Picture: © Chris Lanaway, 2010.
In 2018 the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit celebrated its tenth anniversary.
Picture: © Chris Lanaway, 2010.

January 2020

This page contains all the articles that were uploaded in January 2020, chronologically sorted, from old to new.
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2020-01-01

Happy New Year 2020

I visited the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit and all I got was this lousy t-shirt
I visited the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.

The sweet smell of a great sorrow lies over the land, dear sistren and brethren, followers of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit. But before we shall dwell on that we want to wish you a Happy New Year. So here it is. Happy New Year!

The Later Year$

The ending of past year saw the release of The Later Years, a pretty expensive luxury set of the Diet Floyd. Basically it is David Gilmour’s scientific method to find out where you fans really stand.

The set contains about three times the same product, in different formats, and – although its selling price has descended with about 40% to 50% - it is still fucking expensive for what it’s really worth. If you want you can read our article about it here: The Later Years: Hot Air & Co.

Just a normal day in the studio. Art: Monkiponken.
Just a normal day in the studio. Art: Monkiponken.

Caught in a cauldron of hate

But that is just economics. What preoccupies us more is that in 2020 the Waters – Gilmour feud has still not been settled. While in the past it was Roger Waters who has been designated as the baddy, it is apparently now David Gilmour’s turn to be the cantankerous one.

In a recent interview, Waters claims that he offered a peace plan to Gilmour, that was promptly rejected. Polly Samson, from her side, twittered that it was not her hubby who rejected the peace plan, but the other guy.

Sigh.

Two bald men fighting over a comb. A golden comb, embellished with crazy diamonds, obviously. Decades ago Nick Mason had the following to say about the ongoing Floyd-war: ”If our children behaved this way, we would have been very cross.” Seems that the 'children' still haven't learned anything.

Jon Carin
Jon Carin.

Caring about Carin

The Later Years box-set has not only divided fans. There has also been some grumbling from Jon Carin, one of the Floyd’s session musicians, who co-wrote Learning To Fly. It first started with Carin complaining on Facebook that the Floyd didn’t wish him a happy birthday. We know the Church has been accused before from inventing stories, but this stuff is so unbelievable you really can’t make it up.

According to Jon Carin he played the bulk of the piano and keyboards on The Division Bell (and quite a few on The Endless River) and not Rick Wright as is generally believed. Why he has waited a quarter of a century to complain about this is something of a mystery, unless you mention that magical word that will turn the meekest lamb into a dog of war: copyrights.

The lost art of conversation

To promote The Later Years David Gilmour has published a 4-part podcast where he carefully reinterprets the past. Unfortunately what has been written about Pink Floyd before - by journalists and biographers - can still be read today, so almost nobody takes the propaganda from Gilmour seriously, unless you weren’t born yet when he turned a solo album into a Floyd one.

And where is Nick Mason, I hear you say? While he used to be the thriving force behind Floydian publicity in the past he is now totally absent.

Weird.

It’s almost as if there is a saucerful of secrets. Or a true enigma, this time.

The best of Tumblr 2019

But let’s finally start with our traditional annual overview of our sister blog on Tumblr that is daily updated with pictures you all have seen before. Have fun!

Relics ad
Januari 2019: Flashback to the days that politically correctness was still a science-fiction thing.
Syd Barrett
February 2019: Syd Barrett taking the naughty Clockwork Orange pose. Got any vellocet left?
Freak Out Floyd
March 2019: Freak Out, le freak c'est chic. Picture: Irene Winsby.
74retromantra74
April 2019: Flowery fanart by 74retromantra74, based upon an Anthony Stern picture.
That's Entertainment.
May 2019: 250£ for a Pink Floyd gig. Not the price for a ticket, but to hire the band. That's Entertainment.
Zee - Identity - 2019 edition.
June 2019: Another controversial Holy Church review, another shit show. The Reverend will never learn. Read that review at: Are friends Zeelectric?
Picture & Art: Duggie Fields.
July 2019: Packaging the madcap, wrapped in bubbles. Art & Picture: Duggie Fields.
Magical Iggy
August 2019: In August we started to publish a daily Iggy picture on Tumblr. It will end when we are out of photos, probably somewhere in 2020.
Colourisation by Brett Wilson
September 2019: This photograph can be found all over the web, but nobody seems to remember it was Brett Wilson who did the colouring. Luckily the Holy Church has some memory left.
John Hoppy Hopkins and Iggy
October 2019: John 'Hoppy' Hopkins and Iggy. Picture: Jimmie James. Barrett book exhibition, 17 March 2011. Read more at: Iggy at the Exhibition.
Mick Rock signature.
November 2019: Mick Rock signature besides a Storm Thorgerson picture, or isn’t it? Read (a bit) more at A Bay of Hope.
Syd & Iggy
December 2019: Iggy the Eskimo: 'I don’t care if you want to take your pictures or not. I need my cigs!' Picture: Mick Rock.

