• Ocular Signals #17/52a: Image Q/1a

    Image-Q1a-3rd-year-A-Year-In-The-Country
    File under: A Year In The Country Ocular Explorations

     

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  • Audio Visual Transmission Guide #17/52a: Keith Seatman – all hold hands and off we go / boxes with rhythms in

    Keith Seatman- all hold hands and off we goSometimes A Year In The Country fellow traveller Keith Seatman’s new album appeared recently.

    Its title is all hold hands and off we go.

    (Which yes, should be in lower case and it being so I think suits the album in some way that I can’t quite fully define but which is possibly connected to a sense of childlike play or innocence that the title and some of the music implies.)

    How to describe the album?

    Well, it is a curious and intriguing dreamscape of a record. It makes me think of floating off into odd and surreal landscapes.

    Carl Griffin in Electronic Sound magazine used the phrase/word “haunted fever dreams” and “woozy” when describing the album, which capture and reflect a sense of it conjuring a world and atmosphere not quite awake, of travelling in a reality that is half-dream, half-awake, elsewhere…

    Keith Seatman-all hold hands and off we go-2

    In say older science fiction book covers, comics and films and sometimes in previous decades science related factual television programmes there would from time to time be blank virtual landscapes demarcated by a grid of lines that stretched off into the horizon.

    Well, if you imagine something like that but which somehow or other was actually also a representation of a quietly parallel British landscape…  somewhere an organ that was used on a lost library music album appears… fragmented wisps of memory keep appearing here and there… and you put such things through a filter of odd synthesisers that nobody thought still existed anymore and the exploring spirit of the Radiophonic workshop…

    Well, that’s what this album sounds and looks like in my mind.

    A particular standout on the album for myself is boxes with rhythms in, with vocals and lyrics by Douglas E. Powell.

    When I first listened to the track and heard the lyrics, I initially laughed out loud as they seemed to sum up something about humans, our drives, natures and relationship with culture:

    “I’ve been messaging to send more oxygen
    And all your sending is
    Boxes with rhythms in”

    Keith Seatman-all hold hands and off we goThis is a Space Oddity for contemporary times. In a very few words set to a buzzing, whooshing, flittering in and out synth background it conjures up a whole world and scenario of its own particular Major Tom.

    However, whereas Space Oddity seemed quite grounded in a recognisable reality, here, as with the album as a whole, the atmosphere it creates is something more otherly, one that while connected to our own reality also runs along its own separate path.

    And although this is quite experimental, far from mainstream music, boxes with rhythms in has an underlying pop sensibility, accessibility and an ear for a catchy refrain/chorus.

    (In fact, returning to earlier mentioned quietly parallel British worlds and landscapes, in some other parallel existence, of a Thursday night it would not be all that much of a surprise to hear on BBC1: “And tonight on Top Of The Pops with their new single, which has gone straight into the Top 20, we have Keith Seatman with Douglas E. Powell playing boxes with rhythms in.” Cue slightly awkward dancing and possibly a balloon drop. In the history of pop in that parallel world it could well be filed alongside Laurie Anderson’s O Superman in terms of experimental work with an intriguing pop edge.)

    The mixture of experiment and accessibility is something that runs throughout the album – it’s quite “out there” at points but also very listenable to.

    Carl Griffin also wrote in Electronic Sound Magazine about the album being “uniquely psychedelic”, which is quite apt.

    Keith Seatman-all hold hands and off we go-4However, as with me mentioning the Radiophonic Workshop, the sense of psychedelic is more an expression of its spirit and intentions, rather than being a replication of a previous era’s sound or ways of going about things. It is psychedelic in the sense of being a portal for exploration, one accompanied by entering into a dreamlike state via the transportive aspects of music rather than lysergic acid.

    That dreamlike state is given quite overt expression on with salt and candy, where a sample of a child’s rhyme loops repeatedly, disappearing and reappearing in amongst a synthesised soundscape that manages to be unsettling and playful, distant and familiar, warm and comforting and seemingly reflecting and creating somewhere far removed from normality.

    The mixing and seamlessly combining and bringing together of atmospheres that you would not normally connect with one another is probably one of the defining aspects of the album; this is an unsettling, playful, warm, comforting, distant, familiar, experimental, accessible record.

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

    ATV Guide: all hold hands and off we go/ boxes with rhythms in

     

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  • Wanderings #17/52a: Not So Abounding Faceless Automatons And Not-Quite-So-Mainstream Crafting

    Doctor Who-Spearhead from Space-A Year In The Country
    File under: Trails and Influences / Year 3 Wanderings

    Now, in my head 1970s/early 1980s British television is awash with faceless creatures and automatons, come to carry out their wickedness and fill dreams full of night terrors.

    But funnily enough when I recently(ish) looked up such things, there weren’t all that many I could find.

    Actually it came down to a creature/character in Sapphire & Steel and the “still terrifying all these years later” shop dummies come to life in Doctor Who (which strictly speaking aren’t faceless but in my head they are).

    I suppose that as an effect it was cheap and relatively easy to do but there is still something particularly unnerving about such featureless faces.

    They crop up from time-to-time around these parts and I though I would gather a few of them together.

    So, we have the aforementioned bowler hat wearing character from Sapphire & Steel…

    Sapphire and Steel-A Year In The Country-3Day 25-Christopher Priest Dreams Of Wessex-A Year In The Country 5

    And something of a classic and possibly one of my all time favourite book covers: the paperback cover to the virtual reality prescient pastoral-esque science fiction of Christopher Priest’s A Dream Of Wessex…

    The faceless corn husk folk art-like figures from around these parts…

    Corn Husk Crafts-Facklam Phibbs-A Year In The Country-1 Corn Husk Crafts-Facklam Phibbs-A Year In The Country-4 Corn Husk Crafts-Facklam Phibbs-A Year In The Country-3

    Which set me a-wandering…

    Corn Husk Dolly And Crafts books-A Year In The Country-4

    There seem to have been a fair few books along such lines published, often from back when. And maybe it’s just me or a layering/other connections that have happened and gathered over time  but they can seem to have an air of quiet unsettledness or not-quite-so-mainstream pastoralness to them…

     

    Intertwined wanderings around these parts:
    Day #26/365. Christopher Priest – A Dream of Wessex and dreams of the twentieth century

    Day #87/365: Faded foundlings and Tender Vessels…

    Day #284/365: Sapphire and Steel; a haunting by the haunting and a denial of tales of stopping the waves of history…

    Elsewhere in the ether:
    Contemporary not-quite-so mainstream pastoralness: Tender Vessels #1. Tender Vessels #2.

