track listings.
2011 HoneySuckle Æons Released 24 March 2011

Compilation appearances

  • "Black Ships Ate The Sky (Alternate Mix)" on Brainwaves (2006)

Current 93 Presents releases

  • 1986 Aleister Crowley - The Hastings Archives/The World As Power LP
  • 1988 The Venerable ' Rig. 'dzin Lama, Rinpoche - Tantric Chant of Tibet LP/CD
  • 1990 Harry Oldfield - Crystal LP/CD
  • 1990 Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson - Edda LP/CD
  • 1992 Shirley Collins - Fountain of Snow CD
  • 1995 Tiny Tim - Songs of an Impotent Troubadour CD
  • 1997 The Aryan Aquarians - Meet Their Waterloo LP/CD

See also


External links


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