Celebrated author David Toop announces Lost Shadows, a 1978 album of Yanomami ritual songs

Celebrated author David Toop announces Lost Shadows, a 1978 album of Yanomami ritual songs

David Toop, author of Sinister Resonance, the Rap Attack trilogy, and Exotica, has announced Lost Shadows: In Defence of the Soul - Yanomami Shamanism, Songs, Ritual, 1978, his first album in over seven years. Recorded during a trip to the Amazon in 1978, this double album recounts Toop’s visit to Venezuela, looking for the last Yanomami shamen. Blending field recordings with esoteric experimentation and — for lack of a better word — “world” music, this album is a majestic culmination of Toop’s theories on sound and modes of listening; aside from offering us the chance to hear the nearly extinct Yanomami. Mixed by Lawrence English, the album is available on vinyl and as a double CD, including a 40-page essay by Toop and photos chronicling the trip.

Perhaps best known for his critical work, David Toop can flaunt equally impressive musical credentials. The English scholar used to play with The Flying Lizards, a new-wave-subverting troupe of experimental music legends (David Cunnigham, Vivien Goldman, and Steve Beresford, were regular members), and has collaborated with Brian Eno, Max Eastley, and Scanner. Among his solo albums, the best known are Spirit World and Ocean of Sound, the latter a companion compilation to his 1995 eponymous book, surveying the history of ambient music. Although Ocean of Sound actually features some of the Yanomami rain songs Toop recorded, in Lost Shadows — which has itself been released, in one form or another, at least twice before — we find the most comprehensive edition Toop’s Amazon recordings have ever received. While his albums are sometimes dismissed as mere registers of his theoretical sojourns, it’s impossible to overlook Lost Shadows on such grounds. This is a genuinely interesting document that crosses the conventional bounds of what — Western? (post)modern? — music is supposed to be, pushing us into the realm of the spirits and their arcane language.

Lost Shadows: In Defence of the Soul - Yanomami Shamanism, Songs, Ritual, 1978 is out now, via Sub Rosa.

01 Tayari-teri: shamans healing 10’54
02 Tayari-teri: shamans healing 20’59
03 Tayari-teri: shamans healing 12’58
04 Torokoiwe: solo shama, first chant 7’10
05 Torokoiwe: solo shama, second chant 5’05
06 Torokoiwe: solo shama, second chant 8’48
07 Caberima night insects, birds and moths 5’24

01 Mabutawi-Teri: Wayamou duo exchange 7’41
02 Mabutawi-Teri: young women’s circle song 10’58
03 Cuntinamo: Piaruainai, solo shaman 3’03
04 Cuntinamo: Piaruainai, solo shaman 5’07
05 Cuntinamo: Piaruainai, solo shaman 3’55
06 Mabutawi-Teri: young men singing 1’48
07 Mabutawi-Teri: young men singing 2’03
08 Mabutawi-Teri: young men singing 1’56
09 Mabutawi-Teri: young men singing 2’22
10 Mabutawi-Teri: rain song 8’18
11 Mabutawi-Teri: rain song 4’32
12 Mabutawi-Teri: rain song 3’46
13 Mabutawi-Teri: rain song 3’06
14 Mabutawi-Teri: young men’s circle song 10’02
15 Caberima night insects, birds and moths 5’21

• David Toop: http://davidtoopblog.com
• Sub Rosa: http://www.subrosa.net/en.html

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