Posted on Leave a comment

Grey Frequency – Immersion: Audio Visual Archive 42/52

Print artwork from Grey Frequency’s Immersion (created by AYITC Ocular Signals Department utilising visual work/source material by Gavin Morrow).

 

“Ethereal ambient transmissions… Through the manipulation of found sounds and field recordings Grey Frequency explores themes of memory, folklore, and the world of audio disintegration. Soundscapes are crafted using audio cassettes, tape players and effects pedals, creating an atmospheric blend of lo-fi ambient textures, dense drones and abstract musical passages.” (Text written by Grey Frequency.)

 

Links:

 

Elsewhere at A Year In The Country:

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Grey Frequency – Immersion: Audio Visual Archive 21/52

Print artwork from Grey Frequency’s Immersion album.

“Ethereal ambient transmissions… Through the manipulation of found sounds and field recordings Grey Frequency explores themes of memory, folklore, and the world of audio disintegration. Soundscapes are crafted using audio cassettes, tape players and effects pedals, creating an atmospheric blend of lo-fi ambient textures, dense drones and abstract musical passages.” (Text written by Grey Frequency.)

Links:

 

Elsewhere at A Year In The Country:

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Grey Frequency – Immersion: Audio Visual Archive 1/52

Artwork from Grey Frequency’s Immersion album.

“The phrase that comes to mind when I think of Grey Frequency’s work is broken signals; a scanning or overview of the ghosts in the airwaves, transmissions discovered via edgeland explorations and forays…

…when I listen to Immersion it feels like a capturing of activity hidden deep below the surface of things, the inexorable power of nature and it’s movement/force against it’s own edifices and those of civilisation over many years; a capturing of the sound of those self-same rending and collapsing into the below. Lovely stuff.” (Quoted from A Year In The Country).

More details on the album here and at Bandcamp.

Visit Grey Frequency’s site here.

 

Elsewhere at A Year In The Country:

  1. Day #192/365: When Do We Dream? Cold Geometries and Grey Frequencies
  2. Grey Frequency’s Agrarian Lament Video: Artifact Report #23/52a
  3. Audiological Transmission #50​/​52: The Quietened Bunker – Comms: Seen Through The Grey / Revisitation #4a
  4. Week #49/52: The Wanderings Of Veloelectroindustrial
  5. Audiological Transmission #30​/​​​​​52​​: The Quietened Bunker – Drakelow Tunnels
  6. Audiological Transmission #25/​​52​​: Immersion – Coastline, Black Sky
  7. Day #346/365: Audiological Reflections and Pathways #1; a library of loss
  8. Day #362/365: Signals sent, signals received…

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Grey Frequency’s Agrarian Lament Video: Artifact Report #23/52a

Grey Frequency-Agrarian Lament video still-From The Furthest Fields

The Restless Field-Dawn Edition-front-A Year In The CountryThe video to accompany Grey Frequency’s Agrarian Lament from The Restless Field album can be viewed amongst their other hypnotic audio visual work at their Youtube channel.

Grey Frequency’s online home for their “ethereal ambient transmissions” can be visited here.

Further details on The Restless Field album can be viewed here.

 

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

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Day #325/365: Artifact #46/52; Grey Frequency Immersion CD album released – Dusk / Dawn Editions

Grey Frequency Immersion CD album. Dusk Edition £10.00.  Dawn Edition £12.00Grey Frequency-Dusk and Dawn Editions-front covers-A Year In The CountryAudiological Research and Pathways; Case #1
Audiological contents: 01 Hemlock Stone (19:01). 02 Coastline, Black Sky (16:41).

Available at our Artifacts Shop, our Discogs Audiological Archive and our  Bandcamp page.
Prices include free UK shipping. Normally ships within 7-14 days.

Both editions custom printed and hand-finished by A Year In The Country.

Grey Frequency-Dusk and Dawn Editions-opened-A Year In The Country copy
Immersion was the first Audiological Research and Pathways case study that was sent forth at
A Year In The Country and I am pleased and indeed proud to be able to return to it.

Not least because it gives me the chance to return to the recordings contained myself. This is transportative music, something that sends and allows my mind to travel elsewhere; it is meditative and quietly unsettling.

The phrase that comes to mind when I think of Grey Frequency’s work is broken signals; a scanning or overview of the ghosts in the airwaves, transmissions discovered via edgeland explorations and forays…

…when I listen to Immersion it feels like a capturing of activity hidden deep below the surface of things, the inexorable power of nature and it’s movement/force against it’s own edifices and those of civilisation over many years; a capturing of the sound of those self same rending and collapsing into the below.

Lovely stuff.” (AYITC)

 

Dusk Edition: Limited to 52 copies. £10.00.
Hand-finished packaging; all black CDr in matt recycled sleeve with insert.
Grey Frequency-Dusk Edition-front-A Year In The CountryGrey Frequency-Dusk Edition-all elements-A Year In The CountryGrey Frequency-Dusk Edition-opened-A Year In The CountryGrey Frequency-Immersion-top and bottom of all black CD-A-Year-In-The-Country
Top of CD.                                                             Bottom of CD.

Artwork custom printed by A Year In The Country using archival Giclée pigment ink.
Hand numbered on the back of the insert.

 

Dawn Edition. Limited to 52 copies. £12.00.
Hand-finished white/black CDr album in textured recycled fold out sleeve with insert and badge.
Grey Frequency-Dawn Edition-front cover-A Year In The Country
Grey Frequency-Dawn Edition-opened 1-A Year In The Country Grey Frequency-Dawn Edition-opened 2-A Year In The Country copyGrey Frequency Immersion-A-Year-In-The-Country-white-black-CDr
Top of CD.                                                          Bottom of CD.
Grey Frequency-Dawn Edition-rear cover-A Year In The Country Grey Frequency-Dawn Edition-badge-A Year In The Country

Artwork custom printed by A Year In The Country using archival Giclée pigment ink.
Includes 25mm/1″ badge, secured with removable glue on a tag which is string bound to the sleeve.
Back of the insert is hand numbered.

 

Artwork/packaging design by AYITC Ocular Signals Department (utilising visual work/source material by Gavin Morrow).

 

Available at our Artifacts Shop, our Discogs Audiological Archive and our  Bandcamp page.
Prices include free UK shipping. Normally ships within 7-14 days.

 

Box-set Night Editions and string bound booklet Day Editions also available.
See Day #224/365.
Grey Frequency-Immersion-Night Edition-A Year In The Country-2 Grey Frequency-Immersion album-A Year In The Country

 

Below is the video which accompanies the Hemlock Stone track:

Visit Grey Frequency in the ether here.

Peruse Grey Frequency at A Year In The Country: Day #192/365.

 

The library of A Year In The Country Audiological Research and Pathways series includes:
Case Study #1: Grey Frequency: Immersion
Case Study #2: Hand of Stabs: Black-Veined White
Case Study #3: Michael Tanner: Nine of Swords
Case Study #5: She Rocola: Burn The Witch / Molly Leigh Of The Mother Town
Case Study #6: Howlround: Torridon Gate
Case Study #7: Racker & Orphan; Twalif X

Grey Frequency-Immersion-Night Edition-A Year In The Country-2Hand of Stabs-Black-Veined White-Night Edition-boxset-A Year In The CountryMichael Tanner-Nine Of Swords-Night Edition-box set-A Year In The Country

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Day #224/365: Artifact #32/52; Grey Frequency Immersion album – Night/Day editions

Grey Frequency Immersion album. Night Edition £25.00.  Day edition £18.00.

Audiological Research and Pathways; Case #1
Audiological contents: 01 Hemlock Stone (19:01). 02 Coastline, Black Sky (16:41).

Available at our Artifacts Shop, our Discogs Audiological Archive and our Other Artifacts Etsy shop.
Prices include free UK shipping. Normally ships within 7-14 days.

 

Night Edition: Limited to 52 copies. £25.00.

Box-set contains: album on all black CD-R, string bound booklet, 4x25mm badge set, unique one off art print.

Grey Frequency-Immersion-Night Edition-A Year In The Country-2

Grey Frequency-Immersion-Night Edition-A Year In The Country-1

Grey Frequency-Immersion-Night Edition-A Year In The Country-3

Grey Frequency-Immersion-Night Edition-A Year In The Country-9

Grey Frequency-Immersion-Night Edition-A Year In The Country-10

Grey Frequency-Immersion-Night Edition-A Year In The Country-5

Grey Frequency-Immersion-Night Edition-A Year In The Country-6 twin

Grey Frequency-Immersion-Night Edition-A Year In The Country-7-print front and back

Grey Frequency-Immersion-one off prints-A Year In The Country
(Above: a selection of the 52 one-off prints.)

