Boomkat Product Review:
Remastered 2020 edition of Diamanda Galás’ terrifying debut, based on a reading of Baudelaire’s ‘les fleurs de mal’ which brought her to the attention of the world-wide avant garde in 1982, often in a pioneering quadrophonic performance or demonic exorcism/exhortation.
“Avant-garde artist Diamanda Galás’ debut album The Litanies of Satan, originally released on Y Records in 1982, will be reissued on the artist’s own Intravenal Sound Operations label in LP, CD and digital formats on April 3, 2020. The album has been meticulously remastered from the original Y Records master by Galás and engineer Heba Kadry and features the original classic artwork of that release.
This is the first release in a reissue series of Galás work since she regained ownership and control of her entire catalogue last year. Her 1982-2008 work, tied up in major label limbo, was unavailable for years. In April 2019 Diamanda's discography was made on all major streaming services. The s/t Metalanguage album Diamanda Galás, from 1984, has never been reissued and will also be remastered for release this Fall.
When asked about her earliest work, in the early nineties Diamanda spoke of the ‘athletic discipline’ required, and described the physical toll of her performances as ‘like a ripping of the flesh’. Likening the discipline of her attack to warfare, she said that the idea of performing without perfect vocal technique would be like ‘someone going to war who didn’t know how to fight’; she described singing as ‘an attack energy’ – the transformation of the body into a weapon. The Litanies of Satan is divided into two experimental pieces of physical performance with a terrifying intensity, at the limits of madness, which is certainly not for all ears but is in all essence timeless.