About Current 93
With a glut of industrial-pop hybrids on the market in the 1980s and '90s, several bands stayed true to the experimental nature of early industrial music. The Psychic TV axis alone spawned many creative artists, including Current 93's David Tibet, who blends Gothic chanting and haunting atmospherics with industrial noisescapes courtesy of tape loops and synthesizers. Though Tibet doesn't quite have bandmates, he frequently works with a core of collaborators including ex-Psychic TV compatriot John Balance (more famous for his work with Peter Christopherson in Coil); Fritz Haaman, formerly of 23 Skidoo (like PTV an offshoot of the most influential of the early industrial acts, Throbbing Gristle); Steven Stapleton of Nurse with Wound fame; Rose McDowall of Strawberry Switchblade; and Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, also a former member of Psychic TV. Steven Stapleton is probably the most frequent member, appearing on virtually all Current 93 releases -- a favor which David Tibet returns by working with Stapleton on most projects by Nurse with Wound.
The trio of Tibet, Balance, and Haaman debuted in 1983 by recording the single "Lashtah" for Laylah Records. Until the end of the '80s, Tibet -- utilizing the various lineups -- recorded at a frenetic pace, issuing more than two albums per year for both Laylah and the Maldoror label. By the '90s, Tibet's output and style changed slightly: his productivity slowed somewhat, and the sound grew more subdued, encompassing acoustic folk in its most sinister permutations. Productivity picked up in the 2000s with more Current 93 material being recorded and reissued. Tibet also designed a bottle label for the Absinthe liquor company in 2005. 2006 saw the release of both Black Ships Ate the Sky and Sleep Has His House on Durtro Records, followed by Inmost Light in April 2007. The latter record marked a new direction for C93. In 2009, they released Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain amid a flurry of other activity including Tibet's art exhibitions and touring. Though it kept its mostly acoustic dreamy feel, Tibet expanded his sonic palette and added some real electric, nightmarish rock on this set. Some of its special guests included guitarist James Blackshaw, Rickie Lee Jones, and Andrew W.K. A new Tibet side project, Myninerest was formed with some of Current 93's collaborators including Blackshaw, and Andrew Liles. Their debut, Jhonn, Uttered Babylon, was recorded in memory of Jhonn Balance of Coil and released in 2012.
Current 93, who continued to play live sporadically, returned to recording in 2013. I Am the Last of All the Field That Fell was released in March of 2014. ~ John Bush
- London, England