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Sword Of The Sun

Sword Of The Sun Logo

by Zone

zone, potentia, sword of the sun, welsh bands, eclectic music, industrial music, ambient music, electronic music, experimental music, avant-garde music, avant garde music, gothic music, ethereal music, world music, throbbing gristle, brian eno, tangerine dream, karlheinz stockhausen, fred frith, henry cow, faust, can, coil, chris and cosey, chris & cosey, carter tutti, nurse with wound, current 93

Sword Of The Sun 1st Edition LP Cover

Track Listing    buy LP  reviews

Stopping The World (3:23)     listen
The Wheel Of Light (10:10)     listen
The Hospital Garden (2:15)     listen
Lost In A State Of Grace (2:09)     listen  video
Sword Of The Sun (3:03)     listen
Zone (2:15)     listen
The Prophet (2:16)     listen
To The Centre Of The Cyclone (6:51)     listen
Caught In The Breath Of Angels (4:50)     listen
Stolen Lightning (2:43)     listen
Sunbathing (4:29)     listen
The Crystal Opening (4:02) [Only available on CD format]     listen

Denoted as “Some of the most devastatingly glamorous music to appear on record since...?”, this release marked out Zone as mavericks with their own already integrated take on the past and future – from punk to the Pyramids – that would develop further still into a body of work as unique as it is post-modern, earthy and electric.

The name 'Sword Of The Sun' was taken from the title of a chapter from Italo Calvino's book 'Mr.Palomar'. The particular section of writing which inspired it's use, reads:-

"When the Sun begins to go down, its reflection takes form on the sea: from the horizon all the way to the shore a dazzling patch extends composed of countless swaying glints; the sun’s reflection becomes a shining sword in the water...

Matter becomes receptive to light, is differentiated into living tissues, and all of a sudden an eye, a multitude of eyes, burgeons, reburgeons."Sword Of The Sun 2nd Edition LP Cover

Originally released by Potentia Records (catalogue No.ZONE 001) as a 12" black vinyl LP on 1st July 1988 (coincidentally the same day that Zone's home city of Swansea was declared A Nuclear Free Zone) in an initial numbered edition of 100 copies. The album was distributed through Recommended Records and all copies sold out within a matter of a few weeks.

The whole album format was very much a DIY job, with the sleeve consisting of a plain black jacket with the front cover printed and hand mounted separately. The cover picture is a pen/pencil drawing entitled 'The Hospital Garden' which was drawn by Chris in 1986 and was reproduced in black and white. The record labels were plain white with the project logo rubber stamped by hand on each side, side 'A' being stamped in black and side 'B' stamped in red. The 'A' & 'B' side groove run out's being engraved with the words 'Born Of Fire' and 'Potentia' respectively. The album was accompanied with a black and white information insert, each stamped with the project logo, in red, and signed 'Zone' in gold ink. The image, also entitled 'Sword Of The Sun', was printed on the insert and was later reproduced in Zone's book 'Beautiful Machine'. Three sections of inspirational text were reproduced on the insert.

The first was written by the 13th Century Turkish Sufi, Jelaluddin Rumi, and was taken from the introduction to the film 'Born Of Fire':-

"In the rhythm of music, a secret is hidden. If I were to divulge it, it would overturn the world"Sword Of The Sun CD Cover

The second was written by Zone specifically for its use with this recording:-

"In the hospital garden, new life awakens, blessed by the golden sword of the sun. Around statues heavy with verdant regrowth, they raise their shining faces to the sky and dance with breathless expectation"

and the third was taken from the book 'Sex' by J.G.Bennett:-

"… mutations by which a new species arises may be due to special radiation coming from the sun, which has sufficient high energy in it to disturb the pattern in the chromosomes, tending to produce non-viable forms, but occasionally viable varieties of genetic pattern appear which breed true and establish themselves to bring a new species into the world.., presenting a picture of the sun having an inseminating role to play in relation to life on Earth."

The project logo for 'Sword Of The Sun' is of a mandala-like pattern produced by sound waves, given off by a vibrating steel disk and made visible in a photograph.

Sword Of The Sun CD LabelThis album was reissued in February 1989 in a further edition of approximately 550 copies. The sleeve layout was somewhat revised and professionally printed with the original insert now reproduced on the back of the album sleeve. The label for side 'A' consisted of a white on black project logo with the label for side 'B' listing the track titles etc., black on white. It was at this stage that the Potentia Logo was adopted for the first time, being reproduced on both the side 'B' label and the rear of the album sleeve. The majority of this edition were also distributed through Recommended Records with the last 100, or so, being distributed though World Serpent Distribution.

In 1992 'Sword Of The Sun' was re-issued in CD format (catalogue No. ZONE CD001) on Potentia Recordings and distributed through World Serpent Distribution. This edition consisted of two pressing runs of a 1000 copies per run. The CD itself was printed with the project logo, gold on black.

The front cover for the CD format was changed to the picture (§) 'Face to Face' taken from Zone's book 'Beautiful Machine', with the original cover picture being reproduced on the CD insert, this time in full colour. The centre pages of the CD booklet contained the additional drawing entitled 'Birth', drawn by Chris in 1989.

The CD format contained the new tack 'The Crystal Opening', recorded in 1992, along with the the poem 'The Crystal Opening', reproduced from Zone's book 'Beautiful Machine', being reproduced in the CD booklet.

Along with the original 3 sections of inspiration text the above mentioned extract from Italo Calvino's book 'Mr.Palomar' was also reproduced in the CD booklet.

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