The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
Zim Zam Zim

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown — Zim Zam Zim (July 25, 2014)

 The Crazy World of Arthur Brown — Zim Zam Zim 
ψ   Eclectic rocker of the 1960s who foreshadowed shock rock.
Enjoy some vintage–quality theatrical psych barminess here first.
ψ   “Album reflektuje duchovní cestu za více než 45 let,” píše Brown v líčení/manifestu, poskytnutému magazínu MOJO. “Začalo to v roce ‘68, kdy Fire! byla hitem, a já jsem byl na turné po USA. Mnozí mladí lidé si asi mysleli, že jsem byl nějaký druh duchovního mistra. Ptali se mě na otázky o životě, smrti, smyslu existence, o utrpení. Za pár týdnů jsem jim odpověděl, a stal se jakýmsi guru. Pak, jednou odpoledne jsem seděl a díval se na to všechno, a uvědomil si, že ve skutečnosti jsem nevěděl nic o tom, na co se mě ptali. Tak jsem se rozhodl, že to zjistím a pak poskytnu plody tohoto hledání v mé hudbě.”
Born: June 24, 1944 in Whitby, Yorkshire, England
Location: Whitby, UK
Album release: July 25, 2014
Record Label: Bronze Rat Records/Rough Trade
Duration:     50:46
01 Zim Zam Zim     2:14
02 Want To Love     4:55
03 Jungle Fever     5:01
04 The Unknown     5:03
05 Assun     3:48
06 The Muscle Of Love     5:23
07 Junkyard King     6:06
08 Light Your Light     5:32
09 Touched By All     6:19
10 The Formless Depths     6:25
2013 Bronze Rat
ψ   “73 years young, the original god of hellfire returns with very probably the most surprising and astonishing album of his career, and his first in 10 years. A cross–generational outing with Jim Mortimore and Sam Walker, this is a joyous, triumphant, energetic and and ambitious tour de force that shows Arthur to be more relevant today than when he had his number one hit with 'Fire' and was pioneering Electronica. A genre–spanning, time–travelling, world–bending, heavy–grooving and massively eclectic collection of songs with Arthur's vital, soulful and acrobatic voice at its heart. He creeps up behind like the original war–painted mighty boosh, kicking the likes of Tom Waits and Screamin' Jay Hawkins into the orchestra pit. A celebration of life, he knows the unknown and the unknown knows him. Take note.” Rough Trade
By Ana Leorne, 08 August 2014; Rating: 7.5/10
ψ   Initially released last year as part of a pledge campaign, Arthur Brown‘s new studio album finally sees the light of day as a proper, official release.
ψ   Yes, we’re talking about the man with the wild headpiece (a prop that must have earned him a few accidental head burns over the years) and the deep, theatrical voice, responsible for hits like ‘Fire’ and ‘Nightmare’, who never ceased touring altogether. ψ   His comeback couldn’t have benefitted from better timing; the neo–psych craze the music world is currently experiencing makes Zim Zam Zim a must–hear for both old fans and new.
Opening with the steady, jungle–ish title–track (the shortest song of the album, since most tracks are over five minutes long), Zim Zam Zim eagerly promises a collection of songs that are both adequate to Arthur Brown’s own style as well as cleverly crafted in order to adapt themselves to the 21st century. ‘Want To Love’ reaffirms this with a beautiful, retro–esque brass section, and Brown’s flawless, ageless voice (although I haven’t caught him live yet, his vibrato sounds as stunning as it did 50 years ago).   ‘Jungle Fever”s simple bluesy structure is enhanced by the million wildlife sounds that marry Brown’s Tom Waits–like vocal track perfectly, while the slightly hypnotic reggae vibe of ‘The Unknown’ makes us think of a powerful, intense witchdoctor living in the basement of a Victorian house in New Orleans’ French Quarter. Also present are delicate Tropicália undertones (which, when you think about it, make perfect sense, since he was probably a Os Mutantes’ fan himself during the Brazilian band’s golden era). And as ‘Assun”s delicate guitar leads to an absolute heartbreaking violin section, we embrace Brown’s storytelling as a child clings to her teddy bear — except that Arthur Brown’s haunting voice turns him into both the father and the boogieman.