Grey Frequency-Immersion-Night Edition-A Year In The Country-8 badge pack

Night Edition Details:

1) All artwork printed using archival Giclée pigment ink.

2) Contained in a matchbox style sliding two-part rigid matt card box.

3) Printed box cover print.

4) Fully black CD-R (black on top, black on playable side).

5) Black string bound 12.8cm x 12.8cm booklet:
a) Hand signed by Gavin Morrow of Grey Frequency, hand numbered.
b) Hand bone creased cover.
c) 12 pages (6 sides printed);
d) Contains 5 images, one credits page.
e) Front and rear covers are printed on 310gsm textured fine art cotton rag paper.
f) Three inner pages are printed on 245gsm paper.
g) One inner page is printed on semi-transparent 110gsm vellum paper.

6) 4x25mm/1″ badge set contained in a see-through polythene bag with a folded card header.

7) One-off art print:
12.8cm x 12.8 cm, printed on 310gsm textured fine art cotton rag paper.
Hand signed and numbered by the AYITC Ocular Signals Department.

Each set contains a different art print, 52 designs throughout the edition.

 

Day Edition: Limited to 52 copies. £18.00.

White/black CD-R album in string bound book packaging.

Grey Frequency-Immersion album-A Year In The Country

Grey Frequency-Immersion album-A Year In The Country 2b twin

Grey Frequency-Immersion album-A Year In The Country-5

Grey Frequency-Immersion album-A Year In The Country-4b twin

Grey Frequency-Immersion album-A Year In The Country-7b twin

Day Edition Details:

1) All artwork printed using archival Giclée pigment ink.

2) Wrapped in wax sealed, hand stamped black tissue paper.

3) White/black CD-R (white on top, black on playable side).

4) Jute string bound 14.4cm x 13.2cm booklet:
a) Hand signed by Gavin Morrow of Grey Frequency, hand numbered.
b) Hand bone creased cover.
c) 12 pages (6 sides printed);
d) Contains 5 images, one credits page.
e) Front and rear covers are printed on 310gsm textured fine art cotton rag paper.
f) Three inner pages are printed on 245gsm paper.
g) One inner page is printed on semi-transparent 110gsm vellum paper.

5) CD-R held in protective fleece-lined sleeve.

 

Artwork/packaging design by AYITC Ocular Signals Department (utilising visual work/source material by Gavin Morrow).

Prices include free UK shipping. Normally ships within 7-14 days.

Available at our Artifacts Shop, our Discogs Audiological Archive and our Other Artifacts Etsy shop.

 

This Audiological Case Study can also be listened to via our Ether Victrola below and is available for futher perusing/purchase at our Bandcamp page.

 

Below is the video which accompanies the Hemlock Stone track:

Visit Grey Frequency in the ether here.

Peruse Grey Frequency at A Year In The Country: Day #192/365.

 

The full current library of the A Year In The Country Audiological Research and Pathways series:

Case Study #1: Grey Frequency: Immersion
Case Study #2: Hand of Stabs: Black-Veined White
Case Study #3: Michael Tanner: Nine of Swords
Case Study #5: She Rocola: Burn The Witch / Molly Leigh Of The Mother Town

Grey Frequency-Immersion-Night Edition-A Year In The Country-2Hand of Stabs-Black-Veined White-Night Edition-boxset-A Year In The CountryMichael Tanner-Nine Of Swords-Night Edition-box set-A Year In The Country

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Audiological Transmission #50​/​52: The Quietened Bunker – Comms: Seen Through The Grey / Revisitation #4a

the-quietened-bunker-revisiting-a-year-in-the-country-stroke

Audiological exploration by Listening Center.

bunker-revisiting-2-for-bandcamp-strokeFrom the album The Quietened Bunker, which also includes work by Keith Seatman, Grey Frequency, A Year In The Country, Panabrite, Polypores, Time Attendant, Unknown Heretic and David Colohan.

Available at Bandcamp and our Artifacts Shop.

 

Revisitation #4a.

The Quietened Bunker-Night Editions-landscape sticker artwork-A Year In The Country

Notes and Scribings:
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.

They could be seen as once modern fortresses – reinforced concrete and blast doors replacing moats and stone battlements.

However, these subterranean fortresses would likely also have been places of entombment – somewhere that those who once ran the infrastructure and defence of the nation would watch the days pass as supplies dwindled and the inevitable time came when the air filters would give out, all long before the world would become habitable again.

The Quietened Bunker-landscape artwork 3-A Year In The Country

Accompanying the main bunkers in the UK were a network of hundreds of small underground monitoring posts which would report on the size of an attack and the resulting fallout. Manned by volunteers, they were to be operational for just three weeks.

The intention was that these would form part of a network of civil defence and management, accompanied by government issued Protect and Survive leaflets/broadcasts that would have offered advice on how to protect home and hearth via little more than whitewashing windows as blast protection and forming a shelter by leaning mattresses against an inner wall of your house.

Looking back, such preparations can seem a reflection of some kind of madness or delusion in the collective consciousness and the halls of power – a tilting at windmills that was necessary to protect national psyches from the reality and aftermath of the sudden use and descending of mechanisms with almost indescribable destructive power.

The Quietened Bunker-29 of 52-Keith Seatman-A Year In The Country-stroke

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.

The Quietened Bunker reflects on these chimeric bulwarks and the faded but still present memory of associated Cold War dread, of which they are stalwart, mouldering symbols.

 

transmissions-sent-the-quietened-bunker-a-year-in-the-country-9b-with-stroke

Transmissions sent, received, transmitted:

“The Quietened Bunker is an exploration of the abandoned and/or decommissioned Cold War installations (i.e. my favourite places). And (spoiler) it’s brilliant – an absolute contender for my album of the year. Every single track is expressive of the theme, though they all take a different approach to presenting it.” Pete Collins at Both Bars On

“Grey Frequency’s Drakelow Tunnels is comprised of desolate drones like wind whipping through a crumbling building, menacing hums and echoes, and a repeated three-note melody loaded with foreboding… Listening Center combines music reminiscent of 1970s synth pioneers with a darkly experimental edge… David Colohan of United Bible Studies contributes a soundtrack-esque piece that is stark yet beautiful, a sense of hope shining through the abandonment like flowers arising triumphantly through crumbling concrete.” Kim Harten at Bliss Aquamarine

rue-morgue-popshifter-the-quietened-bunker-review-a-year-in-the-countryshindig-magazine-issue-59-quietened-bunker-review-page-91-strokethe-quietened-bunker-was-ist-das-review-a-year-in-the-country
From Rue Morgue, Shindig issue 59 and handwritten scribing by Was Ist Das?

“Over the course of the album, the sounds blend beautifully together,  each seemingly tied to the next by a sense of loneliness and abandonment, creating a very melancholic collection that is very engaging with every artist playing their part in the mystery. To end it all, David Colohan takes the listener on a magical ride as “Waiting for the Blazing Sky” unfolds around you, a soft melodic slice of electronics that seems to float without form or purpose, summing up the cold war relics that inspired this excellent compilation.” Simon Lewis at Terrascope

Other considerations and zeros and ones/frequency modulation broadcasts of the album can also be found at:

The Quietened Bunker-Night Edition-all items-A Year In The CountrySeance Radio Show / Include Me Out / A Closer Listen #1 / A Closer Listen #2 / You, The Night & The Music #1  / You The Night & The Music # 2Evening Of Light / Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone / Nick Luscombe at Late Junction / Music Won’t Save You / The Crooked Button Radio Show / John Coulthart’s Feuilleton / Syndae #1 / Syndae #2 / The Sunday Experience / Gated Canal Community RadioSimon Reynold’s Retromania.

A tip of the hat to all concerned.

