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TOOP, DAVID - Lost Shadows: In Defence of the Soul (Yanomami Shamanism, Songs, Ritual, 1978)

Format: LP
Label & Cat.Number: Sub Rosa SRV379
Release Year: 2015
Note: recordings from 1978 of YANOMAMI ritual songs, shamanistic ceremonies and rainforest sounds, when DAVID TOOP was travelling to the Amazon jungle to meet the fascinating tribe...comes with 40 page booklet with text by DAVID TOOP about the journey
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €15.50

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"Recordings from 1978 by David Toop of Yanomami ritual songs, shamanistic ceremonies and rainforest sounds. The voices of spirits and animal familiars, ventriloquial illusions of sound in dark spaces, secret spirit languages, the clap of thunder that links shamanic trance with the sleep language of Finnegans Wake...Out of these passages of the everyday, intensity flares like flames caught by a gust of wind. Skin burns or oozes blood, the wind blows up havoc as the spirits move about.

Inclusive 40 PAGE BOOKLET TEXT & PICTURES: the full story of David Toop's fascinating journey in 1978 through the Amazon jungle to meet and record the last Yanomami shamen.

LP version mixed by Lawrence English." [label info]


"If youve ever taken an anthropology course in college, you should be familiar with the indigenous Yamomami people of the Amazon. A primitive stone-age tribe dwelling deep in the rainforest that has persisted into the modern day. Theyre fascinating to academic researchers and curious lay people alike, the subject of various books and documentaries, noted for such traits as their supposed propensity for violence, their communal living arrangements, consumption of the ashes of the bones of their dead, and hallucinogenic drug abetted shamanism.
Back in 1978, British musician/writer/theorist/recordist David Toop (youve likely read his pieces in The Wire or listened to one of his many carefully curated compilations) had the opportunity to travel to Venezuela to visit the Yanomami, which resulted in a privately-pressed lp of some of the ethnographic sound recordings he made on the expedition, released in a small edition in 1980 and never repressed. This double cd release expands upon that original lp, presenting a fuller selection, two discs' worth, of Toops Yamomami recordings, wherein mostly unaccompanied human voices (that can sound far from human) chant and sing, imitating animals and speaking with spirits, alongside the jungle sounds of insects, birds, and moths. These healing rituals are certainly interesting from an anthropological point of view... but thats not really why were listing this. The real reason we recommend it is just cause, anthropology aside, the tracks on here are some of the CRAZIEST SOUNDING SHIT weve ever heard. Utter insane gobbledy gook, to put it in perhaps less-than-PC terms. Seriously, just listen to the sound samples below, have you ever been that messed up? Grunts, growls, weird warble, bizarre babble, sudden screaming outbursts, mysterious mutter, squeals and whoops. So if you like fucked up sounds, you need some Yamomamis in your collection. Eye from the Boredoms has NOTHING on these guys. Played loud, these tracks would be perfect for anyone who wants to drive their unsuspecting spouse or housemates mad. And boy would they make good outgoing answering machine fodder. Ok, we know people dont have answering machines anymore, but this might be a good reason to sign up for a landline and go find one!!
Reason enough to buy this. That said, theres also much more to it than that, and of course you could get in deep, listening to this, reading along in the thick booklet of liner notes that Toop provides, putting you in the moment, there in the jungle, via his 1978 expedition diary, also referencing various surrealists, philosophers, Butoh dancers and avant-garde composers as he shares his thoughts and observations, pondering the meaning and wonder of it all... OR, like we said, just be astounded and amused and amazed by the freaky sounds of these shamans!!!" [Aquarius Rec]