It's crazy to think that I've been posting on this blog for almost half a year now and have written so little about David Jackman and Organum. Whenever I listen to any of Jackman's work I am always left inspired to create, and it was through first understanding this 12" that I realized the musical potential of scrapmetal; that instantly recognizable sound, causing unfamiliars to cover their ears and run while the rest of us get lost in the perpetual beauty of recordings like these.
As is the case with most challenging music, it isn't something you can dive into head first. I'll admit that the first few times I tried to listen to an Organum album I felt nothing (hence the use of "understand" above), although ever since discovering the project I was intrigued by the aesthetic of the early album covers and the enigmatic nature of Jackman's responses in rare interviews. So, I left the project on the back burner with the intention of rediscovering it one day.
I've always had an associative memory for music, I'll often remember family trips and different moments of my life by the music that was playing. Such is the case with this album, which, unfortunately I first heard through shitty ipod headphones. None the less, the experience of aimlessly walking through a creepily sparse forest bordered by an industrial sector of a city about 200 miles from the Polish capital Warsaw while listening to "Tower of Silence" and "In Extremis" on endless repeat was, needless to say, one I'll remember.
At first I thought I would try to write a review that would attempt to encapsulate my meandering through the forest experience. Now I realize that it's pretty much impossible to sum it up into words, so I'll just tell you about the album and you can go experience it yourself.
First of all, there is a lot to know about David Jackman's endeavors. His discography is extensive to say the least. I might try to get into some of his early tape releases and his defunct Monoplane project, and maybe his one off collaborations on a future post. The problem being that most of his older material was released in editions of 20 or less, making them impossible to acquire. However, more Organum/Jackman posts to come, I promise. As for "Tower of Silence", it was the first 12" ep released by Jackman under the name Organum in 1985 in an edition of about 1000. It was never re-released on vinyl but was reissued by Robot Records on CD as part of "Volume One" along with the "In Extremis" LP. Tower of Silence is a good document of the Organum sound aside from the absence of Jackman's Japanese flute playing heard on other material around this time. The tracks are all very layered and thick and seem to churn forward relentlessly. And although noisy, Jackman seems intent on creating drone music... and this is very much drone music. The closer, 'Incarnate' is a favourite of mine, subdued metal scrapings, industrial clatter and idling engine drones all layered atop one another and seamlessly blended, finishing off an all too brief ep. For those of you who haven't broken the Organum seal yet, chew on "Tower of Silence" for a while, it is a perfect musical document.
David Jackman's incredible website at Brainwashed