 

The Quietened Bunker-secret bunker tourist road signs-A Year In The Country-3 copyFrankie Goes To Hollywood-Two Tribes-OMD-Two Tribes-Jona Lewie-Stop The Cavalry-Trailblazers-Sky Arts-A Year In The Country
A set of intermingled The Quietened Bunker wanderings can be perused via:

Week #30/52: The Quietened Bunker Archives #1; A Lovely Day Out / Not Your Average Des Res

Week #31/52: The Quietened Bunker Archives #2; Songs For The Bunker – The Once Was Ascendance Of Apocalyptic Pop

Week #32/52: Bunker Archives #3: Wargames, Hollywood phantoms and phantasms and the only winning move is not to play

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

 

The Quietened Bunker-Dawn and Night editions-opened-release date-A Year In The Country

Further details of The Quietened Bunker can be found around these parts here.

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Day #192/365: When Do We Dream? Cold Geometries and Grey Frequencies

Grey Frequency-dark ambient-A Year In The Country 5File under: Trails and Influences: Recent Explorations.
Case #24/52.

For a while now I’ve been finding myself drawn to certain areas of what could be called ambient music and/or tonal drone instrumental music.

I didn’t expect it, nor has it been a conscious decision but sometimes you look up and something has crept up on you.

This isn’t necessarily ambient music in the more new age sense of relaxing background music… in the racks of (hardly now existing) record shops, this is more likely to be filed under dark ambient.

In common with its lighter, brighter namesake, it is still music that you can let wash over you but at the same time it is often a much more experimental, subterranean form of this music than it’s sometimes blissful genre companions.

Grey Frequency-Cold Geometry-tape-A Year In The Country

I’ve wandered why I’ve been drawn to such things, often in the past having been quite an appreciator of the traditional song structure, melody and lyrics… possibly in these days of cultural informational input, overload and the cutting up of culture and attention into tiny, tiny bits and pieces, the less invasive, longer in time duration, contemplative pieces that can be found in such music have become a refuge, a place where I can appreciate music but also let my mind wander and dream.

And in the sense of being able to let your mind travel or absorbing music for an extended period of time, I’m reminded of what one of the originators of such things, Brian Eno, said when discussing ambient music; that he wanted to create music that you could use in the same way as you did light – it was just there and that you don’t necessarily want light to always be erratic, pulsing or strobing.

I used the word subterranean earlier for a particular reason… often the music I have been listening to conjures in my mind a sense of being literally underground, of journeys through tunnels deep below the ground.

Grey Frequency-dark ambient-A Year In The CountryOne of my favourite of such things is the work of Grey Frequency.

I first came across their work via a visual medium, while tumbl(r)ing down particular hills in the valleys of zeros and ones… I thought, ah, here is somebody that is approaching a sense of unsettled pastoralism, childhood wastelands, post-post war architectural concrete brutalism and associated patterns/textures in a manner not too dissimilar to myself.

And then I listened to the music and I was travelling and tunnelling through those aforementioned subterranean passageways, accompanied by a sense of bliss become dread, of creaking, lurking monoliths…

And what are those monoliths? What is that sense of dread? Well, this is inherently hauntological music, in that it captures a sense of the lost futures and utopias which were once promised; those creaking monoliths are the sounds of the fading half-life of the utilitarian reinforced concrete structures which were once signposts and symbols of those futures and better days. This is music as collapsed edgeland industrial estates and wastelands, where the buzz of the pylons carry electricity to elsewhere, nolonger here and transmission centres have fallen silent.

Grey Frequency-dark ambient-derelict building-A Year In The Country 3

This is music and a project which, for me (and of course I can only talk for myself, I don’t know the intentions of its creator) is imbued with a sense of the cold war dread that accompanied much of my childhood, of a country and its infrastructure in a state of crumbling and decay. And this might sound odd but for some reason when I hear Grey Frequency, it reminds me of soundtracks to big budget science fiction films… but the foreign, outer places its stories traverse aren’t those of far future worlds, those otherly lands are now our own futures past and landscapes.

Grey Frequency-dark ambient-A Year In The Country 6Grey Frequency is a multi-faceted project; music is at its core but it also takes in photography, lithographic print and video work. Its various manifestations can be found here (audio signals and physical artifacts), here (audio signals), here (static visual transmissions), here (cathode ray flickerings), here (ether connections) and here (compact communications).

If you’re of a certain age and cultural inclination, you may also enjoy Retro Reverbs, which is built by Grey Frequency personnel; a scrapbook or source library of imagery all held in a well-worn, long-lost mass publication paperback cover (adults only, as such things may well say on the cover).

You can take in the audio experience of Mr Brian Eno being interviewed by a picture book story telling, bearded, self-declared thaumaturge here, which is part of a chain reaction that was previously fed by Jon Brooks supporter and occasional appearer in these pages Stewart Lee.

 

About

The A Year In The Country project began in 2014 and has explored and documented the interconnected rise of interest in the wyrd, eerie and re-enchanted landscape, folk horror, the further reaches of folk music and the parallel worlds of hauntology.

It was founded and is run by Stephen Prince and has released 9 books and over 30 albums alongside there being over 1300 posts on the website etc.

The A Year In The Country non-fiction books and written posts on the website, all of which have been written by Stephen Prince, are intended to draw together and connect layered and, at times, semi-hidden cultural pathways and signposts: from explorations of the above mentioned eerie landscape via the shape of the future’s past that can be found in Brutalist architecture, alongside acid and underground folk, “edgelands”, electronic music pioneers, older British public information films, rural progressive or utopian settlements and associated temporary autonomous zones, folkloric film and photography, folk horror in its various forms, contemporary hauntological-esque music releases and hazily misremembered televisual tales and transmissions and an accompanying strand of later 1960s through to early 1980s young adult orientated British television series which had surprisingly complex and/or dark themes.

A number of the project’s music releases have been themed compilations which took as their  subjects abandoned villages, the flashpoints of history and conflict in the landscape, derelict Cold War infrastructure, ancient trees and their passage through time, the faded dreams of the space race, deserted industry and echoes of tales from woodland folklore etc. Alongside work by Stephen Prince, working under both his own name and as A Year In The Country, they have featured contributions by amongst others Sproatly Smith, The Séance (Pete Wiggs of Saint Etienne and James Papademetrie), Widow’s Weeds, Pulselovers, The Heartwood Institute, Depatterning, Folclore Impressionista, Howlround, Field Lines Cartographer, Dom Cooper (The Owl Service/The Straw Bear Band), Keith Seatman, Grey Frequency, Time Attendant, The Rowan Amber Mill, Sharron Kraus, Listening Center, Polypores, Lutine, The Soulless Party, Assembled Minds and Vic Mars.

Other music released as part of the project has included, amongst other work, solo releases by Stephen Prince working as A Year In The Country and have included, alongside others, albums inspired by isolated broadcast towers and scattered radio signals plucked from the airwaves and the unsettled undercurrents and “patterns beneath the plough, the pylons and amongst the edgelands” that can be found in nature and the landscape.

The above mentioned novellas, which have also been written by Stephen Prince, and their accompanying albums that have included solo releases by him and also further themed compilations featuring work both by him and some of the album contributors mentioned above, have created and explored the dreamscapes of imaginary lost films and songs and are set amongst the hinterlands of folk, pyschedelic, otherly pastoral, wyrd and hauntological culture.

The roots of the project’s inspiration can be found in part amongst its founder’s childhood which at times was spent in the shadow of the Cold War, alongside him discovering and becoming intrigued by the fringes of science fiction and related dystopian tales at a young age, while also living amongst and next to the British countryside, overlooked edgelands and abandoned and contemporary defence infrastructure and equipment. This mixture of a pastoral playground, a world on the edge and fantastic fictions proved to be a heady mix for the dreamscapes of a young mind, all of which would be some of the initial seedlings that would lead one day to the creation and ongoing themes of A Year In The Country.

“Stephen Prince’s impressively comprehensive multimedia project A Year In The Countryhas explored and documented some of the lesser-trodden pathways between pastoral folk music and Radiophonic electronica, as well as actively contributing to these genres with a succession of hugely enjoyable musical releases… He has created a tangled, overgrown enclave of twisted, rustic oddness and continues to weave his own darkly entrancing magic over the countryside.” Bob Fischer, Fortean Times’ The Haunted Generation columnist, writing at his website and in Electronic Sound magazine

“Stephen Prince is a multimedia artist who’s been building his own otherworldly visions of Arcadian England under the name A Year In The Country. Both an exploration of a pastoral past and a rumination on a dystopian present, his recordings marry spectral folk to an electronic otherworld, whilst he has written books of non-fiction that investigate the inner-psyche of our collective histories.” Thomas Patterson, Shindig!

