Pan Gu – ‘Primeval Man Born of the Cosmic Egg’ LP
PromoImageIn Chinese mythology, Pan Gu is the primeval man, born of the cosmic egg. One day the egg split open. The top half became the sky and the bottom half the earth. Pan Gu, who emerged from the broken egg, grew ten feet taller every day, just as the sky became ten feet higher and the earth ten feet thicker. After 18,000 years Pan Gu died. Then, like the cosmic egg, he split into a number of parts. His head formed the sun and moon, his blood the rivers and seas, his hair the forests, his sweat the rain, his breath the wind, his voice thunder and, last of all, his fleas became the ancestors of mankind. The material for Pan Gu’s debut release was improvised in Lasse Marhaug’s rehearsal space with Leslie Low (The Observatory, ARCN TEMPL). With not much talk about what they would do or accomplish from it, the duo played for the moment. Up to that point, this would have been only their second time improvising together. The first time was a live performance in Singapore where they discovered that whatever sound or noise they made, they would never get in each other’s way; Lasse with his harsh electronics and Leslie’s looped manipulation of acoustic guitar and voice. Cold and warm; harsh and soft; polar opposites coexisting in one space. This perhaps, is the simplest way to describe Pan Gu’s music, but by no means lacking in nuance and subtlety which each listener will discover on the record. The cover art was painted by Denis Forkas Kostromitin who studied traditional Xieyi painting for several years on frequent trips to rural China. The composition has a tall scroll-like proportion creating a truly unique artifact via medieval Chinese perspective and materials. The Chinese canon is all about harmony and the legend of Pan Gu’s death/transformation is stripped down here to a metaphor. The sacrificial nature of the legend is reflected through the posture of the corpse, subtle composition touches (the body “undressing” itself from life while entering the realm of death) and the misty morning landscape. Kostromitin’s ambition was to avoid the effect of an image inspired by Chinese tradition. Instead, he attempted to create a genuine Shan Shui painting. Packaged in a heavy, black folder with obi. Limited to 300 copies. Black vinyl + download.


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