Goth Ilk: Current 93 and Ministry

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Current 93 and Ministry

Current 93

Folk Goth band Current 93 had a significant impact on gothic culture. Their first release in the 1980s combines electronic synthesis with melodic folk music and melancholy lyrics.

Introduced to the public on Psychic TV, David Tibet, the lead singer is known for a haunting voice. He is essentially the band. People from various Goth bands often become consistent contributors after contributing once. Names like Steven Stapleton, John Balance, Michael Cashmore and Douglas are on the more than twenty released albums.

Thomas Ligotti wrote prose for Current 93. Currently he wrote "a Soft Voice Whispers Nothing" for the New Weird edited by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer and copyrighted in 2008. The protagonist senses a familiarity with a town on the northern border. A clown collects the dead during a glamorized parade. Graphically odd imagery of the future, the overall premise seems to be there is no place like home, even if it is odd.

This tendency of a title band ran by one person, acting as a foil for contributing artists, has become less common today. However, collaborative albums are common throughout all genres of music. Current 93 takes this concept to extreme limits, yet their greatest contribution is in solidifying the "Goth Sound." Even though the band is referred to as Industrial this is the Goth Sound, uncorrupted by other genres.


Al Jourgensen is essentially Ministry. Band members have changed over the years, yet Jourgensen remains the lead vocalist and master mind behind the most progressive band in Industrial history.

Starting in the pop billboards "Everyday is Halloween" put Ministry on the industrial map in 1985. Even in the mid 90s "Everyday is Halloween" was blasted in Gothic Industrial Clubs around the world as the triumphant anthem of an emerging subculture. Currently, the song is available on a 2006 re-release of Early Trax.

Years later they were barely recognizable with their newest Industrial Dance Hit "So What?" Released in 1989, it contributed to reshaping dance culture with infused Industrial Music and paved the way for Techno with wicked patronizations of social malice and hard driving beats.

The new decade solidified Ministry's sound. Psalm 69: the Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs went beyond the dance clubs and into popular United States Culture. Ministry was aired on radio stations and videos after "NWO" was released in mass.

Now their music is featured in video games and film compilations. Select Ministry when playing video games: Tony Hawk and Vampire. They also contribute music to Saw and Murder Ball soundtracks. Saw IV features "Life is Good."

In 2008 Al Jourgensen compiled the soundtrack for a horror movie entitled "The Wicked." He contributes two songs: "Cuz UR Next" and "Kyhber Pass."

Though Ministry had a farewell tour in 2008, there are signs they will be releasing another CD and touring again. They progressed and changed their sound substantially and successfully more than any other band under the Goth Subtitle.

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