The Book of InXixu: so far out, it applied for a passport. Gong fans take note.
2nd March 2017
Title: The Book of InXixu
Label: Wah Wah
A fascinating project that can be seen as a follow-up to the psychedelic folk release, The Book of Am, this release was initially spawned in Spain as a three hour music recording and only partly issued on cassette in the late 70s. The project was a bit of a multimedia affair with a book about the story published in 1982 and the connected artwork used in a puppet-based 8mm film too.
Sitting here on two records and, with it, two ‘albums’ are: My Immortaility (performed by a 9-member band and based upon the myth of Gilgamesh) and My Moon Goddess Magic (performed by a 10-member band and taken from a Balearic Islands goddess cult along with scribbling from respected author, Robert Graves and, well, lots of mushrooms).
In the centre of the gatefold sleeve (which has a rather cardboard-like, home-made feel to it) is a rather lovely large format black and white book that is populated, song by song with that song’s lyrics surrounded by stylised pen and ink drawings that add mystical, psychological and pagan imagery. It doesn’t take long for the psychedelic rock to infuse into the arrangements, taking the rhythms into a slightly Hawkwind-like direction. The dichotomy between the fragile folk and the heavy, raucous rock being quite shocking at times.
Leslie MacKenzie (vocals/percussion), Will Z (vocals and a host of instruments), Juan Arkotxa (flute fiddle), Carmeta Mansilla (vocals) and oG (glissando guitar) appear to be the core of the band but Gong fans should take note because, on the Goddess disc, both Daevid Allen (vocals/glissando guitar) and Gilli Smyth (vocals/space whispers) both make an appearance. And it doesn’t surprise me that both turn up for this gig.
In terms of musical style, the base is folk but there are many other styles that infuse the production that will appeal to many more people than folkies. The first track, Triple Personality and the One Mind, combines folk with spacey psychedelia and a driving acoustic guitar.
This is a ‘far out’ and ‘out there’ production but adds enough spiky musical variation to appeal to those who like that particular genre I choose to call ‘different’. This is ‘different’.