• “Savage Party” and Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) – Glimpses of Albion in the Overgrowth: Chapter 20 Book Images

    Hollyoaks-Savage Party-folklore-A Year In The Country 4

    “In 2012 in the earlyish days of planning for A Year In The Country there was a trailer being broadcast for an episode called “Savage Party” of the British television youth-orientated soap opera Hollyoaks.

    The trailer is basically a high street-esque take on some of the visual language, themes and tropes of the flipside or undercurrents of folkloric culture expressed in the likes of The Wicker Man (1973): a glimpse of Albion in the cultural overgrowth, a step through the gates into the secret garden (with spangly hotpants as your attire).”

    Hollyoaks-Savage Party-folklore-A Year In The Country 12

    “It shows the young folk entering a gated slightly magical-seeming woodland; they are often animal masked, behorned and May Queen crowned and enter an unsupervised carnivalesque atmosphere which seems to subtly hark back to earlier almost pagan times…”

    Hollyoaks-Savage Party-folklore-A Year In The Country 11

    “And yes the trailer is a simulacra of folklore-inspired culture but still enjoyable…

    For some reason this promotional video blurs those lines a touch. It is joyous, ridiculous, a copy and also created with some sense of love or passion for its source material, even if that is but a flickering, passing moment of interest.”

    Stealing Sheep-Shut Eye

    Coco-Rosie-Arthur-Magazine-Devandra Banhart-Joanna Newsom

    “The trailer’s soundtrack is Stealing Sheep’s “Shut Eye” (2012), which is a lovely catchy sort of psych-folk indie-pop song, with the band’s music reminding me in a way of a more youthful, British Coco Rosie  (the sister duo who were loosely connected with American freak folk in the 2000s, along with the likes of Devandra Banhart and Joanna Newsom).”

    Halloween on Hollyoaks-trailer-2016

    “Curiously in 2016 there was a “Halloween on Hollyoaks” trailer which drew from one of the other more flipsides of filmic culture, Italian super- natural horror and interconnected giallo, and was basically a homage to Dario Argento’s Suspiria film from 1977.”

    021-Randall & Hopkirk-Charlie Higson-Vic Reeves-Bob Mortimer-Emilia Fox-Tom Baker-A Year In The Country

    Randall-Hopkirk-Charlie-Higson-Vic-Reeves-Bob-Mortimer-Emilia-Fox-1

    Randall-Hopkirk-Charlie-Higson-Tom-Baker-television series still

    “The appearance of such less thoroughly travelled themes in mainstream culture can seem like something of an unexpected treat when it is treated in a respectful manner and done at least reasonably well.

    Along which lines, a soft spot should be reserved for the turn of the millennium remake of television series Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) that was broadcast in 2000-2001, and which was produced by Charlie Higson, who also wrote and directed some episodes, and starred comedians Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer alongside Emilia Fox and gloriously white-haired former Doctor Who Tom Baker.”

    Hot Fuzz-film-Simon Pegg

    “…it often shows a great love for a whole slew of fantasy, television, literature, crime horror and science fiction films etc. from years gone by in the way that it references and draws from them.

    “The episode Man of Substance in particular, which seems to predate Edgar Wright & Simon Pegg’s Hot Fuzz film of 2007 by a year or few in a number of its themes, borrowings and the story of a sleepy country idyll gone bad and is rather folk horror-like in its setting and plot.”

    John Barleycorn Reborn Rebirth-Dark Britannica-Cold Spring-A Year In The Country-collage

    “I guess we should have known something was not quite right when shown the unsettling monument on the way into the village that looked as though it should have been on the cover of one of the John Barleycorn Reborn series of dark Britannica compilation albums of wyrd, exploratory, underground etc folk that were released by Cold Spring beginning in 2007.”

    Randall-Hopkirk-dancers collage

    stills from The Wicker Man-The Monster Club-Pendas Fen-Curse of the Crimson Altar-2

    “Along the way the episode wanders into the territory of and borrows from: The Wicker Man, The Monster Club, Curse of the Crimson Altar, Hansel and Gretel, Witchfinder General, The Bloody Judge and Penda’s Fen.”

    tom-baker-doctor-who-wearing scarf

    “And just having Tom Baker, possibly still the archetypal Doctor Who, in amongst it all makes the episode fundamentally interconnected in the minds of watchers of a certain vintage with particular culture and tropes.”

    Gareth Thomas-Blakes 7

    “…and that is before we get to Gareth Thomas, who once starred as a freedom fighter in the cult science fiction series Blake’s 7 (1978-1981), who here plays a real ale pushing pub landlord who later appears in his festival garb only to be revealed as a centuries-old medieval lord of the manor.”

    The League of Gentleman-Royston Vasey sign

    “Randall & Hopkirk is not necessarily as dark but thinking back this episode may have shared some ground with the similar time period’s The League of Gentleman series that was broadcast from 1999-2002 and its mixing of horror and comedy in a rural setting gone bad where “You bain’t be from round here” is the general refrain.”

    The Wicker Man OST soundtrack-Jonny Trunk-Trunk Records-A Year In The Country

    “Just prior to its broadcast the The Wicker Man soundtrack had been first released in 1998 via the efforts and investigating of Jonny Trunk and Trunk Records and this is thought to have been one of the sparks that ignited that growing interest.

    However, the number of different references to fantastic fictions from before that time in the series suggest its creator had a knowledge, interest and love of such things that stretches back some way.”

    030-Randall & Hopkirk-Charlie Higson-Vic Reeves-Bob Mortimer-Emilia Fox-Tom Baker-A Year In The Country 002-Randall & Hopkirk-Charlie Higson-Vic Reeves-Bob Mortimer-Emilia Fox-Tom Baker-A Year In The Country

    Doomwatch-still altered-states-1980-movie-ken russell

    Raiders of the Lost Ark-last scene-warehouse Scooby Doo-unmasking

    “The episode Fair Isle is set on an isolated island called Strait Isle which has its own laws and ways of doing things, produces its own unique foodstuff under the direction of an eccentric lord ruler and includes high jinx with the locals in a very local hostelry, all of which further echo The Wicker Man.

    That episode also features Doctor Who-esque folkloric costumed creatures, ecological worries that have shades of the series Doomwatch (1970-1972), transformations which echo Ken Russell’s Altered States film (1980), a hiding of relics which harks back to The Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and even an “I would’ve got away with it if it wasn’t for you pesky kids” Scooby Doo-esque unveiling of the baddie.”

     

    Online images to accompany Chapter 20 of the A Year In The Country: Wandering Through Spectral Fields book, alongside some text extracts from the chapter:

    Details of the A Year In The Country: Wandering Through Spectral Fields book and the collection of its accompanying online images can be found at the Book’s Page, which will be added to throughout the year.

     

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  • Audio Albion – Preorder

    Preorder today 15th May 2018. Released 29th May 2018. 

    Audio Albion-Nightfall Edition-Nightfall and Dawn Light editions-A Year In The Country

    Available to preorder via our Artifacts Shop, at Bandcamp and at Norman Records.
    Dawn Light Edition £11.95. Nightfall Edition £21.95.

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    Audio Albion is a music and field recording map of Britain, which focuses on rural and edgeland areas.

    Each track contains field recordings from locations throughout the land and is accompanied by notes on the recordings by the contributors.

    The tracks record the sounds found and heard when wandering down pathways, over fields, through marshes, alongside rivers, down into caves and caverns, climbing hills, along coastlands, through remote mountain forestland, amongst the faded signs of industry and infrastructure and its discarded debris.

    Intertwined with the literal recording of locations, the album explores the history, myths and beliefs of the places, their atmospheres and undercurrents, personal and cultural connections – the layered stories that lie amongst, alongside and beneath the earth, plants and wildlife.

    dividing-line-just-black-a-year-in-the-country-620px

    Featuring work by Bare Bones, David Colohan, Grey Frequency, Field Lines Cartographer, Howlround, A Year In The Country, Keith Seatman, Magpahi, Sproatly Smith, Widow’s Weeds, Time Attendant, Spaceship, Pulselovers, The Heartwood Institute and Vic Mars.

    Both editions are hand-finished and custom printed using archival giclée pigment ink by A Year In The Country

    Download preorder available at Bandcamp. Available to download on release date at iTunes, Amazon etc.

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    Dawn Light Edition. Limited to 104 copies. £11.95.
    Hand-finished white/black CD album in textured recycled fold out sleeve with fold-out insert and badge.

    Audio Albion-Dawn Light Edition-front-A Year In The CountryAudio Albion-Dawn Light Edition-opened-A Year In The Country Audio Albion-Dawn Light Edition-notes-A Year In The CountryAudio Albion-Dawn Light Edition-back-A Year In The CountryAudio Albion-Dawnlight-edition-white-black-CD-A-Year-In-The-Country
    Top of CD.                                                          Bottom of CD.

    Further packaging details:
    1) Custom printed using archival giclée pigment ink.
    2) Includes 2.5 cm badge, secured with removable glue on string bound tag.
    3) 1 x folded sheet of accompanying notes from the contributors, hand numbered on back.

    dividing-line-just-black-a-year-in-the-country-620px

    Nightfall Edition. Limited to 104 copies. £21.95
    Hand-finished box-set contains: album on all black CD, 2 x sheets of accompanying notes, 1 print, 3 x stickers and 3 x badges.

    Audio Albion-Nightfall Edition-all items-A Year In The Country

    Audio Albion-Nightfall Edition-front cover-A Year In The CountryAudio Albion-Nightfall Edition-opened-A Year In The CountryAudio Albion-Nightfall Edition-notes-A Year In The CountryAudio Albion-Nightfall Edition-print and sticker-A Year In The CountryAudio Albion-Nightfall Edition-stickers and badges-A Year In The CountryAudio Albion-Nightfall-Edition-all-black-CD-A-Year-In-The-Country
    Top of CD.                                                            Bottom of CD.

