The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown: Zim Zam Zim

The God Of Hellfire returns!

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This album begins in ‘the formless depths of Zim Zam Zim, some time before the Big Bang', and explores different identities in different times and dimensions – which, as concepts go, is pretty wide-ranging.

Touched By All a call for a United Nations of the mind to prevent the apocalypse, is based on simple, repetitive keyboard patterns with shimmering hi-hats and sweeping strings, which shifts halfway through into dancing saxophones and a syncopated drum pattern. Brown only brings out his scalp-raising scream on occasion, but his voice is in tremendous shape, settling in a powerful lower register, which at times reminds of Captain Beefheart. On The Unknown, it sounds like the time-travelling protagonist has actually transmuted into Tom Waits, as it borrows from Waits’_ Jockey Full Of Bourbon_, from Rain Dogs. With its clattering percussion and snarling baritone saxes, Junkyard King is even more low-down and dirty. There’s a rich vein of absurdist humour throughout. ‘I am the Sex God, the Tantric King/In the dance of the yoni round the ding-a-ling’, Brown announces on Muscle Of Love, where he exhorts the benefits to society of sustained orgasm. MB

Mike Barnes

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.