• Ocular Signals #33/52a: Image G/2a

    Image-G2a-3rd-year-A-Year-In-The-Country
    File under: A Year In The Country Ocular Explorations

     

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  • Wanderings #33/52a: Crumbling Defences And A Reclaming

    Castles and Strongholds of Pembrokeshire-book-Emily Hewlett Edwards-1
    File under: Trails and Influences / Year 3 Wanderings

    Well, in a further wanderings and searching for a particular atmosphere manner…

    Castles and Strongholds of Pembrokeshire by Emily Hewlett Edwards.

    Castles and Strongholds of Pembrokeshire-book-Emily Hewlett Edwards-2I suppose in a way this book, with its photographs and studying of crumbling defence installations reclaimed by nature, could be seen as a forerunner of Paul Virillio’s Bunker Archaeology…

    In fact, it could be seen as part of lineage of such things, wherein such buildings and structures seem to have gathered some kind of quiet grace, surrender, maybe even a touch of stalwart melancholia here and there over the years.

    Castles and Strongholds of Pembrokeshire-book-Emily Hewlett Edwards-4

    It feels like a privately published labour of love – there doesn’t seem to be any publisher listed and the textured, laid paper and cover implies a possibly more non-standard publishing route.

    Castles and Strongholds of Pembrokeshire-book-Emily Hewlett Edwards-3

    Intertwined wanderings around these parts:
    Day #228/365: Studys and documentation of the fading shadows from defences of the realm…

    Week #33/52: Bunker Archives #4; Paul Virilio’s Bunker Archaeology and accidental utilitarian art

    Wanderings #11/52a: Ancient Lands And A Very Particular Atmosphere From Back When

    Elsewhere in the ether:
    Peruse the book here.

     

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  • Audio Visual Transmission Guide #33/52a: Laure Anderson’s O’Superman As Performed In A Real World Fever Dream

    Laurie Anderson-O Superman-TOTP-1981-Zoo dance troupe-3

    I recently wrote about Laurie Anderson’s O’Superman in terms of an example when the circuit between the mainstream and the experimental/avant grade in culture was not quite so broken…

    But what happens when that circuit does to a degree function but then the resulting work is filtered within and reinterpreted by the mainstream. Well…

    Sometimes you see a piece of culture and it sort of blows your mind, leaves you gobsmacked and thinking “What? What was that? Where did that come from?”.

    Laurie Anderson-O Superman-TOTP-1981-Zoo dance troupe-2

    The 1981 Zoo dance troupe interpretation of Laurie Anderson’s O’Superman on British primetime music chart show Top Of The Pops is just one of those moments.

    Now, O’Superman is something of an odd, minimal, performance art related song in itself to have almost reached the top of the charts…

    …but then when you add the layer of oddness of the Zoo performance. Well…

    In terms of aesthetics it made me think of the Titupy Bumpity television show in the final series of Quatermass, although without the more overtly titillating elements.

    If you filtered that by way of a fever dream, out of focus mainstream take on an early 1980s Kate Bush video (Breathing in particular), an off kilter take on modern dance and added to the mix science fiction-esque and judicial costumes and shall we say priapic (?) alien plants or creatures… well, you’re heading in the right direction.

    It has a Michael Moorcock-ian feel to it and alongside the Titupy Bumpity show it also put me in mind of maybe the 1973 film adaptation of The Final Program – it seems as though it should belong to some futuristic satire rather than having been made in the real world for mainstream television.

    Laurie Anderson-O Superman-TOTP-1981-Zoo dance troupe

    (File Post Under: Cathode Ray & Cinematic Explorations, Radiowave Resonations & Audiological Investigations)

    Audio Visual Transmission Guide:
    Laurie Anderson – O Superman (Top Of The Pops 1981, Zoo dance routine)

    Local Broadcasts:
    Day #307/365: A journey from a precipice to a cliff edge, via documents of preparing for the end of the world, a curious commercialism, the tonic/lampoonery of laughter, broken cultural circuits and quiet/quietening niches…
    Audio Visual Transmission Guide #32/52a: Revisting Broken Cultural Circuits – Laurie Anderson’s O’Superman

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  • Artifact Report #33/52a: A Year In The Country – Undercurrents Album Reviews And Broadcasts

    Undercurrents-A Year In The Country-album-CDs-Night and Dawn editions-multiple photographs

    Below are some of the reviews and radio broadcasts of the A Year In The Country album Undercurrents:

    A Year In The Country-Undercurrents-album review-Electronic Sound magazine-1

    First up is Ben Willmott’s review in issue 32 of Electronic Sound magazine:

    “The countryside is often over romanticised, ususally by those who don’t live there. A Year In The Country has dug a little deeper and hit on something much more profound to end up, if you’ll excuse the pun, in a field of his own.”

    That issue can be found at their site here and as I’ve mentioned around these parts before, there’s a particularly generous subscription offer to the magazine which is available here.

    Goldmine Magazine-Spin Cycle-Dave Thompson

    Then there’s Dave Thompson’s review at Spin Cycle/Goldmine:

    “…the chimes of a music box, the creak of a gate, the rush of the wind, the crackle of static, the turning of pages.  Cathode hiss and transistor hum from the bottom of the lake.”

    That can be found here.

    As an aside, for a number of decades Dave Thompson has been a prolific journalist and author and has written over a hundred (blimey) books including A Seance at Syd’s – An Anthology of Modern Acid-Folk-Haunt-Psych-Prog-Space-Radiophonic-Rock Etc Quotes, in which you may well find an intertwining or two with the wanderings at A Year In The Country. You can start to delve amongst the considerable catalogue of his writing at his site here.

    Sunrise Ocean Bender-radio show-July 2017

    Caught In The Flow from the album was broadcast on an episode of the Sunrise Ocean Bender radio show, where it can be found next to a track on the From The Furthest Signals album, underground rock and other intriguing musical explorations.

    The show was originally broacast on WRIR FM and it is archived here.

    Mark Losing Today-The Sunday Experience-The Restless Field-A Year In The Country

    Mark Barton reviews the album at The Sunday Experience:

    “…here these monolithic drone recitals act as something akin to aural cartography capturing eloquently the very pulse, the bleak beauty and the secret majesty of these wide open spaces all the time bowing forth to their legacy.”

    Visit that here.

    Feuilleton-John-Coulthart-logo banner

    John Coulthart explores layers of connection to the album at his feuilleton site:

    “The electronic nature of these recordings contradicts the usual expectation that anything to do with the country—especially the English countryside—has to be presented in a folk idiom and with acoustic instruments. This adds further resonances to the theme, making me think of electric currents, dowsing maps…”

    Visit that here.

    Blissblog-Simon Reynolds-banner logo

    Simon Reynolds includes the album in the Summer 2017 edition of his Hauntology Parish Newsletter, where it can be found next to Ian Hodgson of Moon Wiring Club’s alter-ego Genteel Decay, The Focus Group and Ekoplekz:

    “Excellent moody n’ twinkly stuff it is too, with the usual exquisitely intricate packaging.”

    Visit that here.

    whisperandhollerin logo-A Year In The Country

    Martin Raybould reviews the album at Whisperin’ & Hollerin’:

    “Listening to Undercurrents is like being drawn away from well-marked pathways with no clues as to where they might lead. AYITC’s music therefore provides a kind of psychogeography of the countryside.”

    Visit that here.

    Music Wont Save You-Raffaello Russo

    Raffaello Russo reviews the album from over the seas at his Music Won’t Save You site:

    “Stanno a testimoniarlo, fin dai titoli, brani quali “A Pastoral Playground” e “Dreamscapes Of Old”, pienamente imbevuti di un immaginario bucolico, tuttavia reso non nella sua quiete arcadica bensì attraverso particelle sonore incorporee e correnti di elettricità statica, che generano interferenze spettrali, in una rappresentazione che del paesaggio cattura soprattutto le immanenze aliene, ben oltre la sua superficie materialmente visibile.”

    Visit that here.

    You the night and the music-radio show-mat handley-A Year In The Country

    And Mat Handley included Currents from the album in episode 212 of his You, the Night & the Music radio show, where it can also be found next to a track on From The Furthest Signals, alongside his ongoing musical unearthing, spinning and selecting.

    The show was originally broadcast on Sine FM and can be found archived for your listening pleasure here.

    Undercurrents-A Year In The Country-album-landscape artwork 2

    Thanks to everybody involved, in particular Ben Willmott, Push and Neil Mason of Electronic Sound, Dave Thompson, Kevin McFadin of Sunrise Ocean Bender, Simon Reynolds, John Coulthart, Martin Raybould, Tim Peacock, Mark Barton, Raffaello Russo and Mat Handley.

    Tip of the hat to all.

    Undercurrents-A Year In The Country-album-landscape artwork

    Undercurrents-Dawn edition-front cover-A Year In The CountryMore information on Undercurrents can be found here. It is available via our Artifacts Shop, our Bandcamp Ether Victrola and Norman Records.

    Clips from the album can be previewed at Soundcloud.

     

    (File Post Under: Encasements / Artifacts – Artifact #4a)

     

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  • Ether Signposts #33/52a: Visible mending – Everyday repairs in the South West And A Quiet Form Of Time Travel

    Biggleston’s-Hardware-Hayle-Cornwall-Visible mending - Everyday repairs in the South West

    There is a strand of gently left-of-centre pastoral culture that has even less of a well defined name or genre than what is sometimes known as say wyrd folk culture…

    I would include the likes of Toller Books and Caught By The River in amongst such things; work and projects which can at times carry with them an almost gentle, off the more well beaten paths pastoralism and bucolic explorations that avoids the sometimes more twee aspects of rurally based culture.

