The Cassandra Complex (band)

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The Cassandra Complex
FullbandBW.jpg
The Cassandra Complex in 2007
Background information
OriginLeeds, England
GenresIndustrial music, gothic rock, darkwave, post-punk
Years active1980–present
LabelsRouska, Play It Again Sam
Websitehttp://cassandracomplex.co.uk/
MembersRodney Orpheus
Andy Booth
Volker Zacharias
Axel Ermes
Past membersPaul Dillon
Jez Willis
Keith Langley
John Marchini
John Galvin
Jurgen Jansen
Patrick Gordon

The Cassandra Complex are an electronic rock group originally formed by Rodney Orpheus, Paul Dillon, and Andy Booth in 1980 in Leeds, England. The current lineup still features Orpheus and Booth, with the addition of Hamburg musicians Volker Zacharias and Axel Ermes.

Over the years, the band's sound has included elements of EBM, industrial, goth rock, new wave and synthpop, and the band's sound has been described as a blend of Joy Division, The Ramones and Kraftwerk.[1]

Singer Rodney Orpheus at Nocturnal Culture Night Festival 2016

History[edit]

The band was initially composed of Rodney Orpheus and Paul Dillon, who met when Orpheus gatecrashed Dillon's 21st birthday party in Leeds. They began putting on large multimedia shows featuring various avant-garde acts from the Leeds area.[2] Andy Booth was a journalist who interviewed the band and was later asked to join.[3] The band released their first self-financed single, "March", in March 1985.[4] A live cassette followed a month later, and the band signed to local label Rouska. Dillon left the band to get married and the band recruited Rodney's childhood friend John Marchini, with Jez Willis and Keith Langley guesting live and in the studio.

They released two albums on the Rouska label, Grenade (1986) and Hello America (1987), and added tracks to the compilation's Raging Sun (1985) and Zarah Leander's Greatest Hits (1987).[5] Afterwards they signed to the Belgian-based Play It Again Sam label, which issued the double-live album Feel the Width in 1987.[6] During the production of the Theomania album in 1988, Marchini and Booth left, with Orpheus recruiting a new line-up for 1989's Satan, Bugs Bunny, and Me album.[4] Hamburg guitarist Volker Zacharias from the band Girls Under Glass joined a year later, and has been a stable member of the group since then.

During this period Orpheus also began work on the book Abrahadabra, published by Looking Glass Press in Sweden and later republished by Weiser Books.[7]

Orpheus set up a recording studio in Hamburg where The Cassandra Complex recorded their next albums, as well as producing and remixing several records for other German alternative artists, including Die Krupps and Girls Under Glass.[8] Orpheus had a role in the German vampire movie Kiss My Blood, and toured with The Sisters of Mercy. He was described as a "technopagan" in Mark Dery's 1996 overview of cyberculture Escape Velocity[9]:

To Rodney Orpheus the ease with which such metaphors are turned upside down underscores his belief that there's nothing oxymoronic about the term technopagan in end-of-the-century cyberculture. "People say 'pagans sit in the forest worshipping nature; what are you doing drinking diet coke in front of a Macintosh?' " says Orpheus, who in addition to being a card-carrying Crowleyite is a hacker and a mind machine aficionado. "But when you use a computer, you're using your imagination to manipulate the computer's reality. Well, that's exactly what sorcery is all about – changing the plastic quality of nature on a nuts-and-bolts level. And that's why magickal techniques dating back hundreds of years are totally valid in a cyberpunk age."

