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Day #289/365: Departed friends… Folk Police Recordings…

Folk Police Recordings logo-A Year In The Country
File under: Trails and Influences: Touchstones. Case #36/52.

…and talking of certain places in the ether that I would find myself returning to on the way towards A Year In The Country (see Day #288/365)…

Folk Police Recordings.

This was a Manchester based record label that seemed to be a fine home for work that took folk music as its starting point but which wandered off in its directions, down its own paths (while still generally keeping an eye cast towards its roots). or to quote themselves, Folk Brut and other rough music…

Or to more fully quote themselves:

“We are purveyors of folk brut and other rough music. We like our folk skewed, raw and otherworldly. We’re basically traddies at heart, but we also like stuff that can trace its ancestry back to the Incredible String Band and the first psych-folk explosion. We like a bit of folk rock too, but not when it’s cunningly disguised pub rock, and we even like some singer songwriters, especially if they’re a little deranged. And we are always on the look out for the new Bert Jansch – all self respecting labels should have this as one of their goals. If you think we may like what you do, take a listen to some of the stuff we’ve uploaded, and if you still think we may like what you do, get in touch. Because we just-say-no to feudalism in music, we tend to license stuff off the artists we work with rather than give them dosh to go into the studio in return for ownership of their souls.

A fine statement of intent. It saddened my soul to read that, knowing that Folk Police Recordings has departed for whatever distant field record labels depart to.

In keeping with the above, this was a label that seemed to side step the more strict tradition-gate-keeping (and maybe blandly inoffensive rather than brut) aspects of folk music and put out work that while it could be experimental, was also particularly listenable to/accessible. Not always an easy fence to stay stood upon. They seemed to have a lovely ear for such things. In a way they seemed like some kind of flipside or distant fellow travellers of Rif Mountain/Stone Tape Recordings…

Weirdlore-Folk Police Records-Jeanette Leach-Ian Anderson-fRoots-Sproatly Smith-A Year In The Country 3

Harp and a Monkey-Folk Police Recordings-A Year In The CountryTo name but a few of Folk Polices sendees… They were responsible for the document of a lost focal point, Weirdlore (see Day #85/365) out into the world, alongside the entrancing contemporary but classic psych-folk wanderings of Sproatly Smith (see Day #92/365), the rather excellently named and sometimes singers of gentle Johnnies, Woodbine & Ivy Band (see Day #101/365) or the somewhat intriguing, is it a long lost artefact or a hidden modern story of Frugal Puritan, the kitchen sink, heartfelt observations of Harp And A Monkey…

As you’ve probably gathered, at some point not all that long ago Folk Police Recordings ceased their normal operations and now even their main home in the fields of zeros and ones is no more. Now there are just a few fallen leaves and scatterings throughout the ether. Well worth a wander amongst, kicking through and scooping up to see what you may find.

Here are a few of such things… An ether victrola. A Winter Mix: Folk Police Case Report No.1 (one of the few scatterings, preserved for propserity, at least for the time being by Folk Radio UK)… Another ether victrola (and still reasonably fruitful scattering).

The Woodbine & Ivy Band-Folk Police Recordings-A Year In The Country


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