    Further packaging details:
    1) Cover and notes 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 CD (black on top, black on playable side).
    4) 2 x folded sheets of accompanying notes from the contributors, printed on textured laid paper. Back of one sheet numbered.
    5) 1 x print on textured fine art cotton rag paper.
    5) 2 x 2.5 cm badges, 1 x 4.5 cm badge.
    6) 1 x 5.6 cm sticker, 1 x 3.5 cm sticker, 1 x 9.5 by 6.5 cm sticker.

     

    Audio Albion-Nightfall edition-print

    Tracklisting:

    1) Bare Bones – Marshland Improvisation
    2) David Colohan – On Stormy Point
    3) Grey Frequency – Stapleford Hill
    4) Field Lines Cartographer – Coldbarrow
    5) Howlround – Cold Kissing
    6) A Year In The Country – The Fields of Tumbling Ideas
    7) Keith Seatman – Winter Sands
    8) Magpahi – Shepsters in the Yessins
    9) Sproatly Smith – Ethelbert & Mary
    10) Widow’s Weeds – The Unquiet Grave
    11) Time Attendant – Holloway
    12) Spaceship – The Roding in Spate
    13) Pulselovers – Thieves’ Cant
    14) The Heartwood Institute – Hvin-lettir
    15) Vic Mars – Dinedor Hill

     

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  • The Bawdy Adventures of Tom Jones and Mishaps and Misadventures in the British Countryside: Wanderings, Explorations and Signposts 20/52

    The Bawdy Adventures of Tom Jones-1

    The Bawdy Adventures of Tom Jones film from 1976 is something a curiousity and a curious mixture of a film, one which positions the British countryside as a space for farce and romps in a very British Carry On film/seaside postcard kind of manner – in tone and plotting it is not all that far removed from say a period set Carry On film from a similar era.

    Loosely inspired by the 18th century novel by Henry Fielding, it was directed by Cliff Owen, who also directed other 1970s British nudge-nudge-wink-wink comedy films, alongside the likes of an episode of The Avengers, The Vengeance of She, the first cinema outing for Steptoe and Son and numerous episodes of television series in the 1950s through to the 1970s.

    The Bawdy Adventures of Tom Jones-2

    The plot involves Tom Jones who is a good-natured young man who was adopted by a country squire but who must run away from home when he is set up by his jealous cousin who is in competition with him over a romantic partner/potential wife. He has numerous misadventures in boudoirs, fields, country estates, high society and taverns, with him trying to maintain his devotion to true love in the face of his mishaps, setbacks and libidinous temptations, all of which he must maneuver his way through and around.

    The cast is something of an A-Z of British talent from back when (and sometimes today): sometimes undead Psychomania biker Nicky Henson as Tom Jones, classic English sometimes cad Terry Thomas, Dad’s Army leader Arthur Lowe, Georgia Howe and the perennial Joan Collins (who both coincidentally also appeared in 1973’s British horror portmanteau film Tales That Witness Madness), the iconic Bond, Carry On and Hammer actress Madeline Smith and Murray Melvin – who was in the also iconic British new wave film A Taste of Honey, which the Bawdy Adventures also has another connection with…

    The Bawdy Adventures of Tom Jones-4

    There was an earlier Tom Jones film in 1963 starring Albert Finney and directed by Tony Richardson – who also directed the likes of iconic British new wave films A Taste of Honey and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. That Tom Jones was critically lauded, nominated for and won a number of Oscars and so on but a decade or so later the next cinematic incarnation of this good-natured Jack-the-Lad did not have quite the same critical reception or positioning.

    Rather it loosely sits in amongst 1970s British-cinema-gone-to-seed sex and exploitation romps and comedies from the time but also seems to exist slightly to one side of such things, to have a certain layering or craftsmanship to it in comparison to some of 1970s British exploitation cinema.

    Watching it is one of those “Hey? What is this?” kind of viewing experiences. Which I don’t write in a dismissive manner, more just that it seems to straddle so many different areas and aspects of film, sometimes more or less all at once: just a few of those aspects include the way in which it is a period sex comedy/farce that sometimes here and there decides that it is a musical just for a moment or two, while alongside it’s bed hopping/roll in the hay romp’n’farce aspects it also has an odd sort of innocence to it and almost seems to be harking back to earlier eras of film in its dealing with the course of true love.

    The Bawdy Adventures of Tom Jones-3

    The film is somewhat lost to time. It was released on VHS only in America I think back in 1987, I assume as an attempt to hopefully connect with Joan Collins’ success in American soap opera Dynasty. As far as I know has never had another official home release, so it is now quite hard to find, although snippets of it can be found online…

     

    Elsewhere:
    The Bawdy Adventures of Tom Jones at IMDB
    The trailer
    Behind the scenes photographs

     

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  • Image AA/19

    Image-AA19-A-Year-In-The-Country-Year-4-image-journeys-in-otherly-pastoralism-the-outer-reaches-of-folk-and-the-parallel-worlds-of-hauntology

    File under: A Year In The Country ocular explorations

     

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  • The Ballad of Shirley Collins and Pastoral Noir – Tales and Intertwinings from Hidden Furrows: Chapter 19 Book Images

    Shirley Collins-Davy Graham-Dolly Collins-Harvest Years-Anthems in Eden

    Shirley Colins-America Over The Water-Alan Lomax-recording equipment in the boot of his car

    “Shirley Collins is known in part for her contributions to the English folk revival of the 1960s and 1970s; beginning in 1959 she released a number of solo and collaborative albums with amongst others her sister Dolly, Dave Graham and Ashley Hutchings/The Albion Band.

    She also worked with Alan Lomax on various projects including folk song collecting in the Southern States of the USA in the late 1950s, which she wrote about in her 2005 book America Over the Water.”

    Lodestar-Shirley Collins-album cover and reverse-Domino

    “After 1982 Shirley Collins lost her singing voice due to what has been considered psychogenic dysphonia: a condition which affects the throat and which is associated with psychological trauma. Although she lectured, wrote and appeared on radio she did not release another album for several decades until 2016’s Lodestar.”

    The Ballad of Shirley Collins-film poster

    The Ballad Of Shirley Collins-1

    The Ballad Of Shirley Collins-6shirley-collins-death-and-the-lady-nick-abrahams-a-year-in-the-country-5

    “Prior to that new album Rob Curry and Tim Plester began work on a documentary of her work and life called The Ballad of Shirley Collins, which at the point of writing was nearing completion, with an accompanying trailer having been released.

    The tone and presentation of the trailer and related publicity appear in part to show the film as reflecting how Shirley Collins and her work now seem to be intertwined and connect with modern day tropes, themes and interests in what could variously be called underground, neo or wyrd folk, folk horror and a sort of Arcanic Britannia.

    In particular this is the case with what presumably are images, sequences and characters within the trailer created by Nick Abrahams (who created similar work for the video of her song “Death and the Lady” from the Lodestar album) which are of a folk horror-esque or otherly folkloric nature.”

    Shirley Collins and The Albion Country Band-No Roses-cover artwork and gatefold

    Early-Morning-Hush-Folk-Underground-Bob-Stanley-album-CD artwork-Shirley Collins-Bob Stanley

    “Looking back at her recording of the traditional folk song “Poor Murdered Woman” (as featured on her 1971 album No Roses and the Bob Stanley-curated compilation Early Morning Hush – Notes from the UK Folk Underground 1969-1976 released in 2006,1 although it was inspired by true events, listening to it today with its dark unsettling tone it could well be seen as a pointer or harbinger for the darker elements of folk and folk horror.”

    Fountain of Snow-Shirley Collins-Current 93 presents

    “Moving towards such strands and areas within and around Shirley Collins’ work may also be connected back to David Tibet of Current 93’s championing of it for a number of years and his releasing a compilation of her 1960s and 1970s recordings called Fountain of Snow back in 1992…

    (Current 93’s) music has been called neo-folk, a form of often dark, experimental folk music which emerged from post-industrial circles. Such neo-folk could also be seen as a further forebear for contemporary interest in wyrd folk and related folk horror-esque music.”

    Horse Rotorvator-Coil-Englands Hidden Reverse-David Keenan

    “Those post-industrial strands of experimental music also include Nurse With Wound and Coil, which while musically different and not necessarily folk-orientated, has been described and connected as being “England’s Hidden Reverse” by David Keenan, in the title of his 2003 book of the same name in which he writes about their work.

    That title creates and captures a sense of the hidden, flipside, underlying strands and patterns of culture which their work often seems to reflect and explore – which also connects back to the likes of wyrd folk and its exploration of similar areas and undercurrents within a more pastoral, landscape and rural based context.”

    Cyclobe-Stephen Thrower-Ossian Brown

    Ossian-Brown-Haunted-Air-three images

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    “Alongside the connection to David Tibet, such strands are further connected with Shirley Collins’ recent work due to Stephen Thrower and Ossian Brown performing on her new album, both of whom have worked with Coil.

    They currently work together as Cyclobe and their releases mix and combine aspects of folk or traditional music and instruments amongst other elements including drone, audio collage, soundscaping and electronic instrumentation within an experimental or exploratory context.”

    In a further intertwining of the underground, darker, flipside and undercurrents of folk-related culture, Ossian Brown compiled a book released in 2010 called Haunted Air which collects found photographs of Halloween from previous eras.

    The images in Haunted Air, despite them having originally been family snapshots etc., over time have often gained a genuinely unsettling, otherly air.”