“A Year In The Countryis steadily building up a body of work that presents an alternative view of rural Britain, the project’s output is consistently fascinating.” Psychogeographic Review

 

An older version of the About page can be found here.

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Last Day of The A Year In The Country Sale

The A Year In The Country CDs etc are now sold out but the albums are available to download at our Bandcamp page, Amazon, The Tidal Store, 7digital etc and can be streamed on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, YouTube etc.

The A Year In The Country books are now sold out at our Shop and Bandcamp page but they are available at Amazon UKAmazon US,  Amazon Australia and their other worldwide sites and also from Lulu.

The books may also available to order from other bookshops etc, please direct any queries regarding that directly to them.

Friday 6th May 2022, is the last day of the A Year In The Country sale. Many items are half price or less and quite a few are already sold out or are down to the last few or even very last copy, so if you’ve ever thought about about exploring the undercurrents or taking a quietened journey then now would be the time to do it.

All the remaining CD and cassette copies of the albums etc are now only at our Bandcamp site and they are sold out at our Artifacts Shop.

The A Year In The Country books are still available for sale at Amazon UK, Amazon US and their various other international sites and Lulu. They may also available to order from other online and bricks and mortar bookshops etc (please ask the bookshops etc directly if you want to do that).

The A Year In The Country albums are also available digitally at Bandcamp and/or the likes of Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon etc.

Which just leaves me to say thanks to a fair few people…

The performers who have contributed music to the A Year In The Country releases: including Grey Frequency, Field Lines Cartographer, Vic Mars, Circle/Temple, The Heartwood Institute, David Colohan, Pulselovers, Sproatly Smith, Hand of Stabs, Michael Tanner, The Straw Bear Band, Polypores, The Rowan Amber Mill, Spaceship, Time Attendant, Cosmic Neighbourhood, Keith Seatman, Widow’s Weeds, Kitchen Cynics, Listening Center, Alaska, Panabrite, Unknown Heretic, Phonofiction, Magpahi, Lutine, United Bible Studies, Bare Bones, Endurance, Sharron Kraus, Dom Cooper, Quaker’s Stang, Embertides, Howlround, Depatterning, The Hare And The Moon, Racker & Orphan, The British Space Group, Unit One, Sophie Cooper, Harriet Lisa, Neil Whitehead, Dave Millsop, Zosia Sztykowski, The Soulless Party, She Rocola, Assembled Minds, The Séance, The Howling (Robin The Fog and Ken Hollings), Gavino Morretti, Ken Patterson (Caedmon), Handspan and Folclore Impressionista.

The people who have sold and distributed the A Year In The Country releases and/or lent their advice: Jim Jupp of Ghost Box Records, The state51 Conspiracy in particular, Shaun Yule, Juno Records, Piccadilly Records, Psilowave, Centre de Cultura Contemporánia de Barcelona, all at Norman records especially Ant and Phil and Justin Watson of Front & Follow.

All who have bought and supported the A Year In The Country music releases, books and artifacts and everybody that visits the website and/or shares etc posts elsewhere online.

Everybody who has written about A Year In The Country and reviewed the various releases, including amongst others John Coulthart, Simon Reynolds, DJ Food, Jude Rogers, Ben Graham, Ian White, Matthew Sedition, Grey Malkin, Massimo Ricci, Warren Ellis, Sukhdev Sandhu, Joe Banks, Alan Boon, Dave Thompson and Bob Fischer of The Haunted Generation. Also, all at Terrascope, Avant Music News, Music Won’t Save You, Starburst, Fortean Times, Rockerilla, Bliss Aquamarine, Was Ist Das?, Shindig!, The Wire, The Active Listener, Include Me Out, Wyrd Daze, Folk Words, Landscapism, fRoots, The Sunday Experience, The Golden Apples of the Sun, Electronic Sound, Both Bars On, Rue Morgue, Mojo, Folk Radio, Goldmine, Saint Etienne Disco, Diabolique, Bandcamp Daily, Quiet World & Wonderful Wooden Reasons, Incendiary, Violet Apple, 33-45, Radio Limbo, We Are Cult, Folk Horror Revival, Forestpunk, Whisperin’ & Hollerin’, A Closer Listen, Mind De-Coder, The Guardian, Moof and Psychogeographic Review.

All those who have included A Year In The Country released tracks in their radio broadcasts, podcasts etc, including, again amongst others, Stuart Maconie, Gideon Coe, Daniel Jago, Alistair Gordon, Nick Luscombe, James Papademetrie and Pete Wiggs of the aforementioned The Séance, and all at Evening of Light, Kites and Pylons, More Than Human, The OST Show, Syndae, Sunrise Ocean Bender, Fractal Meat, Flatland Frequencies, The Unquiet Meadow, Gated Canal Community Radio, Phantom Circuit, Free Form Freakout, The Crooked Button, Project Moonbase, Space Folk Horror Lounge, Awkward Moments, Pull the Plug, Pic n’ Mix, On the Wire and You, the Night & the Music.

Ian Lowey for the dab hand design and editorial work for A Year In The Country and also Suzy Prince for the equally dab hand editorial work (both of Bopcap Books).

Verity Sharp for inviting me onto BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction and playing tracks from the A Year In The Country released albums and Rebecca Gaskell for her admirable production of the show, Gary Milne of BBC Archives for his compiling and curation of video spectres, Tales from the Black Meadow author Chris Lambert for the audio journeys he created to accompany the A Year In The Country: Wandering Through Spectral Fields book and William “Billy” Harron as always for accidentally pointing me in the direction of the undercurrents of folk.

Also my family for the ongoing support and to everybody whose work has inspired me on the wanderings, explorations and pathways of A Year In The Country.

Thanks and a tip of the hat to you all!

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Sale and A Final Wander Through The Restless Fields…

The A Year In The Country CDs etc are now sold out but the albums are available to download at our Bandcamp page, Amazon, The Tidal Store, 7digital etc and can be streamed on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, YouTube etc.

The A Year In The Country books are now sold out at our Shop and Bandcamp page but they are available at Amazon UKAmazon US,  Amazon Australia and their other worldwide sites and also from Lulu.

The books may also available to order from other bookshops etc, please direct any queries regarding that directly to them.

There’s currently a sale at the A Year In The Country Artifacts Shop and Bandcamp site, with many items half price or less.

The CDs that are currently available there are the final copies of the albums and stocks are generally fairly limited, so if you’ve ever thought about taking a visit to the quietened village, a wander through the restless field, tuning in to the furthest signals etc then now would be the time to do it…

ayearinthecountry.co.uk/shop

ayearinthecountry.bandcamp.com

Featuring and thanks to…
Folclore Impressionista, Grey Frequency, Howlround (Robin The Fog), Sproatly Smith, The Heartwood Institute, Field Lines Cartographer, Pulselovers, The Séance, Vic Mars, The Howling (Robin The Fog and Ken Hollings), Magpahi, Cosmic Neighbourhood, The Rowan Amber Mill, Polypores, Time Attendant, Mark Williamson (Spaceship), Sharron Kraus, Patterned Air / Assembled Minds, The Soulless Party, Depatterning, The Hare And The Moon / Widow’s Weeds, Dom Cooper (The Straw Bear Band etc), Handspan, Endurance, David Colohan, The British Space Group, Listening Centre, Hand of Stabs, Twalif X (Samandtheplants and David Chatton Barker of Folklore Tapes), She Rocola, Michael Tanner etc…⁣

Also thanks to Suzy Prince and Ian Lowey of Bopcap Books for the dab hand editorial work and all the people who have written about, broadcast tracks from, posted, shared and indeed bought the releases. A tip of the hat to you all!

“A Year In The Country quietly go about their business releasing beautifully packaged music that is influenced by folk, electronica, drone as well as by landscape, time and place. These compilations have themes running through them, tying the music together and seemingly telling a story as they unfold.” Terrascope

“[A Year In The Country has been building its] own otherworldly visions of Arcadian England. Both an exploration of a pastoral past and a rumination on a dystopian present… [the albums are] an almanac of unearthly sonics to tide you through the winter nights… audio Polaroids of a secret cartography… a gentle lullaby for post-dystopian dreams.” Shindig!

