Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Also Spielt... Zarathustra

Zoroaster was a persian prophet as siddhartha gautama was the buddha (or as Palo Alto, CA is the sister city to Luanda, Angola) and roughly contemporaneous. In the late nineteenth century he was catapulted into western civilizationary fame with the four-part book by my countryman the brilliant and ultimately mad Friedrich Nietzsche (psychotic from tertiary syphilis presumably, of which many succumbed in that pre-Fleming era).

"Also Sprach Zarathustra" -- on rereading this book today we can rightly claim it as an absolutely timeless masterpiece of literature and philosophy, very much a prelude to the entire angst-ridden twentieth century. In a bizarre parody of a religious new testament Zarathustra achieves enlightenment after ten years meditating alone in a forest and goes down to the people to tell them his mission. His first episode is a taste of what's to come: He informs some villagers waiting for a tightrope walker of his finds, but they mock him, the funambulist falls to his death, he converts him just before dying by telling him there is no afterlife or hell, therefore he is dying utterly in vain. Whereupon he leaves the village carrying the dead corpse, saying, "what a great haul of fish today, I converted one dead man."

God is dead -- in fact, he died when he choked on his all-powerful pity, informs the last pope. But he is god, says Zarathustra, surely he died in many different ways. Later still he finds a preacher before a herd of cows preaching a sermon on the mount and invites him to his hovel along with the ugliest man on earth and a piteous person who spends his time feeding leeches in a swamp, for a last supper that features a donkey reciting prayers...

You can see from this how modern the book still sounds. What is especially beautiful is how we get that distinct frisson of a man on the edge of madness, enraptured with his moral of how spiritualism is dead, there is no god, and life is what we make of it. We must become better than men (ubermensch) (not "supermen" as Shaw mocked him) by our own standards. The first true existentialist, his descriptions of depression as a kind of nausea really ring true to us; meantime, the man himself, wracked with migraines, chronic sciatica, presumably ulcers and some kind of inflammatory bowel disease, in addition to the aforementioned sexually transmitted infection, suffered intensely, lived in rented rooming houses and was addicted to opiates and chloral hydrates, taking an inordinate amount of prescription medication (another explanation for the almost delusional quality to his writing), hardly interacting with other people at all except to ask various and sundry for food. How was he himself an ubermensch except in his fantasy and own mind? This is of course the paradox of the modern human, that having everything, he or she is nothing but a reality show contestant. The modern human is richer than a king with all the foods and clothes in the world for him or her to possess but feels himself a beggar comparing himself to Warren Buffett or Angelina Jolie. He is required to become better than all humans who have lived before, but he can't -- not when there is everything in the world to distract the time with, such as the progressive albums we are wasting all our spare time searching for and documenting to a degree the monks of the middle ages would have found unbecoming for saint or sinner. Like them though, we can drink a trappist ale or local craft beer and forget the future by remembering the past that we live for. And when we die? Will we recall all these albums with fondness and feel we have lived a full life replete with rare records? Zarathustra whispers in our ear, "your soul will die before your body... fear nothing further..." Unfortunately, this is my own modern irony, that without an afterlife or religion, death is the end of everything, the greatest fear of all.

What we have here is a typical late-seventies / early eighties kraut hard rock private pressing, along the lines of Last Exit, Burning Candle, etc., or the previous Forest album. Some tracks are quite enjoyably hard with driving riffs, there is a lot of variety too, but hampering somewhat is the sound, which seems almost as if it was recorded on a two track mixer.

Song samples up shortly.

19 comments:

Tristan Stefan said...

mp3
http://www.mediafire.com/?633aftho1p8m3aq
flac
http://www.mediafire.com/?xyccnkvhr7a66v7
http://www.mediafire.com/?2hzwwzgyu2n7h28

apps79 said...

another one off the wishlist, another time you have to receive my eternal thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

hi tristan
it was a delight to read your observations on nietzche and your point of view concerning his ubermensch theory _ i started that goddamn book 10 years ago , i've never been able to outpass the 100th page until now , it was this book that started my quest for atheism or should i say that annihilated all faith in me and destroyed all my preconceived religious theories
anyway , i wasn't expecting at all to read a paragraph on nietzche in prognotfrog and i think we should speak philosophy more on here as , from my point of view , psychedelic and progressive rock are the continuity (prolongement)of philosophy (or quest for truth as opposed to reality) in a musical context
it may as well be the ultimate philosophical allegory , when practiced by masters like robert fripp , hamill or waters
sorry for being a bore
i just wanted to add that you made one small mistake : i completely agree about the eternal insatisfaction of everyone as the human condition per excellence but the paradox you're talking about concerns ,it's my belief, the modern occidental human being _ more than half of humanity don't care at all about having the latest nike , eating caviar , drinking the most subtle whisky , sniffing the purest cocaine or looking like angelina jolie _ in fact they don't even know who are mme pitt or warren buffett (or bill gates to pick the most famous billionaire)
desole d'avoir plome l'ambiance sur la fin

Ade H. said...

nice one

Anonymous said...

thanx.year and country??? sorry i can't read english

Anonymous said...

thanks a lot. had that on my search list, though it sounds exactly like I suspected. Still a great find for 82 and some great moments. by the way: we've linked you to our blog spurensicherung.blogspot.com specialized in experimental, electonica, free jazz, kraut and other underprivileged music from the past on one hand, and rare uk and german 45s of the 60s on the other. you might take a look and perhaps do the same for us. yours, Lolly Pope

isabelbc said...

Thank you, Tristan! :o)

Tristan Stefan said...

very true about half of humanity, of course, it's very different in other parts of the world, there is not much opportunity for philosophy (or progressive rock) when you're starving and searching for food

Anonymous said...

Thanks! previously unknown to me ! did not expect [big] before hearing it.
Then it comes out a surprise to me, a pretty impressive album.
Music-wise, this album is rich, melodic, full of IMAGINATION, really grows on me ! duran

PHSStudiosRJ said...

This here is proof that together, it is possible!

Thanks for sharing

salsadetomate said...

well, i'm not very good with english so i don't want to talk a lot about philosophy in this language, but for me the most important contribution of nietzche is how morals limits the human mind and knowledge, as humans we don't do what we want cause of fear of imaginary creatures that exists in society

Anonymous said...

Thank you Tristan for the post and the erudite, thought provoking, excellently written entry! For me music as a transient expression of the numinous is a golden thread that keeps me from falling into the abyss when confronted with existential agnst. As Nietzsche said "And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you".

Cheers!

Buddhabreath

Tristan Stefan said...

for me, music is more like a drug that keeps me calm and addicted throughout the trials of life and fears of death, and when my wife is yelling at me to take the headphones off, she surely feels the same way

isabelbc said...

dear Tristan,
i live a similar situation, but i am the woman who likes to listen to music - then, for live in peace, do not use the headphones - it's healthier and your partner can enjoy what you're hearing ;)

Tristan Stefan said...

it's funny how women and men think differently... when I take the headphones off and say 'let's listen to this record,' then of course my wife talks to me without stop, which means I can't listen to the music, then I say 'I thought we were listening to the music', and she will say, 'I thought you wanted to be married to me' --it sounds like a tv show doesn't it?

kobilica said...

At first I don't know what to expect,but in the end it's a quite good album.Thanks for chance to hear it...

japanese kid said...

Hai.
I enjoy this blog every time from Japan.
Please reup this album.
I will thank you if you hear a request.
Thank you.

isabelbc said...

new link http://uploadmirrors.com/download/1T0FWPWW/aszmp3.rar

japanese kid said...

Thank you very much!!!

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