    The Ballad Of Shirley Collins-3

    “Such a gathering and layering of the uncanny over time is also present within The Ballad of Shirley Collins trailer; at one point a framed photograph is shown of Shirley Collins and her sister Dolly standing either side of what is either a folkoric totem or possibly somebody in a traditional folkloric ram’s head costume.

    …in the overall context of the trailer and the above cultural points of connection it seems to belong to considerably more shadowed, unsettled furrows.”

    "Pastoral Noir" exhibition at Wood Street Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA, 2016."Pastoral Noir" exhibition at Wood Street Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA, 2016.

    "Pastoral Noir" exhibition at Wood Street Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA, 2016."Pastoral Noir" exhibition at Wood Street Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA, 2016."Pastoral Noir" exhibition at Wood Street Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA, 2016.

    “Interconnected to such shadowed furrows, writer, artist and curator Justin Hopper used the title Pastoral Noir as the name of an exhibition he curated at Wood Street Galleries in Pittsburgh, USA in 2016, describing it as being a collection of avant-rural work by British and Irish artists:

    “…whose work is situated in the edgelands between what we once called human and the natural… Pastoral Noir will look at artists whose work calls into question the dichotomies between past and present, city and countryside, natural and man-made, within the landscape of the British Isles.

    Through their visual, sonic and sculptural investigations into the English landscape, the artists in Pastoral Noir have discovered a dark and eerie place. Using science and language, memory and myth, these works immerse the viewer in uncanny landscapes both real and imagined.””

    The work shown included Tessa Farmer, Jem Finer, Ghost Box Records, Tony Heywood & Alison Condie, Autumn Richardson and Richard Skelton and could be considered an exploration of where the further reaches of folk and pastoral culture meet, intertwine and interact with what has come to be known as hauntology.

    The use of the phrase pastoral noir may be part of a seemingly wider, ongoing process of experimenting with and searching for names that could possibly serve to encompass and define such intertwined cultural explorations.”

     

    Online images to accompany Chapter 19 of the A Year In The Country: Wandering Through Spectral Fields book, alongside some text extracts from the chapter:

    Details of the A Year In The Country: Wandering Through Spectral Fields book and the collection of its accompanying online images can be found at the Book’s Page, which will be added to throughout the year.

     

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  • A Lineage of Spectres Part 1 – From Hauntology to Hypnagogic Pop: Wanderings, Explorations and Signposts 19/52

    Hauntology-images-Demdike Stare-Ghost Box Records

    Although not exclusively so, hauntological orientated work tends to use and refer to British culture from approximately around the late 1960s to the late 1970s, to be a re-imagining and misremembering of reference points and that era’s music and other culture to create work that seem familiar, comforting and also often unsettling and not a little eerie.

    The resulting  work often conjures a sense of parallel worlds that are haunted by spectres of our cultural past (to loosely paraphrase philosopher Jacques Derrida).

    One of the possible reasons for the hauntological work focusing on/drawing from the above time period often quite specifically is that from the late 1970s onwards there could be seen to have been a swing towards the right politically, socially and economically within Britain. The starting point for that movement is often considered to be the 1979 election of Margaret Thatcher’s right-leaning government in Britain.

    Within hauntological work there is often a mourning for lost progressive futures, sometimes overtly and sometimes as an underlying cultural trope or atmosphere, which essentially demarks the above time as a tipping point for an ending of the prevalence of related hopes and dreams – hence the cutoff of the late 1970s in terms of points of reference and inspiration within much of hauntological work.

    Although, as I have mentioned before, author David Peace has commented that:

    “…people often talk about 1979 and the election of Margaret Thatcher as a sea-change. But these things rarely take place overnight. And I still think her re-election in 1983 represents the clearest marker of how far things had changed. And of what was to come…”

    The 1980s could be seen as a transitional, liminal period which involved ongoing conflict and rearguard actions from older, progressive/social consensus ways of thinking.

    This could allow for a less era delineated sense to hauntological work, less of a quite well defined cut-off point than the late 1970s. Hauntological-esque spectres and parallel world refracted reimaginings could well draw from a later period.

    Which leads me to…

    Oneohtrix Point Never-Angel-Memory Vague-video still

    Work such as hypnagogic pop shares a number of similiarities with hauntology  – it also utilises misremembered, re-imagined cultural memories/reference points and creates a parallel cultural world the draws from past eras and often creates work which David Keenan called “pop music as refracted through the memory of a memory”.

    However, it is American rather than British culture orientated and it draws from the 1980s and early 1990s and in this sense it illustrates that hauntology could be seen as being part of a continuum or broader lineage of such work.

    Oneohtrix Point Never-Angel-Memory Vague-video still-2 copy

    (A brief definition of hypnagogic pop from Wikipedia: “Hypnagogic pop – sometimes used interchangeably with “chillwave” or “glo-fi” –  is a 21st-century style of pop music or general musical approach which explores elements of cultural memory and nostalgia by drawing on the music, popular entertainment, and recording technology of the past, particularly the 1980s. The genre developed in the mid to late 2000s as American underground artists began reaching back to retro aesthetics remembered from childhood, such as 1980s radio rock, new age, MTV one-hit wonders, and Hollywood synthesizer soundtracks, as well as analog technology and outdated pop culture.”)

    Tdk c60-cassette-hypnagogic pop

    One of the signifiers of hauntology is an interest in and utilisation of the signifiers of previous era’s recording media and its related audio artifacts – such as vinyl hiss and crackle, tape wobble etc – with such aesthetics being used in order to create or conjure a spectral, edge of memory sense of the past.

    The use of such signifiers is also present within hypnagogic pop but in its case these are more likely to be the likes of video cassette, 1980s-esque computer graphics and early internet aesthetics.

    BBC Records and Tapes-The Radiophonic Workshop-A Year In The CountrySeasons-David Cain-Jonny Trunk-BBC-A Year In The Country

    In contrast to hypnagogic pop, hauntology does not tend to be all that pop orientated – it may draw from areas of pop culture such as 1970s childrens’ television dramas but it is more likely to be presented in for example the form of Radiophonic-esque/inspired electronica.

    However, “traditional” hauntology does not have one overarching musical style – rather it is defined by a shared music and cultural approach than a shared musical style, something which critic Adam Trainer has also identified in connection to hypnagogic pop.

    rafael-de-jongh-synthwave-neon-80s-background-marmosetv2-2

    Which brings me to synthwave…

    To be continued in Part 2 of this post… coming soon…

     

    Elsewhere:
    Hypnagogic pop at Wikipedia

    Elsewhere at A Year In The Country:
    1) Day #183/365: Steam engine time and remnants of transmissions before the flood
    2) Day #162/365: Hauntology, places where society goes to dream, the deletion of spectres and the making of an ungenre
    3) Day #125/365: Journeying through The Seasons with David Cain (or maybe just July and October)
    4) Chapter 3 Book Images: Hauntology – Places Where Society Goes to Dream, the Defining and Deletion of Spectres and the Making of an Ungenre
    5) Wanderings, Explorations and Signposts 17/52: David Peace, Texte und Töne, The Stink Still Here and Spectres from Transitional Times – Part 2

     

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  • Image AA/18

    Image AA-18-A-Year-In-The-Country-Year-4-image-journeys-in-otherly-pastoralism-the-outer-reaches-of-folk-and-the-parallel-worlds-of-hauntology

    File under: A Year In The Country ocular explorations

     

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  • From The Unofficial Countryside to Soft Estate – Edgeland Documents, Memories and Explorations: Chapter 18 Book Images

    Karl Hyde-Kieran Evans-Edgeland-Outer Edges-A Year In The Country-lighter

    “Edgelands is a word that refers to the edges of towns and cities that are neither urban nor rural; transitional, undeveloped or developing areas such as the land surrounding power stations, scrublands, wastelands, semi-derelict areas, semi-industrial areas and so forth.

    These are often the places where society creates, stores, repairs, discards, forgets about and disposes of the things it physically needs and they can also be starkly aesthetically neglected, though in contrast and in part because of that neglect or overlooking can also become something of a haven for nature and wildlife.”


    veloelectroindustrial-edgelands-wasteland-photography-harworth-machine-a-year-in-the-country-2(Above: photograph by Veloelectroindustrial.)

    “Marion Shoard was the first person to use the term “edgelands” to describe these areas in her Edglands essay from 2002, where she eloquently describes and defines them and considers how they are often overlooked by society:

    “Britain’s towns and cities do not usually sit cheek by jowl with its countryside, as we often casually assume. Between urban and rural stands a kind of landscape quite different from either. Often vast in area, though hardly noticed, it is characterised by rubbish tips and warehouses, superstores and derelict industrial plant,office parks and gypsy encampments, golf courses, allotments and fragmented, frequently scruffy, farmland. All these heterogeneous elements are arranged in an unruly and often apparently chaotic fashion against a background of unkempt wasteland frequently swathed in riotous growths of colourful plants, both native and exotic… Huge numbers of people now spend much of their time living, working or moving within or through it. Yet for most of us, most of the time, this mysterious no man’s land passes unnoticed: in our imaginations, as opposed to our actual lives, it barely exists… As we ash past its seemingly meaningless contours in train, car or bus we somehow fail to register it on our retinas.””

    The Unofficial Countryside-Richard Mabey-original edition and Littler Toller edition

    “In a continuum from Marion Shoard’s observations, an extensive body of literature and creative work exists which has focused on these hinterlands. One of the early and most renowned documents or celebrations of such overlooked, often unloved parts of our world was Richard Mabey’s The Unofficial Countryside book, originally published in 1973 (and reissued in 2010 by Little Toller Books, who specialise in work which takes in a gentle flipside of rural, pastoral and landscape concerns).”

    UNOFFICIAL COUNTRYSIDE-richard mabey-television program film still-1975
    (Above: image from a 1975 television programme also called The Unofficial Countryside, which featured Richard Mabey.)