 

Posted on Leave a comment

The Quietened Dream Palace – Reviews, Broadcasts and Drifting Between the Real and Unreal…

A selection of reviews, broadcasts etc of The Quietened Dream Palace album…

“You’ve got to admire the thought that goes into these releases. Just the idea of old cinemas is evocative enough – all velvet seats, flickering light…  Evocative stuff.” Neil Milligan, Electronic Sound magazine issue 72

“With their latest instalment, multimedia hauntology project A Year In The Country has turned its attention to the world of abandoned cinemas… the album drifts between ethereal ambience and nostalgic electronica. Field Lines Cartographer and Grey Frequency capture the atmospheric, sci-fi flavours of Tangerine Dream and Vangelis, while The Séance’s ‘Minors Club’ would not be out of place in a John Carpenter film. ‘Memoirs Of A Magic Lantern’ and ‘Only The Clock Remains’ are more in time with the current crop of experimental ambient and there’s some lovely reminisces of youthful trips to the cinema. The Steve Reich-esque ‘Scala KX82’ (ah, the glorious debauchery of The Scala) and Keith Seatman’s quirky ‘Saturday Matinee’ mix things up a bit, but overall this newest addition to the AYITC journey is beautifully melancholic.” Sarah Gregory, Shindig! magazine issue 111

“[On the album] Keith Seatman gives us a Saturday carousel of a tune, menacing and scary… Sproatly Smith appears with a song inspired by his gran who worked in the Ritz cinema in Hereford, his merry band making mischief in the background whilst she reminisces to synths and birdsong. After Ice creams it’s time for a little armchair travel with Folclore Impressionista who visit an abandoned Russian cinema… Widow’s Weeds deliver a treatise on the ‘Celluloid Ghosts’ of Scottish cinemas long lost in the mists of time. A ghostly disinterred female voice calling us from our stupor…. The Heartwood Institute… draw on past experience as a cinema projectionist to imbue ‘Carbon Arc’ with a suitable ghostly aura…” Andrew Young, Terrascope

“The album is all about faded memories of faded grandeur; buildings with extravagant Art Deco designs and names to match – the Ritz, the Majestic… Much of the music here sounds shrouded in a haze, evoking distant, slightly blurred memories, with a sense of the unreal as if translating dreams into sound.” Kim Harten, Bliss Aquamarine

The album was also featured in Sonixcursions Random Orbitings, alongside fellow AYITC traveller Pulselovers and the associated Woodford Halse Tapes label. Visit that here.

“A set of tracks rooted in real world experience, but which still manage to reach out and touch the unreal and ethereal…” Stuart Douglas, We Are Cult

“tells of… places that… have become relics of a dusty and ghostly post-modernity…”  Raffaello Russo, Music Won’t Save You

“Conceptually the label appears to exist in an intersection between music, folklore and science fiction… the themes [of their releases] are intrinsically linked between both audio and visual elements… [The album] focuses on an exploration of… cinemas… which have been abandoned, become derelict, reopened as something new or demolished and there is little or no trace of any more…” Luke Sanger, Flatland Frequencies

The album was also included in John Coulthart’s series of eclectic cultural wandering “Weekend links” posts (of which there are now over 570). Visit that here.

“music that… seems to hang just out of reach, distant melodies within the strains of time and place…” Dave Thompson, Spin Cycle at Goldmine

And then onto some of the broadcasts etc…

The Heartwood Institute’s “Carbon Arc” and Vic Mar’s “Only The Clock Remains” were included on the “…And Your Father, Hasn’t Been Born Yet” episode of Sunrise Ocean Bender’s radio show, alongside work by fellow AYITC travellers Grey Frequency and Field Lines Cartographer. Originally broadcast on WRIR radio, the playlist can be found here at Sunrise Ocean Bender’s site and the show is archived at Mixcloud here.

Keith Seatman’s “Saturday Matinee” and Vic Mars’ “Only The Clock Remains” were included in an episode of Kites and Pylons radio show, alongside a collaboration between Dolly Dolly and sometime AYITC fellow traveller Time Attendant. Originally broadcast on Sine FM, the episode is archived at Mixcloud here.

Field Line Cartographer’s “Faded Flicker” and The Heartwood Institutes “Carbon Arc” were included in an episode of The Golden Apples of the Sun amongst the show’s “musical odyssey through psych-tinged realms such as pastoral folk, glitch, lo-fi electronica, hauntology and hypnagogic pop”. The tracklisting for the show can be visited at their main site here and the show is archived at Mixcloud here.

And then rounding the circle, The Séance’s “Minor’s Club” was played on their “phantom seaside radio show”. Originally broadcast via Brighton’s Radio Reverb, totallyradio and Sine FM, the episode is archived at Mixcloud here and the show’s playlist can be found at The Séance’s site here…

…and archival pictures of the cinema which inspired Keith Seatman’s track can be found at his Test Transmission site here.

A tip of the hat and thanks to all concerned!

The Quietened Dream Palace is an exploration of the ghostly spectres of abandoned and former cinemas, intertwining personal and wider cultural memories as it wanders amongst the stories and times when they still cast their spell over audiences.

It features music and accompanying text on the tracks by: Grey Frequency, Field Lines Cartographer, Keith Seatman, Pulselovers, Sproatly Smith, The Howling (Robin The Fog of Howlround and Ken Hollings), Folclore Impressionista, Listening Center, The Séance, Widow’s Weeds, Handspan, The Heartwood Institute, A Year In The Country and Vic Mars.

More information on the album can be found here.

The Quietened Dream Palace was planned and a considerable proportion of the related artwork, text and music was created prior to the global events of 2020 and 2021.

Its central themes relating to abandoned etc cinemas were never intended to refer to or interconnect with the need for cinemas to stay closed during 2020 and 2021 but we understand that the album will potentially, in part, have a different resonance in the new and changed landscape.

We wish the UK and overseas cinemas all the best in these challenging times. Here’s to many more years of them transporting audiences via the stories projected and told in them.

 

Posted on Leave a comment

The Quietened Dream Palace – Released



Released today 17th November 2020.
The CDs are now sold out but the album is available to download at our Bandcamp page, Amazon, The Tidal Store, 7digital etc and can be streamed on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, YouTube etc.

Features music and accompanying text on the tracks by: Grey Frequency, Field Lines Cartographer, Keith Seatman, Pulselovers, Sproatly Smith, The Howling (Robin The Fog of Howlround and Ken Hollings), Folclore Impressionista, Listening Center, The Séance, Widow’s Weeds, Handspan, The Heartwood Institute, A Year In The Country and Vic Mars.

The Quietened Dream Palace is an exploration of closed down cinemas, including those which have been abandoned, become derelict, reopened as something new or demolished and there is little or no trace of any more.

In part it explores the way that peoples’ experiences and memories of such cinemas, the stories told in them and the buildings themselves have now become merely the ghostly spectres of history and memory. Alongside this the album reflects on the opulent historic design lineage of cinemas and the way that closed, abandoned etc cinemas and recollections of them can become faded snapshots of previous eras’ and places’ design and character.

It is also an interconnected exploration of how closed down cinemas once summoned the stories of their phantom dream worlds via the conjuring/seancing of celluloid film and its flickering light projections, and how this medium and related analogue projection equipment is largely no longer used, with both them and the accompanying skills of analogue projectionists, along with an associated way of life, increasingly becoming lost to time.

The music and accompanying text draws from and intertwines personal and wider cultural and historic memories as it wanders amongst “quietened dream palaces” and the times when they still cast their spell over audiences.

 

The Quietened Dream Palace was planned and a considerable proportion of the related artwork, text and music was created prior to the global events of 2020.

Its central themes relating to abandoned etc cinemas were never intended to refer to or interconnect with the need for cinemas to stay closed during 2020 but we understand that the album will potentially, in part, have a different resonance in the new and changed landscape.

We wish the UK and overseas cinemas all the best in these challenging times. Here’s to many more years of them transporting audiences via the stories projected and told in them.

 

Dawn Light Edition. Limited to 208 copies.
White/black CD album in textured recycled fold-out sleeve with fold-out insert and badge.

Further packaging details:
1) Hand-finished and custom printed by A Year In The Country using archival giclée pigment ink.
2) Includes metal badge, secured with removable glue on string bound tag.
3) 1 x folded sheet of accompanying notes, printed on textured laid paper, hand numbered on back.

