Ahhhhhhh, Copernicus! There just isn't another like him, and thank all the theurgic deities and demons that MoonJune's re-presenting his entire catalogue in remastered CDs, as well as new stuff, 'cause this unique work needs to be preserved, saved until the ring-tailed primate colony that calls itself 'Man' can catch up. That's going to be quite a while, and while you're waiting, you might as well evolve too. No better place to start than here, with the primal scream of Oh God!!!!!!!!! leading into dark paranoia and rage in Son of a Bitch from the North. Elsewhere this week, I reviewed the way cool Crothers / Filiano / Wolper release TranceFormation In Concert (here), a jazzant-garde freak-out of spontaneous improv, and Copernicus herein provides everyone with the flip side of that coin in a psychedelic hellbrew of Living Theater Faustian madness and grim upended sanity.
Almost all of Copernicus' work is spontaneous improv, though this CD contains one of his most famous and popular pieces, The Death of Joe Apples, which C presented more than once and thus constitutes one of the very few non-of-the-moment recitations appearing in his concert work. Deeper also contains a chillingly prescient forecast, They Own Everything. Performed first in 1987, it first writhes around in a whisperingly sibilant devil-coax a la Tom Waits and then ratchets up into the menacingly guttural ranting so trademark to Copernicus. The world's Second Crash had yet to come, we know that as we've dwelt in this sick capitalism, but, like Marx and conspiracy researchers, Copernicus understand the Matrix of reality well beforehand:
Yes. They control you.
Appearing alongside the vocalist is the customary slew of musicians headed by Pierce Turner and Larry Kirwan, even an individual who's come to larger prominance in the last decade, Jimi Zhivago, someone whom I think we've yet to see the full measure of…but will. A 20-page booklet accompanies this remastering and contains not only the lyrics but a reproduction of the reverse liner of the original LP release, which contains explanatory notes (small but readable), as well as a new preface from Copernicus (written Aug. 2012), and a catalogue of available releases. I, of course, recommend them all. If you're not yet hip to this unique gent, think of Hal Wilner losing his mind, and you'll have a fair approximation. If you know what a rough genius Wilner is, then you'll understand the same of Copernicus.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles