72 years young, Arthur Brown returns brandishing a new album, entitled Zim Zam Zim, to be released on July 28. Cue the compellingly strange title track, which the pyromaniacal English psych voyager, once more trading under The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, insists on unleashing upon MOJO’s readers first.
Zim Zam Zim is the erstwhile God Of Hell Fire's first album in nearly a decade, and only the sixth Crazy World Of… record in a rich and colourful recording career that kicked off in 1968 with the unhinged grooviness of Fire.
As usual there’s a byzantine concept.
“The album reflects a spiritual journey of over 45 years,” writes Brown in the kind of explanatory note/manifesto that MOJO could do with more of. “It started in ’68 when Fire! was a hit, and I was touring the USA. Many young people thought from the Fire album that I was some kind of spiritual master. They asked me questions about life, death, the meaning of existence, of suffering. For a few weeks I answered them, and became some kind of guru. Then, one afternoon I sat and looked at it all, and realised that in fact I knew nothing about what they asked me. So, I decided I would find out and put the fruits of this search in my music.
“I went into every culture's spiritual traditions and did their practices. Finally everything became very simple. There was nothing left to look for. I found myself to be formless. And beyond description. And in my heart all forms of life are joined. Plants animals planets universes are all family to me. Each moment is a new creation, coming from the formless depths. Everything is me, and not me.
“That's where this album comes from. From The Formless Depths of ZIMZAMZIM.”
The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown play the Lunar Festival, Tanworth-In-Arden, on June 8.