Former Black Sun Ensemble members partner to create a film and soundtrack project illustrating an audio-visual journey through the history of the occult in Manhattan, New York.
Originally conceived and filmed by ex Black Sun Ensemble drummer and film editor Bryan Kohl (aka Otto Terrorist), Mystery Babylon visually explores the history, the architecture and the imagery of various occult movements that have helped to shape Manhattan, Kohl’s home for over 20 years, both in the past and present. Kohl asked former bandmate Eric Johnson to help create an original soundtrack to accentuate the filmed images. The result is an hour-long, audio-visual exploration of the iconography, the practitioners and the places that helped to build much of what we now know as New York City.
The film can be viewed through a URL found in the liner notes of the CD version of the soundtrack - only.
The original soundtrack was created by Eric Johnson to celebrate the theatricality, the grandeur and the enigmatic beauty of the occult movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, rather than create a soundtrack of spooky sounds and horror movie tropes.
Randomly choosing the song titles from Aleister Crowley’s"The Book of Thoth"Tarot deck, the collection maps a dark and ornate musical landscape that leans into the electronic progressive rock soundtracks of band like Goblin and Bobby Beausoleil.
The collection also features several simple piano/saxophone figures that reflect the granduer of the Art Deco movements of New York style and architecture. From the simple piano theme of “The Hierophant,” to the dark rock meltdown of
“The Four of Wands or Completion,” to a new arrangement of the Russian Orthodox hymn, “In The Dark Night,” the soundtrack reflects the enigmatic
beauty of the subject in unique detail.
Multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Eric Johnson is a long-time resident of Tucson Arizona and records under the name, Action Figures, when publishing solo work.
Johnson, along with Kohl were members of desert psych-rock legends Black Sun Ensemble, as well as a member of Tucson’s Sun Zoom Spark, Bread and Circus, Infinite Beauties and others.