    Visible mending - Everyday repairs in the South West-2

    One of my favourite finds via Little Toller and Caught By The River, which seems to fit perfectly amongst their own particular furrows and quietly hazy banks, is the book Visible mending – Everyday repairs in the South West by Steven Bond, Caitlin DeSilvey and James R. Ryan

    Visible mending - Everyday repairs in the South West-3

    The book is described as follows:

    In September 2010 a team of three researchers—two cultural geographers and a photographer—set out to find and visit workplaces in the South West where people repair broken things. Notebooks and cameras were the project tools, and these tools produced an extensive archive of texts and images, a selection of which are printed in this book, the culmination of eighteen months of fieldwork.

    The resulting work almost seems to be a form of time travel without leaving the present day, a study of an reflection on craft and expertise that seems far removed from contemporary practises and ways and there is a calmness to the photographs in the book, something that feels nourishing to the mind and soul.

    The-Tool-Box-Colyton-Devon-1-Visible mending - Everyday repairs in the South West
    (File post under: Other Pathway Pointers And Markers)

    Directions and Destinations:
    Visible Mending at Uniform Books
    Visible Mending at Little Toller
    Visible Mending at Caught By The River

     

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  • Ocular Signals #32/52a: Image F/2a

    Image-F2a-3rd-year-A-Year-In-The-Country
    File under: A Year In The Country Ocular Explorations

     

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  • Wanderings #32/52a: Thistletown / Rosemarie And Reflection Back To Semi-Lost Folk

    Thistletown-Rosemarie-A Year In The CountryFile under: Trails and Influences / Year 3 Wanderings

    I can’t remember how I came acroos Thistletown but it’s been an interesting find.

    Released by Will Hodgkinson on his record label Big Bertha, which seemed to be created as much as an art project/experiment in how such things worked as being a traditional record label.

    I know little about the band, though that’s okay, it means I can just appreciate the music.

    The little I know includes that the album was produced by Michael Tyack from Circulus and recording was held up at one point I think because they didn’t want to disturb a nesting duck…

    Thistletown-RosemarieIf you should appreciate semi-lost privately pressed acid/psych/underground folk from the late 1960s and 1970s along the lines of Midwinter and Caedmon, the crystalline folk expressions of Lutine  and the folk-esque retravellings of Espers, you may well find much to like here.

    In fact in parts, the music contained within the album could well be from a “semi-lost privately pressed acid/psych/underground folk from the late 1960s and 1970s”… not in a purely retro, retreading manner but more in that seems to capture the spirit of or be in part from some flipside of the history and culture of Britain, to live in some other bucolic parallel, a separate time both enchanted and enchanting.

    As far as I know Rosemarie is out of print but it can often be found for but a few pence or pounds.

    A curiousity and well worth a wander towards.

     

    Intertwined wanderings around these parts:
    Day #3/365: Gather In The Mushrooms: something of a starting point via an accidental stumbling into the British acid folk undeground

    Day #50/365: Lutine – music for the mind to wander with…

    Day #93/365: Seasons They Change and the sweetly strange concoctions of private pressings…

    Day #107/365: Archie Fisher & Acid Tracks – An Introduction to the roots of psych-folk: subculture not from beneath the paving stones but from under the plough

    Day #132/365: Espers, coruscation and the demise of monarchs…

    Day #257/365: Further coruscations; Lutine, White Flowers and textural voyages…

    Elsewhere in the ether:
    Peruse the album here. Thistletown at Big Bertha here and traces in the ether here.

     

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  • Audio Visual Transmission Guide #32/52a: Revisiting Broken Cultural Circuits – Laurie Anderson’s O’Superman

    Laurie Anderson-O Superman

    One of the cultural considerations that I have returned to during A Year In The Country is Mark Fisher’s comments about the circuit between the experimental/avant garde and the mainstream being broken:

    But I think what’s also missing is this circuit between the experimental, the avant-garde and the popular. It’s that circuit that’s disappeared. Instead what we have is Experimental(TM), which is actually well established genres with their own niche markets which have no relation to a mainstream. And despite the network propaganda, the mainstream still exists, but in a more unchallenged way than previously. Why? Well, because people like me have our own niches now. In order to get some sort of audience I don’t have to be on the BBC. You know, there’s lots of space on the internet for me. And that just means that it allows the Simon Cowell’s of the world to dominate the mainstream.

    One song I often think of in relation to such things and a time when that circuit was not so faulty, is Laurie Anderson’s O’Superman, which was released as a single in 1981 and reached No.2 in the UK charts (which was at a time when to do so probably meant selling hundreds of thousands of copies and being part of mainstream national attention and discussion.)

    Laurie Anderson-O Superman-2

    Listening to it and watching the accompanying video with its minimal, repetitive, art house/performance art nature and the songs references to industrial/political/military themes, conflicts and force, it’s somewhat hard to imagine it as part the mainstream charts or culture today.

    In that sense it seems to belong not just to an earlier period in culture and history but quite possibly to another plane of existence quite separate to our own.

