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
Matter becomes receptive to light, is differentiated into living
tissues, and all of a sudden an eye, a multitude of eyes, burgeons, reburgeons."
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
"In the rhythm of music, a secret is hidden. If I were to divulge it,
it would overturn the world"
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'
"… 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
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.
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
In 1992 'Sword Of The Sun' was re-issued in CD format (catalogue No. ZONE
CD001) on Potentia Recordings and distributed through
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
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
Italo Calvino's book 'Mr.Palomar'
was also reproduced in the CD booklet.
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