|"Aion" (L) and "The Serpent's Egg" (R)|
It was an unseasonably cool late Spring day, back in 1997, when I truly came to love the music of Dead Can Dance, the collective between Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard. The day was cloudy, with the threat of rain hanging in the air. I was struggling with some turbulent emotions, in a contemplative frame of mind that I had previously never seen. It was the perfect storm of thought and environment, whilst listening to the song, "The Carnival is Over" (from 1993's "Into the Labrynth"), that caused me to, at long last, deeply connect with the music of one of the most eclectic collective of musicians ever assembled.
Less than a year before, my good friend Brad had told me that, if he were stranded on a desert island with only one album at his disposal, it would been Dead Can Dance's Ryko Records compilation, "A Passage in Time". While "A Passage in Time" was deeply inspirational in my connection with the music of Dead Can Dance, it wasn't until "The Carnival is Over" that these eclectic sounds... a fusion of West meets East... would become part of who I am.
Although I have never completely stopped collecting records, I spent most of the 90's gathering the compact discs of Dead Can Dance. It wasn't until a few years ago, upon the 2012 release of "Anastasis", that I fully delved into collecting the (mostly rare) DCD records on the vinyl format that I so deeply love. At first it was finding a several year old, out-of-print, 180 gram re-issue of 1985's "Spleen and Ideal", then it was purchasing the Mobile Fidelity issues of "Into the Labrynth" and 1996's "Spiritchaser". Just a month ago, I was elated to find a re-issue of the 1994's "Toward the Within", the live recording taken from the "Into the Labrynth" tour, featuring mostly new material that had previously been released. It was home to the first DCD song that I had actually heard, a beautiful song called, "American Dreaming".
Fast forward to two days ago,when my wife and musical soulmate, Joan, and I were digging at one of our favorite local shops. I stumble across both "Aion" and "The Serpent's Egg", Aion from 1990, "The Serpent's Egg from 1988...both reissued by their original label, 4AD.
It was no surprise that I couldn't leave the store with both records, even though it took two days to finally sit down and give these records the reverence and respect that they deserve. Was the wait worth it? Definitely, even though "The Serpent's Egg" had a small anomaly that prevented the opening refrains to play perfectly. With the problem rectified, I dropped the needle a second time, to hear one of my all time favorite Dead Can Dance songs, rumble through the living room..."The Host of Seraphim".
With only 2 remaining DCD studio albums to track down, the collection is nearly complete. I believe one of those elusive albums is available, if not both. Perhaps, it will come as no surprise to anyone if another DCD album shows up as Record o' the Week in the near future, even though it will probably be quite some time before I finally cave and buy the widely available first album. Why no rush for that one? Well... it's just silly Goth music.
The following is a video taken from the incredibly beautiful film, "Baraka", which utilizes the song "The Host of Seraphim". Footage is taken of the poverty found in Calcutta and other parts of the world. It is, simply put, one of the most stirring pieces of cinema I have ever seen, due, in part, to the music that accompanies the imagery.