ψ   ‘Muscle of Love’ shows yet again how brilliantly elastic Brown’s vocals can be, ranging from a deep, devilish tone to smoothly sarcastic or belted falsettos. The album is not boringly homogenic, though: the tropical, mad dynamics of ‘Junkyard King’ contrast heavily with ‘Light Your Light”s psych ballad nature, and the incredible range of colours present in Brown’s voice greatly help these sometimes schizophrenic changes, preventing Zim Zam Zim from becoming too predictable. Oh, and if you had forgotten how absolutely fabulous Arthur Brown is at reading poetry (remember what he did with ‘Vampire (Extract)’?), ‘Touched By All’ is here to remind you. The track’s instrumental line is a perfect match to the weird–sounding, beautifully–read poem that appears just before the album’s closer. ‘The Formless Depths of Zim Zam Zim’ (seriously, what on Earth is “Zim Zam Zim”?) comes as an unsettling piece of music, complete with dark, spell–like lyrics and primal, tribal–esque sounds that seem to come full circle with the LP’s opener.
ψ   The God of Hell Fire may be 72–years–old, but he sure is sounding incredibly immortal in Zim Zam Zim: the album is not a trip down memory lane as many of you may think (actually, there are a lot of new bands out there sounding much more retro than this) — it is a natural, excellent evolution from one of the greatest performers alive. He keeps reinventing himself musically and this permanent growth, combined with his excellent songwriting and remarkable voice, is what makes Zim Zam Zim an absolute must–listen. Fortaken:
Artist Biography by Richie Unterberger
ψ   One of the most electrifying one–shot artists of the ‘60s, British singer Arthur Brown briefly set the charts alight in 1968, as well as thrilling audiences with his theatrical performances, which saw him wearing helmets of fire and outlandish costumes. His debut album was surely one of the most left–field commercial successes of the late ‘60s, if not of rock history. In addition to topping the British charts (and reaching number two in the U.S.) with his brilliantly demonic single “Fire,” the self–proclaimed god of hellfire actually scored a Top Ten LP with his 1968 debut.   Unveiling Brown’s demented, fire–obsessed lyrical visions and swooping, theatrical vocals, it showcased his band’s manic, agitated psychedelic sound, which was anchored by incendiary drumming, Pete Townshend's production, and an organist who could be best described as Jimmy Smith on acid. Brown's original band broke up in early 1969; in the early ‘70s he released several albums with Kingdom Come, which saw him pursuing a maddeningly obscure and less exciting brand of art rock. He recorded off and on after, with an additional flash of fame springing from his role as a priest in the film Tommy.
Gig Review, Robin 2, Bilston, 17 April 2014:
Arthur's Agent for Live Tours and Gigs
Covering the world except North America.
Inspired Artists Agency
PO BOX 157   
BN51 9EE
Tel: 0044(0)1273 305752                                              
ψ   In his hours of leisure, ZIM ZAM ZIM loved to enter the unknowableness. There, he would sometimes, for his own amusement, appear to himself as all galaxies, all suns, all stars. At others he would spend, it seemed, eternities as one galaxy or another. Or he might take on existential forms of which we can give no description. Occasionally he preferred to rest in and as the unknowable.
ψ   Another option was to remain in the unknowable, but make soup, watch a galaxy, pick his nose, Or perhaps make love with whomever the flow of his unbounded imagination presented to him as a willing companion in the adventure.
And always, in his life as ZIM ZAM ZIM this unknowableness was the background of his existence — and of all existence. So that every act was at once particular and local, and, universal and infinite. As far as time goes, there was nothing but the present moment about him.( and in this present moment, infinite and total existence happened as each and every particular event.) And this was just a picture of his state. ψ   In fact, the conditioned world and the unconditioned were simultaneously the context of an existence which allowed him to say " I am" " I am this and that"
without in any way limiting him. Nor was he deluded into thinking that his thoughts about it all were the thing itself. Or that his self was only what appeared in whatever mirror his consciousness looked in (presented him with).
ψ   Referring to the part in the Magic Hat where Wildbones enters the portal and sees all of life existence lying before him, all universes etc. finally he sees his own body, and it's whole life–history, including his own future in that form, and decides to rejoin it and live it out.
ψ   All of this he saw , he felt , he lived, and he knew it. But suddenly, he saw another future.
ψ   The world–this earth, was threatened by the rising waters. A gigantic flood ! — caused by the melting of the ice–caps after a huge super–volcano explosion. Dust and rubble filled the sky. And showered down, choking the land–based plant forms.
ψ   He had had pre–knowledge of this in a vision. He had developed technology to harvest the sea's vegetables with his huge sail — craft which patrolled the seas. It operated from the ports round the high mountain peaks — the only things left standing above the waters. Millions had died. What was left of humanity had fought for the ever shrinking pieces of remaining habitable land. Of course, the rich had used their wealth to build impregnable fortresses. They employed others to fight off invaders, and to invade the territories of other rich people.
