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Album Review: I Am the Last of All the Field That Fell: A Channel by Current 93
Very Good, Based on 3 Critics
AllMusic - 90 Based on rating 9/10
I Am the Last of All the Field That Fell: A Channel is perhaps the most uncategorizable album in Current 93's catalog. Though it employs a vast array of musics, it strategically integrates them in new ways and dynamically adds elements of improvisational jazz to the mix. Founder and frontman David Tibet's present lineup includes regular collaborators -- James Blackshaw, Andrew Liles, Ossian Brown, Antony Hegarty, and Nick Cave -- as well as new ones: Comus' vocalist Bobbie Watson, the Groundhogs' Tony McPhee and Carl Stokes, These New Puritans' Jack Barnett, Dutch piano wizard Reinier VanHoudt, reed and woodwind master Jon Seagroatt, and saxophonist John Zorn.
“Dreams pour into your [kingdom/condom]” Initiation is a recurring and often very literal theme in David Tibet’s work, so that’s the point we’ll start from. For the uninitiated, you can go a long way to explaining the work of Current 93 through the above mondegreen that comes along just two lines into I Am the Last of the Field That Fell. I don’t know (and refuse to choose) which word it is that Tibet is incanting, but both would make an equal amount of sense.
For the last three decades, Current 93 have been not so much a band as an ever-evolving collective anchored around the complicated vision and curdling voice of David Tibet. To scan the liner notes of Current 93’s past is to see a roster of remarkable talents and controversial figures, each worthy of their own lengthy explorations: Crass’ Steve Ignorant and Coil’s Jhonn Balance, folk queen Shirley Collins and ambient demigod William Basinski, regulars Steven Stapleton and Andrew Liles, the mesmeric singers Antony Hegarty and Rickie Lee Jones. Tibet has been an unapologetic Svengali, bending these incredible casts to his alternating will of atmospheric neo-folk or apocalyptic rock symphonies, refined industrial cacophony or delicate chamber maneuvers.