     

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  • Artifact Report #17/52a: The Restless Field at Sunrise Ocean Bender and John Coulthart’s Feuilleton

    Sunrise Ocean Bender-background-2Sunrise Ocean Bender-logo-250Several tracks from The Restless Field were featured on the Sunrise Ocean Bender radio show, broadcast at WRIR FM and also available online.

    The radio show is an offshoot/companion off the record label with the same name, which releases records that wander from “psych rock to psych pop, prog to space rock via kosmische… detours”…

    Sunrise Ocean Bender at Mixcloud. The podcast is here. WRIR’s player is here.

    The album is also featured amongst the wanderings of John Coulthart’s Feuilleton, alongside/interconnected with considerations of the hidden reverse explorations of Coil:

    John-Coulthart-Feuilleton-A-Year-In-The-Country-stroke“… by 2000 Coil’s music had moved away from the urban orientation of the 1980s to a pastoral mysticism that also had a political impetus: “The forest is a college / Each tree a university”. Late Coil also involved the construction of fields of sound, the products of fields of another kind: electrical and (possibly) psychical. I can’t speak for the latter quality but there’s plenty of the former in this collection of restless fields.”

    Feuilleton-John Coulthart-Fractures-A Year In The Country-1px stroke

    Thanks to Kevin and John. Much appreciated.

    The Restless Field-Dawn Edition-front-A Year In The CountryThe Restless Field is a study of the land as a place of conflict and protest as well as beauty and escape; an exploration and acknowledgment of the history and possibility of protest, resistance and struggle in the landscape/rural areas, in contrast with sometimes more often referred to urban events.

    Audiological contents created by Field Lines Cartographer, Vic Mars, Bare Bones, Assembled Minds, Grey Frequency, Endurance, Listening Center, Pulselovers, Sproatly Smith, Polypores, Depatterning, Time Attendant, A Year In The Country and David Colohan.

    You can preview clips from the album at our Soundcloud Mark II Ether Victrola and listen to a  selection of tracks at our Bandcamp Ether Victrola.

    Further details on the album can be found here.

     

    (File Post Under: Encasments / Artifacts – Artifact #2a)

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  • Ether Signposts #17/52a: Et Mourir De Plaisir, Arthouse Transgressions And Folk Horror Forebears

    Et Mourir De Plaisir-Blood And Roses-1960-Roger Vadim-Il Sangue e la Rosa posterVia one small still in an old-ish film book I recently came across Roger Vadim’s 1960 film Et Mourir De Plaisir (or Blood And Roses to give it its American title).

    This is nominally, possibly a vampire movie (I say possibly as there is some debate within the film about the existence of such things ) but it is one that while working with some related themes also transcends that genre and also possibly the films of its time.

    In some ways it is a quite straightforward, mainstream-esque, almost period Hammer Horror-esque horror film…

    …but there is something else within the film, some other underlying strands of intelligence, exploration and emotional resonance (the latter particularly in terms of its ending).

    Et Mourir De Plaisir-Blood And Roses-1960-Roger Vadim-6

    It is a beautiful looking and sumptuous film, with its rich vivid Technicolor palette giving it an almost surreal or hyperreal atmosphere and air, as is often the way with films which used that technique.

    Et Mourir De Plaisir-Blood And Roses-1960-Roger Vadim

    For a large duration of the film it travels along fairly conventional cinematic paths but then…

    …well, then there is the famous (or infamous) dream sequence, which even to eyes used to modern less censored work left my mind and sensibilities reeling for a number of days. I can only imagine how thoroughly shocking it must have seemed at the time.

    Et Mourir De Plaisir-Blood And Roses-1960-Roger Vadim-4

    It is a woozily surreal, transgressive sequence that puts me in mind of Jean Cocteaus’s work but as reimagined by a strange mixture of David Lynch and a B-Movie borderline experimental exploitation film that you might see in the small hours on the archival film British television channel Talking Pictures TV.

    Which, now that I have typed it, seems like an apt summing up of Et Mourir De Plaisir; it is a curious and intriguing mixture of mainstream, transgressive, almost exploitation and arthouse cinema, with the tropes and themes of all such areas of work contained in its relatively brief running time.

    For a long time Et Mourir De Plaisir  was a film that was only available in variously edited, censored, cropped, badly restored, dubbed etc versions and apparently was only really known in terms of its visual glories via cinematic legend, stills in film books etc.

    Et Mourir De Plaisir-Blood And Roses-1960-Roger Vadim-soundtrack 1

    In recent years there has been an official DVD release of a largely restored version available, although that was a limited edition and seems to have sold out. There is a legitimately downloadable version of the film doing the rounds under the name Blood And Roses but I think that is the American re-edited and dubbed version.

    Which I am actually mildly curious about as apparently the English language version was shot at the same time as the French version and I am curious to see how it was reinterpreted and apparently more obviously signposted in terms of plot and symbolism when compared to the French version.

    Looking back there seemed to be something in the water in relation to horror films from around the time Et Mourir De Plaisir was made, something that caused the creation and coming about of rather classy, exploratory and nuanced work.

    Et Mourir De Plaisir-Blood And Roses-1960-Roger Vadim-5

    Along which lines I would include Mario Bava’s Black Sunday from 1960, starring Barbara Steele and Jack Clayton’s The Innocents from 1961.

    Their tone and expression varies from the classic black and white gothic and grotesque horror of Black Sunday to the almost decadent aristocratic Technicolor sensuality of Et Mourir De Plaisir  via the repressed supernatural hauntings amongst the reeds and willows of the British countryside in The Innocents.

    These films seem to be a small grouping of horror and/or supernatural films from that period which in some way make me think of them as being forebears or part of a lineage that would one day become or bring about what is known as folk horror.

    All these films are set rurally but it is not this which makes me gather them together in this way (and what has come to be known as folk horror does not have to be exclusively set rurally)… it is something more subtle and underlying, possibly something in their atmosphere, their spirit and a sense that they are tellings of the stories of unsettled landscapes…

    Hmmm. Something to think about and explore further I think…

    Et Mourir De Plaisir-Blood And Roses-1960-Roger Vadim-US press bookThe trailer below makes me smile as with its period almost 1960s Batman-esque cartoon style text, “Plunging You Into The Midnight Zone… Beyond Reason! Beyond Belief!” tag lines, “Starring two alluring continental beauties” voiceover and accompanying US promotional material makes the film seem much nearer to being purely what you might think of as having been played at a drive-in cinema back when… as I mention above it does have elements of such work but it is not by any means just that…

    (File post under: Other Pathway Pointers And Markers)

    Directions and Destinations: Blood And Roses Trailer

     

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  • Ocular Signals #16/52a: Image P/1a

    image-p1a-3rd-year-a-year-in-the-country
    File under: A Year In The Country Ocular Explorations

     

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  • Audio Visual Transmission Guide #16/52a: The Living And The Dead

    The Living And The Dead-BBC series

    The BBC’s series The Living And The Dead seemed to be one of the more overt explorations of some of the themes of folk horror and the spectres and patterns beneath the land that I have seen in mainstream broadcast drama in recent times.

