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Belbury Poly’s “The Geography” from The Belbury Tales: Songs for A Year In The Country 8/26

If Boards of Canada had recorded a female singer who was accompanying Archie Fisher on his epic cinematic folkloric track “Orfeo” it might sound a little like this. Somewhere in an alternate universe records that sound like this gave Fatboy Slim a run for his money in the pop charts.




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Zyklus’ Gumbo Gulag’s Unearthing of Buried Treasure and the Sound of the Future’s Past: Wanderings 4/26

The album Gumbo Gulag by Zyklus is something of an archival curio. It collects together vintage analogue demos, b-sides and library edits from cassettes, MiniDiscs and hard drives that were recorded between 1982-2004 by Alan Gubby, who runs the Buried Treasure label and produced the hauntologically inclined The Delaware Road album, events, graphic novels etc; the “noise-folk collective” Revbjelde; and released Jeffrey Siedler’s Logic Formations DVD that I have written about before and which featured “1970’s style video graphics and modular atmospherics inspired by the super rare 1970’s EMS Spectron video synthesizer”.

Gumbo Gulag in part records and documents the changing sounds, rhythms and technology of electronic music in previous decades and listening to it at times can be like discovering an old 12” or few by Cabaret Voltaire or 1980s/early 1990s Finitribe that you never knew existed and which you’d found hidden away in the basement of a second hand record shop.

As with those two acts, there is a splicing and intermingling of styles in the recordings; at times there’s a certain dislocated electronic funk or jazz-like aspect to the music, that intermingles with industrial-like rhythms, while the likes of Blind Spot (1999) and Penal Chic (2001) wander onto, or from, a left field dance floor back when. Elsewhere Sunday Last (2004) is a  haunting minimal track which contains ominous tones and darkly unsettling noises, at one point accompanied by the distorted echo of a child’s nursery rhyme.

On the album’s Bandcamp page and on the CD sleeve it says that the tracks were produced using the following equipment:

Casio FZ10M, Casio MT40, Bentley Rhythm Ace, Roland TR505, Roland TB303, Casio 465 Tone Bank, DOD Digital Delay, Yamaha CS30, Yamaha CS01, Yamaha DX100, Yamaha FB01, Roland SH101, Roland MC202, Roland SH09, Korg MS10, Korg Prophecy, Solina String Machine, Realistic Reverb, Ibanez semi-acoustic guitar, Johnson bass guitar, Roland AP2 Phaser, Amdek RMK100, Casio VL-Tone, Casio SK1, Emu64, Atari ST 1040, EDP Wasp, Roland D20, Alesis HR16, Cavendish Electric Organ, Boss DR55, Hitachi, Teac & Technics cassette decks, Sony MiniDisc and Tascam 244 Portastudio.

Which made me wander how much of that Alan Gubby once owned and still has. It brings to mind an image of a spare room somewhere with all of it stored on racks, waiting for the time when it will be called on again.



Buried Treasure and The Delaware Road Elsewhere at A Year In The Country: