Memnon Sa - World Serpent
World Serpent is another rich psycho-magikal journey in to the depths of prog and black metal from London producer Misha Hering
World Serpent is the fourth album from London producer and composer Misha Hering, under the Memnon Sa banner, and the debut release on Hering’s own Holy Mountain imprint, a new label dedicated to very special productions from Misha’s now reputable studio of the same name in East London. It is released in partnership with specialist Metal record shop and label Crypt Of The Wizard.
World Serpent is an album in the classic sense of the word, a 40 minute, psychedelic document of deep exploration, high drama and gleaming production. Misha Hering has used the last decade forming Memnon Sa into a psychomagical Black Metal and Prog studio project trawling forgotten lore and legend, using his Holy Mountain HQ to slowly grow his ritualistic membership to form an otherworldly orchestra, which this time features members of experimental art-pop group Virginia Wing, sludge veterans Ghold and Wren, with appropriately cosmic cover art designed by another Holy Mountain alumni: Alexander Tucker.
“The myth of Apophis is what inspired the record. Apophis, or Apep in ancient Egypt, is a snake deity made out of stone. It is the god/goddess (its gender is fluid, changes depending on the myth) of chaos and destruction but also rebirth. It lives in a parallel dimension to earth, in an endless ocean of black water, the sole inhabitant. If we had the ability to peel back the veil between our dimensions, wherever we are on earth, we would peer into a world of perpetual darkness and solitude. A truly terrifying myth, and yet, Apophis was venerated. This made me think of the juxtaposition between ecstasy and horror. I thought it was very fascinating, the idea of making music that on the surface sounded triumphant and uplifting, but had a very sinister subtext, almost like cheering for the bad guy. I enjoyed this tension so much that I tried to write an album around the concept. That is how world serpent was born.” - Misha Hering
Recalling the acid and occult-soaked aesthetic glory days of Aphrodite’s Child, David Axelrod, The Vertigo label and Popol Vuh, World Serpent seemingly consolidates a creative journey that has seen at points, collaboration with musicians as, broad and esoteric as Alexander Tucker, Spiritualized, Virginia Wing, Puppy, and Ghold, Hering has been able to assemble a group of performers to assist him invoke this most grandiose vision within World Serpent, The album was entirely recorded by Misha at Holy Mountain in London. All synthesisers are analogue, and it was recorded and mixed without any plugins, using the acclaimed API1604 desk. Guest performers include most notably Merida Richards (Virginia Wing) on vocals (“she plays the role of a grecian choir almost”), Chris Duffin (James Holden, Xam Duo, Virginia Wing) on saxophone (“summoning pure Pharaoh Sanders witchcraft on golden Ram Of The Sun”), Seb J Tull (Wren) playing drums and Oliver Martin from Ghold returns to conjure other-worldly throat singing and terrifying Minoan chants. Hering has placed himself at the centre of a handpicked coven of artists, and with World Serpent has produced the ultimate sonic mythical evocation for the 21st century
Growing up between Geneva and London, Misha Hering was brought up on a steady diet of New Age and Ambient records. His teenage years saw him immerse himself in black metal and hip hop, and learning how to use an MPC2000
“if I could learn how to use this weird sampler box, I could learn about other elements of music making/creating as well. I dont think this was a very conscious process, but more a slow, very bumbling couple of years where I bought some microphones at a local electronics shop, found a terrible amp at a flea market, picked up a Yamaha Cs10 for 40 francs at a friends dads house. That kind of thing. By the time I was 18, somehow, I had already been recording and, in a very rudimentary way, mixing records for myself and friends “ It was sometime later, after moving to London full time Holy Mountain and Memnon Sa started to take form “I set up Holy Mountain in 2009 essentially as a space where I could work on my own music on the side and record/mix other peoples projects from time to time. I was working in a big, very professional studio at that point as a junior engineer, and had no sense of whether I could function as a freelancer.”
A decade later and Holy Mountain is a fully formed creative space, and Memnon Sa is releasing it’s fourth LP on the studio’s own imprint “Releasing records under the studio banner seemed like the logical next step in the process.” It is this ‘logical’ methodology that underpins much of Hering’s creativity.
As arch-producer, Misha is the ultimate collector, whether he is collecting synths, amps, myths, musicians for an ensemble, or sonics for a track, Misha’s oversight and vision is that of a true director or producer; holding the visceral balance of detail and freedom, meticulous archiving and psychedelic exploration.