    Audio Visual Transmission Guide: Laurie Anderson’s O’Superman

    Local Broadcasts:
    Day #307/365: A journey from a precipice to a cliff edge, via documents of preparing for the end of the world, a curious commercialism, the tonic/lampoonery of laughter, broken cultural circuits and quiet/quietening niches…

     

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  • Artifact Report #32/52a: A Year In The Country – Undercurrents – Released

    Undercurrents-6 Night and Dawn Editions-album-A Year In The Country
    Dawn Edition £11.95. Night Edition £24.95.

    Available via our Artifacts Shop, our Bandcamp Ether Victrola and Norman Records.
    Released 8th August 2017.

    Undercurrents was partly inspired by living in the countryside for the first time since I was young, where because of the more exposed nature of rural life I found myself in closer contact with, more overtly affected by and able to directly observe the elements and nature than via life in the city.

    This coincided with an interest in and exploration of an otherly take on pastoralism and creating the A Year In The Country project; of coming to know the land as a place of beauty, exploration and escape that you may well drift off into but where there is also a sometimes unsettled undercurrent and layering of history and culture.

    I found myself drawn to areas of culture that draw from the landscape, the patterns beneath the plough, the pylons and amongst the edgelands and where they meet with the lost progressive futures, spectral histories and parallel worlds of what has come to be known as hauntology.

    Undercurrents is an audio exploration and interweaving of these themes – a wandering amongst nature, electronic soundscapes, field recordings, the flow of water through and across the land and the flipside of bucolic dreams.

    Undercurrents-Night Edition-prints-album-A Year In The Country

    Preview clips from the album at our Soundcloud Mark II Ether Victrola

     

    Undercurrent Dawn Edition. Limited to 104 copies. £11.95.
    Hand-finished white/black CDr album in textured recycled fold out sleeve with 3 x inserts and badge.
    Undercurrents-Dawn edition-front cover-A Year In The CountryUndercurrents-Dawn edition-back

    Undercurrents-Dawn edition-opened with inserts-A Year In The Country
    Undercurrents-Dawn-Edition-white-black-CD-A-Year-In-The-Country
    Top of CD.                                                          Bottom of CD.

    Further encasement details:
    1) Custom printed using archival giclée pigment ink.
    2) Includes 25mm/1″ badge, secured with removable glue on string bound tag.
    3) Back of one insert hand numbered and signed.

     

    Undercurents Night Edition. Limited to 104 copies. £24.95.
    Hand-finished box-set contains: album on all black CDr, 12 page string bound booklet, 4 x badge pack, 1 x large badge, 2 x stickers, 1 x print.
    Undercurrents-Night Edition-all items-A Year In The CountryUndercurrents-Night Edition-box-A Year In The Country Undercurrents-Night Edition-opend-A Year In The CountryUndercurrents-Night Edition-opened text-A Year In The Country Undercurrents-Night Edition-opened text 2-A Year In The Country
    Undercurrents-Night-Edition-all-black-CD-A-Year-In-The-Country
    Top of CD.                                                            Bottom of CD.

    Further encasement details:
    1) Booklet/cover art custom printed using archival giclée pigment ink.
    2) Contained in a matchbox style sliding two-part rigid matt card box with cover print.
    3) Fully black CDr (black on top, black on playable side).
    4) Black string bound booklet: 12 pages (6 sides printed);
    Printed on textured fine art cotton rag paper, heavy card and semi-transparent vellum.
    Hand numbered and signed on the reverse.
    5) 4 x badge set, contained in a see-through polythene bag with a folded card header.
    6) 1 x large badge.
    7) 1 x square sticker, 1 x landscape format sticker.
    8) Print on textured fine art cotton rag paper. Hand numbered and signed on the reverse.

    Undercurrents-Night sticker square-A Year In The Country Undercurrents-Night sticker landscape-A Year In The Country

    Undercurrents-Night Edition booklets-album-A Year In The Country

    Undercurrents-Night and Dawn Editions-all components-album-A Year In The Country-b

    (File Under: Encasements / Artifacts – Artifact #4a)

     

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  • Ether Signposts #32/52a: Charles Frégers Yokainoshima – Island Of Monsters

    Charles Frégers Yokainoshima-Island Of Monsters-2

    Charles Frégers Wilder Mann book and its photographs of folkloric costumes involving the transformation of man into beast has been something of an ongoing reference point for A Year In The Country…

    …but until quite recently I hadn’t explored his other work all that much, although I knew that he had released another book of folkloric costumes.

    Charles Frégers Yokainoshima-Island Of Monsters-5

    Anyways, I’ve just had a look at his Yokainoshima: Island Of Monsters book of Japanese rural folklore costumes…

    …and, well, I’m not quite which set of images is more out there; Wilder Mann or Yokainoshima.

    Looking at the Yokainoshima photographs I wandered if our own folkloric ritual costumes look just as bizarre to people from over the seas and its just because I’m not used to seeing them that these Japanese costumes seem so, hmmm, peculiar (said in a good way).

