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by Chris Rainier

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  • ULTRA LIMITED 'curated' edition - 12" 45rpm clear vinyl [180g] + Digital Download
    Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    A special ultra limited 180 gram clear lathe cut vinyl record [12", but PLEASE NOTE it's 45rpm!] - only fifty [50] copies will be available. Each copy is assembled by hand, with individually stamped centre labels. I will also sign and number each record in the bottom right hand corner.

    Side A contains the first and last tracks of ZOZOBRA's original digital track sequence - "Who Put Bella In The Wych Elm?" and "Poor Me". These are juxtaposed on Side B with what were originally considered two 'bonus' tracks on the album - "Flavor Bud Living" and "Palmyra Pacifica" - both recorded at the same sessions as the two tracks on Side A of the record.

    All four tracks have been especially remastered for this vinyl release.

    Your purchase will be accompanied by a digital download of all the tracks recorded for 'ZOZOBRA'.


    Includes unlimited streaming of ZOZOBRA via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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// Who put Bella in the wych elm? Who shook the hand of glory? Who tore a hole in purpura? Can four boys tell one story? Now Jack he dreams of hair and teeth A wedding ring, a skull in a tree Did he? Dead he? Who put Bella in the wych elm? When war is a cloak for a killer Who sinks a ship as a whisperer? Was she a spy or a singer? Now Joe he dreams of hair and teeth A wedding ring, a skull in a tree Did he? Dead he? Who put Bella in the wych elm? Black car, asleep in a wood In a field where a ghost once stood Who put Bella in the wych elm? Is he beyond the jury? Who put Bella in the wych elm? Where is the court of the earthly? Who put Bella in the wych elm? Who died last in the Tower? Who put Bella in the wych elm? She fell from the sky like a flower Now Tom he dreams of hair and teeth A wedding ring, a skull in a tree Did he? Dead he? Black car, asleep in a wood In a field where a ghost once stood Who?
// Bye bye Behçets A thread bound Hulusi to ‘gale cereal’ To nail signs that prove it “Bye bye Behçets”, so said Hulusi A road made of silk The skin you don’t show me
// Asleep in the Royal Free Disease My dreams seem infected A fool took the heads off the sheep This war for the trees, the birds and the bees The dust clouds they blind you The flies in the meat they find you The moon shines on scavengers The moon shines and scavenges I realised too late it’s you, it’s me, it’s you, it’s me We’re lucky we’re just a pinprick in time The eye lost the needle when you changed your mind Fold me like paper, in water, in wine This ghost ship it’s floating ‘cross continents This hell it’s a lonely sea Till we slip off horizons, collapse and greet the Beast How could you disguise this tale of two tired eyes? This creature of habit, this beast of belief is just a museum piece This joker’s a thief, your country’s asleep
Ouroboros 03:07
// Where’d you go, Bas Jan Ader? Seagulls circle like boxers in a poem that’s caught running backwards ‘Ocean Wave’ was a grave that can’t be caught Where’d you go, Donald Crowhurst? Hoping still that your boat might reach the edge of worlds And the silence drifts away from the shame inside your head Where’d you go, Arthur Cravan? Lost at sea like a greyhound down a rabbit hole Through a prism, disinterred like a god without a stone While the world thought you missing Caught in wars like a million ghosts Before your wife’s premonitions, you alone off the coast of Mexico
// There was a time I could recite the places where I nearly died But now those lies like lemmings’ suicide have lost their purpose My grandfather thought he was Hemingway’s bride But taken by a lion they called him: “The Man With The Hole In His Thigh” And they say: “Roll Up, Roll Up” Upon the backs of men you’d soon despise You meet no Doctor, and to the Nile A thousand miles, the sky’s horizon, blood-blue eyes But now you are momentum, you’re aerodynamite You gathered speed, you talked to kings Of open fields, of cradled genocide You’re holed up in Akron, Ohio And now your dreams they swing from beams Collapse unseen, without a sigh There must be better ways to die than in a twisted wreck of fire Like maybe in a fight, a knife that flashed, or just some virus Or caught in gunfire in the night, or maybe too much sunshine?
// The heart is a lonely hunter That leaves two holes in your mind Then flees, unseen, to a desert That no map can describe
Poor Me 07:31


Chris Rainier:
Vocals, Adapted Guitar 1, Weissenborn, tenor ukulele, preparations, pump organ, bowed waterphone, handclaps, foot stomp and gong

Nat Grant:
Adapted drum kit on "Who Put Bella In The Wych Elm?"
Bulbul tarang and hackbrett on "Three Went To Sea"

Recorded by Adam Casey at The True Vine, Melbourne
Mixed by Adam Casey and Chris Rainier
Mastered by Adam Dempsey at Deluxe Mastering, Melbourne

Vinyl album design by Chris Rainier

Insert design, cover assembly and hand stamping by Tess E. McKenzie

Lathe cut by Bladud Flies!
Thanks to Michael Lawrence

Postcard printing by Printer of Dreams, London

Digital album cover design by George Munn
Reproduction photography for the digital album cover by Matthew Stanton

All words and music by Chris Rainier © 2018
"Flavor Bud Living", written by Don van Vliet / Captain Beefheart © 1976

Weissenborn style 1 and tenor ukulele built by Tony Francis
Harry Partch’s Adapted Guitar 1 replica by James Mumford and Chris Rainier
Tone bars by Ian McWee of Diamond Bottlenecks
No effects pedals were used on this album

Special thanks to Tess E. McKenzie for pointing me towards the historical background for "Who Put Bella In The Wych Elm?", as well as Melissa Agate for giving me the idea for the album's title.



released April 30, 2018


The 1888 edition of the Primer Diccionario General Etimológico, defines 'zozobra' as “the opposition and contrast of winds that impede navigation and place the vessel in danger of being submerged”...Etymologically, the word originates in Catalán, from the word 'sotsobre' and its verb 'sotsobrar,' which means 'to overturn' [volcar], or to put upside down. 'Sotsobrar' has Latin roots: 'sots' from the Latin 'subtus', meaning below or under, and 'sobre' from the Latin 'super', above or on top.

[From Manuel R. Vargas' review of Contingency and Commitment: Mexican Existentialism and the Place of Philosophy, by Carlos Alberto Sánchez]

"...the literal etymological root of the term 'zozobra' is most plausibly rendered in English as 'overturning.' And, a common context of its use in Spanish picks out the idea of capsizing. However, the operative sense here is something Sánchez rightly emphasizes, namely, a kind of emotional state: anxiety, disturbance, even anguish...an experience of disrupted calm [the anxiety of the threat - i.e., the fear of capsizing or being overturned. If that's right, 'zozobra' isn't itself the to-and-fro, or the oscillation...Instead, it is the result of the to-and-fro, i.e., the instability that arises from being pulled in different and competing directions."

[From: Uranga, Emilio. 2013. “Analísis del ser del mexicano.” Análisis del ser del mexicano y otros escritos sobre la filosofía de lo mexicano [1949-1952]. Mexico: Bonilla Artigas Editores]

"The call to forge our character as 'zozobra' is a call to the unexpected, it is an invocation or a provocation…Hearts in sadness or 'zozobra' lie in cavernous darkness, but from there they are vigilant...To submerge oneself in the originary, 'zozobra' seems like a movement that takes us toward darkness, toward the annulment of consciousness; however, at the extreme point of surrender to the darkness there shines our vigilance, and our fragile antennae lends itself to receiving the message."


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Chris Rainier London, UK

some kind of folk music. various microtonal guitars, weissenborn [a hollowneck lap steel, often with preparations]…also occasional singing, and other instrumental odds and ends.

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