BLOOD AXIS & LES JOYAUX DE LA PRINCESSE
ABSINTHE: LA FOLIE VERTE
Original Issue: 2002 Athanor (ATNR 017) Buy it here!!!
Margot-meter: 5 moons / 5
A recent discovery for me and an unvaluable gem!
Totally mesmerized by this masterpiece...this is the sound of my beloved Europe!
My robe is the colour of despair
I have nothing in common with the fairies of the past
What I need is blood, red and hot, the palpitating flesh of my victims
Alone, I will kill France, the Present is dead, Vive the future.
But me, I kill the future and in the family I destroy the love of country, courage, honour,
I am the purveyor of hell, penitentiaries, hospitals.
Who am I finally? I am the instigator of crime
I am ruin and sorrow
I am shame
I am dishonour
I am death
I AM ABSINTHE
1 Folie Verte (I Am The Green Fairy) (3:40)
2 Symphonie Verte (And Here I Am, An Absintheur...) (4:59)
3 Minutes D'Absinthe (Let Me Be Mad, Mad With Absinthe) (1:59)
4 Absintha Taetra (Opaline) (6:58)
5 Poison Vert (D'Après Frédéric Barbier) (6:57)
6 Avec Les Fleurs... Avec L'Absinthe (With Flowers And With Women) (1:58)
7 Absinthine (D'Après Emile Duhem) (0:55)
8 Variations Sur Le Thème De Corelli (By Venus And Cupid) (4:05)
9 Variations Sur Le Thème De Corelli (That Night, I Drank Deeply) (13:20)
10 Princesse Verte (D'Après Emile Spencer) (5:37)
11 Fée Verte, Vous Êtes Jolie (Chanté Par Affre) (2:10)
from Athanor webpage:
Absinthe: La Folie Verte is a sonic and poetic invocation combining mind-altering music and powerful recitations of Absinthe-inspired poems of the fin-de-siècle.
These elements unite with a brilliant graphic presentation to conjure an emerald realm of euphoric delirium. It is also one of the most obsessive recordings ever made: the various melodies that float across these soundscapes derive from forgotten Absinthe songs of the past; actual elements of the latter, derived from old cylinder recordings and 78s, have also been carefully stirred and distilled into new formulations by Les Joyaux de la Princesse.
Furthermore, all aspects of this album (instrumentation, spoken recitations, and even the final mixing) were executed under the influence of the drink. The end result is an impressionistic tour-de-force and the ultimate aural hymn to la fée verte, the Green Fairy.
Blood Axis & Les Joyaux De La Princesse release their long-awaited celebration of that intoxicant of aesthetes: absinthe. It is said Van Gogh sliced off his ear while under the influence, Hemingway, Poe, Rimbaud and Wilde regularly imbibed the green liquor, Picasso even painted The Absinthe Drinker. Long outlawed in many countries Absinthe is regarded as one of the most potent drinks ever, its psychotropic effect a result of the wormwood herb and exceedingly high alcoholic content.
Michael Moynihan has long been an advocate of the transcendental nature of absinthe, and has been instrumental in its resurgence in America. The debut Blood Axis album, The Gospel of Inhumanity, even featured an ode to this bedevilled drink. Like Moynihan, the other musicians on this CD have all become obsessed with the drink, distilling their own recipes and creating their own rituals to accompany their absinthe sipping evenings.
Absinthe: La Folie Verte is imbued with stirring orchestrations and lush string segments, while Moynihan with deadpan delivery recites poems culled from the late 19th Century. Absinthe: La Folie Verte evokes a turn of the century Parisian café with age-old absinthe songs salvaged from the past. Produced in collaboration with the Absinthe Museum, Auvers-Sur-L'Oise, this is a beautifully packaged and extensively researched document that should appeal to anyone transfixed with the mystique of the Green fairy. When one considers that the EU ban on Absinthe has been lifted, variations of the drink are available in UK public houses, and numerous books have just been published documenting the effects of the Green liquor it appears that Blood Axis and Les Joyaux De La Princesse have managed to capture the zeitgeist of today while conjuring an atmosphere of 200 years ago.
In a collaboration with the French project, Les Joyaux de la Princesse, Michael Moynihan's Blood Axis forsakes militaristic bombast to deliver a homage to absinthe, the notorious fin-de-siècle tipple distilled from an infusion of wormwood. Michael reads from contemporary texts condemning or examining the gods and demons of the absinthe experience, against a dreamy mood-evoking ambient soundscape. With snatches of period music weaving in and out of the cacophony, the album successfully captures that sense of distance associated with intoxication as it takes us on a journey into the addled brain of the absintheur.
Absinthe had such a bad reputation - at least partly due to harmful additives - that it was widely banned for most of the twentieth century. An idea of the taste of historical absinthe can be gained from Pernod, a modern wormwood-free absinthe. Pastis is similar but the dominant flavour is liquorice rather than aniseed. Michael Moynihan and Annabel Lee of Blood Axis and Erik Konofal of Les Joyaux are all imbibers of the liquor and have long experimented with homemade varieties. Modern, commercially manufactured absinthe has only a tenth of the psycho-active 'thujone' present in the original, but my own experience suggests that even this has an effect more akin to drugs than alcohol.