Clear Stream Temple existed for many
years as a project, in name only, of Abby Helasdottir,
better known for her work as Gydja. In late 2001, world
events provided Clear Stream Temple with the motivation
to create music, and the result was the album XVI.
This was released in a limited run through Shadowlight
Kommunikations in early 2002. The album combined media
noise, militant industrial, neo-classical, dark ambient,
and Arabic music, in a unique blend of themes. The tracks
considered the way in which language was manipulated,
if not outright butchered, by the Bush administration,
and how world events were used as a justification for
unprecedented US militarism. Where the language of the
world reverted to the simplistic morality of a Disney
movie, and a young pretender to the throne of America
found his moment in continuing the legacy of his oil-tycoon
father. This is not a war between the West and Islam,
but rather a war of the West against the Muslim world.
A war that the West has instigated, just as it created
the first war between east and west, and the original
stereotype of the demonic Arab, in the medieval Crusades.
Arab lands are held hostage, by occupying American forces
(either military or economic), or by aggressive sanctions
and embargoes. Millions of children have died in Iraq
because of American dictates, just as Palestinian children
continue to be slaughtered by the Israeli government,
who, with their American allies, persist in flouting international
In 2003, the English industrial label
Cold Spring Records expressed interest in reissuing XVI,
describing it as a "genius mix of neo-classical,
martial industrial, dark ambient. A timely attack on the
US Bush Presidential administration and all that it has
in store for us". The sound of the album, in turn,
has been compared to Turbund Sturmwerk, Laibach, Test
Dept, and Muslimgauze. The reissued version of XVI features
two new tracks (Jahada and Novus Ordo Seclorum), and stunning
new artwork by Mary MacGregor-Reid.
In promotion of the XVI album, Clear
Stream Temple have appeared live in Wellington and Auckland,
with performances that have attracted both praise and
outrage. For their performance at the Circadian Rhythm
event in Auckland, Clear Stream Temple's live line-up
was completed with vocals by Justine (Artemesian) and
percussion and dance by The Magdalene.
Remixers are now being sought to redirect the XVI tracks
towards the dance floor.