“For what is Art if not the manipulation of Reality into what the Artist wills it to be. What is Art if not Magic?”
There comes a point in a man’s life when he must accept that the paradigms and dogmas by which he arranged his life have become null and void and that new paths must be entered upon. There comes a time when the bridges and ships of the past must be burned and sunk behind him, leaving the remnants of his old self smouldering and, without so much as a glance backwards, without so much as a tear or a smile, he has to move on.
Sometimes we, however, are not ourselves the prime movers in our destinies. Sometimes we are moved onward by hands unseen and forces either too bright or too sinister to even contemplate with any degree of reason. They must be faced with only the instincts of the natural survivor, the warrior and the poet.
In the mind, body and soul of Selim Lemouchi it became clear, not too long ago, that such a moment had come. Inspired by his ongoing search for spiritual clarity and strength, artistic inspiration and truth, always truth, it had become clear that The Old Ways, were now dead and that he had been relieved of the burden of being their facilitator, midwife-of-sorts and guardian.
The careful reader shall understand that the blood of the Devil which has been running through his spiritual veins since before the union of seed and egg, and which runs through them still, perhaps stronger than ever now, had been satisfied. The Blood had cried out for blood and it had been fed, in abundance, through almost 7 years of arduous Work and complete dedication, through both Magic and Science, through emotion, instinct and reason. But, and regardless of how that made him feel, or anyone else for that matter, it was done. It was finished. It had been accomplished. It was time to move on…
It was time to move on with the people (musicians, loved and hated ones, artists, sources of inspiration and frustration, in other words, his family) who had supported him through many of his trials, who sometimes believing or sometimes unbelieving in what he believed had always supported him, they were in any case again a part of his dreams, schemes and manipulations.
With enemies like that, who needs friends?
MENS ANIMUS CORPUS
This first phase represented the Fool of the Tarot. A mad search into his own psyche, of casting off into a new direction which had no direction. A way without a rule, activity without differentiation, power without goal. Three songs that came only from him and returned only to him and refused any others to become a part of it or enter into it. A satisfying and romantic notion of the freedom and sovereignty that Art represents or, to his mind, should represent.
After this powerful, if somewhat coarse, start of the new journey twice he found his way to a pulpit. Again with the support of that odd set of characters and instigators that may or may not make up the whole of this undefined brother- and sister-hood the stage was taken and with humility and dedication his works were shows as they are, forever in progress, never completed, imperfect to perfection and unending finite and final.
EARTH AIR SPIRIT WATER FIRE
This first full length album, the one which Lemouchi wrote together with his new sparring partner and old friend Robby Geerings during the spring of 2013, had, even before its conceptualization, shown itself to be a creature of a different nature altogether. Each one of the 5 songs which comprise its unity seemed a galaxy away from any of the others. Each of their unique structures, stylistic leanings and lyrical content diverged significantly from the rest. Diverging from the same source though and seemingly returning to that same source as well. The emotions of the Madman; depression, desire, demurity, decadence and determination had seemed to veer out from the same point of origin and had found each other in that oft spoken of but rarely understood concept of completion; initiation.
Lemouchi brought together a bright and burning bunch of people into the fold of his inspiration with him this time. Not telling anyone what exactly to do, not deciding this way or the other beforehand and not taking back any of his decisions once they were made, he ventured into what was for him the most adventurous recording session of his life.
With four drummers, a handful of guitar players, a few synthesizer players, several vocalists, a great cover-artist and many, many hours that were filled with laughter, tears, anger and spiritual communion as well as communication of the more direct kind, he brought the 5(x5×5×5×5×5×5×5×5×5×5×5×5) dimensions of the pentacle, the pentagram and the pentagon into the flesh as he perceived, understood and accepted them.
Quite arguably there has never been a record made by Lemouchi that has so many imperfections, outright mistakes and unintended sounds to become essential to its totality. These spontaneous and unplanned artefacts have, at least to our ears, become as important as the calculated effect of the arrangements and the musicianship. The album is, at exactly the same time, monstrously large as well as delicately small. It represents the accomplished knight-errant of righteous art standing victorious as well the insecure child that stands at the base of a flight of stairs without an assurance of ever reaching the upper floors and without parental hands guiding him on his first unsure steps.
The lyrics he wrote himself, allowing himself to show much more of his own personal emotion as ever before while at the same time reflecting through them the sense of the unity of both High and Low, the Self and the Other, Night, Day and all that dies/is born in darkness to die/be born into light.
The ENEMIES for this recording, in no particular order, were:
Ries Doms: Drums
Micha Haring: Drums
Hans van de Perre: Drums
Hansz Deijnen: Drums
Job van de Zande: Bass
Milko Bogaard: Vocals, Mini Moog and Mellotron
Robby Geerings: FX, Drum-Synth, Guitar
Oeds Beydals: Guitar
Farida Lemouchi: Vocals
Max Rovers: Art
Pieter G. Kloos: (parts of the) Recording, Mix, Master