    “The Unofficial Countryside records Richard Mabey’s explorations and wanderings through edgeland areas and the natural world, which has made a home in places that had previously often been considered inauspicious for plants and wildlife such as inner city car parks, gravel pits and rubbish tips.

    Rather than being purely a natural history document, within the book he also proposes another way of seeing and experiencing nature during our daily lives, whether wild flowers glimpsed from a commuter train, fox cubs playing on a motorway fringe or a kestrel hawking above a public park.”

    Edgelands-Paul-Farley-and-Michael-Symmons Roberts-hardback and paperback books

    “Edgelands – Journeys into England’s True Wilderness is a 2012 book by Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts and is a literary, poetic exploration of such areas, in which the authors document their travels, personal memories and connections to these transitional landscapes, taking in along the way childhood dens, container ports, wastelands, ruins, mines and the endpoints for society’s automobiles.”

    Karl Hyde-Edgeland-CD-Kieran Evans-The Outer Edges-film-stroke

    Karl Hyde-Kieran Evans-Edgeland-Outer Edges-A Year In The Country 4

    “In a more audiovisual manner the film, music and photography project by Karl Hyde and Kieran Evans’ Edgeland/The Outer Edges presents a psychogeographic expressive, creative and documentary wandering through what feel like semi-uncharted lands and lives, ones which are overlooked, strewn with debris and contain a faded battered beauty amongst the mixture of nature and pylons.”

    Edward-Chell-Soft-Estate-Bluecoat-Cornerhouse-book cover and 2 other images

    “Edward Chell’s 2013 Soft Estate also makes use of multiple forms, including a book, traditional gallery exhibiting and what are effectively returning to their source installations. It takes as its subject matter such edgeland places when they are found at the side of motorways.

    The phrase soft estate refers to the description given by the UK Highways Agency to the natural habitat that the motorways and trunk roads it manages occupy; an often unstopped-on hinterland that most of us only view as a high-speed blur from the corner of our eyes as we travel past these autobahn edgelands.”

    laser-etched stainless steel, 3D work by Edward Chell

    “Soft Estate interacts with and documents these verges and landscapes, sometimes in a quite literal sense as some of the work is printed using road dust from such places, other work uses (presumably) engine oil, features plant life illustrations from these verges laser etched onto brightly chromed exhaust pipes or uses the same materials and colours as road signs.”

    Edward-Chell-Soft-Estate-Bluecoat-Cornerhouse-3 artworks

    “In (Edward Chell’s) paintings of the tubing which protects sapling trees (many millions of which have been planted on such lands), the mind’s eye sees them rather as gravestones…

    Indeed there is a ghostly, spectral quality to these paintings; they have a hauntological aspect in that although they are created in contemporary times, they also seem like documents of modernity’s future and past.”

    Edward-Chell-Soft-Estate-Bluecoat-Cornerhouse-Little Chef-cafe

    “Intriguingly, some of Edward Chell’s work has been installed in Little Chefs, which are British roadside family cafes/restaurants.

    For many British children, these provided a first taste of what are now regarded as American-style burgers and fries…

    On now-rare sightings of Little Chefs, they feel like endangered species: a quaint remnant of times gone by before the ubiquity of transnational chains and the utilitarian installations of motorway service stations.

    It brings a smile to think of Edward Chell’s work in them, which seems like an apposite, humorous coming together of cultures.”

     

    Online images to accompany Chapter 18 of the A Year In The Country: Wandering Through Spectral Fields book, alongside some text extracts from the chapter:

    Details of the A Year In The Country: Wandering Through Spectral Fields book and the collection of its accompanying online images can be found at the Book’s Page, which will be added to throughout the year.

     

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  • A Year In The Country at Late Junction with Verity Sharp – Archived at BBC Radio 3

    AYITC image and Late Junction

    As I mentioned yesterday, last night on 1st May 2018 I was on BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction, discussing with Verity Sharp various A Year In The Country related themes, inspirations etc, taking in a fair few hauntological and “otherly pastoral” sights along the way.

    The Advisory Circle-Jon Brooks-Ghost Box RecordsGather In The Mushrooms-Bob Stanley-The British Acid Folk Underground-album-A Year In The CountryThe Duke of Burgundy-Cats Eyes

    As part of that I chose and discussed several tracks:

    1) The unsettled, swirling seasons of The Advisory Circle’s And The Cuckoo Comes from Mind How You Go, an early Ghost Box Records release.

    2) The “dreaming strands of nightmare” and folk reimaginings of Trader Horne’s Morning Way, from their eponymous album, as also featured on the compilation Gather in the Mushrooms: The British Acid Folk Underground 1968-1974 (compiled by Bob Stanley).

    3) Cat’s Eyes’ hazily dream like track The Duke of Burgundy, from the soundtrack to Peter Strickland’s film of the same name, which evokes a playful yet darkly hued European never-never hinterland.

    The Hare And The Moon-2009 album cover art-Reverb Worship-May Day-1px strokethe-forest-the-wald-weekly-track-03-the-hare-and-the-moon-a-year-in-the-country-bcA Coat Worth Wearing-Neil McSweeney

    The opening track for the show was sometimes A Year In The Country contributors and “now as ghosts” The Hare And The Moon’s track May Day and its somewhat foreboding, almost trancelike atmosphere and ended with Neil McSweeney’s paean to the mythical land of Cockaigne and its easing of burdens, which was a fine way to top and tail midnight.

    (Cockaigne is a land of plenty in medieval myth, an imaginary place of extreme luxury and ease where physical comforts and pleasures are always immediately at hand and where the harshness of medieval peasant life does not exist.)

    If you should fancy a listen and a wander through related “spectral fields”, last night’s show is now archived and can be listened to for the next 30 days at the BBC’s website, their iPlayer Radio app etc.

    My main section begins around 34 minutes in but he whole show is well worth a listen.

    Visit the episode here.

    BBC-vintage logo-plus Late Junction Radio 3 logo-higher contrast

    If you should not know of Late Junction, it is a BBC Radio 3 programme with a wide-ranging and eclectic ear and remit.

    Alasdair Roberts-James Green-Plaint of Lapwing-album cover art-Clay Pipe MusicSuzanne Ciani-Buchla Concerts-1975-Finders Keepers Records-album cover artChildren of Alice-album cover art-Warp Records-James Cargill-Julian House-Roj

    Generally Radio 3 is classical music orientated but on Late Junction things wander widely across the musical landscape, both in its selection of tracks, guests and episode’s themes – previous shows have included mixtapes by Jim O’Rourke, Alasdair Roberts, Cornelius, Suzanne Ciani, James Cargill of Broadcast / Children of Alice and Jenny Hval, to mention just a few.

    Penny Slinger-Out of the Shadows-Richard Kovitch-Front & Follow-Psychological Strategy Board-Time Attendant-Maybury-1-1px

    The show has a rotating set of presenters; Max Reinhardt, Fiona Talkington, Nick Luscombe and Verity Sharp and the tracks they play have included the likes of Japanese acid-folk, kalimba players in Zambia, multiphonic throat singing, the sounds of a cult French cartoon, a smoky fractured electronic torch song, a celebration of artist Penny Slinger, music new and ancient… (and sometimes tracks from the various A Year In The Country releases).

    I think this quote from the BBC’s website describing one particular episode sums things up well:

    “Verity Sharp goes on as many sonic adventures as possible within 90 minutes.”

    Well worth a wander and explore; which is what the show is at heart – a musical exploration and wandering.

    Which just leaves me to say thanks again to Verity Sharp for inviting me on the show and to Rebecca Gaskell for the dab hand production duties.

    Image E3-A Year In The Country

    Elsewhere:
    A Year In The Country / Stephen Prince at Late Junction, with Verity Sharp
    The Advisory Circle’s And The Cuckoo Comes at Ghost Box Records
    The reissue of Trader Horne’s Morning Way at Judy Dyble’s site
    Cat’s Eyes The Duke of Burgundy: on CD at Milan records and on vinyl at Cat’s Eyes own site
    The Hare And The Moon’s May Day, on their eponymous 2009 album, originally released on Reverb Worship
    Neil McSweeney’s Land of Cockaigne from A Coat Worth Wearing
    Verity Sharp at Twitter

    Elsewhere at A Year In The Country:
    1) Day #3/365: Gather In The Mushrooms: something of a starting point via an accidental stumbling into the British acid folk underground (and I expect a fair few other places around these parts)
    2) Day #52/365: The Advisory Circle and ornithological intrigueries…
    3) Week #1/52: The Duke Of Burgundy and Mesmerisation…
    4) A Whisper In The Woods by The Hare and The Moon, from The Forest / The Wald
    5) Audio Visual Transmission Guide #23/52a: The Viewing Portals of Children Of Alice
    6) Penny Slinger – Out of the Shadows and Life and Work Brought Back from the Edges of Things / Psychological Strategy Board: Wanderings, Explorations and Signposts 18/52
    7) A Year In The Country at Late Junction with Verity Sharp, BBC Radio 3 – Part 1 – Tonight 1st May 2018
    8) The A Year In The Country: Wandering Through Spectral Fields book

    (Which seems to have turned into a fair few signposts to places around these parts and elsewhere…)

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  • A Year In The Country at Late Junction with Verity Sharp – BBC Radio 3, Tonight 1st May 2018

    Image E3-A Year In The Country

    If you’re something of a night owl and should fancy a listen I shall be talking with Verity Sharp about various A Year In The Country related subjects on Late Junction, broadcast on BBC Radio 3 at 11pm tonight – 1st May 2018.

    The show will be broadcast live via FM, DAB and online and will be available to listen via the BBC’s website/app shortly afterwards.