    Charles Frégers Yokainoshima-Island Of Monsters-3

    They put me in mind of Axel Hoedt’s photographs of southwest German folkloric costume in his Once A Year book, in that to my eye and mind they seem to be channelling some kind of more outlandish club kid wear, along the lines of the 2003 film Party Monster which is set in the outer limits of New York nightlife.

    Charles Frégers Yokainoshima-Island Of Monsters-1

    Some of the images connect to our own straw bear traditions, some seem to be connected to natural fertility and some are nearer to a mutatedly stylised take on traditional Japanese clothing.

    Charles Frégers Yokainoshima-Island Of Monsters-4
    (File post under: Other Pathway Pointers And Markers)

    Directions and Destinations:
    Charles Frégers photographs
    The Yokainoshima book

    Local places of interest:
    Day #69/365: Charles Frégers Wilder Mann and rituals away from the shores of albion
    Day #272/365: Axel Hoedt’s folkloric club kid rogues gallery and symbolic expulsions…
    Wanderings #2/52a: Merry Brownfield’s Merry England / The Eccentricity Of English Attire
    Wanderings #18/52a: Further Not-Quite-So-Mainstream Pastoralism And 1970s British Science Fiction Costume And Effects Prototyping…

     

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  • Ocular Signals #31/52a: Image E/2a

    Image-E2a-3rd-year-A-Year-In-The-Country
    File under: A Year In The Country Ocular Explorations

     

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  • Audio Visual Transmission Guide #31/52a: Summerisle In (Sort Of) Pop #1 – Pulp’s Wickerman

    Forge Dam-Sheffield-Pulp-The Wicker Man-1

    A while ago I read Freak Out The Squares, which is former Pulp member Russel Senior’s autobiography of his time with the band.

    In it there is a section where he talks about a time where pre their fame he and former members of Pulp went on an expedition through underground tunnels beneath Sheffield that were used for sluicing industrial run off, how that journey became increasingly dangerous feeling and that it inspired the Pulp song Wickerman (which was recorded after he left).

    I most probably listened to the song when We Love Life, the album it was on came out but hadn’t remembered it until then.

    Listening to it now it struck me as a curious piece of culture, one that interweaves samples from the original The Wicker Man film soundtrack recording and hence otherly folkloric concerns, alongside a sense of urban exploration, the true history of the band, spoken word, a certain grandiosity in its production (courtesy of producer Scott Walker?), the social history of Sheffield and surrounding areas and a yearning, wistful love story.

    Here are a selection of the lyrics:

    Just behind the station, before you reach the traffic island, a river runs through a concrete channel. 
    I took you there once; I think it was after the Leadmill. 
    The water was dirty & smelt of industrialisation
    Little mesters coughing their lungs up & globules the colour of tomato ketchup. 
    But it flows…
    Underneath the city through dirty brickwork conduits
    Connecting white witches on the Moor with pre-Raphaelites down in Broomhall. 
    Beneath the old Trebor factory that burnt down in the early seventies…
    And the river flows on…
    And it finally comes above ground again at Forge Dam: the place where we first met.

    DIGITAL IMAGE

    Jarvis Cocker, who I assume wrote the lyrics, said that he used to live on The Wicker which is a street in Sheffield and so I guess that’s where the title in part comes from.

    In a further connection with otherly folklore, what the real life story of the band wandering through these tunnels also put me in mind of was the underground tunnel sequence in Ben Wheatley’s The Kill List.

    But I won’t talk too much of that as I want to sleep tonight.

    Pulp-The Trees-Sunrise-CD singleThe album We Love Life seems to have been a mixture of classic Pulp-like kitchen sink-esque observation and an interest/attempt to connect with the basics of a more natural life, particularly so in related artwork and on songs such as Trees and Sunrise, alongside which the band played a series of concerts in forests to support its release.

    (File Post Under: Cathode Ray & Cinematic Explorations, Radiowave Resonations & Audiological Investigations)

    Audio Visual Transmission Guide: Pulp’s Wickerman

     

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  • Ether Signposts #31/52a: The Explorations And Archiving Of Disused Stations

    Disused Stations-Belmont railway station-3

    Although I’m wary of revelling too much or gratuitously in appreciations of abandoned structures, certain online sites and collections of photographs catch my eye…

    Disused Stations-Acrow

    One of those is the Disused Stations website which focuses on abandoned railway stations in the UK.

    Disused Stations-Belmont railway station-the last day and train
    (The last train at Belmont station, which for some and various reasons seems particularly for myself seems to have a particularly sad or regretful air to it).

    Disused Stations-list of stationDisused Stations is an encyclopaedic and somewhat exhaustive text, archival image and contemporary photography collection and mapping of such places – and it is quite staggering to see just how many hundreds of stations there once were across the UK that are no longer in use.

    As a site and project, it put me in mind of Subterranea Britannica’s documenting of forgotten structures and installations.

    And like that site, the photographs can capture a sense of a lost age, of lost futures and a related melancholia.

