Directed Flight by Vortex Navigation Company

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“Directed Flight” by Vortex Navigation Company recorded july 2010. Sean Connaughty, Jason Kesselring (aka Comets Ov Cupid) and Scott Puhl. video shot by Andrea Bursott August 2010. Sculpture created and burned by Sean Connaughty on Lake Hiawatha. Steel tripod fabricated by Dillon Allen. Thanks to Peet Fetsch for canoe transportation.Thanks to Dillon Allen for Sisyphusian pod rolling. Assistance from Justine Sanborn, Judith Allen, Lisa Kiesel, Adam Backstrom, Abigail Raina Connaughty, and Scott Puhl.

Heavy Planet Album Review – Comets Ov Cupid: Western Lands

Album Review – Comets Ov Cupid: Western Lands

 

Before I even get started, it’s worth noting that Comets Ov Cupid is not in fact a band, but more the musical vision of one Jason Kesselring whose other projects include the Minneapolis based space rock outfit Skye Klad and the twisted take on folk that is The Satyrswitch. So with that in mind, its best you curb any notions of your standard guitar/bass/drum compositions and leave your expectations at the door. These are not songs in the traditional sense, but instead nine sonic journeys that will lead you somewhere…nowhere…anywhere…all at once.

Western Lands begins with an instrumental buzz bomb called “Spectres of an Airstream Futuropolis”, a quivering introduction to the beautiful dissonance that is Comets Ov Cupid. The song warbles and shimmers through your cranium with a measured dose of both grace and chaos that leads right into “Starship”. This one hints at traditional rock music with its grinding guitars and thumping drum, but those things are as much a tease as the call of a siren, because ultimately this is still an exhibition in aural bedlam. As the bright guitar tones pierce your eardrums, Kesselring’s vocals, which are buried in a shallow grave of reverb and fuzz, are nearly lost in the maelstrom as he counts us down, “10…9…8…7…,” to some space aged launch into pandemonium.

“Babalon” is a sort of pop-punk explosion with its bratty sing-along of “la…la…la…la…la” underneath a wall of furious noise that sounds like its being played through a blown subwoofer. “Wanderlust” on the other hand is ethereal…contemplative…eerie. Here Kesselring employs a theremin to create waves of electronic noise amidst an introspective guitar, a sound that manages to evoke a sense of sadness…desolation. When the dust settles, this could be the soundtrack to the end. “Ever So Slowly” does nothing to brighten the mood with its subtly strummed guitar and vocals that sound submerged in an ocean of sorrow. On this one, Kesselring mesmerizes with a hypnotic display of guitar loops and effects.

Finally the sun rises on Western Lands with “Jack the Rocketman”, a song that tries awfully hard to be a traditional, up-tempo rocker, but maintains just enough distortion and resonance to salvage Comets Ov Cupid’s lo-fi integrity. “Raven Makes the World” on the other hand is the only song in which Kesselring comes up for air from beneath his sea of noise. It is essentially five minutes of captivating acoustic guitar that brings to mind images of a bleak expanse…a windblown wasteland…nothingness…solitude.

The title track features a wave of feedback and lightning fast guitar that ultimately transitions into the album’s heaviest riff. Here Kesselring plays over the backbone of a driving drum beat and of course layers the entire ensemble under a bed of static and fuzz. And that brings us to Comets Ov Cupid’s finale…“Moonshot”. The song is nothing if not a lullaby, a mellow oeuvre that seems to want to gently cast us out…usher us away…or perhaps even lay us down to sleep after experiencing the cacophony that preceded it.

You can call this project a lot of things. You can call it ambient…you can call it shoegaze…hell, you can call it noise if you want to. The question is…is this noise as art…or is it art as noise? Go on…check it out…judge for yourself…see what the commotion is all about.

Track Listing:

01 Spectres of an Airstream Futuropolis
02 Starship
03 Babalon 
04 Wanderlust
05 Ever So Slowly
06 Jack the Rocketman
07 Raven Makes the World
08 Western Lands
09 Moonshot

Band Members:

Jason Kesselring – Guitars, guitar loops, bass, percussion, drum loops, vocals and theremin

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comets ov cupid in the god factory

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Over the last 5 years my friend painter/occultist/ author Roger Williamson and I have been collaborating artistically. I have done soundtrack to some of his films as well as played at many of his art openings. His painting “The Sun At Night” is featured on the CD face of my Comets Ov Cupid release “Western Lands” and his “High Priestess” painting will be on the CD face of the newest Comets release. The video below shows my performance with Erik Wivinus playing electric sitar at Roger’s “God Factory” opening.(OCT 8 2011) Also I included a copy of the flier from that show.

Comets Ov Cupid with Erik Wivinus calling up the spirits in The God Factory

The Quaking Bogge at Vine Arts, Minneapolis 23 February 2013

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Quaking Bogge is a kosmische inclinded wyrd folk project which bosts two Thunderbolt Pagoda members Erik Wivinus and Gérard Boissy. Beautiful.

The Quaking Bogge playing at Vine Arts for Kerry Pennings’ art exhibition closing party. Recorded by Maria Howes.

GENTLE TASADAY & NOXAGT

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Gentle Tasaday is project made up of duo of Erik Wivinus and Eric Hofferber. Sounding like a more Kosmische take on Current 93 or Nurse With Wound they were capable of kicking up a real sense of dread on a galactic level. They were label mates on Camera Obscura and of course Erik plays with me in Comets Ov Cupid and was in Skye Klad. I remember playing one or two live dates with them playing electric guitar while Erik played acoustic. The track “Snow Queen” was from a Tom Rapp/ Pearls Before Swine tribute album on Secret Eye. The second track is by a group Noxagt who I unfortunately know little about.

Gentle Tasaday – “Snow Queen”
Noxagt – “Regions of May”

V.A. “For the Dead in Space II & III”
A Tribute to Pearls Before Swine and Tom Rapp
Secret Eye Records, 2003

Vortex Navigation Company at “O”

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I have been playing guitar with Sean Connaughty’s Vortex Navigation Company for roughly 7 years and recording an album (lots of tracks to choose from at this point) and should see the light of day soon. Some of these tracks have appeared in Sean’s films and art exhibitions. This video below is a rather Kosmische extended piece that lasted for over an hour as we each separately played in giant woven tree pods! An absolutely surreal experience for the musician if not the audience.The video is edited down version of events. See Sean’s description below..

Performance by Vortex Navigation Company at XYandZ Gallery, Musicians: Jason Kesselring, Sean Connaughty and Scott Puhl. March 2011 Video Shot by Ryan Murphy, Edited by Sean Connaughty. Exhibition and sculptures by Sean Connaughty, Pod-stands Fabricated by Dillon Allen Master Welder.
Location: The Exhibition “O” at xyandz Gallery Minneapolis, MN. Thanks Mike Bishop, Adam, Eric Melzer, Joe Belk, Trudy Fredericks.Melrud.

Transparent Tarot from Magus Books soundtrack by Comets Ov Cupid

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Over a year ago Magus Books (an occult bookstore) in Dinkytown Mn used my track (Comets Ov Cupid) “Moonshot” for their video on the Transparent Tarot. An innovative tarot deck they offered that they offered at their shop. Magus books has also host many Kosmische music events (The Sonic Seance being the longest running) that I have played at over the years and they have always been very supportive all the arts community in the area. Check them out if you are ever in town!
http://www.magusbooks.com

Reading the Transparent Tarot with Annie at Magus Books. Soundtrack by Comets ov Cupid from the album Western Lands