Hypnopazuzu - Create Christ, Sailor Boy album review

Inaugural release by the duo of David Tibet and Youth.

Hypnopazuzu - Create Christ, Sailor Boy album artwork

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Youth and Tibet first crossed paths on Current 93’s 1984 debut Nature Unveiled, but this first full-blown collaboration has produced something strikingly original. Current 93 fans will be familiar with Tibet’s incantatory style, pitched halfway between speech and singing, which produces monotonous cadences and a build-up of tension without relief, so that even live, it feels like the handbrake is on. Hypnopazuzu is a different proposition, with Tibet opening up his pipes and letting it flow. On Your Eyes In The Skittle Hills, he really goes for the notes, his slightly thin English tones gaining a new level of intensity.

Lyrically he references a personal mythology, a mix of apocalyptic Christianity, and good’s battle with evil seen through a more worldly lens. With its ominous timpani and distant trumpets, Christmas With The Channellers is biblically epic. On The Crow At Play he rides out on Youth’s galloping percussion, churning cellos, tamboura drones and colossal keyboard chord changes, with lyrics that reference his prick, hell, Gary Glitter, an ‘angel hit for 666’, Cat Stevens and more. Ten fantastical songs that will take some unravelling.

Mike Barnes is the author of Captain Beefheart - The Biography (Omnibus Press, 2011) and A New Day Yesterday: UK Progressive Rock & the 1970s (2020). He was a regular contributor to Select magazine and his work regularly appears in Prog, Mojo and Wire. He also plays the drums.