Jared Leibowich – Secret Spells
Has the Big Boss of Bruit Direct Disques lost his mind ? Releasising a pop record in an otherwise most perfect production and distribution of Noise Gods such as the Dust Breeders, or the perverse duo Scorpion Violente ? Has he been seduced by what polish people would call “farting in sugar” ? Has Jared Leibowich launched a Secret Spell on him ? No need to worry. For even before listening to the record itself, the sleeve already raises a battery of questions. “Secret Spells” leaves a door open into Mystery… Has Jared Leibowich found a secret and more comfortable version of the infamous Death Stance described by many more or less contemporary occultists, and among them Peter Carroll, who dedicated his occult practices to Thanatheros and a scientific approach to Chaos Magick in his Liber Null, honoring the 20th century tradition of revealing secrets instead of hiding them, or hiding them in plain sight, as The Great Beast 666, the infamous Aleister Crowley, had fun doing, boldly revealing that his Psalm 69 contained THE ultimate secret of the Illuminati : “The way to succeed (suck seed) is the way to suck eggs”, among other dangerous deliberate puns. Peter Carroll (as Crowley, in a different era and different words but with an analog message resonating through time, space and Chaos Magick), issued a warning : if Crowley’s “do what thou wilt shall be the Whole of the Law” is still a thing, They both nevertheless made a kind of generous crackhead motherly advice : “you see this dagger, rreeeally dangerous and pointy, hey ? well, don’t touch it. Now pish off, mummy has work to do, demons to invoque, got goats to sacr… eeer… Work to do!”. But maybe Jared simply decided to take a little nap under a clear grey autumn sun. Poetry or magick, the mystery remains…
The first track almost offers an answer. Infinite Path opens with a menacing drone that brings about shivers and dark expectations, then comes a strong, quasi-industrial set of bass and percussions. That’s what an untrained ear (as that of yours truly) might expect, maybe because he has arbitrarily decided to limit California to Surf Hardcore, RHCP, among many geolocalized musical mistakes (ah, Frusciante, why have you dipped your axe in that swamp ?). Whereas, since the 60’s, West Coast managed to create a pop personality, in spite of the huge Great Britain’s Shadow over the world of Pop, mainly because of three Beetles and a squirrel. Beach Boys, among others, manage, through arrogance, half-friendly encounters, and humor, honnor and mastery of vocal harmony (that’s for your ass, Squirrel Mc Cartney!).
They managed, in spite of sunlight and fake happiness, to remain in the Margin, sunny but stained with true melancholy, beauty, audacity, aspects that a few groups such as, among others, Deerhoof, manage to remind us, the Sunless, the existence and depth, and a fringe from whom Jared Leibowich claims the influence.
After this loud introduction, the pop ambiance impose itself through piano and guitar major chords, dancing on the edges of the pantagram with delicious vocal glidings such as Beach boys’s, and daring to resonate across time and space with of course contemporary californian pop, but also the princes of minimalism such Terry Riley or Steve Reich, giving to the final result this aura of transe and mystery, brought about by the artist’s lack of biography itself… Difficult to discriminate between what is a sign, a reference, and what is not. Each pseudo-answer raises other questions, in this game of cartography where all paths are double and infinite, for those who’ll dare to scratch the sweet surface….
Should we accept as final answer the end of vinyl, Adventure ? Guess if Jared has fired the Cosmic trigger, or is has it been a way more intimist album than we thought in our quest for answers ?
Haven’t we followed a trail of crumbs through an egotistical Quest, making in the process ours signs that weren’t actually there ?
Carroll warned us in his own way, Nicola Tesla, famous scientist, but also true occultist (as most important musicians, artists, scientists (Jack Parsons for example) were),had said before him, with legitimacy and arrogance : “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration”, a simple sentence which may have resulted in violent death penalty a few centuries before, and was met with scorn laughters in 19th century by scientific community, until Einstein himself, a few decades later, had no other choice than confirm this revolutionary statement. Aleister Crowley had also issued his own warning resonating with those above : “By doing certain things certain results will follow; students are most earnestly warned against attributing objective reality or philosophic validity to any of them.”
So, does this sweet-tasting record actually hide magick spells, or is it a trip on a most intimist memory lane which accepts to reveal its layers only to those that will look for them ? The record has that arrogant audacity, refusing to give any final answer, between sugar, full strike of brush and ether. Maison sucrée Maison…
- Toma überwenig (Scorpion Violente)