    They can have a haunting quality that seem at points to conjure the spirit of a very particular time that now seems far, far away from our own.

    That is particularly so I suppose with the Disused Stations site in terms of its connection with the once publicly owned rail network.

    (File post under: Other Pathway Pointers And Markers)

    Directions and Destinations:
    Disused Stations
    Disused Stations: Belmont Station
    Disused Stations: Acrow Station

     

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  • Wanderings #31/52a: The Shadow Of Heaven – Further Marks And Patterns Upon The Land

    File under: Trails and Influences / Year 3 Wanderings

    And in a further consideration of natural forms of calligraphy, patterns and marks upon the land…

    Shadow Of Heaven-Scotland From Above-book-Patricia Macdonald-Dominic Cooper-Aurum-A Year In The Country-1 Shadow Of Heaven-Scotland From Above-book-Patricia Macdonald-Dominic Cooper-Aurum-A Year In The Country-7 Shadow Of Heaven-Scotland From Above-book-Patricia Macdonald-Dominic Cooper-Aurum-A Year In The Country-6 Shadow Of Heaven-Scotland From Above-book-Patricia Macdonald-Dominic Cooper-Aurum-A Year In The Country-5 Shadow Of Heaven-Scotland From Above-book-Patricia Macdonald-Dominic Cooper-Aurum-A Year In The Country-4 Shadow Of Heaven-Scotland From Above-book-Patricia Macdonald-Dominic Cooper-Aurum-A Year In The Country-3 Shadow Of Heaven-Scotland From Above-book-Patricia Macdonald-Dominic Cooper-Aurum-A Year In The Country-2

    I think one of the things that draws me to images/books like this, is that sometimes the patterns they create seem nearer to something genuinely abstract than a document of real/natural life and the land…

     

    Intertwined wanderings around these parts:
    Wanderings #15/52a: Other Views / The Patterns Beneath The Plough, The Pylons And Amongst The Edgelands #1

    Elsewhere in the ether:
    The images here are from the 1989 book Shadow Of Heaven by Patricia Macdonald, published by Aurum. Peruse it here.

     

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  • Artifact Report #31/52a: From The Furthest Signals Reviews And Broadcasts

    There have been a number of new broadcasts and reviews of the From The Furthest Signals album…

    Electronic Sound magazine-issue 31-From The Furthest Signals review-A Year In The Country

    First up is a review in issue 31 of Electronic Sound magazine by Push: “The ghosts are out of the machines. Lock your windows tonight.”

    You can visit Electronic Sound and issue 31 here (there is also a rather generous introductory subscription offer for the magazine which can be found here).

    the-gated-canal-community-radio-the-quietened-bunker-a-year-in-the-country

    Keith Seatman’s track Curious Noises and Distant Voices from the album was played on the Gated Canal Community Radio show which is presented and compiled by the record labels Front & Follow and The Geography Trip.

    The show is hosted by Reform Radio and you can find Keith Seatman’s track in some rather fine company (including a mix by IX Tab which wanders amongst the Hidden Reverse sides of music) at Gated Canal’s Tumblr site and at Mixcloud.

    The Late Junction-BBC Radio 3-logo

    Max Reinhardt played Grey Frequency’s Ident (IV) from the album on BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction show. Ident (IV) plays around 1:09 and the album is also mentioned around 1:19.

    BBC-logo-5 in a row

    Visit the show here, where you can find Ident (IV) also in some fine company (including Anne Briggs, whose work is much appreciated around these parts).

    Sunrise Ocean Bender-radio show-July 2017

    Sunrise Ocean Bender played Polypores’ Signals Caught Off The Coast on their radio show, alongside the likes of Helios Creed, UFO and various wanderings amongst underground and space rock. Originally broadcast on WRIR FM the show featuring the track can be found at Sunrise Ocean Bender’s site here and also at Mixcloud.

    Bliss-Aquamarine-A-Year-In-The-Country-6 in a row

    Kim Harten reviewed the album at her site Bliss Aquamarine, where her indepth consideration of the different tracks can be found alongside an earlier review of The Restless Field. Visit those here.

    Thanks to all involved for their ongoing support: Push, Neil Mason and all at Electronic Sound, Justin and Rob of Gated Canal Community Radio, Max Reinhardt and all at Late Junction, Kevin McFadin of Sunrise Ocean Bender and Kim Harten of Bliss Aquamarine.

    Not forgetting those whose music is included on the album: Circle/Temple, David Colohan, Sharron Kraus, Time Attendant, Depatterning, Sproatly Smith, Field Lines Cartographer, Grey Frequency, Keith Seatman, Polypores, The Haren And The Moon, Pulselovers and Listening Center.

    Tip of the hat to all.

    From The Furthest Signals-album-A Year In The Country-Gated Canal-Music Wont Save You-Goldmine-We Are Cult

    More information on From The Furthest Signals can be found around these parts here and the album can be previewed at Soundcloud

    It can be ordered at our Artifacts Shop, Bandcamp and Norman Records.

