The Mortal Prophets Take Inspiration From Pre-War Blues And German Electronica For ‘Stomp The Devil’

[Cover photo credit to Arne Svensen]

The Mortal Prophets, the moniker for John Beckmann’s project, has shared a second single called “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen,” taken off the recently announced debut EP, Stomp the Devil, due July 8th, 2022.

Beckmann is very interested in pre-war blues legends such as Lead Belly, Blind Willie Johnson, Charley Patton, Robert Johnson, and also the experimental ethos of German Electronica and groups such as Neu!, Cluster, Harmonia, Brian Eno, David Bowie and Suicide.

The band’s forthcoming debut EP was produced by David Sisko and features collaborations with Gary Lucas (Captain Beefheart).

Beckmann says of the forthcoming EP:

My goal with the first EP ‘Stomp The Devil’ was to combine two strong influences of mine, very early pre-war blues with experimental electronica, groups like Can, NEU!, Harmonia and Cluster, and even Suicide, in a new way. You can think about it in this way: In the introduction, The Raw and the Cooked (1964) French anthropologist Lévi-Strauss writes of his confidence that ‘certain categorical opposites drawn from everyday experience with the most basic sorts of things — e.g. ‘raw’ and ‘cooked,’ ‘fresh’ and ‘rotten,’ ‘moist’ and ‘parched,’ and others — can serve a people as conceptual tools for the formation of abstract notions and for combining these into propositions, or as the surrealist André Breton discovered the singular phrase that became foundational to the surrealist doctrine of objective chance: ‘as beautiful as the chance encounter of a sewing machine and an umbrella on an operating table.’

He adds:

I’m very interested in building up a deep sonic atmosphere. There’s a certain uncanny quality to the music as well. One that reflects my love of German cinema from the ‘20s, Werner Herzog, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Kenneth Anger… films that possess magic.

This Summer, the multi-medium artist (Axis Mundi Design) will unveil a “widescreen LP” that expands Prophets’ mission statement even further.

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