The Church wishes to thank: Steve Bassett (Madcapsyd), Steve Bennett, Jumaris CS, Joanna Curwood, Maya Deren, Esfera04, Jenni Fiire, Freqazoidiac, Rafael Gasent, Nino Gatti, Rich Hall, Harlequin, Dave Harris, Jabanette, Dion Johnson, Keleven, Simon Matthews, Joanne Milne (Charley), Rocco Moliterno, Peudent, Poliphemo, RonToon, TopPopper, Waelz, Wolfpack, Franka Wright and the many collaborators on Steve Hoffman Music Forums, Yeeshkul and Birdie Hop.

♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥


2020-01-11

A Momentary Relapse

Pink Floyd Recycling
Pink Floyd Recycling. Artwork: Felix Atagong.

On the birthday of the demi-god that is Syd Barrett for some a hefty package arrived at Atagong mansion. So heavy that we thought at first it was a tax file from one of the six Belgian governments.

As you might have guessed it was our copy of The Later Years that, thanks to an observant member of the Steve Hoffman Music Forum, we could buy at half the price.

Despite our many criticisms about this box, see The Later Years: Hot Air & Co, we have to confess it simply oozes a scent of 'extensive luxury' and our first thought was (and still is) that it is worth every penny we spent on it. A quick remark about the cover and inside art that is exquisite Hipgnosian as well and not the ersatz from The Endless River.

Floydian Slips

Opening the box, like one of these medieval manuscripts, immediately confronts you with four booklets. Three are Pink Floyd tour books, because this is mainly a live set. The fourth contains the lyrics of AMLOR, TDB and TER, if these abbreviations mean something to you. All glossy and not on the grey recycled toilet paper that made the Early Years booklets so unreadable.

Arnold Layne B-side.
The Arnold Layne B-side sounds like something from Einstürzende Neubauten.

When you remove the booklets, there is another thick photo book you can kill a kitten with. Unfortunately its pages are also made of carton; using normal paper would’ve certainly doubled its content. But perhaps that would’ve been overkill as we have already been confronted with about three hundred pictures of Gilmour and Co.

Don’t think you can get to the music now. Hidden under the book is an envelope that contains tour artefacts, posters, stickers and other memorabilia and… two one sided 45RPM singles with etched B-sides.

One contains a rehearsal tape of Lost For Words, the other Arnold Layne as performed by the band at the Barbican on the Syd Barrett tribute concert in 2007, although they were not billed as Pink Floyd if our memory is correct. (For the completists: it appears that both singles exist in two versions, with different artwork on its B-side.)

A Momentary Lapse of Reason

The surprise the ardent fan, your Reverend included, was hoping for is the updated and remixed version of the Floyd’s comeback album A Momentary Lapse of Reason. We have compared both versions and what we think of it will be put hereafter in one of our fantastic Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit reviews.

Warning: Syd Barrett content – none.

Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd, finally putting their noses in the same direction.

Signs Of Life

This very ambient and very dreamy piece is enhanced with an almost Keith-Emersonian keyboard piece of Rick Wright. Magical stuff for those who believe that Rick was the hidden musical force in the band.

Learning To Fly

For me there is almost no difference, perhaps a little guitar lick at 25 seconds that I don’t remember hearing before. The keyboards are a bit more to the front during the middle ‘flight’ section, as well as the musique concrète bits .

Dogs Of War

The Pink Floyd song everybody loves to hate. Basically a simple blues stomper that has been enhanced with Floydian sound effects. Although loathed by a majority of fans this song is much closer to the Floyd’s default (or vintage) sound than – for instance – One Slip or Learning To Fly.

Some of the Later Years disks
Some of the Later Years disks.