ψ   He saw another marvel. A huge spherical bubble–world . Its proportions were gigantic and it was transparent. All earthly forms of life were represented in it. They were, in a manner, virtual. But they could interact with humans. When they did so, they had a certain borrowed "life" to them. So they were virtual and real at the same time.
ψ   It was perhaps a natural formation. Maybe arising from some strange interaction between the force–fields of the earth at that point and the ley lines. It was, the scientists said, self–monitoring.
ψ   They claimed to have developed it. But he instinctively felt that it had risen by itself, and they had merely discovered and examined it. The scientists , to buy time in their investigations had publicised the fact that anyone entering it would immediately disintegrate.
ψ   In fact, usually, they did. The scientists, whilst confident none could penetrate the sphere, had nevertheless put a cordon of guards round it. After a couple of the more curious guards had tried to enter it, none of the others bothered. The death screams of those who had tried to enter, and the fact that not a single shred of their earthly existence was ever found, was enough to deter any further explorations. At the same time, the guards, confident that none could breach the sphere, became lax in their discipline. Video games and holo–holidays  filled most of their time.
It was due to this that he had been able to enter.
ψ   He had spent much of his life in advanced meditation before transcending any need for form. He had become used to entering the formless existence, losing all identity, and then reconstituting himself through focussing his own will on his previous form. So he was in each moment a new form taking its shape from his previous figure.
ψ   He explored the interior of the sphere–taking advantage of of the lapsed attention of two guards enjoying holo- love. He found that there was a fulcrum around which the "world"was configured.
ψ   This, if a human entered it, was like entering the formless depths which ever receded. It was in this that bodies usually disintegrated.
But he, endowed with his own centre — the fruit of his final transcendence of all form– could reconstitute his own form. He did so by holding the form of his body together by an act of consciousness. It continued by an unconscious kind of concentration that he had no need to be aware of. Thus, he was able to leave and enter the fulcrum at will. He could enter at will the formless depths-so terrifying to others, and fatal. And return.
ψ   He took the name Zim Zam Zim. He also gave this name to the illusory world.
The AVAAZ organisation's influence had indeed used its hundred million members to bring about a change in the political realities that had stabilised the planetary jungles and forests and ice–caps as far as human influence went. But nature had its own timetables, and things still quite quickly got out of balance.
ψ   It brought him to reappraisal of the earth's living form, its capacity for supporting life, and the need for an inner change in humans that would free some of the inner" only energy" in its most rarified forms, both to " guide " and modify the creation of life , and to infiltrate all the forms with law–conforming energy interaction and structures that would tend to a cohesive continuation of the life–form. Thus was born a new science.. ZZZ was a student of this. So he was able to exist on the basic physical level by harvesting sea–plants. And he was able to know what those energies depended on, and the dependence in turn of that upon the formless.
ψ   And soon it became apparent that the universe being an interdependent whole where each part depended on and sustained all the others, laws would have to be discovered that were consciousness's laws , as it was the basis of all matter.
ψ   It was discovered that far from being an epi–phenomenon of  living evolving life–forms, these forms were themselves only existent in consciousness. So the laws of consciousness and it's energy patterns underlay the laws of planetary formation — and the resultant life–forms.
ψ   All these energies arising in consciousness made up the total realm of matter. They congealed into planetary formations springing from the original energy. The earth was one of these.
ψ   On it, the energies were enlivened and permeated by the sun's energies. But on it and on other organic locations in the universe, the expression sprang from the original matrix of the planet,
ψ   Which was contained in, and appeared as, the"heart" or being form of that energy.
ψ   The human was capable of being a mirror of the total consciousness and of resonating with all life–forms whatever springing from this. It was this energy which gave form to organic life.
ψ   The human was also capable of being a mirror to , holographic example of, same as, the original "only energy". This was itself at once singular, unique, formless, infinite, and both invisible as itself, and visible as all material existence.
ψ   There was no difference between the formlessness of the human heart and the formlessness of the original "only energy". It was this that in any location kept all things in their appointed place in the universe and made sure that wherever manifestation occurred , it was only ever an expression of the unknowable hidden depths of formlessness. It was seen that the journey of the universe from apparent separation to a point where every single piece of matter was realised to be none other than the formless in expression, was an endless journey, as the formless has no beginning or end.
ψ   So in this location this energy of consciousness known as human consciousness at once totalised all existence for the earth and remained the same as it's source in the formlessness.
ψ   All these energies came into play in life on earth. Disturbances in interrelational fields that gave rise to life–forms were often catastrophic–so it was necessary to take note not only of the laws at the most basic material level — which the then existing science examined — but of the higher energies which interacted with each other, and with the lower energies. Arthur Brown, 27/4/14 15:06

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
Zim Zam Zim