Current 93 are an English experimental one-man music group, working since the early 1980s in folk-based musical forms. It was founded in 1982 by David Tibet, Current 93’s only constant member.
Tibet has been the only constant member in the group, though Steven Stapleton (of Nurse with Wound) has appeared on nearly every Current 93 release. Michael Cashmore has also been a constant contributor since Thunder Perfect Mind. Douglas P. of Death in June has played on well over a dozen Current 93 releases, and Steve Ignorant of Crass (using the name Stephen Intelligent), Boyd Rice, runologist Freya Aswynn, Nick Cave, Björk, Andrew W.K., Anohni, Baby Dee, Will Oldham, Ben Chasny, Rose McDowall, have also lent their talents over the years.
Current 93 have released over twenty albums and many singles as well.
Much of Current 93’s early work was similar to late 1970s and early 1980s industrial music: abrasive tape loops, droning synthesizer noises and Tibet’s distorted, excoriating vocals.
Tibet’s lyrics have been fairly consistent, regardless of delivery: The earlier recordings reflect his preoccupation with death, Christ, mysticism, Aleister Crowley (Tibet borrowed the term “93 Current” from Crowley – the 93 Current being the current of Thelema or Agape), Tibetan Buddhism, Gnosticism, runes, swastikas, Noddy, The Wicker Man, and a variety of occult notions. The later to present-day period of Current 93’s recordings increasingly reflect Tibet’s interest in Christian mysticism and apocalypse. Tibet has stated that he identifies as a Christian.
Literary influences include Lautreamont’s Les Chants de Maldoror, the Bible, The Poetic Eddas, Hildegard von Bingen, John Dee’s De Heptarchia Mystica, The Thunder, Perfect Mind, William Blake, Louis Wain, writer Thomas Ligotti, occult British author Arthur Machen (originator of the title “The Inmost Light”), M.R. James’s various ghost stories, The Cloud of Unknowing, Count Eric Stenbock, and Russell Hoban’s Riddley Walker.