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    Various Artists – Four-Beat Rhythm: The Writings of Wilhelm Reich

    Various Artists - Four-Beat Rhythm: The Writings of Wilhelm Reich

    “Wilhelm Reich was an Austrian psychoanalyst, a member of the second generation of psychoanalysts after Sigmund Freud, and one of the most radical figures in the history of psychiatry. After graduating in medicine from the University of Vienna in 1922, Reich studied neuropsychiatry under Julius Wagner-Jauregg and became deputy director of the Vienna Ambulatorium, Freud’s psychoanalytic outpatient clinic. He tried to reconcile psychoanalysis with Marxism, arguing that neurosis is rooted in physical, sexual and socio-economic conditions, and in particular in a lack of what he called ‘orgastic potency.’ He visited patients in their homes to see how they lived, and took to the streets in a mobile clinic, promoting sexuality and the availability of contraceptives, abortion and divorce, a provocative message in Catholic Austria. He said he wanted to ‘attack the neurosis by its prevention rather than treatment.’

    “From the 1930s on, he became an increasingly controversial figure; from 1932 until his death all of his work–including books, journals and papers–was self-published. His promotion of sexual permissiveness disturbed the psychoanalytic community and his associates on the political left, and his vegetotherapy, in which he massaged his disrobed patients to dissolve their muscular armour, violated the key taboos of psychoanalysis. He moved to New York in 1939, in part to escape the Nazis, and shortly after arriving there coined the term ‘orgone’ – derived from ‘orgasm’ and ‘organism’ – for a cosmic energy he said he had discovered, which he said others referred to as God. In 1940, he started building orgone accumulators, devices that his patients sat inside to harness the reputed health benefits, leading to newspaper stories about sex boxes that cured cancer.

    “Following two critical articles about him in The New Republic and Harper‘s, the United States FDA obtained an injunction against the interstate shipment of orgone accumulators and associated literature, believing they were dealing with a ‘fraud of the first magnitude.’ Charged with contempt in 1956 for having violated the injunction, Reich was sentenced to two years in prison, and that summer over six tons of his publications were burned by order of the court. He died in jail of heart failure just over a year later, days before he was due to apply for parole.”–Wikipedia

    Four-Beat Rhythm: The Writings of Wilhelm Reich presents Reich’s works in a new medium–music–so artists and musicians of today can discover his many vital contributions to society. Another purpose of the release is to gather funds for The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust. This non-profit entity was established by Wilhelm Reich to operate Orgonon as the Wilhelm Reich Museum, as well as to protect, preserve and transmit Wilhelm Reich’s scientific legacy to future generations, safeguard his archives, and help infants, children and adolescents.

    10 musical artists–including most prominently Brother JT and Howling Hex (featuring Neil Hagerty of Royal Trux)–were given a list of Wilhelm’s poems to set to music, resulting in 10 tracks tailored to the avant-rock set. Proceeding from dreamy, ambient rock drones with fingerpicked guitar and buried singing to straightforward yet moody hard rock–some almost rap-like. From heavily reverbed country-psych with guitar abstractions, to vocal ballads accompanied by violin lines and meandering synth washes. From shambling and rattling guitar picking and strumming with lo-fi background hum and female singing to noodling moody rock jams, not unlike Neil Old–or possibly even Neil Young. From ambient hover chock-full of mellow singing, synth, singing bowls, toy piano guts, guitar, bells, piano and organ accumulator to 4/4 beat synth damage techno rock with a delay pedal to garbled noise rock with layered stuttering and samples galore. The whole shebang comes packaged up in a luffly mini-LP gatefold jacket including a fold-out poster with Reich’s poems and copious liner notes from the participants.

    Label: Workshop Format: CD Packaging: Mini-LP Gatefold Tracks: 10 Total Time: 50:53 Country: United States Released: 2013 More: Amazon, CD Baby, The Guardian, The Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust

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