As Bacon said, ‘The ideas in the Unconscious mind are far more interesting than from the Conscious mind.’

There is something fascinating about a ritualistic atmosphere and I think that people who do not engage in rituals, experience it differently and dare I say, perhaps more intensely. In short, just approach this album cautiously unaware of the fact that at the end, it will have such a strong grip on your mind that you will have to invoke all of your different types of strength in order to set it free!

The debut album of Word Made Flesh a.k.a Phil Barry and Keith Baker, that was released in October 2017 and is entitled ‘Word Made Flesh’, was included in our soundtrack for 2017 because we loved the conceptual and emotional weight its rhythms have placed on our psyche.Both musicians are involved in other projects, Phil Barry in Cubanate and Be My Enemy and Keith Baker in Nimon, Displacer, Be My Enemy. The sound of the album ‘Word Made Flesh’ is very different from all the other projects of Phil and Keith. With its 10 soundscapes, this album feels as if it is creating a musical wormhole that pulls us in, at times with the chaotic energy of power noise, borrowing from the aesthetics of psych trance (i.e. first half of ‘The Clock Stops‘, ‘Death Posture‘), other times with the mind-numbing energy of a slow moving wave (i.e.’The Process‘) or even by creating a powerful vortex made of repetitive sounds (i.e. first half of ‘Black Mirror‘). There are noise industrial parts throughout the album that increase the tempo momentarily and add a rusty, flaky, metallic texture to the grave sounding, strategically placed, vocals (i.e. ‘Heretic‘) that talk ceremoniously about cryptic things. Each song is like a many headed hydra, constantly reinventing itself throughout its duration. This is in short, how the energy of this album is structured and these are the elements with which Word Made Flesh, create a highly ritualistic album, ‘borrowing’ equally from the aesthetics of religious ceremonies and psychedelic ones in order to talk about an approach to life.

The atmosphere gets ‘heavier’ towards the end, as ‘The Clock Stops’, whose aesthetical influences bring to mind the slow rhythms of Laibach, feels more like a sonic mechanism that is moving quickly, effortlessly and with minimum resistance, towards the subconscious level. Try to resist it… just try and you will realise how magnetising is the rhythm of this song, that simulates the energy of a very slow moving rotor.If you are a fan of the cinema of David Lynch, Andrei Tarkovsky or Alejandro Jodorowsky you might find that this album is doing something similar to your mind.

This album is also accompanied by equally immersive visuals courtesy of the talented Gabriel Edvy who seems to have grasped the existential gravitas of the lyrics and of the project as a whole, both in the design of the cover and in the video that accompanies ‘The Forest‘. In the album’s highly symbolic cover, the whole idea of transformation, evident in the lyrics of the songs as well as through the rhythmic alterations within the album, takes the form of a symbolic transition from ‘W‘ to ‘F‘ that alludes to phases of the moon as well as to alchemical symbols. In the video of ‘The Forest‘ which closes this album, Gabriel has used the setting of a forest as the backdrop while at the foreground, various layers are overlapped and create an enhanced feeling of being ‘out of place’ and ‘out of sync’. Based on the lyrics of this song, you would think that its video would be about one main character, but we were up for a surprise, as there is a twist in the ‘plot’ towards the middle, as one character seems to encounter another or even itself in another form in a dreamlike experience. Since the whole idea of transformation runs through the album, it might be that one character gives form to another before the wormhole that this album has opened, is closed by its own creator at the end of the video. In any case the combination of nature’s metamorphosis with the concept of the transformation of the self, is fascinating and has been beautifully explored in this video. It is really admirable how the pulsating/uneasy feeling of the music of ‘The Forest‘ has been translated visually in order to create an enchanting experience for us, as viewers and listeners!A new remix of this song was released a few days ago and you can have a listen to it here:

This is of course how we have experienced this album and why we think that you should give your time to Word Made Flesh and listen to what this project has to say. But that is not all. Blauerosen had the pleasure of speaking with Phil Barry about this project and I must say that it is not common for a musician that is preoccupied with electronic music to include Francis Bacon, Alejandro Jodorowsky and sufi trance musicians in his sources of inspiration.Electronic music is rarely concerned with philosophical questions that can have an impact in someone’s worldview.This is an exciting project that deserves our support.

Blauerosen: Hi Phil, thank you for taking the time to answer these few questions about the project. The name of this project is ‘Word Made Flesh‘, which is a phrase associated with religion in some aspects. The music and the artwork though are anything but religious. Could you talk briefly about the ideas behind this name?