Overall I can’t hear a big difference between both versions, except that the vocals, basses and the rolling keyboard have been given extra emphasis. So one could say it sounds much fatter now than it did before. A few of the saxophone’s weirder noises have been removed as well. So is this one better? Absolutely. Even better.

One Slip

The one with the Kraftwerkian intro. Classic Wright keyboards added throughout and new drums by Nick 'here I am' Mason. As someone remarked on a music forum, this one gives you ‘goosebumps and shivers down the spine‘ throughout the track. The drums are much softer now and also some guitar bits seem to have been added (or mixed from oblivion into the foreground).

I almost consider it a Floydian classic now.

Some of the Later Years disks
Some of the Later Years disks.

On The Turning Away

This song brings back some memories for me, frightening me a bit how it would sound now. A keyboard drone has been added in the beginning and some scarce keyboard parts throughout the song. As some alumni have pointed out there are new vocals that may or may not have been taken from a live performance. At least David Gilmour doesn’t strain his voice like on the original or at least so it seems.

Many hate this new version, calling it a Frankensteined mess, but I simply can't. For me this has suddenly turned into a Comfortably Numb #2, although the neutral observer will call that a very hyperbolic statement.

Yet Another Movie / Round And Around

The song I prefer the least on Momentary Lapse. It’s a bit boring and one dimensional, if you ask me.

The 2019 version opens with boing boings that threaten to euthanise your loudspeakers. This version has more echo than the original one – listen to Tony Levin’s bass for example that has got a much deserved upgrade. I have also the impression that little pieces of additional music have been added here and there and that the guitar is a bit less in your face. It also seems that Nick Mason has had more than a helping hand in this new version.

Still not the greatest Pink Floyd song, but what a remarkable improvement indeed.

AMLOR
One of the many incarnations of Momentary Lapse in The Later Years Box.

A New Machine / Terminal Frost / A New Machine 2

I’m putting this song cycle together as I have always seen this as one Floydian suite. When it comes to review Pink Floyd I always seem to belong to another planet than the rest of the world anyway. I like A New Machine, evidently not as a song on its own, but as an introduction and coda to Terminal Frost.

And I have always loved Terminal Frost as well. But this re-adapted version seems a bit weird to me, there is something wrong with the piano and overall it sounds a bit bland, with far inferior drums than on the original. Suddenly this has turned into the worst song of the album for me with a mix that was much better in its original version.

A missed chance.

Sorrow

If one Lapse song merits to be described as a Floydian classic it is this one. When David Gilmour started to play Sorrow, on the 28th of July 2016 in Tienen (Belgium), his guitar grumbled so deeply it promptly removed my kidney stones. (See: Coming Back To Life (David Gilmour, Tienen))

The 2019 version of Sorrow tries to imitate that haunting intro, without a doubt. But perhaps I’m still in a lousy mood from the subpar Terminal Frost treatment because it appears to me that also this remix is muddier than the original (and I seem to be the only person on this globe to find that). A plus however is the addition of Rick’s keyboard, especially at the end solo.

The Later Years
Pink Floyd on a road to nowhere.

I deliberately played Lapse 1987 and Lapse 2019 side-to-side without tinkering, but here is a song I feel the urge for to play with the sliders. Perhaps it will sound better with some of the basses toned down a bit.

Second opinion (after having tinkered with my equaliser settings): it does indeed sound better now, but I can't really vow with my hand on my heart that this version is much better than the original.

Conclusion

So what is the end result? I’m not really sure. A Momentary Lapse of Reason has never been into my favourite top 10 and this remix will probably not change that. For the moment I do seem to prefer this version to the original and I can only hope it will get a separate release one day. For those that rely on streaming or download services I think this is already the case. Those who still believe in CDs, DVDs and Blu-Rays will have to buy the entire box, I'm afraid.

Now let’s hope Pink Floyd will finally find the time to re-record Atom Heart Mother one day. However, this seems highly improbable.


Other reviews from what is in this box, may or may not appear in the future. The Church wishes to thank the many collaborators on Steve Hoffman Music Forums and Yeeshkul.
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥

Sources (other than the above mentioned links):
Steve Hoffman Forum Thread: Pink Floyd The Later Years Box Set
Yeeshkul Forum Thread: Pink Floyd - The Later Years


2020-01-20

The Endless Enigma

The Endless River, a film by Ian Emes
The Endless River, a film by Ian Emes.

You almost need a degree in Meccano to open the Pink Floyd Later Years box. There are many goodies packed inside, although you have to sell one of your kidneys to be able to buy one. The three post-Waters studio albums, for example, can be found in 5.1 surround and/or high resolution stereo mixes. That is what these double DVDs and Blu-Rays are for. (Logically, the Momentary Lapse surround mixes have only been made for the remixed and updated 2019 version, not the original 1987 one. You can read our review of that album at: A Momentary Relapse.)

The Endless River Film

The Endless River has been turned into a movie experience by long-time Floyd collaborator Ian Emes. Opinions differ about this one, ranging from ‘I just watched it once out of curiosity’ till ‘The film is really nicely done. You’ll enjoy it!’.

At first the Holy Church was not that interested in this. The Reverend orated in a previous article: “I seriously wonder what will be the added value of that.” (See: The Later Years: Hot Air & Co.)

Is it merely ‘just a compilation of ethereal drone footage’ filmed in slow motion or is there more at hand? Because most reviews of The Later Years seem to forget about this feature, with the exception of Bob Eichler in his article: Pink Floyd - The Later Years (1987-2019).

...imagine that Stanley Kubrick was annoyed that too many people had figured out what 2001 was about, so he set out to make an even more abstract sequel, inspired by Pink Floyd videos. Outer space images, CGI, lush landscapes, complex machinery, people moving in slow motion, interesting architecture shot from weird angles, and a cast of characters who appear throughout the whole thing. Inspired no doubt by the album's title, water is a major theme of the video – oceans, rivers, streams, waterfalls, rapids, fountains, etc... My brain kept trying to make some sense out of the random-seeming images, but it's probably better to just let it wash over you.

This exactly describes our feelings after watching the movie, but the Church wouldn’t be the Church without adding its own comments here and there. While watching the movie we found – often subliminal – links to Floydian artwork from the past decades or to other material from the Hipgnosis art factory.

Rick Wright at The Barbican
Rick Wright at the Barbican.

Walk the Layne

But before we get to the feature film of our cinematic evening, let’s have a look at some of the shorts that can be found on the same disc. We are talking about the last Pink Floyd performance, not – as generally believed – the one at Live8, but the Arnold Layne song at the Syd Barrett Tribute Concert on the 10th of May 2007 at the Barbican. It can be found twice: once as a backstage rehearsal and once at the concert. The rehearsal doesn’t have Rick, but a cool as ever Nick Mason who is drumming on a chair, meaning he uses a chair for a drum. It’s fun to watch ex-Oasis bass player Andy Bell, who wasn't even born when Arnold Layne was a hit, learning the tricks of the trade.

Unfortunately Polly yaps a lot in the background, spoiling the fun. But that’s how she is known in Cambridge Mafia circles anyway.

From a far better quality is the concert take, filmed by Gavin Elder and using some shots from Simon Wimpenny and Kees Nijpels. The Floyd plays the song as has always been intended, without extra frills, short and sweet. Rick has the honour to do the vocals and it does seem a bit weird that a backup keyboard player (Jon Carin) was added, but Rick was probably already sick by then. The interaction between these three old geezers is magical and their smiles speak volumes.

A great document with an even greater symbolical and sentimental value.

Here I Go

So here we go for our review of the Ian Emes Endless River film, in 95 screenshots and a lot of text. Better scans can be found on our Tumblr page, using the Ian Emes tag.

As we have said before, in our Endless River album review from a couple of years ago, the album is divided in four instrumental suites, ending with Gilmour’s and Samson’s Floydian eulogy Louder Than Words (see: While my guitar gently weeps...).

Things left Unsaid

Things Left Unsaid

Things Left Unsaid starts with a very 2001-ish view from outer space with the sun and earth floating by. Just when you expect Kubrick’s embryo to appear a human form zooms in. In a corner you can spot something that could be a nod to the dark alien monolith that plays such a big role in Kubrick’s masterpiece. Perhaps it is the black ‘Telepatic Wave Receiver and Transmitter’ that adorns The Led Zeppelin Presence album, although Storm Thorgerson used to call that the object. (This cover can be found at the Hipgnosis Covers website: Presence.)

Stanley Kubrick and Pink Floyd have a certain past together. Kubrick wanted to use the Atom Heart Mother suite for A Clockwork Orange, but (so the story goes) a stubborn Roger Waters refused when he discovered that Kubrick wanted to cut up the music to fit the film scenes. This is an answer Kubrick probably didn’t expect as the record shop scene in that movie shows the Atom Heart Mother album, twice.