    It also had an underlying sense of the schisming, fracturing, crossing over and fragmenting of time, in a manner that brought to mind both Sapphire & Steel and some more hauntological concerns.

    This was not all that unsurprising when I read that The Living And The Dead was co-created by Life On Mars and Ashes To Ashes writers/creators Ashley Pharaoh and Mathew Graham, both of which series were almost like a mainstream take on hauntology and which dealt with travelling and possible portals through the fabric time.

    In a further interconnected Mathew Graham also wrote the script for the Radio 4 adaptation of Nigel Kneale’s The Stone Tape, which as part of its subject matter deals with the layering, resonance and travelling through time of past events.

    The plot/premise of the series? Below is some of the accompanying text from the DVD release:

    “…set in rural England in the 1890s… Nathan Appleby, a pioneering psychologist, inherits Shepzoy House in a beautiful but isolated Somerset valley… he decides to make a new life for himself and his… wife, Charlotte… soon the idyll is compromised by strange and disturbing occurrences that all seem to inexplicably swirl around the increasingly troubled Nathan. Is he being haunted? Why? And by whom?”

    Although a treat for the eyes in many ways, at times I found The Living And The Dead difficult in that it lacked a certain lived in texture which seems prevalent in British science fiction, fantasy and period drama television.

    This coupled with the self-contained mystery-to-be-solved nature of each episode (after about the second or third of which I was thinking “Well, I expect I’d be planning on leaving the village about now”) threw me off course with the series somewhat when I first watched it but I thought it was an interesting and intriguing take on its themes in the way that it explored preternatural events and the clash and interaction between the old ways and the new, folk/supernatural beliefs and modern scientific thought within a rural setting.

    John Benjamin Stone-A Record of England-folk customs and traditions-A Year In The Country-5

    Some of the imagery used in the series put me in mind of Benjamin Stone’s photographs of British folkloric customs, which I suppose is not that surprising considering it was set around a similar time as when he was travelling the country photographing such things.

    Ossian Brown-haunted air-2

    While some of the folkloric hooded figures from the series made me think of the found photographs of halloween in previous eras that Ossian Brown collected in his book The Haunted Air, particularly in spirit (pardon my unintended pun) if not precisely in terms of aesthetics.

    The Living And The Dead-BBC series-2

    One aspect of the show which was of particular interest was the music, which was by The Insects and in the first episode the traditional folk song was sung in a rare modern appearance by former Cocteau Twin member Elizabeth Fraser. Something of an additional treat indeed.

    Stan Brakhage-Mothlight-1963

    Also, the introductory credits featured excerpts from Stan Brakhage’s experimental film from 1963 Mothlight, which was in a previous AVT Guide and in which layers of natural detritus and insects were filmed without the use of a camera but rather he “…pressed them between two strips of 16mm splicing tape. The resulting assemblage was then contact printed at a lab to allow projection in a cinema. The objects chosen were required to be thin and translucent, to permit the passage of light.”

    In a further intertwining and interconnecting with rurally set fantastical worlds, as I have said previously around these parts, Mothlight was a direct influence on a dream sequence in The Duke Of Burgundy…

    The Living And The Dead-BBC series-5

    Elsewhere Elizabeth Fraser also sings a brief excerpt from the traditional folk song The Lover’s Song, which is a variant of the night-visiting ballad The Grey Cock and which involves a young woman who has passed from the mortal realm visiting her lover.

    When she is asked where here sheets and maids are, she replies:

    “The clay it is my bed, my dearest dear,” she said,
    “The shroud is my white Holland sheet.
    And the worms and creeping things are my servants, dear,” she said,
    “That wait upon me whilst I am asleep.”

    It could be seen as belonging to a strand of folk music that could well be considered folk horror but that was created before that phrase existed

    (The filing of this song alongside Forest’s Graveyard, Mr Fox and Comus may well be appropriate, although they belong to 1970s folk explorations rather than traditional folk.)

    The soundtrack also features a version of A Lyke Wake Dirge, as once taken into the pop charts by Steeleye Span, which according to Wikipedia is:

    “…a traditional English song that tells of the soul’s travel, and the hazards it faces, on its way from earth to purgatory. Though the song is from the Christian era and features references to Christianity much of the symbolism is thought to be of heathen origin.”

    The Living And The Dead-BBC series-4

    So nothing of folk horror-esque concern there then.

    The version in The Living And The Dead It is not so much Steeleye Span-esque but rather if you imagine a contemporary take on the fringes of mid-80s goth and a touch of Nick Cave in years gone by you may be heading in the right direction.

    And finally on the soundtrack is a version of traditional harvest supper folk song The Brave Ploughboy.

    The version sung by The Watersons features these lyrics:

    “So early in the morning to harrow, plough, and sow
    And with a gentle cast, me boys, we’ll give the corn a throw
    Which makes the valleys thick to stand
    With corn to fill the reaper’s hand
    All this, you well may understand, comes from the ploughing boy.”

    The Living And The Dead-BBC series-3

    Well, I rest my case in terms of pre folk horror folk horror-esque folk music in terms of the soundtracks themes and intertwinings.

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

    ATV Guide:
    The Living And The Dead trailer
    A Lyke Wake Dirge
    The Reaper’s Ghost
    Soundtrack:
    (Although it does not seem to be widely available and I don’t think it is available on a physical format, The Insects soundtrack to the series is available to download at their site.)

     

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  • Wanderings #16/52a: A Lionheart-ess In Amber / Amongst The Biscuit Crumbs

    16 of 52-Kate Bush-first five albums-A Year In The Country
    File under: Trails and Influences / Year 3 Wanderings

    Although I still tend to have a look-see at Kate Bush’s ongoing work, I think for me my main interest is caught in the amber of her first five albums and the surround visual work/imagery.

    From The Kick Inside to The Hounds Of Love, they seem to stand unparalleled and on their own and even after all these years I often find myself thinking when I listen to them “Blimey…” (or should that be “wow”) “…this is impressive stuff.”

    As I’ve said around these parts before, she seemed to tap into something ancient, some form of underlying archetypes of the British soul, tales, history and land… and it’s hard to quite get your head around those albums having been created by somebody who was relatively so young, they seem like the world of a… well, not much older but maybe timeless soul.

    It’s curious as well when you look back at the early more traditional pop style promotion of those albums and their singles: when she was say performing in the prosaic surrounds of a lunch time light entertainment program in the later 1970s she was part of it all but also a space unto herself.

