Friday, January 20, 2012

The Scarlet Woman

Though this is certainly not the type of music to which Minnie & I are accustomed (we're partial to Satie), our Brother & Sister Kenneth & Steffi Grant were marginally involved in the project, with the great occultist Kenneth providing the background chant & invocation, with his better half Steffi contributing the evocative sleeve artwork. The A-side of this little 45 rpm novelty record from 1976 contains the Great Magus himself, Aleister Crowley, intoning "The Pentagram" & "La Gitana", oft-anthologized recordings which sit nicely here as the dominant side to a work by one of Crowley's most eminent followers & executor, Mr. Grant. The rest of the band on the B-side of the record apparently stems from the darker-than-usual -- or so I'm told --British psychedelic group, Pandamonium, with Rick Wakeman (from the rock group, Yes) on the piano. Women from a local coven provide some other chanting & warbling along the way.

Artwork by Steffi Grant

Here are the two A-side recordings from The Great Beast himself, Crowley. They were originally taped in 1920.

Our dear brother Kenneth Grant passed into other realms a  year ago, almost to the day. For those of you unfamiliar with Grant, he was the 20th Century's second-greatest Magus, a poet &  novelist of some esteem & the leader of the Typhonian Order, which grew quite organically from Crowley's Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO), and the Zos Kia Cultus. Trained in Magick by the Great Beast himself, Grant was also a close comrade & biographer to another of our esteemed brothers, the great artist & author Austin Osman Spare.

Kenneth Grant

Portrait of Kenneth & Steffi Grant by Austin Osman Spare

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