    Other reviews and broadcasts etc of the album by Music Won’t Save You, John Coulthart, Violet Apple, Dave Thompson at Goldmine/Spin Cycle, We Are Cult, Whisperinandhollerin, Flatland Frequencies and More Than Human, alongside earlier broadcasts by Gated Canal Community Radio and Sunrise Ocean Bender can be visited around these parts here.

     

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  • Ocular Signals #30/52a: Image D/2a

    Image-D2a-3rd-year-A-Year In The Country
    File under: A Year In The Country Ocular Explorations

     

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  • Wanderings #30/52a: Grenzfälle / Falling Barriers / Edgeland Ghosts

    Grenzfalle-Falling Barriers-Kerber Photoart-photography book-A Year In The Country-4
    File under: Trails and Influences / Year 3 Wanderings

    I suppose if you take the phrase edgelands as in part referring to transitional areas, often where industry/man made areas meet the countryside, then the book Grenzfalle / Falling Barriers could be seen as a document of a type of edgelands…

    …but, well this is an edgelands with a particular brutal, brutalist architecture.

    Grenzfalle-Falling Barriers-Kerber Photoart-photography book-A Year In The Country-2

    The book was published in 2009 and is a collection of photographs taken by six different photographers of the barriers that divided East and West Germany, just as the country began to be reunited.

    (The photographers in question are Gerhard Zwickert, Eberhard Kloppel, Peter Leske, Heinz Dargelis, Werner Schulze, Bernd-Horst Sefzik.)

    Grenzfalle-Falling Barriers-Kerber Photoart-photography book-A Year In The Country-3

    While a lot of imagery of such things has focused on the Berlin wall, this is more a document of the barriers in the landscape, next to frontier villages and so on.

    There’s a curious harshness or possibly even (static) violence to these structures, their purpose and the philosophy that underlined them.

    Grenzfalle-Falling Barriers-Kerber Photoart-photography book-A Year In The Country-5

    It is a fascinating, enthralling, moving book and I’m rather glad I found it.

    Although the images were taken in 1990, they seem to harken back to an earlier, nearer mid century time somehow and reminded me of Paul Virilio’s Bunker Archaeology photographs…

    Grenzfalle-Falling Barriers-Kerber Photoart-photography book-A Year In The Country-1

    I could easily be posting most of the images within it from now to whenever but I thought the best way to go about it was possibly to select just one book spread by each of the six photographers (not an easy task)… so here goes…

    Grenzfalle-Falling Barriers-Kerber Photoart-photography book-A Year In The Country-6

    Intertwined wanderings around these parts:
    Day #160/365: Edgelands Report Documents; Cases #1a (return), #2a-5a.

    Day #229/365: A Bear’s Ghosts…

    Week #33/52: Bunker Archives #4; Paul Virilio’s Bunker Archaeology and accidental utilitarian art

    Week #34/52: Restricted Areas – Further Wanderings Amongst A Bear’s Ghosts

    Week #9/52: Christopher Herwig’s Soviet Bus Stops, echoes of reaching for the cosmos, folkloric breakfast adornment and other artfully pragmatic curio collectings, encasings and bindings…

    Elsewhere in the ether:
    Peruse the book here and at the publishers Kerber Verlag.

     

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  • Ether Signposts #30/52a: Explorations From The Last Train

    Thorpe Marsh power plant-1

    When I was watching the 1999 television series The Last Train, some of the derelict sites that were used as locations seemed almost surreal and unexpectedly abandoned; it was genuinely odd to see a hi-de-hi like traditional British holiday camp in a state of abandonment and collapse, while the cooling towers that are seen in one episode seem just too monumental in scale and purpose to have been discarded.

    Thorpe Marsh power plant-2

    Thorpe Marsh power plant-3When I was looking up online about the series, I came across various examples of what is sometimes known as urban exploration (exploring and photographing derelict places and structures) that featured the locations from The Last Train.

    I was particularly taken by these of Thorpe Marsh power plant and its cooling towers; they seemed to capture a grand or monumental nature of the structures and put me in mind of photographs of Soviet era abandoned places and the way that they seem to be nearer to monuments to a lost time and age rather than merely derelict often utilitarian structures.

    (File post under: Other Pathway Pointers And Markers)

    Directions and Destinations:
    Report – Thorpe Marsh Power Plant, Doncaster – February 2011

    Local places of interest:
    Day #229/365: A Bear’s Ghosts…
    Day #346/365: Audiological Reflections and Pathways #1; a library of loss
    Week #9/52: Christopher Herwig’s Soviet Bus Stops, echoes of reaching for the cosmos, folkloric breakfast adornment and other artfully pragmatic curio collectings, encasings and bindings…
    Week #49/52: The Wanderings Of Veloelectroindustrial

     

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  • Artifact Report #30/52a: A Year In The Country – Undercurrents – Preorder

    Dawn Edition £11.95. Night Edition £24.95.
    Undercurrents-Night and Dawn edition-A Year In The Country

    Available via our Artifacts Shop, our Bandcamp Ether Victrola and Norman Records.