    Kate Bush-Mojo Magazine-2016-United Biscuit Network radio-A Year In The Country

    And talking of prosaic settings…

    When she recently(ish) appeared on the cover of Mojo magazine, the interview and article was carried out by Jim Irvin, who apparently had also done her first ever radio interview back in 1978.

    That interview was for the United Biscuits Network – basically radio broadcasting for the workers in, well, biscuit factories.

    The very idea of which seems to conjure up a very far away, distant history.

     

    Intertwined wanderings around these parts:

    Day #71/365: Kate Bush, Under The Ivy and secret gardens…

    Trails of bread (biscuit?) crumbs: Day #108/365: Let me grab your soul away – Kate Bush and darkly cinematic flickerings through the meadows, moors and mazes…

    Week #3/52: I Still Dream Of Orgonon; A Book Of Dreams, the rarity of argent chains and moments of discovery…

    Considerations of ancient souls: Week #36/52: Gone To Earth – “What A Queen Of Fools You Be”, Something Of A Return Wandering And A Landscape Set Free

    Elsewhere in the ether:
    Biscuits and airwaves.

     

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  • Ether Signposts #16/52a: Vashti Bunyan: From Here To Before and Whispering Fairy Stories Until They Are Real

    Vashti Bunyan-From Here To Before-Kieran Evans-2008 film-NFT BFI Sensoria Showroom Sheffield

    When I was planning and researching in the run up to starting A Year In The Country and during its first year in 2014 I tried in vain to watch Vashti Bunyan: From Here To Before, the 2008 documentary about her fabled horse drawn trip across the country at the end of the 1960s and turn of the decade, the album she made at the time.

    Other films and documentaries made by its director Kieran Evans, including the Saint Etienne collaboration Finisterre, edgelands exploration/Karl Hyde collaboration The Outer Edges and dramatic film Kelly + Victor, have all had fairly widespread releases in the cinema and/or on DVD.

    Vashti Bunyan-From Here To Before-Kieran Evans-2008 film

    However, From Here To Before although covered in the press to a certain extent seemed to have a fairly limited cinematic release and then, apart from a few clips that can be viewed online, it seems to have more or less disappeared from view and as far as I know has never had a commercial home release.

    (“Vashti Bunyan’s tale of… exile and rediscovery is already one of this century’s most enduring musical legends. Kieran Evans’ gorgeously shot, achingly intimate portrait retraces Bunyan’s infamous voyage by gypsy caravan, from Inner London to the Outer Hebrides, during which she wrote her stunning… 1970 album ‘Just Another Diamond Day’… the film explores a very slim slice of Bunyan’s life in loving detail, pausing only to wonder at the enduring charm and mystery of this prodigious, prodigal talent.” From the Time Out review at the time of the film’s release.)

    Anyways recently, almost purely by accident as I wasn’t looking for it, I stumbled upon the film and was able to watch it.

    If you should not know about Vashti Bunyan and the subject matter of the documentary, below is a brief précis of the background to it:

    Born in 1945, in the mid 1960s Vashti Bunyan worked with Rollings Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham, released two singles which did not sell in great numbers and recorded further songs for Oldham’s Immediate records which remained unreleased for many years.

    Vashti Bunyan-From Here To Before-Kieran Evans-2008 film-3

    After this she decided to travel with her boyfriend Robert Lewis by horse and cart to the Hebridean Islands to join a commune planned by a friend, fellow singer/songwriter Donovan. During the trip she began writing the songs that eventually became her first album, Just Another Diamond Day, released in 1970.

    The album sold very few copies and Vashti Bunyan, discouraged, abandoned her musical career.

    By 2000, her album had acquired a cult following and it was re-released, with her work and story becoming inspirational to a new generation of musicians who were loosely connected under labels including freak folk, including Devendra Banhart and Joanna Newsom.

    Vashti Bunyan-From Here To Before-Kieran Evans-2008 film-8

    After this re-release and a gap of more than 30 years Vashti Bunyan began recording again, collaborated with contemporary musicians and appeared live. She released the album Lookaftering in 2005 and in 2014 what she said was to be her final album Heartleap (both on Fatcat).

    Vashti Bunyan-From Here To Before-Kieran Evans-2008 film-10

    Vashti Bunyan: From Here To Before accompanies her as she retraces the horse drawn journey she made with Robert Lewis and sets it against the backdrop of her first high-profile London concert and the associated rehearsals.

    The film serves as an entrancing exploration of a youthful journey of exploration and searching and also the associated unreality.

    Vashti and her partner appeared to want to step aside from mainstream society and the modern world’s ways of doing things and to seek out some kind of rural, previous era way of of life.

    Watching the documentary it was as though they were searching for some pure, unobtainable dream, an escape, refuge and respite from the wider world; to quote Rob Young, they seemed to be undertaking a form of “imaginative time travel”, a wish to get back to the land and simpler ways of life, which seems to have been fairly widespread at the time within certain often folk leaning areas of culture and music.

    Vashti Bunyan-From Here To Before-Kieran Evans-2008 film-7

    Just Another Diamond Day has become a totem and reflection of such yearnings due in part to the almost dreamlike bucolic subject matter of its songs, its gentle farside of folk delivery and vocals, the almost fantasy like rural atmosphere conjured by the cover image of Vashti Bunyan in period rural clothing and headscarf outside her  cottage where she is accompanied by painted animals and the story of her journey.

    However, as she says in the documentary “The songs represented the dream. They didn’t represent reality” and she also says “I wasn’t living in the… beautiful hills, I was living in my head.”

    Alongside recording Vashti Bunyan’s thoughts and memories of her journey, life and work as she revisits places from that journey or prepares for a live appearance, contemporary interviews make up part of the film.

    Vashti Bunyan-From Here To Before-Kieran Evans-2008 film-11 Vashti Bunyan-From Here To Before-Kieran Evans-2008 film-9

    These include amongst others Andrew Loog Oldham, her 1960s producer Joe Boyd, Adem Ihan who is one of the musicians rehearsing for her return to the stage and artist John James who was a companion for parts of the journey.

    Vashti Bunyan-From Here To Before-Kieran Evans-2008 film-4

    The film also includes archival footage and photographs of Vashti and her partner in their folkloric, late 1960s-esque, gypsy like garb that they wore at the time, clothing that at times is almost medieval and which accompanied by images of them travelling in their horse and cart shows the degree to which they lived out their dreams and attempted to remake their lives in the image of those dreams.

    John James comments on how the “leaders” of the journey (by which I assume he means Vashti Bunyan and Robert Lewis) took the dedication, single-mindedness and purity of their quest very seriously with it gaining an almost religious aspect or puritanical zeal.