This wasn’t the end of the Kubrick – Waters saga. Legend has it that Roger Waters wanted to sample some dialogue from 2001 on his album Amused To Death. This time it was Kubrick’s turn to refuse, and Waters – in his default charming way – insulted the movie maker with a cryptic message on that same album. (The 2015 remix/remaster of Amused To Death has the HAL 9000 message from 2001 restored and the backwards insult removed.)

Its What We Do

It’s What We Do

With It’s What We Do we return to Earth with scenes of futuristic skyscrapers and a menacing octahedron metal structure floating in the air, as an alternative to the Star Trek Borg cube.

Possible link: The Yes album Going For The One has a Hipgnosis sleeve with a man looking at out-of-this-world-ish skyscrapers and also the Quatermass' Quatermass sleeve plays with the same subject. (These covers can be found at the Hipgnosis Covers website: Going For The One & Quatermass.)

The following scenes show us bridges, machines and cogwheels, a clear hint to Welcome To The Machine. (The track itself is a mild copycat of what we could hear on the Shine On You Crazy Diamond instrumental parts.)

Four people, wearing white masks, run in slow motion through a tunnel. Masks have obviously been used before in the Floyd’s and Hipgnosis imagery. Just think of the masked children in Another Brick In The Wall or the cover of the Pink Floyd live album Is There Anybody Out There? (This cover can be found at the Hipgnosis Covers website: Is There Anybody Out There?)

After a succession of psychedelic liquid light style scenes, we cut to some water splashing and yet another drone shot, flying over a cobbled beach and the sea. A woman rises out of the water, a hint to the Wish You Were Here diver artwork probably, and is followed by three other persons, raising from the water like the zombies from that atrocious flick Zombie Lake.

The Pink Floyd Shine On box also has several (nude) persons rising out of the water. The same imagery can be found on the Rick Wright solo album Broken China. (These covers can be found at the Hipgnosis Covers website: Wish You Were Here, Shine On, Broken China.)

We are confronted with an Escher-like semi-transparent object spinning around in the air.

Ebb And Flow

Ebb And Flow

For an unknown reason, the persons who came out of the sea, run through some fields. Night falls and we see the starry sky and the aurora borealis.

Sum

Sum

For the bulk of the following song the same four people run around through fields and forests. There are plenty of nature and water shots. People are cooling down, playing and resting in the river. Much more scenes of trees, waterfalls and clouds throughout Skins and Unsung.

Skins

Skins

Skins shows the more aggressive side of the river.

Unsung

Unsung

Unsung gives a more relaxing mood with the sun settling down.

Anisina

Anisina

The beautiful Anisina starts with boiling lava and a pair of hands grabbing mud and kneading it into a shapeless form. Close-ups of colourful nature scenes before the rain falls.

The Lost Art Of Conversation

The Lost Art of Conversation

It is raining and The Lost Art of Conversation concentrates on dripping leaves and a spider taking shelter in its web. We see some tiny fishes (and a very big one as well). Could this be a nod to the Pulse album art that shows the evolution from sea to land animals? (This cover can be found at the Hipgnosis Covers website: Pulse.)

On Noodle Street

On Noodle Street

On Noodle Street shows us a bridge over a river that runs through a city. We look up at skyscrapers again.

Night Light

Night Light

People walk in the street to their work or to a train or airport terminal. A hint perhaps to the screen movies that accompanied the Dark Side Of The Moon shows.

Allons-Y

Allons-y (1)

Allons-y reverts back to revolving city scenes and water spitting fountains. The four people walk barefoot in the grass, falling down in a field of ferns in the middle of a forest.

Autumn 68

Autumn ‘68

Autumn ‘68 has the four actors wrestling and lying on a grass field in the mountains. The spinning multi-cornered object appears again in the sky, confronting the people who look at it. It then disappears into space, where it seems to be heading for a far-away nebula.

Allons-Y 2

Allons-y (2)

Allons-y (2) really seems like 2001 revisited with a flight through space and a human form that appears in the vacuum. This could be influenced by the hanging man artwork on the Pulse album. (This cover can be found at the Hipgnosis Covers website: Pulse.)

