Master Musicians of Bukkake – Circular and Made of the Earth

 

With a lineup that fluctuates pretty regularly, including album credits that include slide guitar by Milk N’ Cookies, and a name that should probably not be Googled, it’s hard to pin down a group like the Master Musicians of Bukkake. This comes off their The Visible Sign of the Invisible Order release, which was co-produced by Randall Dunn and former Earth member John Schuller, who have both performed and recorded with the group. The name is a variation on The Master Musicians of Jajouka, a Moroccan group that is less band and more musical tradition that stretches back almost a thousand years. In an interview at The Quietus, Dunn explains the thinking behind the name:

Definitely one of the intentions is never to take ourselves too seriously. For me that’s part of foiling the aspect of a psychedelic rock band that can happen, where they can start creating a sort of pseudo-spirituality with their audience, and then start believing that it’s actually happening. Then it’s not long before a cult-like aspect can emerge. For us, you can’t have intense seriousness without intense humour, and you can’t deal with some of these things we’re talking about without having a gentleness or sleight of hand. And also, for me, it’s always been a commentary on ‘world music’ in general, this thing that’s been presented to us as ‘world music’ – like, what is that?

Dunn is also a prolific producer, working with drone/doom metal groups like Wolves in the Throne Room and Sunn O))). While many of the groups subsequent releases have been put out by Important Records, this record (their debut) was released by Abduction, best known for being the primary label for Sun City Girls. Master Musicians of Bukkake’s latest release, Far West completed a trilogy of albums known as the Totems. From the same interview:

So the whole Totem trilogy is about, obliquely in a way, the rise of this synthetic religion, and the failure of everyone to see that what really mattered was being replaced with this synthetic version – and everyone sort of being ok with that happening.

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