    Vashti Bunyan comments on this saying how she would look disfavourably on people who say went off to get a shop bought chocolate bar and how she wanted everything to be as natural or what she thought of as natural, handmade or created by themselves as possible.

    From Here To Before also effectively becomes a document of the landscape as it records her return to locations of her journey and a line could be drawn from its more rural views and capturing of their beauty and Kieran Evans later film The Outer Edges exploration of edgeland landscapes.

    Vashti Bunyan-From Here To Before-Kieran Evans-2008 film-2

    The realities of Vashti Bunyan and her fellow travellers’ lives during their journey and after that are shown and discussed in the film were far from an idyll as much of it was physically and materially hard, reflecting the practicalities of long distance horse and cart travel in the twentieth century, particularly when undertaken with little financial cushioning, as was so in their case.

    Vashti Bunyan-From Here To Before-Kieran Evans-2008 film-12b

    The refuge at the end of their horse and cart journey was a cottage in the Outer Hebrides which they eventually settled in for a while and which had a mud floor and a leaky thatched roof (although in From Here To Before Vashti Bunyan remembers being very appreciative after their horse and cart journey of the fact that it had a roof, whatever its condition.)

    Vashti Bunyan-From Here To Before-Kieran Evans-2008 film-6

    The dream did not last, with her saying in the film that they felt they were not wanted there and in contrast to her interests in the old ways of doing things the local people, particularly the young, were embracing modern ways and the coming of electricity, with the timing of her journey meaning that they arrived just as the old way of life was noticeably changing.

    Although not made overly implicit in the film, it seemed that such things caused her to return with her partner to London.

    This decision was also due to practical considerations about childbirth when she became pregnant and realising that no matter how beautiful the place and landscape, she actually wanted to be around friends and family (although she talks in the film about an ongoing journey and searching; they later moved variously to The Incredible String Band’s Glen Row cottages, then Ireland and also back to Scotland but did not return to the cottage).

    Vashti Bunyan’s music of the time and her journey have created an iconic story, set of images and songs; a modern day fable or almost fairytale.

    From Here To Before was made over four years around the mid to later 2000s, when interest in Vashti Bunyan’s work was flowering and she began to express herself again publicly via music and live performance and is a respectful observation of this period in her life and her earlier stories.

    Vashti Bunyan-From Here To Before-Kieran Evans-2008 film-5

    It is a reflection and exploration of this fable like nature but it also captures the realities and hardships of their journey and subsequent home but without shattering the allure or spell of that dream.

    (File under: Other Pathway Pointers And Markers)

    Directions and Destinations:
    Extract from the film.
    Extract from the film #2: Whisper Fairy Stories ‘Til They’re Real

     

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  • Artifact Report #16/52a: The Restless Field at Flatland Frequencies, Syndae and whisperandhollerin

    The Restless Field-whisperandhollerin review-Syndae podcast-Flatland Frequencies radio show-A Year In The Country
    File Under: Encasments / Artifacts – Artifact #2a

    whisperandhollerin logo-A Year In The Country

    There is fine review and exploration of the themes of The Restless Field at whisperinandhollerin:

    “… the music speaks volumes with a brooding, eerie quality that is more menacing than celebratory. As such, it is more like a score for a low budget horror movie or as a soundtrack to a radical makeover of BBC’s Country File…”
    Martin Raybould at whisperandhollerin

    Thanks to Martin and Tim, much appreciated.

    Flatland Frequencies banner-A Year In The Country

    Plus Depatterning’s Last Best West (circ. 1896) can be found at the Flatland Frequencies radio show.

    The show traces “…electronic music from its roots to present day… Playing the finest in electronic explorations, from early electroacoustic and musique concréte, to new and upcoming ambient and drone.”

    Well worth a wander to and an hour or two of listening time.

    Visit and listen to the episode of the show at Mixcloud. The show was originally broadcast on Future FM, which you can visit here.

    Thanks to Luke Sanger, also much appreciated.

    Syndae logo-A Year In The Country

    And Assembled Minds 3am M5 Field Raid was included at episode 382 of the Syndae podcast.

    Thanks to Stefan for the ongoing support in amongst his explorations of a broad spectrum of electronic music, which in this episode also takes in Chris Gate (In and Out), Erik Seifert (Aotearoa), Cialyn (Off Season), FUS. (Physical Feeling) and Mythos (Jules Vernes. Around the World in 80 Minutes).

    Tip of the hat to all involved.

    Ta!

     

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  • Ocular Signals #15/52a: Image O/1a

    image-01a-3rd-year-a-year-in-the-country
    File under: A Year In The Country Ocular Explorations

     

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  • Audio Visual Transmission Guide #15/52a: The Curious Audio Explorations of Radio 4’s Strange Sounds Collection

    BBC logo-Radio 4 Strange Sounds

    There is a strand or collection of radio programs originally broadcast on the BBC Radio 4 and available archived at the iPlayer called Strange Sounds.

    I came across it after listening to the Ian McMillan presented The School Is Full Of Noises, which considered “How did tape loops, recycled everyday sounds and countless other weapons of the avant-garde find their way into school music lessons during the 1960s?” and which I have written about previously at A Year In The Country.

    The Strange Sounds collection is described as:

    “Weird instruments and unearthly rhythms with hang drums, theremins, mellotrons and insect electronica.”

    It is a sub-section of the Seriously… collection of documentaries which is listed as being “No subject is too strange, no idea too weird.”

    Below is a selection of the programs Strange Sounds features, their subject matter and some of the presenters (or that should probably be explorers/researchers in many cases):

    Compression Versus Art:
    “Trevor Cox asks whether compression can detract from our enjoyment of recorded music – does it matter that what we hear may not be the same as what the musicians heard in the studio?”

    Ken Hollings Cutting Up The Cut Up-Strange Sounds-BBC Radio 4

    Cutting Up the Cut-Up:
    “The writer Ken Hollings examines how an artistic device called the ‘cut-up’ has been employed by artists and satirists to create new meanings from pre-existing recorded words.”
    (Ken Hollings is the author of Welcome to Mars: Fantasies of Science in the American Century, 1947-1959 and also wrote the notes that accompanied The Untold Story Of The British Space Programme, which featured music by Jim Jupp of Belbury Poly/Ghost Box Records and electronic music pioneer Daphne Oram, which I visited once before at A Year In The Country.)

    Cricket Cabaret:
    “Quirky sound composition inspired by the songs of crickets.”

    Good Vibrations-The Story Of The Theremin-Billy Bailey-BBC Radio 4

    Good Vibrations: The Story of the Theremin:
    “Bill Bailey tells the story of the remarkable ‘hands off’ electronic instrument and its enigmatic inventor and charts its use from horror and sci-fi film soundtracks through to contemporary dance music and of course its use on the Beach Boys’ iconic ‘Good Vibrations’.”

    Soundstage:
    Wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson presents a series of audio postcards.
    (You may well know this but Chris Watson was one of the founding members of Cabaret Voltaire and has a reputation of some renown in the area of field recordings.)

    How To Make Archive on 4:
    “Alan Dein enters the strange world of instructional records where you can teach yourself just about anything – from yodelling to training your budgie to talk.”

    Sampledelica! The History of the Mellotron:
    “Mark Radcliffe charts the history of the unwieldy Mellotron, a bizarre, tape-driven instrument that dominated the soundscape of the late 60s and 70s and featured on records by The Beatles, The Moody Blues, King Crimson and Tangerine Dream, to name a few.”

    Tiny Tinkles-Strange Sounds BBC Radio 4

    Tiny Tinkles:
    “Comedian and conductor Rainer Hersch investigates how and why ‘tinkly’ musical sounds are so evocative of childhood, but can also have a creepier quality.”

    In a way it is an almost mainstream corner of hauntological and related sound and music programmes.

    Not a bad way to spend an hour or few if you should have the time…

    (File under: Other Pathway Pointers And Markers)

    AVT Guide listing: Strange Sounds

     

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  • Wanderings #15/52a: Other Views / The Patterns Beneath The Plough, The Pylons And Amongst The Edgelands #1

    britain-from-above-book-bbc-ian-harrison-andrew-marr-a-year-in-the-country-10
    File under: Trails and Influences / Year 3 Wanderings

    I’m quite taken by some of the photographs in Ian Harrison’s Britain From Above book, which accompanied the BBC television series of the same name.

    These views of natural and often intertwined created shapes, of the marks upon the land, can be particularly entrancing, to have a beauty all of their own.

    At the same time, although it is a very mainstream project / publication (and nothing wrong with that), in parts some of the photographs seem to have a certain resonance that captures / hints at hidden histories and the layered stories of the land and the lives that are lived there.

    Or to quote myself “…the pattern beneath the plough, the pylons and amongst the edgelands”.

    So, here can be found a few that I was particularly drawn to…

    britain-from-above-book-bbc-ian-harrison-andrew-marr-a-year-in-the-country-4

    britain-from-above-book-bbc-ian-harrison-andrew-marr-a-year-in-the-country-2britain-from-above-book-bbc-ian-harrison-andrew-marr-a-year-in-the-country-1

    britain-from-above-book-bbc-ian-harrison-andrew-marr-a-year-in-the-country-3britain-from-above-book-bbc-ian-harrison-andrew-marr-a-year-in-the-country-5

    britain-from-above-book-bbc-ian-harrison-andrew-marr-a-year-in-the-country-6 britain-from-above-book-bbc-ian-harrison-andrew-marr-a-year-in-the-country-8 britain-from-above-book-bbc-ian-harrison-andrew-marr-a-year-in-the-country-9 britain-from-above-book-bbc-ian-harrison-andrew-marr-a-year-in-the-country-11 britain-from-above-book-bbc-ian-harrison-andrew-marr-a-year-in-the-country-12 britain-from-above-book-bbc-ian-harrison-andrew-marr-a-year-in-the-country-7

    Elsewhere In The The Ether:
    Peruse the book here.

     

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  • Ether Signposts #15/52a: The Delaware Road at Kelvedon Hatch

    The Delaware Road-Buried Treasure Records

    Well, if being a hauntologist was a job (which I suppose at times it is in terms of creating and releasing records etc) then The Delaware Road at Kelvedon Hatch event on 28th July 2017 could be considered a hauntological jolly or a works outing.

    (If you should not know “jolly” is a now rarely used and possibly old fashioned phrase that means a holiday or break and which now seems to refer to previous eras and ways of doing such things).

    Possibly by the nature of it, it is more a hauntological working day out than strictly speaking purely r’n’r.

    And just as with all good jollys, they’ve even hired a charabang to get you there.

    The venue is not quite your normal, common or garden establishment:

    “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.”

    The event has been put together by Buried Treasure Records, which is a UK label UK “specialising in archived electronic, tape, radiophonic, jazz, psych, folk & library sounds” and which put out the rather intriguing The Delaware Road album, of which this event is an extension of.

    The Delaware Road event-July 28th 2017-2

    The event and its themes are described as:

    “An occult conspiracy exploring a secret, abandoned Britain.

    “London, 1968. Two brilliant musicians create innovative sound using reel to reel tape. Whilst working for a large media organisation they stumble upon a conspiracy with seismic implications for themselves and for Britain. Exploring folklore, magic, propaganda, television & radio broadcasting, counter-culture & early, electronic music, The Delaware Road is an incredible, alternative vision of Britain during the second half of the 20th century.

    “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. This immersive mix of theater, film & live music will appeal greatly to fans of classic British science fiction & horror such as Quatermass, Dr Who, The Devil Rides Out & The Wicker Man.”

    The Delaware Road poster
    (As an aside this poster puts me in mind of Kate Bush’s Cloudbusting video, Peter Reich’s A Book Of Dreams which inspired it and related fringe religious/science explorations.)

    The night will feature performances by DOLLY DOLLY, HOWLROUND, TELEPLASMISTE, RADIONICS RADIO, IAN HELLIWELL, GLITCH, SAUNDERS & HILL, CONCRETISM, SIMON JAMES, THE MUMMERS & THE PAPPERS, THE TWELVE HOUR FOUNDATION, LOOSE CAPACITOR and DJ FOOD, with films & projections by JEFFREY SIEDLER, FOLK HORROR REVIVAL, PSYCHE TROPES and THE INFINITE ATTIC.

    Blimey, what a lineup (including some AYITC sometimes travellers) and one which could be filed alongside the first Further event at the Portico Gallery, which will also features Howlround, in terms of exploring particular strands of spectrally related culture.

    Delaware-Road-bundle-survival kit-resonance FM

    There was a Survival Kit auction in aid of Resonance FM which featured numerous records, prints etc from those taking part. That has now been bought/won but the related special edition of the OST show is still available to listen to.

    If your fears about Cold War dread have abated enough to take this particular subterranean trip then I expect this will be a fine and unique evening out (or under, as it were).

    (File under: Other Pathway Pointers And Markers)

    Destinations and Directions:
    Tickets
    Buried Treasure
    The event’s Facebook Page
    The Delaware Road At Kelvedon Hatch Audio Apocalypse Survival Kit on OST
     & via DJ Food
    The auction for the Survival Kit
    What Is The Delaware Road?

