Shekinah comprises two side-long slabs of highly experimental music in the early Coil / Current 93 / Organum vein with touches of Eastern (or is it North American?) mysticism thrown in for good measure.
‘For The Dead & Unborn’ is a wild, chilling and uninhibited chant-cum-invocation featuring wordless vocals set against a hypnotic backdrop of percussion and bowed instruments.
‘Angels Gather Here Between Purity Of Heart and Hopeless Despair’ is taken at a much slower pace with far less accent on the chanting and more emphasis on the bowed strings and singing / ringing percussion and at times had me glancing nervously over my shoulder!
Shekinah could be described as very dark Gothic Ritual Folk with a sprinkling of occult allure.
The title, cover and music all suggest bloodied altars, unfathomable rituals and mystical learning.
The low and buzzing drone underscores a lava flow of chants, cellos and percussion.
Whatever words are spoken during this procession of yearning melodies and utterly ethereal voices is perhaps best left for the Gods.
Whatever secrets the music holds, they are simultaneously a fountain of spiritual beauty and unknowable terror.
It's as if its character changed with my dispositions: if I was feeling fear then fear is what I heard.
If I was feeling joyous, then the joy of the Gods shone down upon me and relaxed every fibre of my being.
In the ‘80s underground, Ritual Ambient and Tribal Ambient were both coming to fruition and although they had a rough framework there wasn't yet a concrete basis for how the genres were set to develop.
Masstishaddhu exploited this potential to create a music that sounds like a well-executed modern Free Folk album - in 1988, a good decade before the New Weird America scene (spearheaded by the likes of Sunburned Hand Of The Man) began revolutionizing the idea of Folk music operating under rhythmic constraints.
In this sense Shekinah is undoubtedly unique, perpetuating the 'ritual' side of ambient through disconcerting vocalizations and chants.
It is deeply embedded within the Folk influence that uses atmosphere to sculpt instrumental improvisations, again, much like well-executed modern Free Folk does.
- A TERTIARY SOURCE
Old Europa Cafe AVS