13 April 2017

138 Years & Counting

Back in the 1990s, I got my kicks by making experimented mix/compilation audio-cassettes and trading them throughout the international mail-art network. I was always on the lookout for suitable LPs, homemade recordings and other sonic gold that could be utilised, and so comprehensively trawled the charity shops, etc. One memorable day I was searching amongst the groaning shelves of the Salvation Army charity shop in Norwich, Norfolk, England, when my keenly-practiced eyes magnetically alighted upon something I knew was special.

It was an official but obviously home-produced (usually a good sign) audio-cassette, of all-black shell with a full-sized white self-adhesive label on one side, bearing only the title, "138 Years & Counting", and the name of its creator, "Michael A. Clark", neatly imprinted into the fabric by a manual typewriter. There was no cover or inlay card, but stuck to the outside of the transparent case was a small rectangular gold label stating "The Christian Israel Foundation" and its Walsall, West Midlands, address. Its rudimentary packaging and small-run, domestic-duplicated nature suggested it was intended more for internal circulation amongst the organisation than the general public.

With a well-spoken, middle-class British accent, Mr Clark begins the tape - a 72½-minute lecture with no augmentative music or sound-effects - by informing the listener that it was originally recorded on 11 July 1982, as "a special supplement" to the article 'Battle-line USA', which appeared in the March 1982 issue of The Link magazine, and in a separate pamphlet issued by Destiny Publishers USA. He then launches into an unrelenting, astoundingly complex oratory concerning world-crumbling "End Times" Bible prophecy coming true in real-time. This impending cataclysmic doom appears to be the plan of some sinister unnamed occult cabal, and is evidenced by contemporary event-linkage backed up by Hebrew kaballistic gematria analysis.

Mr Clark's obsessive research, macabre logic and eerie revelations juxtaposed with his deadpan delivery evoked a most peculiar, strangely hypnotising, effect, and for research purposes only the entire 138 Years & Counting conundrum has been remastered directly from the aforementioned found tape and formatted as a 128kbps MP3 audio file, that can be downloaded for free here.