 

Tracklisting:
1. Grey Frequency – ABC 123
2. Field Lines Cartographer – Faded Flicker
3. Keith Seatman – Saturday Matinee
4. Pulselovers – The Gaumont Frieze
5. Sproatly Smith – 1 And 3 On The Front
6. The Howling – Scala KX 82
7. Folclore Impressionista – Three Steps In The Dark
8. Listening Center – Meet You Outside The New Metropole
9. The Séance – Minors Club
10. Widow’s Weeds – Celluloid Ghosts
11. Handspan – A World In My Pocket
12. The Heartwood Institute – Carbon Arc
13. A Year In The Country – Memoirs Of A Magic Lantern
14. Vic Mars – Only The Clock Remains

“A set of tracks rooted in real world experience, but which still manage to reach out and touch the unreal and the ethereal…” Stuart Douglas, We Are Cult

 

Posted on Leave a comment

The Layering – Reviews and Broadcasts

A selection of reviews, broadcasts etc of The Layering album:

First up is a review in issue 70 of Electronic Sound magazine by Bob Fischer of The Haunted Generation site and Fortean Times column:

“…an evocative melding of windswept recordings and traditional pipe melodies… [a] haunting evocation of… ‘what lies beneath’.”

Visit Electronic Sound here and The Haunted Generation site here.

Above is a review by Ben Graham in issue 109 of Shindig! magazine:

“Unsettling and oddly meditative, The Layering proves that all the best things happen below the surface.”

Visit Ben’s website and details of his other writing work (including his book A Gathering of Promises: The Battle for Texas’s Psychedelic Music, from the 13th Floor Elevators to the Black Angels and Beyond) can be found here.

Shindig!’s site can be visited here.

Next is Eoghan Lyng’s review at We Are Cult:

“…speaks of interwoven geographies and technologies… a magnificent soundscape of noise… One of the most astonishing works 2020 has offered us.”

Visit that review at We Are Cult’s site here.

The album wandered over the seas and was reviewed at Rafaello Russo’s Music Won’t Save You site:

“…grainy analogue echoes… memories made opaque by time…”

Visit that here.

The album was featured in A Closer Listen’s Fall Music Preview – Ambient amongst an intriguing selection of ambient, experimental etc work. Visit that here.

And then onto some of the broadcasts etc of the album:

Golden Apples of the Sun played the Grey Frequency, Vic Mars and A Year In The Country tracks from the album on their 4th October 2020 episode, in amongst their “musical odyssey through psych-tinged realms such as pastoral folk, glitch, lo-fi electronica, hauntology and hypnagogic pop. Through blissful reverie and sun-dappled hallucinogenic soundscapes, find yourself transported to a world beyond time, where both past and future intermingle…”

The tracklisting, related videos etc for the show can be found at their website here. Originally broadcast on RTR FM a “just the music” version of the episode is archived at Mixcloud.

Flatland Frequencies included Field Lines Cartographer and Handspan’s tracks from the album amongst their “Ambient // Techno // Elektronische Musik” audio explorations on their 23rd September 2020 episode.

View the tracklisting and other details here and the show is archived at Mixcloud here.

The Heartwood Institute, Vic Mars and Handspan’s tracks from the album were featured on the 24th September 2020 edition of Kites and Pylons:

“Kites and Pylons is a radio show of otherworldly electronica… a heady brew of radical radiophonics, moody modular synths and eccentric experimentalism.”

Originally broadcast on Sine FM, the show is archived at Mixcloud.

Widow’s Weeds’ Gilmerton Cove was included in ezine Wyrd Daze’ Autumn and Wise (The Fall) mix alongside their wanderings amongst the fringes and undercurrents of culture. Visit that here.

A Year In The Country’s track from the album was included in the decidedly spooky (!) Mind De-Coder Halloween Special 2020. Visit that here.

Field Lines Cartographer, Grey Frequency and A Year In The Country’s tracks were included amongst the ever fascinating selections of Sunrise Ocean Bender’s show on the 22nd October 2020 episode. Originally broadcast on WRIR FM the show’s tracklisting can be found here and the show itself is archived at Mixcloud.

And then in a rounding the circle manner, Widow’s Weeds’ Gilmerton Cove was also featured on sometimes A Year In The Country music contributor’s The Séance’s phantom seaside radio show, on the 19th September 2020 episode.

Originally broadcast via Radio Reverb, totallyradio and Sine FM the show’s tracklisting can be found here and it is archived at Mixcloud here.

Thanks and a tip of the hat to all concerned!

The Layering album explores the way that places are literally layered with history, and is an audio slicing through the layers of time.

It features music and accompanying text on the tracks by: Circle/Temple, The Heartwood Institute, Sproatly Smith, A Year In The Country, Field Lines Cartographer, Howlround, Folclore Impressionista, Handspan, Widow’s Weeds, Listening Center, Vic Mars, Pulselovers and Grey Frequency.

More details on the album can be found here.

 

Posted on Leave a comment

The Quietened Dream Palace – Preorder

Preorder available now. Released 17th November 2020.
The CDs are now sold out but the album is available to download at our Bandcamp page, Amazon, The Tidal Store, 7digital etc and can be streamed on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, YouTube etc.

Features music and accompanying text on the tracks by: Grey Frequency, Field Lines Cartographer, Keith Seatman, Pulselovers, Sproatly Smith, The Howling (Robin The Fog of Howlround and Ken Hollings), Folclore Impressionista, Listening Center, The Séance, Widow’s Weeds, Handspan, The Heartwood Institute, A Year In The Country and Vic Mars.

The Quietened Dream Palace is an exploration of closed down cinemas, including those which have been abandoned, become derelict, reopened as something new or demolished and there is little or no trace of any more.

In part it explores the way that peoples’ experiences and memories of such cinemas, the stories told in them and the buildings themselves have now become merely the ghostly spectres of history and memory. Alongside this the album reflects on the opulent historic design lineage of cinemas and the way that closed, abandoned etc cinemas and recollections of them can become faded snapshots of previous eras’ and places’ design and character.

It is also an interconnected exploration of how closed down cinemas once summoned the stories of their phantom dream worlds via the conjuring/seancing of celluloid film and its flickering light projections, and how this medium and related analogue projection equipment is largely no longer used, with both them and the accompanying skills of analogue projectionists, along with an associated way of life, increasingly becoming lost to time.

The music and accompanying text draws from and intertwines personal and wider cultural and historic memories as it wanders amongst “quietened dream palaces” and the times when they still cast their spell over audiences.

 

The Quietened Dream Palace was planned and a considerable proportion of the related artwork, text and music was created prior to the global events of 2020.

Its central themes relating to abandoned etc cinemas were never intended to refer to or interconnect with the need for cinemas to stay closed during 2020 but we understand that the album will potentially, in part, have a different resonance in the new and changed landscape.

We wish the UK and overseas cinemas all the best in these challenging times. Here’s to many more years of them transporting audiences via the stories projected and told in them.

 

Dawn Light Edition. Limited to 208 copies.
White/black CD album in textured recycled fold-out sleeve with fold-out insert and badge.

Further packaging details:
1) Hand-finished and custom printed by A Year In The Country using archival giclée pigment ink.
2) Includes metal badge, secured with removable glue on string bound tag.
3) 1 x folded sheet of accompanying notes, printed on textured laid paper, hand numbered on back.

 

Tracklisting:
1. Grey Frequency – ABC 123
2. Field Lines Cartographer – Faded Flicker
3. Keith Seatman – Saturday Matinee
4. Pulselovers – The Gaumont Frieze
5. Sproatly Smith – 1 And 3 On The Front
6. The Howling – Scala KX 82
7. Folclore Impressionista – Three Steps In The Dark
8. Listening Center – Meet You Outside The New Metropole
9. The Séance – Minors Club
10. Widow’s Weeds – Celluloid Ghosts
11. Handspan – A World In My Pocket
12. The Heartwood Institute – Carbon Arc
13. A Year In The Country – Memoirs Of A Magic Lantern
14. Vic Mars – Only The Clock Remains

 

Posted on Leave a comment

The Quietened Dream Palace – Preorder and Release Dates

Preorder 3rd November 2020. Released 17th November 2020.
The CDs are now sold out but the album is available to download at our Bandcamp page, Amazon, The Tidal Store, 7digital etc and can be streamed on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, YouTube etc.

The Quietened Dream Palace is an exploration of closed down cinemas, including those which have been abandoned, become derelict, reopened as something new or demolished and there is little or no trace of any more.

In part it explores the way that peoples’ experiences and memories of such cinemas, the stories told in them and the buildings themselves have now become merely the ghostly spectres of history and memory. Alongside this the album reflects on the opulent historic design lineage of cinemas and the way that closed, abandoned etc cinemas and recollections of them can become faded snapshots of previous eras’ and places’ design and character.