WMF: I took it from the bible so it certainly has its religious connotation.  I was reading ‘The Gnostic Gospels’ by Elaine Pagels at the time and became interested in the early Gnostic Christians approach to life and spiritually and how different it was from what ended up as the Roman Catholic Church. So at the time the phrase jumped out at me. The phrase then kept popping up, little synchronicities kept happening. I was watching Holy Mountain by Alejandro Jodorowsky around the same time and there is the bit where they are drinking Ayahuasca and there is a voice over with that same phrase. It kept appearing, so I went with it.

Blauerosen: Who are Word Made Flesh?

WMF: Me, Phil Barry…. My other projects include Cubanate and Be My Enemy and Keith Baker who does loads of projects including Keef Baker, Nimon, Displacer, Slipdrive and Be My Enemy. We met through Matt Caustic when Matt asked us both to play with him at Resistance Festival in Sheffield in 2010 a couple of years later I needed a bass player for some ‘Be My Enemy’ shows so I called upon called Keith. Fast forward a couple of years and Keith ends up moving a few miles down the road from me so we get together every so often in the studio and jam.

Blauerosen: Judging by the cover and the song titles such as ‘The Butterfly Dream‘ (a famous Taoist parable) to the psychedelic video of ‘The Forest‘, the idea of transformation and the blurring of reality and illusion, seem to be the subjects of this album. Is transformation, a process that you are trying to describe through sound?

WMF: It was never a conscious thing. I try not to over think these things anymore. The main idea going into this album was to make a piece of art in a Autotelic way, with no goal or plan, go with the flow and try to use our imaginations as much as possible. I wanted to rediscover my creativity and take chances with my music. Most of the songs on the album evolve and mutate as they go along,constantly changing. I just let them happen that way, I tried let go of them and just see what happened. Then I realised that this is where art can be truly valuable, in the doing, and that the doing of the art is actually showing me how I should maybe approach my own life. Art is Life and Life is Art. So the transformation happens actually through the process of creation and I suppose that is mirrored in the music.

Blauerosen: One of the tracks in the album is entitled ‘Waters of Sleep‘. What a strange phrase! What can you share with us about it?

WMF:‘The forms that swim and the shapes that creep under the waters of sleep‘ Sidney Lanier,Hymns of the Marshes,1870. I think he is eluding to the Unconscious and the monsters within.

Blauerosen: The music of Word Made Flesh has Lynchian qualities. Especially the vocals create an atmosphere of suspension, between a dream and reality. What could you tell us about your aesthetic influences both in terms of sound and in terms of performance?

WMF: I love Lynch, the sound design in his work is beautiful. As I’ve gotten older I want to be challenged in what ever art form, whether its music, film/tv, visual arts whatever. My main priority is that I want my art to interest myself, if it interests other people then that’s nice, but doesn’t really matter. So when influences are brought up in regards to Word Made Flesh it’s more of a feeling I get from artists like Lynch or say Francis Bacon, where I try and dip into the unconscious to pull ideas from. As Bacon said, ‘The ideas in the Unconscious mind are far more interesting than from the Conscious mind.‘ Obviously getting to those ideas is not easy because of the ego and it’s likes and dislikes. Letting go is the key and I am still learning and opening up.

Blauerosen: We can listen to sounds of different instruments in the tracks, for example at the introduction of ‘The Process‘ there is a sound that brings to mind bagpipes. Is it actually bagpipes?

WMF: No they are not bagpipes. The sounds at the beginning are Moroccan Nefir wind instruments. I was reading ‘The Process’ by Brion Gysin which was set in North Africa and he writes about the Master Musicians of Jajouka, the Sufi trance musicians. These guys smoke hash and dance all night to the point of exhaustion to get closer to God. I had decided to call the track ‘The Process‘ after using a quote from the book in the intro ‘The Flesh, a Patten of Me. The Flame, a patten of Me‘. I also thought the track goes on a bit of a trip just like how the book does, it starts of as one thing, a techno track, then ends up as a rock track via an ambient track.

Blauerosen: You have collaborated with Gabriel Edvy in the visuals, the design of the artwork and the videos. Did you give her any directions? The setting for the video of ‘The Forest‘ was also a forest. Does this relate to the whole idea of transformation that the album seems to convey?

WMF: I love Gabriel’s work. No direction is needed, all her ideas. I’m lucky to have such a talented artist in my life. I did want a sparse album cover though. Actually the CD was supposed to have been printed on tactile paper, something that you could feel but we got misquoted by the printers so had to shelve that idea sadly. ‘The Forest’ video is just incredible. Gabriel really had to twist my arm to get me to appear in it but I am glad she did. The video is a representation of the journey to enlightenment or self discovery or alchemy, it’s open to interpretation really, so it very much mirrors the feel of the album as a whole.

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