    Undercurrents was partly inspired by living in the countryside for the first time since I was young, where because of the more exposed nature of rural life I found myself in closer contact with, more overtly affected by and able to directly observe the elements and nature than via life in the city.

    This coincided with an interest in and exploration of an otherly take on pastoralism and creating the A Year In The Country project; of coming to know the land as a place of beauty, exploration and escape that you may well drift off into but where there is also a sometimes unsettled undercurrent and layering of history and culture.

    I found myself drawn to areas of culture that draw from the landscape, the patterns beneath the plough, the pylons and amongst the edgelands and where they meet with the lost progressive futures, spectral histories and parallel worlds of what has come to be known as hauntology.

    Undercurrents is an audio exploration and interweaving of these themes – a wandering amongst nature, electronic soundscapes, field recordings, the flow of water through and across the land and the flipside of bucolic dreams.

    Preview clips from the album at our Soundcloud Mark II Ether Victrola

     

    Undercurrent Dawn Edition. Limited to 104 copies. £11.95.
    Hand-finished white/black CDr album in textured recycled fold out sleeve with 3 x inserts and badge.
    Undercurrents-Dawn edition-front cover-A Year In The CountryUndercurrents-Dawn edition-back

    Undercurrents-Dawn edition-opened with inserts-A Year In The Country
    Undercurrents-Dawn-Edition-white-black-CD-A-Year-In-The-Country
    Top of CD.                                                          Bottom of CD.

    Further encasement details:
    1) Custom printed using archival giclée pigment ink.
    2) Includes 25mm/1″ badge, secured with removable glue on string bound tag.
    3) Back of one insert hand numbered and signed.

     

    Undercurents Night Edition. Limited to 104 copies. £24.95.
    Hand-finished box-set contains: album on all black CDr, 12 page string bound booklet, 4 x badge pack, 1 x large badge, 2 x stickers, 1 x print.
    Undercurrents-Night Edition-all items-A Year In The CountryUndercurrents-Night Edition-box-A Year In The Country Undercurrents-Night Edition-opend-A Year In The CountryUndercurrents-Night Edition-opened text-A Year In The Country Undercurrents-Night Edition-opened text 2-A Year In The Country
    Undercurrents-Night-Edition-all-black-CD-A-Year-In-The-Country
    Top of CD.                                                            Bottom of CD.

    Further encasement details:
    1) Booklet/cover art custom printed using archival giclée pigment ink.
    2) Contained in a matchbox style sliding two-part rigid matt card box with cover print.
    3) Fully black CDr (black on top, black on playable side).
    4) Black string bound booklet: 12 pages (6 sides printed);
    Printed on textured fine art cotton rag paper, heavy card and semi-transparent vellum.
    Hand numbered and signed on the reverse.
    5) 4 x badge set, contained in a see-through polythene bag with a folded card header.
    6) 1 x large badge.
    7) 1 x square sticker, 1 x landscape format sticker.
    8) Print on textured fine art cotton rag paper. Hand numbered and signed on the reverse.

    Undercurrents-A Year In The Country-landscape cover art variation

    (File Under: Encasements / Artifacts – Artifact #4a)

     

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  • Audio Visual Transmission Guide #30/52a: The Last Train And Fractured Timelines

    The Last Train-1999 tv series-Matthew Graham-1

    The Last Train is a 1999 television series written by Matthew Graham, who was co-creator and one of the writers for the series Life On Mars and Ashes To Ashes, both of which dealt with a form of time travel or dislocation.

    The Last Train also deals with similar themes in a way but rather here it is through the passengers of a train carriage who are accidentally placed in suspended animation and awake a number of years after a world wide cataclysm to what seems to be a deserted and derelict world.

    The Last Train-1999 tv series-Matthew Graham-2

    As far as I know it is not available commercially but can be viewed online in a degraded quality version.

    The muted grey-green colours of the version you can watch, along with the often murky, subterranean settings makes it seem almost as though you could be watching a semi-lost 1970s British television series rather than one from the turn of the millennium and it seems to be a broadcast from some curiously multi-layered, fractured point in time.

    The Last Train-1999 tv series-Matthew Graham-4

    One of the most intriguing aspects of the series is that it is something of an urban explorer’s delight as it features quite a number of abandoned spaces; derelict and disused offices, railway stations, factories, cooling towers, refineries and a Pontin’s hi-de-hi-esque holiday camp.

    The Last Train-1999 tv series-Matthew Graham-3

    Those aspects, combined with the quality of the video put me in mind of both the societal collapse of the final series of Quatermass and the “bad wires” destruction of technology in The Changes and compounded the sense of it being a semi-lost 1970s series…

    (File Post Under: Cathode Ray & Cinematic Explorations, Radiowave Resonations & Audiological Investigations)

    Audio Visual Transmission Guide: The Last Train

     

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