Torabi, Kavus - The Banishing CD

“Who’s to say if we’re to believe Pablo Picasso’s theory that “art washes away from the soul the dust from everyday life”, However, only a fool would deny the simple processes of guitar string to amplifier or microphone to magnetic tape/WAV file can be more than merely a hobby or an idle pastime. This is a cathartic endeavour that reflects and refracts the daily joys and tribulations to elevate and elucidate. Such is the case with the second solo album by Kavus Torabi, The Banishing.
“I started recording The Banishing at much the same time as my previous album, Hip To The Jag was released, which was essentially at the beginning of lockdown in Spring 2020” relates Kavus. ”The original intent had been to make a record that was not as obviously personal and autobiographical as the first. I wanted to make a positive, uplifting album.”
“The following two years saw what I can only describe as a descent into psychosis. My relationship with my family broke down and became completely dysfunctional and it became necessary for me to leave our home and ultimately London, where I had lived for the previous thirty years.”
These had been three decades that had seen Kavus develop a reputation as a psychedelic polymath - a mercurial figure with a voracious appetite for new creative adventures whose energies always seemed ready to expand in myriad directions at any given time. Moving to to the capital in the early ‘90s, he initially focused on spreading polymorphous audial delights via The Monsoon Bassoon, before - as if by some form of destiny - joining his favourite band Cardiacs in 2003 and playing with them until the tragic circumstances befalling the band’s visionary Tim Smith led to the band’s premature retirement in 2008.
More recently, his songwriting found an outlet in the psychotropic ensemble Knifeworld, and a blossoming DJ partnership with snooker champion and renowned musical renaissance man Steve Davis led to an invitation from Daevid Allen to lead Gong into new 21st century dimensions with their original spirit intact, as well the hallucinatory improvisational project The Utopia Strong with both Davis and Mike York (Coil, Current 93)
Yet throughout his storied journey, his muse has remained intact - an ever-expanding and kaleidoscopic meld of rich melody and surreal rhythmic constructs that joins the cosmic dots between the psychedelic legacies of Syd Barrett, Robyn Hitchcock and his former bandmate Tim whilst escorting them somewhere freshly invigorating and entirely his own.
The Banishing was however more than merely a chance to offer a glimpse at these creative sparks in their most vivid form, and over the course of the last few years took on the form of nothing less than a mission of personal catharsis.
“As I started to attempt to document and make sense of what had happened, I wanted to call the album 'Now I'm The Antichrist', much to the consternation of almost everyone I told about it” Kavus reveals “As I got towards the end of the recording, however, I settled on The Banishing which, while referring to my banishing from London really describes how I thought of the process of making it which, in magical terms, was a banishing ritual”
A sense of revelation is manifest throughout The Banishing, taking a circuitous path along the way, whether in the opening dreamscape ‘The Horizontal Man’ - which Kavus notes as ‘starting at the point of healing - or the unsettling and haunting finale. ‘Unteathered’. En route however, it traverses with grace through both the kind of polyrhythmic song-craft that he’s made his trademark (as on the bewitching ‘Heart The Same’) and the eerie and gravitas-laden lament ‘Push The Faders’
Manifold and eclectic influences made their presence felt on The Banishing, from a documentary on multi-disciplinary artist and mystic Brian Catling (which prompted ‘The Horizontal Man’) to William Blake, whose Songs Of Innocence And Experience inspired Kavus’ own sleeve art, to Tim Smith, to whom ‘A Thousand Blazing Chariots’ is a tribute.
Meanwhile however, the drive to make a positive and uplifting record has ultimately succeeded against all adversity. ‘Mountains Of Glass’, the beatific and hymnal epiphany which was inspired by what he calls “the most profoundly mystical and visionary experience of my life so far, a completely atheism-dissolving hour” is radiant testimony to this.
“Recording The Banishing became a form of therapy, a dialogue with myself” Kavus reflects “I started to 'live' the album and the completion became an act of alchemy; to transform the pain, hurt and sadness into something beautiful.”
At the very least, The Banishing represents mission accomplished. Yet more than this, it’s the sound of a maverick artist using their creative process as not only a bulwark against psychic oppression but a transformative force to guide them through life. Far from merely banishing the dust of the everyday, it’s a psychic spring-clean that renders the world anew, a journey that opens more doors than it closes.”
  • LabelBad Omen
  • UPC803341606586
Your Price $16.00

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