Booth went on to become a lawyer and the head of Company Commercial and Creative Industries at Manchester firm Turner Parkinson.[1]

The band continued with Orpheus and Zacharias releasing Cyberpunx, The War Against Sleep and Sex & Death. In 1995, Orpheus worked with Patricia Nigiani and Markus Giltjes on a side project called Sun God.[3][10]

In 2000, the band released the Wetware album on SPV in Europe and Metropolis Records in the USA.[3][11] Orpheus also produced the surround albums Planet Earth for LTJ Bukem and A Gigantic Globular Burst of Anti-Static for The Future Sound of London, and published his second book Grimoire of Aleister Crowley.[12]

In 2007 the original three band members reformed along with Volker Zacharias to play several festival shows in Europe and Brazil. Dillon subsequently left the band again and was replaced by Axel Ermes. The current four-piece lineup have continued to play regular shows since then.[13]

In 2019 the band remastered and re-released their two earliest albums Grenade and Hello America.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

  • Grenade (1986) Rouska
  • Theomania (1988) Play It Again Sam
  • Satan, Bugs Bunny, and me ... (1989) Play It Again Sam
  • Cyberpunx (1990) Play It Again Sam
  • The War against Sleep (1992) Play It Again Sam
  • Sex & Death (1993) Play It Again Sam
  • Wetware (2000) Metropolis
  • Grenade - 2019 Remaster (2019) Complex Music

Live albums[edit]

  • Live in Leather (1985) Complex (cassette-only)
  • Feel the Width (1987) Play It Again Sam
  • Beyond the Wall of Sleep (1992)

Compilations[edit]

  • Raging Sun (1985) Rouska
  • Hello America (1986) Rouska
  • Zarah Leander's Greatest Hits (1987) Rouska
  • Work 1.0 (1995) PIAS
  • Dancing in Darkness (2019) PIAS
  • Hello America - 2019 Remaster (2019) Complex Music

EPs and 12"[edit]

  • March (1985) Complex
  • Moscow, Idaho (1985) Rouska
  • Datakill (1986) Rouska
  • Kill your Children/Something came over me/Angels In The Sky (1987) Play It Again Sam
  • 30 Minutes of Death (1988) aka "Gunship"
  • Penny Century (1988)
  • Finland (1990) Play It Again Sam
  • Nice Work (1990) Play It Again Sam
  • Gnostic Christmas (1991) free with limited edition of "War against Sleep"
  • Give me what I need (1994) Play It Again Sam
  • Twice as Good (2000)

Associated works by Rodney Orpheus[edit]

  • Third Circle – Last Night (1984) (Producer)
  • Set Fatale - Set Fatale (1988) (Producer)
  • Girls Under Glass – Positive (1990) (Producer)
  • Sisters of Mercy – Under The Gun (1992) (Keyboards/Top of the Pops appearance)
  • Catastrophe Ballet – Transition (1992) (Producer)
  • Die Krupps – Fatherland (1994) (Remixer w/ Andrew Eldritch)
  • Rodney Orpheus - Sun God (1995) (Vocals, Instruments, Producer, Songwriter)
  • Asylum– Vent (1995) (Producer)
  • Aurora Sutra – Passing Over in Silence Unto Nuit (1996) (Producer)
  • INRI – The Whole of Nature is Renewed by Fire (1996) (Producer)
  • Still Silent - Still Silent (1996) (Vocals, Lyrics)
  • Faith & the Muse – Vera Causa (2000) (Remixer)
  • Soil & Eclipse – Purity (2002) (Remixer)
  • Kraftwerk – Tour de France Soundtracks (2003) (Technical Adviser)
  • LTJ Bukem – Planet Earth (2004) (Producer)
  • Beborn Beton – Another World (2004) (Remixer)
  • London Symphony Orchestra – Beethoven Classics (Creative Director)
  • London Symphony Orchestra – Handel's Water Music (2005) (Creative Director)
  • London Symphony Orchestra – Mozart Classics (2005) (Creative Director)
  • London Symphony Orchestra – Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker (2005) (Creative Director)
  • London Symphony Orchestra – Bach Classics (2005) (Creative Director)
  • London Symphony Orchestra – Tchaikovsky Classics (2005) (Creative Director)
  • Future Sound of London – A Gigantic Globular Burst of Anti-Static (2006) (Producer)
  • Within Temptation - And We Run ft Xzibit (WholeWorldBand Edition) (2015) (Remixer)

Bibliography[edit]