    The Late Junction-BBC Radio 3-logo

    I’ll be posting more details of the show soon-ish but in the meantime it can be found at its Late Junction webpage.

    Thanks and a tip of the hat to Verity Sharp and Rebecca Gaskell for inviting me on the show, much appreciated.

     

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  • The A Year In The Country: Wandering Through Spectral Fields Book at the Ghost Box Guest Shop

    A Year In The Country book-Stephen Prince-Ghost Box Guest Shop

    The A Year In The Country: Wandering Through Spectral Fields book is now available at the Ghost Box Guest Shop, where it can be found in the fine company of previous guests including Moon Wiring Club, Howlround, Folklore Tapes, Keith Seatman, Jon Brooks, Children of Alice, The Hardy Tree, Alasdair Roberts, Assembled Minds, Listening Center, The Memory Band and previous guest appearances by various A Year In The Country albums.

    Accompanying notes on the book’s arrival at the Guest Shop can also be found at Ghost Box’s local online newsletter The Belbury Parish Magazine.

    Thanks and a tip of the hat to Jim Jupp and Julian House.

    BJ outerART.indd Ways of Seeing-The Advisory Circle-Jon Brooks-Ghost Box Records-album cover art The Belbury Tales-Belbury Poly-Ghost Box Records-album cover art

    If you should not know of Ghost Box Records, it is:

    “…a record label for a group of artists exploring the misremembered musical history of a parallel world. A world of TV soundtracks, vintage electronics, folk song, psychedelia, ghostly pop, supernatural stories and folklore.

    The parallel world it creates and conjures up is well worth a visit and wander around.

     

    Elsewhere:
    A Year In The Country: Wandering Through Spectral Fields at the Ghost Box Guest Shop
    And at The Belbury Parish Magazine
    Ghost Box Record’s site

    Elsewhere at A Year In The Country:
    1) The book’s page
    2) Ghost Box Records – Parallel Worlds, Conjuring Spectral Memories, Magic Old and New and Slipstream Trips to the Panda Pops Disco: Chapter 5 Book Images

     

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  • Penny Slinger – Out of the Shadows and Life and Work Brought Back from the Edges of Things / Psychological Strategy Board: Wanderings, Explorations and Signposts 18/52

    Penny Slinger-Out of the Shadows-Richard Kovitch-Front & Follow-Psychological Strategy Board-Time Attendant-Maybury-1-1px

    Penny Slinger: Out of the Shadows is a documentary film directed by Richard Kovitch which focuses on a particular section of the life and work of artist and writer Penny Slinger, who achieved a considerable degree of recognition and even notoriety for her work in the 1960s and 1970s but who by the 1980s in terms of the art world had largely disappeared from view – although more recently her work has been rediscovered.

    (In a different area of work she had considerable success as an author, with her books in multiple translations going on to sell a million or more copies.)

    Penny Slinger-Out of the Shadows-Richard Kovitch-Front & Follow-Psychological Strategy Board-Time Attendant-Maybury-4

    She collaborated with filmmakers included Peter Whitehead, Jack Bond and Jane Arden and created a body of work which often utilised collage and images of herself, some of which was published in the books 50% The Visible Woman (1971) and An Exorcism (1970).

    Initially in the documentary when focusing on her 1960s work and Swinging London there is a playful sense of youthful exploration, albeit tinged with darker undercurrents but as the documentary progresses that darkness becomes more overt and much of the work shown and elements of the background to its creation are intriguing, often entrancing to the viewer but also deeply and darkly unsettling – which is a description that could well be applied to the documentary itself.

    Penny Slinger-Out of the Shadows-Richard Kovitch-Front & Follow-Psychological Strategy Board-Time Attendant-Maybury-6

    Aside from the overtly more transgressive, sexual and shocking elements the collages seem to contain an underlying atmosphere which also unsettles the viewer and may be due to the way in which it seems to explore subconscious archetypes:

    “A primitive mental image inherited from the earliest human ancestors, and supposed to be present in the collective unconsciousness.” (Dictionary definition of archetypes.)

    Penny Slinger-Out of the Shadows-Richard Kovitch-Front & Follow-Psychological Strategy Board-Time Attendant-Maybury-5

    Penny Slinger’s work often stages darkly psycho-sexual dramas that are anything but “sexy” or titillating in a conventional manner.

    In the sense of crossing the thresholds of taboos, of a life and creative work lived and created on the edges of things, Penny Slinger’s use of herself in her collages and the sexual nature of the images in her work appears to both prefigure and parallel Cosey Fanni Tutti’s.

    As with some of Cosey Fanni Tutti’s earlier visual work, viewed now much of Penny Slinger’s collage based work still appears shocking and transgressive (albeit in a thought-provoking rather than shock for shock’s sake manner).

    Penny Slinger-Out of the Shadows-Richard Kovitch-Front & Follow-Psychological Strategy Board-Time Attendant-Maybury-3

    Penny Slinger made the film Lilford Hall (1969) in collaboration with Peter Whitehead, which was shot in a deserted rural manor house and much of her collage work also appears to have been shot at the same/a similar location.

    Penny Slinger’s work was decidedly not purely fashion orientated but she had a striking visual presence which was accompanied by an awareness and use of the aesthetics of clothing and style within her work.

    Comparisons could be made and connections drawn between Penny Slinger’s work and that of photographer Deborah Turbeville’s fashion work from the 1970s, which often used not dissimilar locations and an associated sense of faded grandeur, crumbling texturality and as with Penny Slinger’s work invoke the sense that the viewer is looking in on (or even intruding on) a dream.

    Penny Slinger-Out of the Shadows-Richard Kovitch-Front & Follow-Psychological Strategy Board-Time Attendant-Maybury-8

    The soundtrack to the documentary was created by Psychological Strategy Board, which is Paul Snowdon (Time Attendant) and Maybury and is released by Front & Follow.

    This perfectly compliments the film and in itself is an immersive experience; heard in conjunction with Out of the Shadows its ominous drones and often disquieting atmosphere put me in mind of some lost and forgotten early black and white David Cronenberg film, while the likes of The Synthetic Profile from the soundtrack also brings to mind a more ambient, shadowed in the distance of awareness take on the industrial explorations of earlier Einstürzende Neubauten.

    Penny Slinger-Out of the Shadows-Richard Kovitch-Front & Follow-Psychological Strategy Board-Time Attendant-Maybury-2

    Elsewhere:
    Penny Slinger: Out of the Shadows
    Penny Slinger’s site
    The sountrack by Psychological Strategy Board – released by Front & Follow

    Elsewhere at A Year In The Country:
    Day #29/365: Alison Goldfrapp – Performer As Curator and a wander through crumbling textures
    Day #44/365: Katie Jane Garside, Ruby Throat and delicate artifacts
    Week #28/52: Symptoms and gothic bucolia
    Week #46/52: Midnight Movies, (re)findings, crumbling textures and a certain geometric otherlyness…

     

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  • Image AA/17

    Image-AA17-A-Year-In-The-Country-Year-4-image-journeys-in-otherly-pastoralism-the-outer-reaches-of-folk-and-the-parallel-worlds-of-hauntology

    File under: A Year In The Country ocular explorations

     

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  • The Quietened Bunker, Waiting for the End of the World, Subterranea Britannica, Bunker Archaeology and The Delaware Road – Ghosts, Havens and Curious Repurposings Beneath our Feet: Chapter 17 Book Images

    Kelvedon Hatch-decommissioned-museum

    “Abandoned and decommissioned bunkers are a subsection of utilitarian brutalist architecture that has come to gain totemic significance and to have a form of romance attached to them.

    This can take a hauntological form where Cold War bunkers in particular have come to represent and be symbols of the spectres of history.

    This connects with a central defining tenet of hauntological strands of interest: explorations of and fascinations with lost futures and areas of culture, artifacts, buildings, institutions etc. which are imprinted with spectres of those lost histories.

    In this sense such bunkers are physical embodiments of the (thankfully) lost futures of end of days conflicts: the unsettling and disquieting counterpart to social and municipal brutalist buildings from a similar epoch and the yearning for lost progressive utopian futures that they can represent…

    (They can be) a somewhat spectral reminder of the Cold War, in both a hauntological and fear-instilling manner.

    Or as writer, illustrator and designer John Coulthart has said bunkers are:

    “…a source of contemporary horror that doesn’t require any supernatural component to chill the blood.””

    The Quietened Bunker-Night and Dawn Editions-release date-A Year In The Country-2

    “Connected to (their) sense of futility or delusional projections of their effectiveness, in 2014 as part of A Year In The Country a themed album called The Quietened Bunker was released.

    This featured work by Keith Seatman, Grey Frequency, A Year In The Country, Panabrite, Polypores, Listening Center, Time Attendant, Unknown Heretic and David Colohan and interpreted the album’s theme via recordings that included field recording subterranean ambience, paranoid industrial distortion, Radiophonic inflected electronica and elegiac end of days sequences.

    (The following is an edited selection of the accompanying notes for the album):

    “The Quietened Bunker is an exploration of the abandoned and/or decommissioned Cold War installations which lie under the land and that would have acted as selectively populated refuges/control centres if the button was ever pushed.

    These bunkers could be seen as once modern fortresses – reinforced concrete and blast doors replacing moats and stone battlements…

    Now it can all seem like a dream from another world, one where for a number of decades populations lived under the day-to-day threat of total annihilation and where millions was spent on this network of shelters and defences; preparations to allow fiddling once all had burned, such bunkers possibly being nearer to utilitarian national follies than fortresses – indeed, today they are as likely to be signposted tourist attractions as operative defences…”

    Richard-Ross-Waiting-For-The-End-Of-The-World-bunkers-photographs and cover   

    “(The Quietened Bunker) is part of a lineage of work that explores, is inspired by and documents bunkers, shelters and related infrastructure.