Pink Floyd has long time been associated with space and space rock (see our article from 2014: Still First in Space. NOT!) and most fans are well aware of the fan-made synchronisation between Echoes and the 'Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite' segment from Kubrick’s 2001 movie. If you have never experienced it, and you should, here is one of the many places were you can watch it: Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite (Vimeo link).

After the interstellar flight the movie shows the four protagonists, covered in multicoloured spots, dancing in the vacuum of space, while scientific and mathematical equations appear on the screen.

On what appears to be a dashboard from an extraterrestrial space ship some words appear in vaguely recognisable letters. It is as if multiple letters have been stacked on top of each other. Recognisable are the words ‘Infinite’ and ‘the dawn\mist’. That last one is a phrase from the refrain of High Hopes:

The grass was greener
The light was brighter
The taste was sweeter
The nights of wonder
With friends surrounded
The dawn mist glowing
The water flowing
The endless river

These lyrics read like a synopsis for Ian Emes’ The Endless River movie and they can be deciphered, with some difficulties, on the alien monitor.

Publius Enigma 2019
Publius Enigma, as mentioned on The Endless River, a film by Ian Emes.

But the surprises aren’t over yet. At the left hand side of the screen appear scrambled letters that form the nearly illegible words ‘Publius & Enigma’.

There we have it. After more than 25 years a new mention of this ongoing Floydian riddle.

Publius Enigma 2019.
Publius Enimgma 2019.

Publius Enigma

For those who are too young to remember. The Publius Enigma was an internet brain-teaser, a puzzle evolving around the 1994 Pink Floyd album The Division Bell.

In the morning of the 11th of June 1994, when the band was playing two nights at the New York Yankee stadium a cryptic message was send to the then leading Pink Floyd Usenet newsgroup. It was signed by a poster who named himself Publius and who used an anonymous e-mail service to deliver his message.

In this and about two dozen other posts he tried to convince the fans that The Division Bell music, lyrics and artwork contained an enigma and that the person who found the solution would be rewarded with a price.

Obviously a lot of fans were highly sceptical about these pretty vague messages (especially as there were also mails from pranksters going around). In order to prove his existence Publius promised to give a sign during a Pink Floyd concert at the Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey. During the song Keep Talking (!) the light display at the front of the stage spelled out the words ENIGMA PUBLIUS.

Enigma anagram
Enigma anagram hidden in the lyrics of Wearing The Inside Out.

From then on a large group of fans tried to find a solution to the enigma. The hints from Publius were deliberately very vague and it was pretty unclear where to start looking for clues. Basically Publius was asking for an answer but without giving the question first. There were rumours of people digging holes in fields around Cambridge, because they thought a ‘treasure chest’ might have been buried there. Others thought that the solution might simply be a code word, an anagram buried in the lyrics, like the word ‘enigma’ that can be found in the third strophe of Wearing The Inside Out.

Publius kept the Enigma search alive by adding hints that only added to the confusion. In an unpublished report from a Belgian fan, that the Church could look into, it was proven that most messages were send in the early hours after a show or during a day off in the Floyd’s busy touring schedule. Publius undoubtedly was one of the (many) people joining the Pink Floyd world tour and someone who could manipulate light and screen settings during a show.

Pulse

On 20 October 1994 Pink Floyd recorded their London Earl’s Court show for what later would become the Pulse VHS release. During Another Brick In The Wall the word ENIGMA was projected on the big round screen behind the band, giving the Reverend a mild heart attack when he watched the show a couples of week later on television.

Publius Enigma, 1994
Publius Enigma 1994.

For the VHS release though the word was obfuscated by adding extra lines and stripes, just as it is has been scrambled now on The Endless River movie. (On the Pulse DVD release the ENIGMA slide has been removed and replaced by one reading E=MC2. However, traces of the original can be found if one browses through the scene frame by frame.)

Over the years the band has reluctantly confessed that the Enigma riddle was basically a hoax, started by the record company, although the Church of Iggy the Inuit still suspects that Nick Mason, who has been known for his pranks and dry wit, may have had a hand in it.

The Publius Enigma died an unsuspected death when the anonymous mail account suddenly disappeared, making it impossible for fans to post a solution and claim the price, if there ever was a riddle to start with and a price to collect.

Over the years ‘new’ Publius Enigma sightings have been discovered, but these all came from outside or unreliable sources. Until now… although we sincerely doubt that the crazy hunt for fame and fortune will start all over again.

