Jack Kerouac`s On The Road was my introduction to the Orgone Accumulator. A little something that Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty discovered while visiting Old Bull Lee – a thinly veiled William S. Burroughs – out on his New Orleans estate.*
Conceived and designed by Ukrainian psycho-analyst, Wilhelm Reich – a graduate of the University of Vienna, and former deputy director Sigmund Freud’s clinic – the accumulator`s purpose is to collect an esoteric, atmospheric energy, a universal life force, a very animal magnetism – the Orgone. Deemed to be blue when concentrated, this is then used to relieve and cure tensions, particularly those of a sexual nature. In 1954, the FDA banned the then US-based Reich`s work, destroying any existing OAs, along with all of his research. Reich himself was thrown in jail in `56, where he died a year later. All of this persecution perpetrated by the puritanical powers that be in parallel to Joe McCarthy`s Communist / non-American activity witch hunts. Constructed from alternating layers of metal and wood, Burroughs believed that performance could be improved if the accumulators utilized magnets and were pyramid in shape. He claimed that placing one over his Johnson made him come.
I read Jack`s book back when I was at Uni, and at around the same time, Pop Will Eat Itself covered Hawkwind`s classic brain-fried boogie about the benefits of Wilhelm`s wonderful box** – which made me all the more interested (though I`ll admit to having never heard of Hawkwind at that point).
I’ve still yet to enter an orgone accumulator.*** I`d love to. I`ll try anything twice – especially if it promises some derangement of the senses, then clarity of thought. A surge / boost in any kind of potency at my age would also be a nice added bonus. You, though, can now own one. Carefully hand-crafted by Woodleigh Research Institute`s Nina Walsh, suitably triangular, and fashioned from a resin, of secret recipe, these tastefully charged fluorite tranducers are available to only a lucky few. These desirable bespoke objects accompanying the physical release of Nina’s magical Music To Fall Asleep To – Delta Waves.
Adam`s already given this most medicinal music a rave review, but for what it`s worth here are my thoughts. Don’t, as I did, come expecting La Monte Young / Marian Zazeela unadorned eternal drones, this begins almost like a modern classical composition – echoing masterpieces by Max Richter and Jóhann Jóhannsson, the outstanding output of 130701. Dancing a slow cinematic waltz, full of bowed cello ache, and wistful woodwind, but interrupted by bursts of ringing resonance, and riding a binaural heartbeat-like pulse. Lub dub, lub, dub. Your guide on a graceful glide, searching for a place to hide inside, regroup, recharge – everything`s easier in the morning – while field recordings, Orb-like distractions filter in and out of the mix. Dogs bark, birds sing, and fresh water streams rush by. There’s the sound of shifting surf and tides, cicadas and subliminal, ethereal, enchanted, siren sighs. Was that an oboe? A clarinet? Reassuring whispers, and distorted railway station announcements, declaring distant destinations, somewhere within the evolving oscillations, soothing, good, vibrations. Buzzing like a juice harp, before drifting into a temple-like calm. Melody all the while drawing you in, as the journey develops an air of myth, mystery, and ritual. As that pulse slows, invoking something ancient. Travelling back centuries to rendezvous with angels. The wordless vocals taking on the quality of a spell, a rite.
*Burroughs would later introduce me to cut-ups, dream-machines, Morocco, mugwump jism, Paris` Beat Hotel and the squalid anti-glamour of junk, the truth of “once an addict, always an addict”, the concept of question every narrative, and the hope that we are here to go.
**I once had the pleasure of getting horribly hammered with Clint Mansell and the Poppies, upstairs in Leeds` Warehouse. A session that was abruptly called to a halt, when they suddenly remembered that they were due on stage. At least one of the band couldn’t stand up.
***As a kid, my dad used to lock me in the cupboard under the stairs, but I’m not sure if that counts.