Kitab al​-​Azif

by drummis

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about

Inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft, Kitab al-Azif is named after the most notorious book from 20th century horror fiction: the Necronomicon. This album outlines the dark path taken by the musician, accompanied by his author friend, as he delves further into the devilish book. The story is being written by an actual author friend (Voy Callay), with much greater detail going into the description of our anti-hero's fall from sanity.

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released August 20, 2018

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Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.

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about

drummis New York

drummIs is an improvisational electronic musician. Everything you hear on this site is played live in one track. His tools are the trapKAT MIDI controller, a TD-5 drum brain, electric bass guitar, the RC-50 Looper, ME-25 effects, guitars, an iPad with too many apps, and a squeaky octopus. Located in upstate New York, he goes by Kurt Reymers, and is otherwise occupied as a professor of sociology. ... more

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Track Name: Inquiry and Summoning
I found the cipher manuscript in an old New England library, tucked away in a corner behind a few other dusty manuscripts and tomes. It said only "Al Azif" on the cover, but its contents intrigued me, so (in contradiction of the library's rules), I snuck some photographs of the first few pages. After spending several days delving into their secrets, I sat down and wrote this electronic piece, which vaguely describes my inquiry into those dire marks and the attendant summoning of a great evil that commenced. Thankfully the "spell," or whatever it was my music did to open some sort of gate, was incomplete and the horrid thing collapsed back into its nether dimension. It's hard to even believe, but it truly happened.

I can only imagine, with great hesitation, what might come from an investigation into the original book in its entirety.
Track Name: Evolve or Die
Spiraling down the abyss of weird vocal effects. Adding to my collection of "weird music" upon my friend's prompts. The cult will soon rise! Haha. I've really become obsessed with these few pages of the library book. What a great music writing prompt! I will have to find a copy somewhere of the whole thing.
Track Name: Visitation of the Mi-Go
Been reading more from the book. This song was the result of an exploration of the TC Helicon Voicelive 2 settings -- it's a patch called "space choir," and I immediately went to that book space after reading about the "Mi-Go of Yuggoth." Fantastical stuff. Back now, no t-shirt. I must have that book.
Track Name: Freedom
Reading from the whole book now. This is another song inspired by pages from the book, which doesn't have such a great outlook on humanity and our place in the Universe. This title is, of course, ironic. Who is free, really? We're just ants climbing around in a dust pile on a tiny rock floating in space. The laws of the Universe are vastly more powerful than us. Can they be discovered at least?
Track Name: Twilit Grotto
This one sort of came to me in a dream last night, after reading more from the book. It's a mellower tune that incorporates Alchemy drums and arpeggios with TC Helicon vocals and Thumbjam lead synth. My dreams are becoming more vivid, like I'm having an out-of-body experience, rather than dreaming. Never been any place like this grotto. The light was weird and atmosphere heavy.
Track Name: Flight of the Byakhee
According to the book, the "Byakhee" are an ancient race of servitors, often doing the bidding of Hastur the Unspeakable. Ozone smell and itching in brain. Two long antennae sweeping back over the head, red eyes, teeth like a mouthful of steel pencils, skull-like head. Skin apparently rotting, peeling away to expose an exoskeleton, overlapping plates of chitinous material. Huge wasp-like thorax: long hairs stand up and glow with blue light when the thing flies. Beware the blue light. Do not listen to them -- they have nothing wholesome to say.
Track Name: Dialogue with the Elder Things
I did it. I summoned a real thing from another dimension, the Byakhee. The Byakhee took me to the Halls of Celaeno, where the Elder Things, ancients of enormous intellect and millions of years of experience gained through a unique ability to travel in time, working with their arcane "machines," spoke to me through a telepathic translator that was more music than speech. Weakened after all it had seen, my mind broke as I comprehended the telepathy of the Elder Things. I can't even put into words the vaguest reference to anything they said -- no human language could communicate it, save the rants of mad men, cultists, and perhaps artists, writers, poets, and musicians.
Track Name: Casting About
Casting a spell is like extending your mind as a tool into the nether forces of the Universe and twisting that screw until something pops out. Unfortunately, because the Universe is fickle, you never really know if what comes out is exactly what you wanted. It's usually a perversion. If you're going to be a spell caster, you've got to learn to accept that.
Track Name: Invocation
The invocation was brief, but the results, infinite in scope. I've done it. The guardian and the key are one. I've broken the code of the Gate. Now I can travel on my own.
Track Name: Through Space
The sounds were magic. Not the Copperfield kind, but something deeper, more primal, less showy. Others might not even have known I was casting. From the inside, though, I could tell it was working; I didn't feel right. It was sort of like one of those sensory deprivation experiences people talk about, but I was clearly aware of my body. Lifting up out of the atmosphere of the planet was perhaps the most disconcerting moment, but once in space, there was a certain freedom I had never sensed before. Yet, I was trapped, like in a bubble floating downstream, not entirely in control of where I was going. I feared for a moment where I might end up. I feared too that I would never return to my normal place and state of mind.
Track Name: The King
In my travels through the gate, I witnessed a most horrifying event I can only describe as a "parade of madness." Whether this was organized as a purposeful public display, or my mind merely framed it as such in an effort to bring some order to the madness, I do not know. Immediately after my return, I cataloged the participants in this horrific parade through song (the only way I can effectively express my journey any longer).

(1) Strange "trumpets" coming from an unseen source introduced perhaps the unbelievable site of what is known as a "shoggoth," an immense amorphous mass of intelligent, foul, galumphing flesh;
(2) Servitors of the outer gods drove the shoggoth, as though in chains, with electronic sounding drums and flutes;
(3) The rhythm of the drums abruptly stopped and out of the woodwork of this dark city on the Lake Carcosa came what seemed like endless chanting cultists, all wearing yellow robes;
(4) Flying down from the purple sky were a group of buzzing Mi-Go, the fungi from Yuggoth, servants of the unspeakable King. They spooked the shoggoths which again began rolling their way through the streets of the deformed city;
(5) Star vampires descended as well, becoming visible only as they grabbed dozens of willingly sacrificed cultists and drank their blood until their wilted bodies dropped from the oozing grasp of the vampires;
(6) The Servitors changed the nature of their tune to one that clearly informed the ancient Egyptians thousands of years ago, and again from the sky came a large group of Byakhee, dancing a twisted, serpentine choreography to the sick, chaotic music;
(7) Finally, the unspeakable Yellow King made an appearance at the finale of the mad display, a description for whom for there are no words, bringing a thither of activity from the gathered creatures, human and otherwise.

At this point, I felt safer leaving through my gate to musically record what my mind could grasp of the insanity in the only way I know.
Track Name: Laboratory Remains
Home again. My music studio, which resembles more of a laboratory now than a studio, is in a shambles. I destroyed it while recording my insights from last night's unraveling. After my unfortunate glimpsing of the Parade of the Yellow King and his "festivities," I feel... unmasked. My mind is raw and sore. I need rest.
Track Name: 33 Heartbeats
They are here. In my world now. I must not have closed the gate behind me as tightly as I needed to. Am I just paranoid or are they hunting *me*, sensing my connection to the gate, hearing my mental music? I counted eleven heartbeats between coming and going, three times hence. Thirty-three heartbeats of silence the whole night. I think sleep deprivation is driving me mad.
Track Name: Cry of the Great Old Ones
I can hear the sounds from the other side now, without opening the gate. I hear the noisome and unwholesome creatures from other dimensions. I hear the tortured groans and squeals of small things being devoured. I hear the cosmos unhinge from my dull, mundane earthly surroundings. I hear the cry of the Great Old Ones. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the Gate! Azathoth the daemon sultan, the Blind Idiot God must be kept in slumber by music lest all cease to be is the dreamer! Am I to be his musician? And what of my friend here, trying to keep me in this place? How can I remain here with him given all that I know? It would be madness for me to remain. He must let me go.
Track Name: Gone Mad
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Yog-Sothoth wgah'nagl fhtagn! The stars are right!
Track Name: Epilogue: To the Asylum
Though this jacket is tight, I'm smiling because there is a joy in going mad. The meaninglessness of madness is revealing, in that it no longer leaves one with the compunction to observe the norms of society, which so often obscure the truth and dull the senses. So freeing! I feel reborn. A new perspective is wrought; does it really matter that it involves the worship of Great Old Ones? Oh, the things I now understand about that wonderful book, that beautiful book, the book of the dead with no reserve for minds or matters. The cosmic void has swallowed me, and I will go into it, gibbering and slathering faithlessly! Goodbye John! Goodbye Earth! Goodbye, me.

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