    The book Waiting for the End of the World by Richard Ross published in 2004 is part of this lineage. It contains photographs of active and decommissioned bunkers and shelters around the world, both those built by governmental/military organisations and by private individuals.

    One intriguing thing about some of the photographs of domestic shelters are the details of the way they have been made to feel homely and the amount of aesthetic consideration often given to their entrances, in the face of and opposition to what their occupants would be faced with if their intended purpose was ever called upon…

    (Richard Ross) found a sense of hope and optimism in their repurposing as clubs in St. Petersburg, Russia and how these have become places where people go to celebrate life rather than anticipate destruction.”

      Subterranea Britannica-Cold War Bunkers-Nick Catford-The Royal Observer Corps Underground Monitoring Posts-Mark Dalton-logo and books

    “Other photography-based work which explores such buildings and installations is more strictly documentary in nature, in particular that done by the British based Subterranea Britannica society. Subterranea Britannica’s members:

    “…study and investigate man-made and man-used underground places – from mines to railway tunnels, military defences to nuclear bunkers and everything in between.”

    They have published a number of comprehensive books featuring bunker-related work, including Nick Catford’s Cold War Bunkers (2010) and Mark Dalton’s The Royal Observer Corps Underground Monitoring Posts (2011)…

    Via its publishing activities, the collecting of archival material and photographs and notes from exploratory expeditions to locations by members which are viewable on its website, the society’s work represents a comprehensive mapping of these often once secret or inaccessible to the public places and infrastructure networks.”

    Paul Virilio-Bunker Archaeology-Princeton Architectural Press-A Year In The Country-2b Paul Virilio-Bunker Archaeology-Princeton Architectural Press-A Year In The Country-3b

    Paul Virilio-Bunker Archaeology-Princeton Architectural Press-A Year In The Country-4b Paul Virilio-Bunker Archaeology-Princeton Architectural Press-A Year In The Country-1 

    “A predecessor to the above Cold War bunker related lineage of work is Paul Virilio’s book Bunker Archaeology, originally published in a French edition in 1975.

    This collects his photography and writing on the abandoned World War II German bunkers and related installations that lie along the coast of France.

    Along with their Cold War counterparts, these could also be filed as a form of brutalist architecture as they share a number of similarities in terms of the materials used and their aesthetics.”

    Soviet-Bus-Stops-Christopher-Herwig-Fuel-book cover and photographs

    Jan-Kempenaers-Spomenik-photographs

    “Viewed now they seem to almost be a form of accidental utilitarian art: something they share with the likes of similarly appreciated pragmatic constructions such as telegraph poles, pylons, Soviet era bus stops or even library music.

    Although they were created with a very practical intent, looking at them now they seem nearer to monuments or tributes, reminsicent of the Cold War era Spomenik memorials that Jan Kempenaers photographed and which are collected in his 2010 book of the same name.”

     Planet of the Apes-1968-ending

    “With the structures in Bunker Archaeology, whatever their original intents, viewing them today they could be artifacts from an almost science fiction-esque future that never was, a form of hauntology possibly but one that steps aside from or precedes many of the more often referred to British cultural history related tropes.”

    (The original Planet of the Apes film from 1968 swims into view with its mingling of crashed future/past visitors and part-buried monuments to mankind’s folly.)” 

    The Delaware Road event-July 28th 2017-1bThe Delaware Road At Kelvedon Hatch-Map and Guid Booklet-Buried Treasure

    Kelvedon Hatch-bunker museum-The Delaware Road event

    (Decommissioned bunkers are even) available to hire for events: one such of which is The Delaware Road event organised by record label Buried Treasure in 2017 and which accompanies their themed album of the same name.

    This event was deeply interconnected with hauntological themes and tropes, featuring a number of performers whose work has been to various degrees linked with such areas of work including Dolly Dolly, Howlround, Radionics Radio, Ian Helliwell and Saunders & Hill.

    It was described as an immersive mix of theatre, film and live music and some of the notes that accompany the event are reproduced below:

    “The Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker at Kelvedon Hatch, in the Borough of Brentwood in the English county of Essex, is a large underground bunker maintained during the cold war as a potential regional government headquarters. Since being decommissioned in 1992, the bunker has been open to the public as a tourist attraction, with a museum focusing on its cold war history…”

    “This special performance takes place deep underground in a nuclear bunker, hidden in remote Essex woodland. The audience is free to explore the secret, cold war facilities where they will encounter a host of performers, experimental artists & musicians.”

    As with some of the bunkers in Waiting for the End of the World which have come to be used as clubs, this is a repurposing of such structures for entertainment or cultural purposes, albeit in this case a form of cultural exploration which explicitly refers to and explores the history of them rather than being more strictly hedonistic socialising and abandonment.”

     The Quietened Bunker-secret bunker tourist road signs-A Year In The Country-2The Quietened Bunker-secret bunker tourist road signs-A Year In The Country

    “Returning more directly to the heritage and tourist industry repurposing of such installations, on British roads you can find official road signs that direct you towards the tourist destination of a “Secret Nuclear Bunker”, often appearing on the same sign as one which also points drivers to an industrial estate and various towns.

    Viewing these signs may bring kind of mental disconnect – a mixture of disbelief, humour and relief that we are no longer living in a political situation where these bunkers are considered necessary and possibly a touch of sadness, anger and grief for us having once done so.

    In part this disconnect is due to the very Britishness of names like Chipping Ongar and Chigwell that the road signs also point to.”

    The Quietened Bunker-For Sale-A Year In The Country 

    “Accompanying and interconnected with such road signs are the estate agent signs for when a decommissioned bunker has been made available for sale; the hoardings name the property for sale as a nuclear bunker and list its square footage and acreage of land.

    Begging the question: is this a buyer’s or a seller’s market?

    There is scarcity value to the property but presumably only a very limited number of potential buyers and allowable uses (data storage seems to be one such usage that is mentioned on these boards).

    It would be interesting to see whether these installations are listed on general commercial property websites, so that your search results might bring up a warehouse for rent, listed as having plenty of onsite parking and then a former secret nuclear bunker listed as razor wire and emergency air filtration system included.”

     

    Online images to accompany Chapter 17 of the A Year In The Country: Wandering Through Spectral Fields book, alongside some text extracts from the chapter:

    Details of the A Year In The Country: Wandering Through Spectral Fields book and the collection of its accompanying online images can be found at the Book’s Page, which will be added to throughout the year.

     

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  • Audio Albion – Album Preorder and Release Dates

    Audio Albion-Album cover art-A Year In The Country

    Album preorder available 15th May 2018. Released 29th May 2018.

    Audio Albion is a music and field recording map of Britain, which focuses on rural and edgeland areas.

    Each track contains field recordings from locations throughout the land and is accompanied by notes on the recordings by the contributors.

    The tracks record the sounds found and heard when wandering down pathways, over fields, through marshes, alongside rivers, down into caves and caverns, climbing hills, along coastlands, through remote mountain forestland, amongst the faded signs of industry and infrastructure and its discarded debris.

    Intertwined with the literal recording of locations, the album explores the history, myths and beliefs of the places, their atmospheres and undercurrents, personal and cultural connections – the layered stories that lie amongst, alongside and beneath the earth, plants and wildlife.

    Featuring work by:
    Bare Bones
    David Colohan
    Grey Frequency
    Field Lines Cartographer
    Howlround
    A Year In The Country
    Keith Seatman
    Magpahi
    Sproatly Smith
    Widow’s Weeds (The Hare And The Moon)
    Time Attendant
    Spaceship
    Pulselovers
    The Heartwood Institute
    Vic Mars

     

    Preorders will be available at our Artifacts Shop and  Bandcamp.

     

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  • David Peace, Texte und Töne, The Stink Still Here and Spectres from Transitional Times – Part 2: Wanderings, Explorations and Signposts 17/52

    The Stink Still Here-David Peace-Paul Myerscough-Text und Tone-cover

    In Part 1 of this post (which can be read here) I wrote about The Stink Still Here, a booklet published by Texte und Töne, which records an extended conversation between author David Peace and London Review of Books editior Paul Myerscough concerning the 1984-1985 Miner’s Strike in Britain…

    Sky-1975 TV series-A Year In The Country

    Previously at A Year In The Country I have talked about how in some ways television broadcasts etc from pre-1979, when Margaret Thatcher and her right-leaning/neo-liberal government were elected, can be seen as being somehow “imbued with an antideluvian quality, they are now broadcasts or remnants from an ‘other’ time” – essentially seeing 1979 as a tipping point in society, its directions, aims, politics, economics etc towards a more free market, individualistic stance.

    However, since then rather than such a markedly defined tipping point, I have wandered if rather it was the start of a transitional or liminal period and for a while at least rearguard actions from older, progressive/social consensus ways of thinking.

    The Miner’s Strike could be seen as part of that period of transition and the resulting conflicts or as David Peace says in The Stink Still Here:

    “…people often talk about 1979 and the election of Margaret Thatcher as a sea-change. But these things rarely take place overnight. And I still think her re-election in 1983 represents the clearest marker of how far things had changed. And of what was to come…”

    Hence “the Year is Zero” from GB84, with the Miner’s Strike being a marked tipping point or ground zero ending of the older ways in terms of history.

    Shoulder To Shoulder-Test Dept-South Wales Striking Miners Choir-vinyl LP cover art and labels

    The Stink Still Here is available in a limited edition of 100 copies and it was produced to accompany a day long series of screenings and talks that took place in New York in 2015 which were intended to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Strike, which was organised by the Colloquium for Unpopular Culture.