  • Orpheus, Rodney (1988). Convoy Tactics. Autoduel Quarterly. 6 (4). Steve Jackson Games.
  • Orpheus, Rodney; Phil Hine (ed.) (1988–1992) Pagan News
  • Orpheus, Rodney (1989). Trojan Horses – The Cassandra Complex Lyrics 1984–1989 e.v. Aachen, Germany: Complex Music.
  • Orpheus, Rodney (1995). Abrahadabra: A Beginners Guide to Thelemic Magick. Stockholm: Looking Glass Press. ISBN 91-88708-01-2.
  • Orpheus, Rodney (1999). Car Wars – Death Rally. Pyramid Magazine (April 1999). Steve Jackson Games.
  • Orpheus, Rodney (2002). Gothic Blood Dream. In Matzke & Seeliger (eds.). Gothic II. Die internationale Szene aus der Sicht ihrer Macher. Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf. ISBN 3-89602-396-9.
  • Orpheus, Rodney (2002). Poison Butterflies. In Matzke & Seeliger (eds.). Gothic II. Die internationale Szene aus der Sicht ihrer Macher. Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf. ISBN 3-89602-396-9.
  • Orpheus, Rodney (2005). Abrahadabra: Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thelemic Magick (2nd Edition). Red Wheel/ Weiser Books. ISBN 1-57863-326-5.
  • Orpheus, Rodney (2009). Gerald Gardner & Ordo Templi Orientis. Pentacle Magazine (30). pp. 14–18. ISSN 1753-898X.
  • Orpheus, Rodney; Cathryn Orchard (30 November 2009). Baptism in the Thelemic Tradition. In Kim Huggens (ed.). From a Drop of Water. Avalonia. ISBN 1-905297-34-3.
  • Orpheus, Rodney (12 August 2011). Grimoire of Aleister Crowley. Manchester: Abrahadabra Press. ISBN 978-0-9569853-0-9.
  • Orpheus, Rodney (2011). Thelemic Morality. In Carl Abrahamssson (ed.). The Fenris Wolf 1–3. Stockholm: Edda Publishing. ISBN 978-91-979534-1-2.
  • Orpheus, Rodney (1 March 2019). The Sin Eater. In Lederman, Jean-Marc (ed.). 13 Ghost Stories. Dependent Records.
  • Orpheus, Rodney (1 June 2019). Grimoire of Aleister Crowley (2nd Edition). New York, NY: Red Wheel/ Weiser Books. ISBN 978-1-57863-675-4.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Wade, Alex (2007) "My Weekend: Andy Booth - Eighties electronic band The Cassandra Complex are back - one of them with a law degree", The Times
  2. ^ Cope, Nicholas (October 2012). "Northern Industrial Scratch: The History and Contexts of a Visual Music Practice". University of Sunderland. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ a b c Wilson, Mackenzie "The Cassandra Complex Biography", Allmusic, Macrovision Corporation
  4. ^ a b Strong, Martin C. (1999) The Great Alternative & Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 0-86241-913-1
  5. ^ http://www.fonorama.cz/firmy/R/Rouska.htm
  6. ^ "Cassandra Complex Feel the Width", Underground, October 1987 (issue 7), p. 10
  7. ^ "Red Wheel ∕ Weiser Online Bookstore | Abrahadabra: Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thelemic Magick by Rodney Orpheus, Introduction by Lon Milo DuQuette". redwheelweiser.com. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  8. ^ "Rodney Orpheus". Discogs. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  9. ^ Dery, Mark, 1959- (1996). Escape velocity : cyberculture at the end of the century. London: Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0340672013. OCLC 43123797.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ Jester (January 1996). "Sun God Interview". Archived from the original on 8 October 1999. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
  11. ^ "Cassandra Complex Hard Wired Interview". May 2001. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
  12. ^ "Red Wheel ∕ Weiser Online Bookstore | Grimoire of Aleister Crowley: Group Magick Rituals by Rodney Orpheus, Aleister Crowley, and John Dee et al". redwheelweiser.com. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  13. ^ Lüke, LAy, Nastja Iz & Marcel. "Live Review: Amphi Festival - Cologne 2019 (Day 1)".

External links[edit]