One of the few things that can be said without question about the DVD “Black Mass Rising“ is that it is many things, made of many things.
It is an undeniably singular, compelling film – one made without film, one made by the incomparable Shazzula. Shazzula, our old friend, is also many things, made of many things – she who once made unparalleled psychic-insanity-rock with Aqua Nebula Oscillator, she who occasionally makes additional outer-space firepower with such formidable, intergalactic enemies of silence as White Hills, OGOD, Farflung, Kadavar, Mater Suspiria Vision and more, she who introduced us to some of our now-favorite sounds, she who is always doing more, more, forever moving, moving, picture-taking, music-making, film-making, world-making.
“Black Mass Rising” is equally made by an equally compelling, extraordinary collection of magickly-mutated music-making magi, familiar to some, perhaps foreign to others, certainly far-out to all: Master Musicians of Bukkake, Ga’an, Sylvester Anfang II, Menace Ruine, The Entrance Band, Kawabata Makoto from Acid Mothers Temple, Yoga, Burial Hex and – appropriately – Bobby Beausoleil.
Together, this black mass is creepily consecrated, made of the mix of musicians providing the sounds of mysticism, the apocalypse, religion and darkness, while Shazzula presides over the marriage of these sounds to their visual equivalents – the result being something utterly inspired and inspiring.
Given the many and varied attendees – physical, spiritual, musical – called together to celebrate this mass, it’s equally appropriate that “Black Mass Rising” will soon be made into a triple vinyl document of this remarkable musical procession, tripping toward possession.
Yet given the marriage between both ears and all three eyes necessary to fully experience “Black Mass Rising,” we find it difficult and probably pointless to accurately describe the visuals contained within, not to mention ruining the neo-Thelemite thrill of watching it unfold.
The appearance of Beausoliel makes concrete the connection between “Black Mass Rising” and “Lucifer Rising” in particular, but more than that, the spirit and enduring appeal of Kenneth Anger’s best work in general. Like Anger, “Black Mass Rising” evokes a ceremonial voice, guided by the aesthetics of the disenfranchised.
We don’t say lightly that we are incalculably inspired by “Black Mass Rising” – nor do we say so as indication of subscribing to its frenzied, loose liturgy. We’re prone to being equally inspired by the work of a Prince as we are of a King, with room still for all manner of royalty.
Rather, we are utterly inspired by “Black Mass Rising,” Shazzula, and the musicians she has collaborated and conspired with for their dedication to seizing the moment and creating something new, something unique. We’re reminded of Shazzula’s own words, shared on this site – “ENJOY LIFE IN MUSIC AND ART! Never stop … continue to FIGHT!” – and even more so, the words written some time ago by one artist and sent to inspire another, both equally out of step with the times, equally disillusioned and equally committed to making a world of their own.
“Act from thought should quickly follow:
What is thinking for?
Your unique and moping station
Proves you cold;
Stand up and fold
Your map of desolation.”
Stand up and fold your map of desolation – make way for the “Black Mass Rising.”