     

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  • Artifact Report #15/52a: The Restless Field – Preorder Available

    Dawn Edition £11.95. Night Edition £24.95.
    The Restless Field-Night and Dawn Editions-A Year In The Country
    File Under: Encasments / Artifacts – Artifact #2a

    Pre-order available now 10th April 2017. Release date 2nd May 2017.
    Available via our Artifacts Shop, our Bandcamp Ether Victrola and at Norman Records.

    Audiological contents created by Field Lines Cartographer, Vic Mars, Bare Bones, Assembled Minds, Grey Frequency, Endurance, Listening Center, Pulselovers, Sproatly Smith, Polypores, Depatterning, Time Attendant, A Year In The Country and David Colohan.

    The Restless Field is a study of the land as a place of conflict and protest as well as beauty and escape; an exploration and acknowledgment of the history and possibility of protest, resistance and struggle in the landscape/rural areas, in contrast with sometimes more often referred to urban events.

    It takes inspiration from flashpoints in history while also interweaving personal and societal myth, memory, the lost and hidden tales of the land.

    References and starting points include: The British Miners Strike of 1984 and the Battle Of Orgreave. Gerrard Winstanley & the Diggers/True Levellers in the 17th century. The first battle of the English Civil War in 1642. The burying of The Rotherwas Ribbon. The Mass Tresspass of Kinder Scout in 1932. Graveney Marsh/the last battle fought on English soil. The Congested Districts Board/the 19th century land war in Ireland. The Battle Of The Beanfield in 1985.

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

     

    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 landscape format stickers.
    The Restless Field-Night Edition-box front-A Year In The CountryThe Restless Field-Night Edition-opened box-A Year In The Country copy

    The Restless Field-Night Edition-all items-A Year In The CountryThe Restless Field-Night Edition-booklet pages-A Year In The Country

    The Restless Field-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 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) 2 x vinyl style landscape format sticker.

     

    Dawn Edition. Limited to 104 copies. £11.95.
    Hand-finished white/black CDr album in textured recycled fold out sleeve with inserts and badge.
    The Restless Field-Dawn Edition-front-A Year In The Country

    The Restless Field-Dawn Edition-opened-A Year In The Country The Restless Field-Dawn Edition-back-A Year In The Country

    The Restless Field-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.

     

    The Restless Field-landscape sticker artwork

    Further audiological exploration details:
    1) Ghosts Of Blood & Iron – Field Lines Cartographer
    2) Mortimer’s Cross – Vic Mars
    3) [ fears ] avaunt! upon ‘the’ hill – Bare Bones
    4) 3am M5 Field Raid – Assembled Minds
    5) Agrarian Lament – Grey Frequency
    6) Beneath The Cherry Trees – Endurance
    7) Congested District – Listening Center
    8) Badby 80 – Pulselovers
    9) Ribbons – Sproatly Smith
    10) Graveney Marsh – Polypores
    11) Last Best West (circ. 1896) – Depatterning
    12) Black Slab – Time Attendant
    13) A Mutable History Under A Bright June Sky – A Year In The Country
    14) Beyond Jack’s Gate – David Colohan

    Artwork / encasment design by AYITC Ocular Signals Department.

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

    Artifact #2a
    Library Reference Numbers: A008TRFN / A008TRFD

    The Restless Field-Night Edition-booklet artwork-A Year In The Country

    Available via our Artifacts Shop, our Bandcamp Ether Victrola and at Norman Records.
    Pre-order available now 10th April 2017. Release date 2nd May 2017. 

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

     

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  • Ocular Signals #14/52a: Image N/1a

    image-n1a-3rd-year-a-year-in-the-country
    File under: A Year In The Country Ocular Explorations

     

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  • Audio Visual Transmission Guide #14/52a: Flypaper – Revolt From the Monolith/Come Back to the Village

    Flypaper - Revolt From the Monolith-Come Back to the Village

    Revolt From the Monolith/Come Back to the Village is by Steven Collins, once of the band The Owl Service, released using the name Flypaper…

    …and it is a world away in terms of musical style from the revisitings and reinterpretings of folk which The Owl Service undertook, although it does link via the patterns and furrows beneath the land and its cultural tales:

    “Flypaper returns to the original inspiration for The Owl Service and takes it forward in an entirely different direction, using samples and sound collage rather than conventional instrumentation to create a sonic recalling of Wyrd Britannia.” (From notes at Flypaper’s Bandcamp page).

    Revolt From the Monolith/Come Back to the Village is an instrumental track apart from a looped vocal sample, which I think is from David Rudkin/Alan Clarke’s Penda’s Fen and which announces the title in the curiously unworried, considering what he has to say, voice of a late night Open University lecturer who has tenure in a parallel hauntological Midwich-ian village (strictly speaking in Penda’s Fen the voice belongs to a reverend).

    There is a melancholic refrain that continues throughout the track while what sounds like underground industrial equipment goes about about its work slightly off in the distance. It creates a dark, intense atmosphere that you drift off into and with.

    Eventually even Revolt From The Monolith disappears, just leaving the vocal to repeat “Come back to the village”.

    Graham Fuller in his review of Penda’s Fen for the BFI’s website says about this part of a speech from a father to his son in the film that it “becomes incantatory”, which it seems to here; the looping “Come back to the village” seems to be a summoning but I’m not quite sure that the village it beckons the listener to represents safety and a bucolic refuge in this instance.

    The only real links to folk with the track are possibly via some of the more electronic, dark ambient/electronic experiments of what is sometimes called neo-folk…

    In an interconnected manner what it puts me in mind of, without being a replication of their work, is Coil and their invocations of the hidden reverse of the land and culture.

    Considering the nature of the previous recordings Steven Collins has worked on this is an unexpected exploration down very different pathways, one that shows that sometimes you can gain a particularly bright light from burning bridges.

    AVT Guide: Flypaper – Revolt From the Monolith/Come Back to the Village

     

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  • Wanderings #14/52a: The Unexpected Arrival Of Spectral Containment Systems #1

    cover-art-by-new-music-graphics-book-adrian-shaughnessy-ghost-box-records-a-year-in-the-country-1File under: Trails and Influences / Year 3 Wanderings

    Well, there I was in a bricks and mortar book shop in the middle of nowhere (well, not strictly the middle of nowhere but definitely on its own in the middle of the countryside, a good ten or so miles I’d say from the nearest conurbation of notable size or any nearby dwellings at all)…

    …anyways, I was having a good old browse of said bookshop, which is essentially what is sometimes called a bargain book shop (new books but everything is for sale at a reduced cover price)…

    And I’m rather pleasantly surprised and impressed as the shelves aren’t filled with just the pile ’em high, ship ’em cheap mainstream titles that is sometimes the case, there’s a sense of selection and curation to this particular selection…

    …and then, all of a sudden I came across Ghost Box Records.

    Well, not strictly speaking the label/project itself but rather a book by Adrian Shaugnessy called Cover Art By: (subtitled New Music Graphics).

