Latest Musings

It's not often that I have to struggle to finish a book but it's taken me over a month to finally reach the end of Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln's The Messianic Legacy, which is supposedly a sequel to The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail.

The original was a work of genius; I didn't believe a word of it but it was as plausible as most politician's platitudes and it played to the inate conspiracy theorist inside me.

The sequel is nowhere near as controversial as the dust jacket would have you believe; unless it's controversial that the authors actually got paid for their work. This isn't a sequel. It isn't even a coherent book. It's three disparate sections, bound as a single volume, and which have a, sometimes tenuous, connection to THBATHG.

First off, there's more musings on the family of Christ, his brothers and the power conflicts which went on within the prototype Christian church. So far so good.

Then without warning, we veer off into the second section which deals with humanities need for symbolism; an argument which runs around all over the place and which lost my interest within the first 3 pages which has to be some kind of record.

Finally, the third section is back to more familiar territory; that of the Priory of Sion; but again, the reader is short changed. Through more interviews with Pierre de Plantard, the enigmatic Grand Master of the Priory we learn that there's an internal power struggle, M. Plantard is no longer the Grand Master of the Priory and that the Priory may indeed have been a hoax. At which point, the consistent thread which underpinned the Holy Blood promptly unravels and one is left wondering why they bothered reading along. Disappointing doesn't even come close.

Most played on the iPod is currently a close run tie between two rediscoveries. Godskitchen Worldwide and Resident: Two Years of Oakenfold at Cream.

Worldwide didn't really work for me when I first bought it, which, judging by the copyright notice on the CD was sometime in 2003. Filed under an OK but nothing spectacular category it's been lurking at the back of my iPod taking up space. I decided to give it another chance.

Godskitchen occasionally seem to be struggling to find their place amidst the Gatecrashers, Euphorias, Trance Nations and Creams of trance. Sometimes they hit the spot effortlessly, with releases such as Directi. Sometimes they burn a bit slower.

Two years down the line and I'm willing to give Worldwide an upgraded rating to flawed but brilliant. The first disk in particular is outstanding; Godskitchen are to be applauded for their stance in mixing full length versions of tracks rather than the 3 minute radio friendly edits that other purveyors of trance compilations eschew. Simply being able to listen to the full glory that is Out There (5th Dimension) by Masters & Nickson featuring the sublime voiced Justine Suissa almost justifies the original purchase price.

Resident, on the other hand, has been a constant in my playlists since I first heard it in 2000, almost a year after it was first released. Mostly recorded live in Cream's Courtyard the background crowd noise only adds to the atmospherics of this 2 CD set. Almost everything about this album works and works well; the transitions are flawless and, as with Godskitchen, most of the tracks are full length. There is much joy indeed to hear Man With No Name's defining moment when the bassline for Vavoom! kicks in.

Gary Gale

I'm Gary ... a Husband, Father, CTO at Kamma, geotechnologist, map geek, coffee addict, Sci-fi fan, UNIX and Mac user