Thursday, 1 June 2017

Nazgul's second collection...


What's all this then?  It's one of Nazgul's other areas for collecting, that of Jim Kirkwood related CDs!
Who?  You remember: Jim Kirkwood, one half of Drachenfeuer alongside Alex
Ah yes, and so....?  Nazgul promised something a little different a while ago, and here it is!

There are a number of striking similarities between our Austrian hero Alex "Hugin" Wieser and UK musical maestro Jim "Crowman" Kirkwood:

  • Both are primarily solo artists, though have been in bands;
  • Both have created and maintained a number of main and side projects;
  • Both have an early background in extreme metal before moving, to varying extents, into more ambient territories utilising keyboards as their main instrument;
  • Both have a prodigious number of releases to their name in tape and CD format;
  • Both are highly regarded 'cult' figures; lauded by many, derided by some;
  • Neither individual's musical output is particularly easy to find or collect;
  • Both individual's musical output can be ruinously expensive to find and collect; and
  • Both men possess strong personal faith, which in Jim's case has led him away from this musical path and he no longer makes, or sells, any of his music.

No wonder then, that the evolution of this collection has happened over a number of years...

Releases in Jim's own name
Let's have a little resume about Jim's career to date though, for those less familiar with his background:

Jim has been writing Electronic Music since the late 1980's when he stepped back from fronting a black metal band to explore a solo career in instrumental music. He has his own unique style of Gothic EM which moves easily between huge symphonic slabs of music, dark ambient and sequencer driven soundscapes.

The music itself, inspired by Gothic and Symphonic Rock and Berlin School Electronica, is quite often a CD in length, moves and shifts in tempo and mood, sometimes dark and sombre, sometimes ethereal and melodic, yet the whole gels perfectly into a single experience that grips the imagination and brings you into a world of dark and exciting beauty.

 In 2012 after completing the 4 hour album A Day in the Garden of Unearthly Delights, Jim took a break from the music industry to concentrate on his art and to reassess his spiritual direction, to look again at the influence of the Christian faith on his early life.

Jim had until recently, embraced a heathen/gnostic philosophy and had been openly hostile toward religious organisations and in particular the Christian faith, a stance which is reflected in many of the titles of his music and comments.

However, according to online sources I've read, certain events in his life forced him to rethink his position and conclude and regret his former position. Jim openly confesses that he believes in the person of Jesus Christ, both historically and spiritually and this will no doubt be reflected in the future content of his art and music.

Lucifaere
I've had the pleasure of a few email exchanges with Jim over the years, at the time of the original Drachenfeuer demo, when The First Ring compilation came out (on which he was also represented with a song), and in more recent times too.  Always a kind soul, Jim expressed some (only partly mock) horror when Nazgul mentioned he had paid actual money for old CD releases of Jim's music, distancing himself from their merit and commercial worth.

Yet Jim Kirkwood releases continue to command high prices whenever you see them, which is hardly ever as anyone who has used the obvious outlets of eBay and Discogs to find his work will be able to attest.  Indeed, I'd go so far as to say that Jim's CD's now rival if not exceed those of even the rarest Uruk Hai releases in terms of price (not accounting for box-sets there, though) with single discs tipping the scales at over £25-30 and double albums nearer £40-£50 apiece now, more in some cases.

Not a hobby for the faint of heart!

Ancient Technology Cult
Jim's music is broadly split into three projects, by the way: those under his own name, those under the Lucifaere name, and those as Ancient Technology Cult.  In total Nazgul has identified around 80-odd releases under his various banners, of which 49 reside in the collection so far.  The full list, surpassing that on Discogs, is as follows:

Where Shadows Lie (1990) (Cassette)
King of the Golden Hall (1990) (Cassette)
Middle Earth (1990)(Cassette)
Tales From A Melnibone Tavern (1991) (Cassette)
Souls That Dance On the Edge of A Sword (1991) (Cassette)
Nightshade In Eden (1991) (Cassette)
Master of Dragons (1991) (Cassette)
Uruk Hai (1992) (Cassette)
Ancient Fields (1992) (Cassette)
Castles of Sand (1993) (Cassette)
Through A Dark Glass (1993) (Cassette)
Lord of the Dreaming (1993) (Cassette)
Tower of Darkness (1993) (CD on the Nue Harmony label)
Celtoi (1994) (Cassette)
Pilgrim On A Crooked Path (1994) (Cassette)
The Serpents Kiss (1994) (Cassette)
Beyond the Fields We Know (1995) (Cassette)
Dancing the Dark Power (1995) (Cassette)
Sisters of the Web (1995)
Weaving the Red Thread (1995)
Haminja (1995) (Cassette)
The Age of the Wolf (1996) (Cassette)
Heljaruna (1996) (Cassette)
Dark Well of Urdr (1998)
Embracing the Dark (1999)
Bones of the Earth (1998)
One Amongst the Fallen (1999)
Bones of the Earth (1999)
An Alchemy of Beliefs (2000)
The Midnight Tree (2000)
This Temple of Strange Lights (2000)
In the Shadow of Angels (2001)
The Dragon of Old Night (2001)
Twilight of the Celts (2000)
Sacred Engines (2001)
Transfiguration (2001)
Bloduewedd (2002)
Blood And Feathers (2002)
Shroud of Many Colours (2002)
Liber Obscularium Praedictionum (2003)
The Blessing of Shadows (2003)
Communion of the Damned (2003)
Decencus Ad Inferos (2003)
Hawksmoor (2003)
Architects of Heresy (2004)
The Darkening Hour (2004)
Voices From the Edge of Night (2004)
House of the Crowman (2004)
In the Deep Places of the World (2005)
Corvis Christi (2005)
Foxhalt Edge (2005)
One Amongst the Fallen (2005) (different)
Hecate Vol. 1 (2006)
Hecate Vol. 2 (2006)
Rituals of Intelligent Design (2006)
Queen of the Golden Wood (2006)
After the Fire (2006)
Canterbury Black (2007)
Nightshade In Eden (2007) (different)
Where Shadows Lie (2007) (different)
We Are Nightingales (2007)
Widdershins To the Way of the World (2007) (EP)
Foxhalt Marsh (2008) (EP)
The Distant Light (2008) (EP)
The Legend of Sam Gangee (2008) (EP)
King of the Golden Hall (2009)
Morningstar Part 1 - Revelations of the Fallen (2009)
Morningstar Part 2 - The World Behind the Mirror (2009)
Morningstar Part 3 - Helmsman On A Ship of Dreams (2009)
Morningstar Part 4 - A Once And Future Heretic (2010)
Morningstar Part 5 - Kings Beneath A Pale Sky (2010)
They Walk Amongst the Stars Like Giants (2010)
Castles of Sand (2010)
Bones of the Earth (2010)
The Bears Withdrew Their Claws In Her Presence (2010) (EP)
The Light Beyond the Hedgerow (2010)
Playing in an Age of Stone (2010)
The Geometry of a Lark Ascending (2010)
Dreaming in Amber (2010)
A Season of Mists (2010)
Tales from the Crooked Tree (2010)
The Cello Tree (2011)
A Day in the Garden of Unearthly Delights Parts 1-4 (each part is 1 hour in length) (2011)

Ultra rare early cassette releases - practically impossible to find!
but I really wouldn't be surprised to learn of others that exist above and beyond this.

All told, another great collection of music and one that I am very proud to own.  You do have to be careful of people trying to sell you copied CDr's and non-original tapes through online shops though, as I found to my cost recently with an unscrupulous seller in the USA effectively bootlegging copies of his collection into slimline cased silver CDr's.  Worthless tat, in other words.

And of course the collection continually expands - 2 more items have been recently tracked down (both CDr's) which haven't arrived in time to make this post (Nazgul thought he'd better post something soon or else you'd all be convinced I'd died or something).  Onwards, and upwards...

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