    And there on the cover, is a a prime slice of Ghost Box / Julian House design.

    cover-art-by-new-music-graphics-book-adrian-shaughnessy-ghost-box-records-a-year-in-the-country-3cover-art-by-new-music-graphics-book-adrian-shaughnessy-ghost-box-records-a-year-in-the-country-2

    Needless to say, this was in my “shopping basket” as I headed towards the till (read as overfilled arms / staggering with quite a pile of books while I tried to decide which to get).

    Anyways, the book is a collection/exploration of the creative/explorative side of music cover art and related record labels, accompanied by interviews with those involved.

    (In this sense, it seems like a companion book to sampler2 – art, pop and contemporary graphics, also by Adrian Shaughnessy that I have considered around these parts back when.)

    cover-art-by-new-music-graphics-book-adrian-shaughnessy-ghost-box-records-lawrence-english-room-40-a-year-in-the-country-1

    Inside can be found an interview with Misters House and Jupp of Ghost Box Records, which provides a good snapshot of a point in time which from reading I think was when they were beginning to move from their early hand finished/CDr days into becoming more of a conventional released label.

    cover-art-by-new-music-graphics-john-wells-type-recordings-book-adrian-shaughnessy-ghost-box-records-a-year-in-the-country-1 cover-art-by-new-music-graphics-book-adrian-shaughnessy-ghost-box-records-the-silver-mount-zion-a-year-in-the-country-1b

    This section made me smile:

    Jim Jupp: “We used to studiously deny the nostalgia element of Ghost Box. But lately we’ve been saying, f* it, what’s so bad about nostalgia? So long as it’s done with a bit of style…”

    The book itself was published in 2008 by Laurence King Publishing (and is a good snapshot of a particular point in musical and cultural time and accompanying packaging and sleeve design. It’s currently out of print but can be perused here.

     

    Intertwined wanderings around these parts:

    Day #59/365: Signals and signposts from and via Mr Julian House

    Day #64/365: Belbury Poly’s Geography Of Peace

    Day #178/365: The cuckoo in the nest: sitting down with a cup of cha, a slice of toast, Broadcast, Emerald Web, Ghost Box Records and other fellow Shindig travellers…

    Day #205/365: The interfaces between the old ways/cathode rays; twelve spinnings from an (Electric Edenic) Invisible Ghost (Juke)Box

    Day #251/365: Broadcast; constellators and artifacts

    Elsewhere in the ether:
    Cover Art By:The aforementioned spectral containment systems home in the ether.

     

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  • Ether Signposts #14/52a: Further – A Temporary Audio Visual Space

    Further-Portico Gallery DJ Food-flier

    Although it’s quite rare I make it down to the metropolis nowadays, I’ve been somewhat drawn to and intrigued by the Further event put together by DJ Food and Pete Williams:

    “An irregular event held in different places, it’s not a club night, it’s not monthly, there’s no dance floor. It HAS got all the things we love in it though: experimental music and film, food and drink, socialising and a bit of record hunting. Taking old analogue image making techniques from the 20th century and recontextualising it into new spaces for today.

    “We have Jim Jupp (Belbury Poly) and Julian House (The Focus Group) from Ghost Box Records playing a rare audio visual set and Howlround sound tracking Steven McInerney’s short film, ‘A Creak In Time’.

    “Pete and I will be pulling all manner of projections, films, slides and FX out to illuminate the gallery at the beginning and end of the evening to compliment our DJ sets.”

    Sounds like a good old night and even allowing for the night bus home, you could probably be in bed by 1am if you live around those parts.

    Further Slides-DJ Food-Portical Gallery-2

    (The description of the event as a “A Temporary Audio Visual Space” made me think of Hakim Bey’s concept/book Temporary Autonomous Zones, which refers in part to spaces where the norms and rules of society and formal structures of control briefly do not apply, areas where for example a carnivalesque or explorative sense of freedom can be created. Though in Further’s case such things would I expect be more in terms of visual and musical aesthetics rather than the more overtly political considerations of Hakim Bey’s work.)

    Further Slides-DJ Food-Portical Gallery

    I particularly like the hand tinted slides that DJ Food posted on his site (because of the nature of AYITC you’ll need to pop over to his site to get the full effect). And if I’m not mistaken, there’s a Howlround design from the AYITC released Torridon Gate in amongst them.

    Further could well be filed alongside the upcoming The Delaware Road Kelvedon Hatch event, in that both have Howlround performing and both I expect may well appeal to people who are culturally hauntologically/spectrally inclined. The Ghost Box Belbury Youth Club events may also be another reference point.

    The event is on May 6th at The Portico Gallery in London.

    (File post under: Other Pathway Pointers And Markers)

    Directions and destinations:
    The Further website
    Tickets
    The Hand Tinted Slides
    Facebook page

     

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  • Artifact Report #14/52a: The Restless Field at Simon Reynold’s blissblog and the sunday experience

    FB-The Restless Field-Simon Reynolds-Blissblog-the sunday experience
    File Under: Encasments / Artifacts – Artifact #2a

    blissblog-Simon Reynolds-The Restless Field-A Year In The Country

    The forthcoming Restless Field album can be found amongst Retromania/Shock and Awe author Simon Reynold’s Spring 2017 Hauntology Parish Newsletter, amongst some rather fine company including Lo Five/Patterned Air Recordings, Keith Seatman’s new album, Revbjelde and other Buried Treasure related goings on including a somewhat subterranean Delaware Road event that will feature the likes of The Twelve Hour Radio, DJ Food, Dolly Dolly, Concretism, Howlround and Ian Helliwell amongst others:

    “The Restless Field… another exquisitely packaged affair with audio contributions from Patterned Air’s Assembled Minds, Field Lines Cartographer, Vic Mars, Bare Bones, Grey Frequency, Endurance, Listening Center, Pulselovers, Sproatly Smith, Polypores, Depatterning, Time Attendant, and David Colohan.

    “One of their best efforts so far, I think – murky and ominous as befits the guiding thematic: places that are spectrally imprinted with past conflicts and struggles. Particularly enjoyed the blackly buzzing pulsescape  of “Congested District” by Listening Center.”

    Visit the Newletter here.

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

    The album has also had first consideration by Mark Barton at his the sunday experience site:

    “The Restless Field is your bountiful feast of spring dew harvesting, an as ever exquisitely hand crafted package of dawn and night variations that features a fourteen strong gathering of familiar friends around the mystical and magical ley lines that crisscross these fair green lands each blooded and ghosted in historical flashpoints and historical turning points.”

    Visit that here.

    A tip of the hat to Simon and Mark.

    Further details on The Restless Field can be found here. Preview clips from the album here.

     

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