Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Wotanist Affair - Jinthra

Album: Wotanist Affair
Artist: Jinthra
Label: Sombre Soniks
Catalogue no: SomSon146

     1.      Garma
     2.      Notschrei
     3.      Odinvokation
     4.      Ragnarok

Jinthra is Jindřich Spilka, a ritual artist from Czechoslovakia, who is also the main protagonist behind Druhá Smrt, and for this particular solo project Spilka created a transformative and transgressive ritual designed to open up the pathways to the unconscious, enabling him to explore his own mythopoetical constructs and world-view. Wotan is merely the old Germanic form of Odin from Norse culture, and from an anthropological perspective the two cultures share much in common. It is eminently apparent from this recording that the old ways and their connections to notions of homeland and landscape, and the consequent supernatural forces at work through the deeply subterranean networks joining all creatures and things, are still very much in evidence and still exert a tremendous force. In fact, I have argued elsewhere that the resurgence of an adherence to and belief in these old cultural and religious ways is an antidote to the Christian directive to look up to some vague otherwhere that is apparently the abode of some all-powerful and singular deity, whereas paganism and its ilk connect directly to the life-forces of nature and power.


Given the above, where does Wotanist Affair fit into it? Track one, ‘Garma’, calls to the very powers that inform and animate the fabric of our earthly reality, with seismic drones that reverberate from deep below our feet. Those vibrations resonate deeply with our inner cores, both physically and metaphysically, initiating a very real connection that is as powerful and as alive as any spiritual force invoked through the spiritual offices of mankind. During the course of the track the tone subtly changes from one of subterrestrial darkness to one of uninhibited and invigorating power, the shifting tones dancing into the sky and bestowing their beneficences on all. Those blessings also infuse every fibre and cell of our own being, forcefully reminding us that we are not divorced from the world around us but are in fact an essential ingredient in its constitution, and that we should take our role very seriously.


‘Notschrei’ is next, a word which apparently means cry. The general tone displayed here suggests perhaps a cry of joy rather than of anguish, joy at receiving and fully participating in the panoply of nature and the forces governing them. I detected reverence and a certain strain of devotion here, a joyous welcoming with open arms to all the largesse that Mother Earth and Nature can give us. ‘Odinvokation’ is, perhaps, the ultimate result of welcoming and worshipping the natural forces that remain largely hidden from our purview – their effects are not bestowed carelessly but have to be earned, and establishing the conduits enabling the free exchange of power inevitably leads to a ‘conversation’ with Odin himself, the Allfather, and by doing so we have been welcomed into the family, so to speak. Swelling chords and drones pile one upon the other, building and accumulating energy and vitality, initiating change within oneself and bestowing awareness of what really goes on behind the veil.


‘Ragnarok’ carries with it visions of total apocalypse, annihilation, and utter destruction, but this isn’t necessarily so – it could mean an end to the old and the beginning of a new dispensation. In this context one could say this is the renewal of the self as a direct result of the encounter between oneself and the manifestation of the archetype that Odin/Oðinn/Wotan represents. Such an event is unlikely to leave one unaltered, at the very least affirming the existence of powers and entities beyond one’s conscious understanding, even if they’re the manifestations of subconscious realities. Again, these ideas are expressed in terms of swathes of high-flying chords, emerging from some deep chasm of the mind or earth, each one opening up to reveal something new, some new layer of knowledge of both self and universe, and entirely emblematic of necessary transformation.


When all is said and done, however, ritual is a completely personal pursuit – the human animal is as individual as the grains of sand on a beach, or the population of galaxies in the universe. Although rituals have always formed an essential part of mankind’s cerebral technology to enable him to make contact with essences and existences outside of normality, the most effective are those which are tailored to the individual. This series of four pieces shows exactly that – a self-realised enactment that was tuned into the celebrant’s own vision. But even on a superficial level, we are privy as listeners and observers to the workings of the imagination-rich inner world of Spilka and how it has shaped his worldview. Indeed, one could say that the release of this suite of music is an invitation, using this music as a basis, to join him in similar inner explorations.


Available as a download from here:

Psymon Marshall 2020. 

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