    The screenings included a film about industrial band Test Dept and their work around the Miner’s Strike, during which they toured and recorded and album with South Wales Striking Miner’s Choir, both of which raised funds for the Strike.

    Jeremy Deller-The Battle of Orgreave-Mike Figgis-Artangel

    The Battle of Orgreave was also shown which documented the Jeremy Deller instigated re-enactment (also mentioned in Part I of the posts about The Stink Still Here), in which miners and police who had been involved in the Strike alongside re-enaction enthusiasts recreated one of the turning point and most notorious conflicts of the Strike.

    The event also included a showing of the BFI released The Miner’s Campaign Tapes in which independent film and video makers documented the conflict, plus the also BFI released The Miners’ Hymn collage based film by Bill Morrison, with music by Jóhann Jóhannsson, which Nick Bradshaw has written the following about at the BFI’s website:

    “Bill Morrison’s archive collage film The Miners’ Hymns, an elegiac testament to the lost industrial culture of the Durham coalfields, takes in sweeping helicopter shots, lunar-esque landscapes and pitched battles with police cavalry… It features shades of action movie, industrial noir and zombie sci-fi, but true to the Decasia director’s signature work it’s also a dialogue with the ghosts of the past, those of workers and communities now permanently lain beneath Durham’s remodelled landscape, yet here exhumed on film.”

    The Miners Hymns-Bill Morrison-Jóhann Jóhannsson-The Miners Campaign Tapes-BFI

    And talking of ghosts of the past:

    Two of the defining aspects of hauntology is a collective mourning or melancholia for the times before the flood and related lost futures (in a socially progressive sense), alongside the present being haunted by spectres of its past.

    Considering the above, GB84 could be seen as an “occult” and “hauntological” take on the Miner’s Strike but rather than being more overtly a mourning or melancholic take on related potential lost futures, it is possibly more a roar of outrage, rage and memory – or as Texte und Töne themselves say at their site about the Strike, it is a view of the conflict as an “open wound”.

    The Stink Still Here-David Peace-Paul Myerscough-Text und Tone-page spread

    Elsewhere:
    Texte und Töne
    Nick Bradshaw on The Miner’s Hymns at the BFI’s site
    The Stink Still Here event and poster at Test Dept’s site
    Shoulder to Shoulder at Test Dept’s site
    The Fuel to Fight tshirt
    The archived details of The Stink Still Here: The Miner’s Strike on Film event
    GB84
    The Battle of Orgreave: at ArtangelThe film
    The Miner’s Campaign Tapes: at the BFI / Watch online

    Elsewhere at A Year In The Country:
    1) Day #15/365. The Twilight Language Of Nigel Kneale
    2) Day #183/365: Steam engine time and remnants of transmissions before the flood
    3) Wanderings, Explorations and Signposts 7/52: In The Morning I’ll Be Gone, Orkney Twilight, GB84 and Edge of Darkness – Hinterland Tales Of Myths, Dark Forces and Hidden Histories
    4) Wanderings, Explorations and Signposts 16/52: David Peace, Texte und Töne, The Stink Still Here and Spectres from Transitional Times – Part 1

     

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    Image-AA16-A-Year-In-The-Country-Year-4-image-journeys-in-otherly-pastoralism-the-outer-reaches-of-folk-and-the-parallel-worlds-of-hauntology

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  • Kill List, Puffball, In the Dark Half and Butter on the Latch – Folk Horror Descendants by Way of the Kitchen Sink: Chapter 16 Book Images

    Kill List-Ben Wheatley-A Year In The Country-2Kill List

    “…folk horror is a film genre which as a cultural strand has created ever-growing reverberations and led to and/or inspired more recent work.

    One such piece of work is Ben Wheatley’s thoroughly unsettling film Kill List from 2011. As a film it is an intriguing, fascinating, inspiring piece of work. An online discussion about the film said “some pieces of culture are the thing that they purport to be about”; this is a film about evil.

    Visually, if not thematically, it shares similarities with the grittier side of social realism British cinema. For a large part the world it represents, although about the lives of somewhat shady mercenaries, is presented in an every day, social realist, kitchen sink manner.”

    Kill List-Ben Wheatley-still-2

    Kill List-film-Ben Wheatley-mirrorKill List-Ben Wheatley-A Year In The Country-4

    “It does not feel like an esoteric otherly world, at least initially; people are shown having dinner, a couple argues about money and so forth. But something else lurks and creeps in; a symbol is scratched behind a mirror, a descent begins and the mercenaries are drawn into an arcane, hidden world and system.

    In many ways the film feels like a sequel to 1973’s The Wicker Man, or at least of its direct lineage or spirit, exploring the themes of that film but through a modern day filter of a corruption that feels total and also curiously banal; there is a sense of occult machinations and organisations but also of just doing a job, of the minutiae of it all…

    The film utilises tropes from more recent horror and possibly voyeuristic exploitational film but seems to layer and underpin this with what psychogeographic thought has called “the hidden landscape of atmospheres, histories, actions and characters which charge environments”: occult in both the literal and root meaning of hidden.”

     Adam Scovell-Folk Horror-Hours Dreadful and Things Strange-Auteur-book coverThe Wicker Man-1973-film still-statueQueens of Evil-1970-Le Regine-A Year In The Country 6

    “Continuing on from Kill List, kitchen sink or realist folk horror is a description that could be applied to other films such as Josephine Decker’s Butter on the Latch (2013), Alastair Siddons In the Dark Half (2011) and Nicholas Roeg’s Puffball (2007).

    These films take some of the recurring themes of folk horror (precised by Adam Scovell, author of the 2017 book Folk Horror: Hours Dreadful and Things Strange, as featuring landscape, isolation, skewed moral beliefs and a happening or summoning) but which strip away some of the more fantastical presentation and sometimes stylisation that can be found in The Wicker Man or 1970’s Queens of Evil and utilise a more “rooted in the real world” approach.”

    Puffball-Nicolas-Roeg-2007-625px wide

     Kate Bush-Aerial-A Sky of Honey-vinyl label-side aGrand Designs-television series-logo titleEnglands Hidden Reverse-David Keenan book-Coil-Current 93-Nurse With Wound-b

    “Puffball is… set in a remote part of the countryside, it is a television-esque kitchen sink folk horror film that mixes Grand Designs with the music of Kate Bush and England’s Hidden Reverse.

    (Grand Designs is a long-running British television series that documents people spending often large sums of money custom building unusual homes for themselves and their families, England’s Hidden Reverse is a 2003 book by David Keenan that focuses on the work and music of Coil, Current 93 and Nurse With Wound and posits the idea that they represent the real English cultural underground. The soundtrack to Puffball features Coil and Nurse With Wound, with the music to the film all sinister portents and drones that veers upwards and outwards, venturing into more normal climes and back again.)

    In the film new age-ish imagery intermingles with “are-they-real or not?” folkloric and witchery shenanigans, tales of fertility battles, fertility ending with ageing and the slick yuppie-like outsiders gutting and rebuilding a cottage that was previously the site for intense local loss in a possibly inappropriately modern, minimalist, over-angled style.

    In some ways it feels like the story of the old ways battling with the new: of the arrogance of money and man trying to push out the mud and nature of the land.”

    Robin Redbreast-A Year In The Country-BFI DVD-1970-Play For TodayRobin Redbreast-A Year In The Country-BFI DVD-1970-5Robin Redbreast-A Year In The Country-BFI DVD-1970-4

    “(Robin Redbreast) is reminiscent of the Play for Today television drama Robin Redbreast from 1970 in the sense of the entrapping of an outsider in fertility rites and rituals and the use of a slightly simple man of the land for those ends.

    Puffball adds a graphic, almost dissolute sexuality to that realism. This is not an easy film in parts: it is both unsettled and unsettling in various ways.”

     The Wicker Man and Dont Look Now-double bill adverts

    “As an aside, (Puffball) is loosely connected back to early 1970s folk horror by the appearance of Donald Sutherland, and being directed by Nicolas Roeg, it is but a hop, skip and jump from them to The Wicker Man via Nicolas Roeg’s 1973 film Don’t Look Now, in which Donald Sutherland stars and which was released cinematically as part of a double bill with The Wicker Man.”

     Puffball-Nicolas Roeg-2007-A Year In The Country-4 Puffball-Nicolas Roeg-2007-A Year In The Country-2

    Rita Tushingham-A Taste of Honey-film still

    “Further connecting Puffball to kitchen sink, the film also features the bird-like late beauty and fascinating screen presence of Rita Tushingham, who appeared in A Taste of Honey (1961), which is known as one of the classic 1960s kitchen sink/British new wave films; here she is all staring eyes and grasping country ways.”

    Kate Bush-Aerial-album cover artCloudbusting-Kate Bush-A Year In The Country

    The Red Shoes-Kate Bush-album cover artthe lines the cross & the curve-kate bush-miranda richardson-laserdisc cover 

    “Throughout the film Kate Bush’s song “Prelude” from her 2005 album Aerial, which features the angelic voice of her son accompanying her piano playing, appears and reappears, interconnecting the themes of the film and its stories of progeny to come and those lost.

    Puffball is also further connected to Kate Bush’s work through two of its actors: Donald Sutherland appeared in the video for her 1985 single “Cloudbusting”, while one of the film’s lead actors is Miranda Richardson, who was also one of the main cast members in Kate Bush’s The Line, the Cross & the Curve film which accompanied her Red Shoes album from 1994.”

