I was unfamiliar with this project and this was my introduction to the label as well. According to the label’s website, “'The Stubborn Organic Emblem of Social and Biological Survival' tells the story of a King in Waiting (loosely based on HRH The Prince of Wales) who embarks on a sadomasochistic relationship with a sentient Aspidistra Plant. Think 'Fifty shades of Grey' crossed with 'Day of the Triffids'. Storyteller is a collaboration between writer & occasional filmmaker Bruce McClure and sound artist Bjørn Hatleskog.” I had not read this before I put in the tape and started writing, but yeah – this tracks pretty well. Let’s dive in.
As we begin side 1, I was surprised at how much this reminded me of Death in June’s “Occidental Martyr.” Tinkling bells, noisy field recording (scraping), and synth drone mixed with spoken word telling a story about a forest. Later on, we have random detuned guitar and the story continues with lines like "There hasn't been a beast I haven't fornicated and frolicked with" and "Better to have nightmares than to never dream at all.” Flipping the tape over, we delve even deeper into the story, with lines like "Each day and night I made love to the plant in the cellar. Each day and night I executed the man who would be king." The music is mostly experimental dark ambient and blends well with the story, and the deadpan spoken word style serves to enhance the atmosphere. I really wish there was text included here because it can be hard to follow at times, but I can understand the difficulty in putting this in with a tape. Overall, this is weird as hell and I enjoyed it immensely. Despite the cover art, I would not recommend putting this on for story time for your kids though. If you liked things like Current 93’s “I Have a Special Plan for This World,” this will probably be right up your alley.
This is limited to 100 copies. I have one of them. That means that if you want to be one of the lucky 99 others, you will need to get this while you can.