Niko Skorpio’s new album is called Psilocybe Necrophila, referring to a psychoactive mushroom that grows on decomposing flesh. Although recorded mostly in 2007, parallel to last year’s acclaimed Half Born in Half Light, it is quite a different trip. The basis of this work was Niko Skorpio’s old cassette tape collection from the 1980’s. Containing mostly heavy metal demos and live bootlegs, the dozens of kilometres of obsolete tape were sacrificed on the altar of creation.
Does consciousness survive decomposition?
Magnetic tape — as a symbol of DNA — was deconstructed, cut, mangled, eaten and torn apart by a number of malfunctioning cassette players. These emerging mutations were captured, processed and reconstructed, over and over until a new form began to take shape. Carefully chosen and prepared additional ingredients were then introduced to this primal tissue in order to impregnate it with a new kind of energy. Metaphorically speaking, soul was injected into the golem.
As is common with Niko Skorpio’s works, the album works thematically on many levels. On the immediate surface it reflects a surreal journey to the deepest chasms of inner space, where — quite unexpectedly — one may find herself in wholly unfamiliar surroundings. And what’s more, one may not find herself alone anymore, but instead, communicating with something unknown. And it always gets the darkest just before dawn. But whatever happens, eventually the dawn comes. In the end we return to where it all began, but affected, observing that things will never be the same again.
Some call Psilocybe Necrophila a “death album”. Skorpio agrees and adds: “It can be perceived as symbolising the process of death and reincarnation. Besides, it is likely to remain the last ‘conventional’ album from me in the foreseeable future, so calling it a ‘death album’ has certain appeal.”