When people first discover neofolk, they’re quick to come across the work of Death in June, Current 93, and Sol Invictus, if indeed the work of these founders isn’t what led them there in the first place. However, it usually isn’t long before the work of Michael Cashmore comes into focus, who has arguably been every bit as important to the development of the genre. This long-time Current 93 collaborator has long been considered a legend through his work as Nature and Organisation, releasing one of the most unique and instantly distinguishable albums that the genre has to offer in 1994 with Beauty Reaps the Blood of Solitude before allowing the project to grow dormant several years later after the release of the unfinished album, Death in a Snow Leopard Winter.
After many years of silence, however, Trisol—likely known to our readership for recent releases ranging from Rome’s A Passage to Rhodesia to Sopor Aeternus’s Mitternacht—has convinced Cashmore to finally reissue both of Nature and Organisation’s albums, along with two bonus tracks, under the banner of Snow Leopard Messiah. Michael was kind enough to grant us an interview to speak about the project’s past, the reason for bringing these albums back to print for his fans, and his need to evolve as a person today.
Heathen Harvest: Listening to your releases, you can hear the development of your sound from Bone Clinic to Nature and Organisation transition from experimental electronics to a more acoustic sound. Can you tell us about how that developed?
Michael Cashmore: Since I was around thirteen years old, I had an acoustic guitar. The first one I ever bought was from a friend of my brother’s for five pounds; it was 1977, punk had just begun in the UK, and I developed an interest to play. When I started Bone Clinic, I had been listening to Throbbing Gristle, reading William S. Burroughs, and was experimenting with tape loops, tape cut-ups, super 8mm film, and drum machines, and I came to a point where I felt a melodic element would add an emotional side to this experimental work, and then just bring more potency.
HH: What prompted you to revisit Nature and Organisation? The project has been held in high regard for quite some time, so why now?
MC: Well, it’s now been twenty-one years since Beauty Reaps the Blood of Solitude was originally issued in 1994. In the past, I’ve had quite a few offers to re-issue this and other Nature and Organisation material, but I just felt that now was a good time to make these recordings available again because the situation seemed right, and also because I know that people would like to own this material and are having to pay distorted prices to obtain the only copies available, which are from the original issue.