It is also an interconnected exploration of how closed down cinemas once summoned the stories of their phantom dream worlds via the conjuring/seancing of celluloid film and its flickering light projections, and how this medium and related analogue projection equipment is largely no longer used, with both them and the accompanying skills of analogue projectionists, along with an associated way of life, increasingly becoming lost to time.

The music and accompanying text draws from and intertwines personal and wider cultural and historic memories as it wanders amongst “quietened dream palaces” and the times when they still cast their spell over audiences.

 

Features music and accompanying text on the tracks by:
Grey Frequency
Field Lines Cartographer
Keith Seatman
Pulselovers
Sproatly Smith
The Howling (Robin The Fog of Howlround and Ken Hollings)
Folclore Impressionista
Listening Center
The Séance
Widow’s Weeds
Handspan
The Heartwood Institute
A Year In The Country
Vic Mars

 

The Quietened Dream Palace was planned and a considerable proportion of the related artwork, text and music was created prior to the global events of 2020.

Its central themes relating to abandoned etc cinemas were never intended to refer to or interconnect with the need for cinemas to stay closed during 2020 but we understand that the album will potentially, in part, have a different resonance in the new and changed landscape.

We wish the UK and overseas cinemas all the best in these challenging times. Here’s to many more years of them transporting audiences via the stories projected and told in them.

 

Posted on Leave a comment

The Layering – Released

Released today 22nd September 2020.
The CDs are now sold out but the album is available to download at our Bandcamp page, Amazon, The Tidal Store, 7digital etc and can be streamed on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, YouTube etc.

Features music and accompanying text on the tracks by: Circle/Temple, The Heartwood Institute, Sproatly Smith, A Year In The Country, Field Lines Cartographer, Howlround, Folclore Impressionista, Handspan, Widow’s Weeds, Listening Center, Vic Mars, Pulselovers and Grey Frequency.

The album explores the way that places are literally layered with history, and is an audio slicing through the layers of time. It journeys amongst the stories and characters of these layers, including, amongst other aspects, the structures built, events which took place and different era’s technologies and belief systems.

Such layering can go far back into pre-recorded history. Much of the earth is thought to have once been underwater, and it is likely that the majority of cities, towns and villages are built in fomer ocean areas. Current land masses have come to be formed, in part, through a layering of past marine, other life and plants, which in turn are then quarried or mined, subsequently being used to create the infrastructure of contemporary civilisation, and creating something of a cyclical, time-out-of-joint nature to the layers of time.

The layering of time can also take many other forms: modern homes and buildings are often built on top of the remains of previous settlements, which at times are discovered when new building work is carried out; contemporary roads and pathways follow the same routes as ancient roads and trails, which have been travelled down for millennia; often forgotten or abandoned tunnel networks, bunkers, railway lines, telephone exchanges etc lie under cities and towns; active and former mines thread underneath rural areas; churches are built on ancient places of worship, and then in turn are sometimes abandoned themselves, and become the sites for modern day revelries such as gigs, dance music events and so on.

The Layering is a reflection on how these, and other varied strata, are layered on top of one another, and/or sit side-by-side, with some being recorded, while others are forgotten or unknown, becoming part of a hidden or semi-hidden history.

 

Dawn Light Edition. Limited to 208 copies.
White/black CD album in textured recycled fold out sleeve with fold-out insert and badge.

Further packaging details:
1) Hand finished and custom printed using archival giclée pigment ink by A Year In The Country.
2) Includes metal badge, secured with removable glue on string bound tag.
3) 1 x folded sheet of accompanying notes, printed on textured laid paper, hand numbered on back.

 

Tracklisting:
1: A Year In The Country – Cross Sections Of Time
2: Circle/Temple – The Hollow Stream Buried
3: The Heartwood Institute – Beneath The City Streets
4: Sproatly Smith – Chapel Still Stands
5: Field Lines Cartographer – Layers Of Belief
6: Howlround – A Heart Shaped Forest
7: Folclore Impressionista – The Problem Of Symmetry
8: Handspan – At The End Of The Aerial Flight
9: Widow’s Weeds – Gilmerton Cove
10: Listening Center – Wattle And Daub Office Blocks
11: Vic Mars – Once There Were Houses
12: Pulselovers – Brodsworth
13: Grey Frequency – Tigguo Cobauc

“…speaks of interwoven geographies and technologies… a magnificent soundscape of noise… One of the most astonishing works 2020 has offered us.” Eoghan Lyng, We Are Cult

 

Posted on Leave a comment

The Layering – Preorder


Preorder. Released 22nd September 2020.
The CDs are now sold out but the album is available to download at our Bandcamp page, Amazon, The Tidal Store, 7digital etc and can be streamed on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, YouTube etc.

Features music and accompanying text on the tracks by: Circle/Temple, The Heartwood Institute, Sproatly Smith, A Year In The Country, Field Lines Cartographer, Howlround, Folclore Impressionista, Handspan, Widow’s Weeds, Listening Center, Vic Mars, Pulselovers and Grey Frequency.

The album explores the way that places are literally layered with history, and is an audio slicing through the layers of time. It journeys amongst the stories and characters of these layers, including, amongst other aspects, the structures built, events which took place and different era’s technologies and belief systems.

Such layering can go far back into pre-recorded history. Much of the earth is thought to have once been underwater, and it is likely that the majority of cities, towns and villages are built in fomer ocean areas. Current land masses have come to be formed, in part, through a layering of past marine, other life and plants, which in turn are then quarried or mined, subsequently being used to create the infrastructure of contemporary civilisation, and creating something of a cyclical, time-out-of-joint nature to the layers of time.

The layering of time can also take many other forms: modern homes and buildings are often built on top of the remains of previous settlements, which at times are discovered when new building work is carried out; contemporary roads and pathways follow the same routes as ancient roads and trails, which have been travelled down for millennia; often forgotten or abandoned tunnel networks, bunkers, railway lines, telephone exchanges etc lie under cities and towns; active and former mines thread underneath rural areas; churches are built on ancient places of worship, and then in turn are sometimes abandoned themselves, and become the sites for modern day revelries such as gigs, dance music events and so on.

The Layering is a reflection on how these, and other varied strata, are layered on top of one another, and/or sit side-by-side, with some being recorded, while others are forgotten or unknown, becoming part of a hidden or semi-hidden history.

 

Dawn Light Edition. Limited to 208 copies.
White/black CD album in textured recycled fold out sleeve with fold-out insert and badge.

Further packaging details:
1) Hand finished and custom printed using archival giclée pigment ink by A Year In The Country.
2) Includes metal badge, secured with removable glue on string bound tag.
3) 1 x folded sheet of accompanying notes, printed on textured laid paper, hand numbered on back.

 

Tracklisting:
1: A Year In The Country – Cross Sections Of Time
2: Circle/Temple – The Hollow Stream Buried
3: The Heartwood Institute – Beneath The City Streets
4: Sproatly Smith – Chapel Still Stands
5: Field Lines Cartographer – Layers Of Belief
6: Howlround – A Heart Shaped Forest
7: Folclore Impressionista – The Problem Of Symmetry
8: Handspan – At The End Of The Aerial Flight
9: Widow’s Weeds – Gilmerton Cove
10: Listening Center – Wattle And Daub Office Blocks
11: Vic Mars – Once There Were Houses
12: Pulselovers – Brodsworth
13: Grey Frequency – Tigguo Cobauc

 

Posted on Leave a comment

The Layering – Preorder and Release Dates

Preorder 8th September 2020. Released 22nd September 2020.

The CDs are now sold out but the album is available to download at our Bandcamp page, Amazon, The Tidal Store, 7digital etc and can be streamed on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, YouTube etc.

The album explores the way that places are literally layered with history, and is an audio slicing through the layers of time. It journeys amongst the stories and characters of these layers, including, amongst other aspects, the structures built, events which took place and different era’s technologies and belief systems.

Such layering can go far back into pre-recorded history. Much of the earth is thought to have once been underwater, and it is likely that the majority of cities, towns and villages are built in fomer ocean areas. Current land masses have come to be formed, in part, through a layering of past marine, other life and plants, which in turn are then quarried or mined, subsequently being used to create the infrastructure of contemporary civilisation, and creating something of a cyclical, time-out-of-joint nature to the layers of time.