     Puffball-Nicolas Roeg-2007-A Year In The Country-3

    The Company of Wolves-film still

    “(Puffball) also has the more exploitation friendly title The Devil’s Eyeball (puffballs are large round white fungi, also known by this other name). The imagery which accompanies The Devil’s Eyeball version of the DVD release makes the film look nearer to a cheap b-movie, teenage friendly take on say the 1984 gothic fantasy-horror film The Company of Wolves, which is in part an adult take on the fairy story Little Red Riding Hood and could be considered an early example of folk horror with its tales of deceitful ravenous wolves in the wood.”

     Day 18-In The Dark Half-2012 Film Poster-Alistair Siddons-A Year In The Country

    Day-18-In-The-Dark-Half-575-2012-Film-still-1-Alistair-Siddons-A-Year-In-The-Country Day 18-In The Dark Half-2012 Film-Alistair Siddons-A Year In The Country

    “In the Dark Half takes some of the tropes familiar from British social realist cinema such as a rundown estate on the edge of the countryside, family loss or dysfunction and a sense of social depravation or lack of chances to escape but wanders elsewhere with them.

    It is not quite magical realism, but rather the subdued, downtrodden landscape is given a subtle sheen which creates a sense that you are looking in on a magical otherly world.

    There are folkloric, borderline folk horror elements to the film, but it is not so much those which create the sense of a world with its own rules and even magic.

    Rather via its visual presentation there is a certain lush, soft beauty to the rundown estate and the nearby countryside: a refreshing view of such things in contrast with gritty, realist and sometimes-dour cinematic presentations of similar locales.”

     butter-on-the-latch-josephine-decker-a-year-in-the-country

    Joesphine Decker’s Butter On the Latch was discussed in the BFI’s Sight & Sound magazine… with the headline “Dark Pastoral” and with “Lovely, dark and deep” written below a picture of a solitary wooden shack-like building in an isolated moorland landscape, with two female figures approaching it from the edge of the frame.

    It is an intriguing image and pair of descriptions which, while not overtly signalling such things, seemed to conjure up a dreamlike, rather classy take or variation on folk horror.

    Along with the above, a well-known online commerce site has this description of the film:

    “At a Balkan folk song and dance camp in the woods of Mendocino, California, Sarah reunites with her old friend Isolde and with a song she learned years before about dragons who entwine themselves in women’s hair and carry them off through the forest, burning it as they go.”

    …while Butter on the Latch interacts with cinematic tropes and conventions, it beats its own fragmentary path through them; the film is imbued deeply with a sense of dread and dysfunction and following those just mentioned conventions there’s a sense of waiting for something terrible to happen in a conventional thriller or slasher manner.”

    butter-on-the-latch-josephine-decker-a-year-in-the-country-4

    As a moment or two of calm amongst that dread, at points the film may just stop, pause and focus on close ups of woodland foliage. There is an entrancing beauty captured in such moments: you hope to remain ensconced in them but in this tale that is not how things are to be.

    This is a form of folk horror where “folk” could be taken as implying “being from the wild woods”; these are woods that seem both tamed and untamed, connected to civilisation and yet those within it have also crumbled away from it.” 

    Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares-album-4AD Inland-Empire-spotlight-David Lynch-film still

    “…the music that accompanies the film and which is played in the camp is to the untutored ear in part not far removed from the stately, elegiac, otherly album of Bulgarian folk songs Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares which 4AD released in the 1980s. While the film is also reminiscent here and there of the lower-fi aesthetics of David Lynch’s 2006 film Inland Empire; Hollywood but at a far, dark remove.”

    butter-on-the-latch-josephine-decker-a-year-in-the-country-2

    butter-on-the-latch-josephine-decker-a-year-in-the-country-3

    The hand-held documentary feel is complimented or should that be fractured by surreal flashes of staring faces in the woods and other intriguing, hypnotic, yet terribly unsettling images and sounds, often with a more overtly folk horror/horror aspect; such split second moments, even if you pause or try to watch the film frame by frame are hard to quite fathom, explain or take in. To again quote Sight & Sound magazine:

    “Decker creates a weave of woozy camera movements and abrupt cuts that at once trouble and open up the viewer’s perception.”

     

    Online images to accompany Chapter 16 of the A Year In The Country: Wandering Through Spectral Fields book, alongside some text extracts from the chapter:

    Details of the A Year In The Country: Wandering Through Spectral Fields book and the collection of its accompanying online images can be found at the Book’s Page, which will be added to throughout the year.

     

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  • David Peace, Texte und Töne, The Stink Still Here and Spectres from Transitional Times – Part 1: Wanderings, Explorations and Signposts 16/52

    Texte und Tone-The Edge Is Where The Centre Is-Nigel Kneale-David Peace-The Stink Still Here

    I have written about the Texte und Töne releases before – they are something of a favourite around these parts: limited edition books and booklets, often accompanied by music on cassette or flexi-disc and designed by Rob Carmichael of Seen. They are printed using Risograph duplicators, which produce a tactile, very human and individual print quality that seems to exist somewhere between more conventional print reproduction finishes and screenprinting.

    Paolo Javier-Listening Center-Texte und Tone-Ur-Lyeh

    Previous publications have included two editions of The Edge Is Where The Centre Is, which focuses on David Rudkin’s television play/film Penda’s Fen, a collaboration between Paolo Javier and sometime Ghost Box Records/A Year In The Country fellow traveller Listening Center, Nothing’s Too Good For The Common People: The Films of Paul Kelly and The Twilight Language Of Nigel Kneale.

    The Stink Still Here-David Peace-Paul Myerscough-Text und Tone-cover

    The Stink Still here was published in 2014 by Texte und Töne and is a 28 page booklet which contains a conversation between author David Peace and Paul Myerscough, who is one of the editors of the London Review of Books.

    It focuses on the 1984-1985 Miner’s Strike in Britain, which David Peace’s wrote the novel GB84 about, a book which he has described as being an “occult history” of the 1984-1985 Miner’s Strike in Britain, saying that he uses “the word ‘occult’ to mean hidden – but also as a play on the more grotesque aspects of the word”:

    “The dead brood under Britain. We whisper. We echo. The emanation of Giant Albion… Awake! Awake! This is England, Your England – and the Year is Zero.”
    (From GB84 and quoted at the start of The Stink Still Here.)

    The Stink Still Here-David Peace-Paul Myerscough-Text und Tone-inside pages-Seen studios

    Within the booklet that conflict is extensively discussed in more political/theoretical terms but also it captures a sense of social and cultural history and the day-to-day effect on peoples’ lives, alongside which David Peace discusses his personal recollections from the time of the Strike, his families’ history in the mining industry and playing in a band that travelled during it to play gigs (I assume but it’s not overtly expressed that those gigs were linked to Miner’s benefits etc).

    David Peace-1974-1977-1980-1984-GB84-book covers-2

    Connected to which, some of David Peace’s earlier novels (which could loosely be described as being hidden history northern noirs) and leading up to GB84 used fragments of music lyrics for the titles of their different parts:

    “Sex Pistols and Clash songs in Nineteen Seventy Seven; post-punk classics by Throbbing Gristle, the Pop Group, Psychic TV and Siouxsie in Nineteen Eighty and Nineteen Eighty Three… giving way by the end of Nineteen Eighty Three to Bonnie Tyler and then, in GB84, displaced entirely by chartpop earworms, Band Aid and Nena and George Michael and Frankie Goes to Hollywood.” (Paul Myerscough in The Stink Still Here)

    Something that struck me from the booklet was the discussion within it about the disparity between say the more alternative or cult bands who released records and played live in support of the striking miners and the popular chart music of the time/the music that would have been heard on the jukeboxes of for example pubs where the strike took place.

    Frankie Goes To Hollywood-Two Tribes-Nena-99 Red Ballons

    Which made me think that alongside the support of such more fringe, alternative bands, what the Miner’s may well have also really needed in terms of wider support – both with regards to financial aid and winning hearts and minds – would have been for one of those commercially successful and widely broadcast “chartpop earworms” to have been overtly about and in support of their cause.

    Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Two Tribes and Nena’s 99 Red Balloons, singles released at a similar time to the strike in the UK, both had political conflict themes but they focused on the Cold War and potential nuclear conflict rather than what artist Jeremy Deller has described as “The English Civil War Part II”.

    (Which was the title of a book he curated that contained memorabilia, photographs and personal accounts etc of the Miner’s Strike and also images from a re-enactment instituted by him in 2001 of The Battle of Orgreave, an infamous conflict from the Strike, with the re-enactment being carried out by  miners and police who had been involved in the Strike alongside re-enaction enthusiasts.)

    To be continued in Part 2…

    The English Civil War Part II-book-Cornerhouse-Stuktur-Jeremy Deller

    Elsewhere:
    Texte und Töne
    SEEN graphic design studio/Rob Carmichael
    The archived details of The Stink Still Here: The Miner’s Strike on Film event
    GB84
    The English Civil War Part II at Struktur Design
    The English Civil War Part II at Cornerhouse Publications

    Elsewhere at A Year In The Country:
    Day #15/365. The Twilight Language Of Nigel Kneale
    Day #78/365: Winstanley – Another Field In England
    Week #31/52: The Quietened Bunker Archives #2; Songs For The Bunker – The Once Was Ascendance Of Apocalyptic Pop
    Wanderings, Explorations and Signposts 2/52: Penda’s Fen and The Edge Is Where The Centre Is – Explorations of the Occult, Otherly and Hidden Landscape
    Wanderings, Explorations and Signposts 7/52: In The Morning I’ll Be Gone, Orkney Twilight, GB84 and Edge of Darkness – Hinterland Tales Of Myths, Dark Forces and Hidden Histories

     

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  • Image AA/15

    Image-AA15-A-Year-In-The-Country-Year-4-image-journeys-in-otherly-pastoralism-the-outer-reaches-of-folk-and-the-parallel-worlds-of-hauntology

    File under: A Year In The Country ocular explorations

     

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