But what a long strange trip it has been!

Talkin Hawkin

Talkin’ Hawkin’

Talkin’ Hawkin’ continues with the multi-coloured dancing silhouettes, followed by the clocks of Time. As a matter of fact, the original 'Time' backdrop movie was made by none other than Ian Emes (Time at YouTube).

Some of the people appear packed in linen, like a mummy or a ghost, others wear their masks again. It reminds us of the Hipgnosis artwork for the Alan Parsons Project ‘Tales of Mystery And Imagination’ and/or ‘Frances The Mute’ from Mars Volta. (These covers can be found at the Hipgnosis Covers website: Tales of Mystery And Imagination & Frances The Mute.)

The aliens arrive in the city during the night with the street lights on and the buildings lit. They travel through a tunnel.

Calling

Calling / Eyes To Pearls

The aliens transform into liquid ghosts in a nightmarish scene. The city is dark but has tunnels that are lit. Somehow the aliens are trying to become human and they roam through abandoned buildings.

Those that have masks take it off. A couple of characters have difficulties breathing. Their faces are stuck in bubbles, like a liquid cosmonaut’s helmet, and they fight to survive. (There is a Hipgnosis cover for the album Deliverance from the French disco band Space. It has a woman, floating upside down in the desert, with an astronaut’s helmet on. This cover can be found at the Hipgnosis Covers website: Deliverance, mildly NSFW.)

But apparently they succeed and overcome the nightmare. They are running through the landscape, sometimes hand in hand. One of the personae has the multi-cornered space anomaly tattooed on her arm.

Eyes To Pearls

Surfacing

The band is running to the forest were they either find some rest or are falling down. It makes one wonder if they have succeeded transforming into humans or if they have failed in their mission. There is ambiguity in the scenes and they can be interpreted differently.

One of the aliens looks up at the sky, where the singularity has appeared again. It is not sure if it there to rescue or to abandon them.

Surfacing

Louder Than Words

The last song of the movie shows several of the previous scenes again, but some have been turned upside down or are running backwards.

It could be that the aliens have finally accepted that earth is their new home. A couple meets at the seaside and sees the object that disappears again in outer space, leaving them while flashbacks from the previous songs are repeated.

The movie ends with yet another scene from a bubbling river before switching over to the earth seen from space again.

There is a glimpse of a black obelisk that transforms into the multi-shaped interdimensional spaceship.

Louder Than Words

Conclusion

Although weird and filled with contradicting symbolism The Endless River movie isn’t half as bad as we feared it would be. Ian Emes has turned it into an interesting visual spectacle with many enigmatic scenes and a pretty intriguing, but we fear, non-existing storyline. (Although the viewer will vainly try to reconstitute a consistent story out of it.) It could well be that we will get this DVD (or Blu-Ray) out whenever we want to listen to The Endless River, that is slowly but surely rising in our ranking from preferred ambient albums, whether you call it a Pink Floyd album or not.


The Church wishes to thank the many collaborators on Steve Hoffman Music Forums, Yeeshkul and the quite fantastic Hipgnosis Covers website.
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥

The Endless River screenshots on Tumblr: Page 1 - Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4 - Page 5 - Page 6 (Publius Enigma) - Page 7 - Page 8 - Page 9 - Page 10
Tags used on Tumblr: ian emes - the endless river - pink floyd - the later years - publius enigma - the division bell

Sources (other than the above mentioned links):
Blake, Mark: Pigs Might Fly, Aurum Press Limited, London, 2013, p. 153.
Hipgnosis Covers at http://www.hipgnosiscovers.com/
Steve Hoffman Forum Thread: Pink Floyd The Later Years Box Set
Powell, Aubrey: Hipgnosis, Les Pochettes Mythiques du Célèbre Studio, Gründ, Paris, 2015 (French edition of Hipgnosis Portraits).
Thorgerson, Storm & Powell, Aubrey: For The Love Of Vinyl, Picturebox, Brooklyn, 2008.
Thorgerson, Storm & Curzon, Peter: Mind Over Matter 4, Omnibus Press, London, 2007.
Thorgerson, Storm & Curzon, Peter: Taken By Storm, Omnibus Press, London, 2007.
Thorgerson, Storm: Walk Away René, Paper Tiger, Limpsfield, 1989.
Yeeshkul Forum Thread: Pink Floyd - The Later Years