The layering of time can also take many other forms: modern homes and buildings are often built on top of the remains of previous settlements, which at times are discovered when new building work is carried out; contemporary roads and pathways follow the same routes as ancient roads and trails, which have been travelled down for millennia; often forgotten or abandoned tunnel networks, bunkers, railway lines, telephone exchanges etc lie under cities and towns; active and former mines thread underneath rural areas; churches are built on ancient places of worship, and then in turn are sometimes abandoned themselves, and become the sites for modern day revelries such as gigs, dance music events and so on.

The Layering is a reflection on how these, and other varied strata, are layered on top of one another, and/or sit side-by-side, with some being recorded, while others are forgotten or unknown, becoming part of a hidden or semi-hidden history.

Features music and accompanying text by:
Circle/Temple
The Heartwood Institute
Sproatly Smith
A Year In The Country
Field Lines Cartographer
Howlround
Folclore Impressionista
Handspan
Widow’s Weeds
Listening Center
Vic Mars
Pulselovers
Grey Frequency

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Pulselovers’ Cotswold Stone – Hazy Gently Pastoral Hauntological Memories: Wanderings 10/26

Pulselovers’ Cotswold Stone album is a rather lovely slice of gently hauntological pastorally inflected electronica (intertwined with more than a dash of traditional “organic” instrumentation). It draws from Mat Handley of Pulselovers personal and sometimes hazy memories, not so much in a hauntologically melancholic manner but rather in a reflectively reverential and playful way:

A meditation on the passing of time and the persistence of memory and is, in part, a reflective work of familial dedication and reverence. When taken in a single sitting these soundscapes create a strong overarching narrative that take you on a journey through the rolling hillsides of England… This is a very personal album and is an attempt to preserve the memories of a happy childhood where along with siblings and cousins, I spent a lot of time in the Oxfordshire town of Burford in the mists of time… Many of the titles are taken from road signs of towns and villages in the surrounding countryside, some of which I never actually visited but the words themselves trigger unspecific memories from those long 70’s summers: Cleeve Hill, Shipton-under-Wychwood, Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold, Bradwell Grove and Moreton-In-Marsh don’t hold any particular place in my heart (though I do remember Bourton was a great place to feed the ducks and Auntie C’s ramshackle Bradwell Grove cottage was situated within the grounds of the Cotswold Wildlife Park), but the words themselves silently echo throughout the album like vaguely familiar ghosts, like rain on hot tarmac or lavender on a summer breeze.” (Quoted from text which accompanied the album’s release.)

Reflecting the album’s “attempt to preserve the memories of a happy childhood” Cotswold Stone often has a noticeably positive, upbeat atmosphere, where the arpeggiated sounds seem to be almost literally gambolling through the “rolling hillsides”. However here and there something darker creeps through; “The Green Leaves Of Shildam Hall” seems to almost hark back to the soundtrack to some imagined affluent form of lounge living but at the end it segues into the sound of subtly unsettling birds crawing in the sky above.

While the driving, propulsive analogue techno sounds of penultimate track “Under Wychwood” could at times be a club orientated remix of the soundtrack to a parallel world Public Information Film that you can’t quite remember which warned children away from the candy walled house in the forest (!)

But bucolic memories and calm are returned to in final track “On The Wold”, which interweaves soothing pastoral folk-ish melodies with an ongoing relaxed and impressive guitar solo that somewhat fittingly recalls, recreates and reimagines the guitar heroes on an album your older brother may well have listened to once upon a time.

Released on Castles in Space, the album is beautifully packaged in a manner which accompanies that sense of a hazy time back when. Designed by Nick Taylor of Spectral Studio it was released on distinctive “Heath and Marsh” coloured vinyl, and included an original 1970 Royal Mail Cotswold Limestone Stamp from the British Rural Architecture series.

Just prior to the album being released, Castles in Space released a limited edition lathe cut single, the first track of which, that is not on the album, is called “On The Green” and could be considered to form a three song suite with “In The Marsh” and “On The Heath” from Cotswold Stone. “On The Green” is accompanied on the single by a remix of the album’s “In The Marsh” by Panamint Manse, which gently reinterprets the original through a filter of sometimes skittering, almost morse code like pulses and tape wobble.

(As an aside it’s nice to see a physical single preempting and signalling the upcoming release of an album, something which once was common but now seems somewhat rare.)

The period cover image is of a folk art-esque ornamental horse, cart and plant basket stood alongside, but apart from, parked cars and stylistically it would not be out-of-place in Barbara Jones’ The Unsophisticated Arts book where she documented day-to-day folk art from fairgrounds, high street shops, seaside piers, amusement arcades etc in 1940s Britain.

This is accompanied on the sleeve by concentric wistfully nostalgic textures that are subtly reminiscent of William Morris’ work. The insert features carefully torn and layered images; a vintage photograph of an older couple (Mat Handley of Pulselovers’ family?), a local crest, a Cotswold limestone stamp and postal ink stamps, reassuringly familiar seeming and sometimes gnomic patterns, tourist orientated text and a plant life illustration from a previous era.

The overall effect makes it seem as though it could well be a long-lost album that you might once have stumbled upon back in the 1970s, in a bric-a-brac shop in a bucolic small town or village that inspired the album…

And if you did stumble upon it there you may well keep on discovering once you arrived home as alongside the above mentioned original stamp there is also a Castles in Space label promo postcard, a sealed and stamped envelope which contains Side A and a Side B badges that use the artwork from the vinyl’s label, and in some copies a vintage photograph (postcard?).

The vinyl edition of the album is now sold out but it is still available digitally at Pulselover’s Bandcamp page. 

A couple of other links to Mat Handley of Pulselovers’ work; his Woodford Halse project which has featured work by amongst others Grey Frequency, Time Attendant, Revbjelde, the aforementioned Panamint Manse, Polypores, Field Lines Cartographer, Widow’s Weeds, Kitchen Cynics, Folclore Impressionista and The Twelve Hour Foundation can be found here and the Mixcloud archive of his rather fine but no longer broadcasting radio show You, the Night & the Music can be found here.

Castles in Space’s Bandcamp page can be found here and is well worth a visit. As with Cotswold Stone their releases tend to be rather beautifully designed and packaged and often explore various realms and aspects of the more spectral, hauntological side of electronica. Their releases have included work by / collaborated on by amongst others Drew Mulholland, Panamint Manse, The Soulless Party (including further explorations of the mist hazed myths of The Black Meadow), Polypores, The Central Office of Information, The Twelve Hour Foundation, Concretism and Keith Seatman.

Castles in Space also released the Scarred for Life: The Album charity fund-raising compilation which is inspired by the unsettling televisual sounds of childhoods gone by, and features some of the aforementioned artists released by Castles in Space alongside Vic Mars, The Home Current, Quimper, Listening Center etc. Below is some of the text from Bob Fischer’s (of the Fortean Times’ and his own website The Haunted Generation) review of the album in Electronic Sound:

Kev ‘The Soulless Party’ Oyston has assembled luminaries from the hauntological world to produce material inspired by their own jumbled memories of the era for an accompanying album… Cult of Wedge contribute ‘The Gamma Children’, clearly the theme to some long-lost, spooky HTV series… Pulselovers’ wistful ‘Nice View From Up Here’ is an homage to legendary Public Information Film stalwarts Joe and Petunia… Vic Mars’ ‘The Time Menders’ is a bombastic Farfisa-drenched nod to ‘Sapphire & Steel’… The Central Office of Information contribute ‘Puzzled’ which sounds for all the world like the theme to some forgotten, pre-teatime BBC One quiz show: I defy anyone over the age of 40 to hear it without picturing cheering cub scouts, BBC Micro graphics, and Richard Stilgoe in a pastel-shaded sweatshirt… [and] early synth enthusiast Carl Matthews’… wonderfully melancholy piece; a delightful analogue-sounding recording from a man who blazed a trail as a pioneer of the original era of cassette-based DIY electronica… Elsewhere Keith Seatman, Polypores, The Home Current and The Heartwood Institute join the fun… and terrific fun it is, too.

The album accompanies the book Scarred For Life: Volume One, that explored the darker side of pop culture in the 1970s, from Public Information Films to curiously challenging and scary children’s television dramas via the boom in paranormal paraphernalia and much more.

Both pressings of the CD are now sold out but the album is still available digitally at the Scarred for Life Bandcamp page. The Scarred For Life book is available at Lulu.

 

Links:

 

Elsewhere at A Year In The Country: