Posted on Leave a comment

Keith Seatman’s Time to Dream but Never Seen – Seaside Days Out via the Time Trap Mysteries of Sapphire & Steel and a Liminal Ghost Box Landscape: Wanderings 2/26

Keith Seatman’s Time to Dream but Never Seen released by Castles in Space in 2019 is a loosely themed concept album based around a hauntological refraction of the British seaside and mayday fairs in times gone by, and as with much hauntologically inclined work it draws from and utilises contradictory atmospheres and memories to create an atemporal parallel world. On the album warm and comforting nostalgia nestles alongside the sinister and threatening, a trip down memory lane that threatens to leave the listener caught forever in a maze of fairground mirrors; this is a seaside jaunt via the time trap mysteries of Sapphire & Steel, electronica as viewed through a quietly lysergic kaleidoscope.

Jim Jupp of Ghost Box Records sleeve notes for  the album discuss how:

“The British seaside was an eighteenth-century invention later refined by the Victorians who transplanted the village fair and pre-industrial holy days into the coastal resorts of the Georgians. This created liminal zones poised between land and sea, between city and nature… where contradictions became the order of the day; health and hedonism, licentiousness and civilisation, nostalgia and science.”

Connected to which, the album can be viewed as being part of a cultural liminal zone of “ghost box but not Ghost Box” releases that also include: the Seatman and Powell Broken Folk EP released in 2018 by Keith Seatman’s label K.S. Audio in association with Ghost Box adjunct label Belbury Music, which featured Keith Seatman, Douglas Powell and Jim Jupp working as Belbury Poly and intersected the rural wyrd with hauntological electronica…

…the woozily dreamlike album Broadcast And The Focus Group Investigate Witchcults of the Radio Age released in 2009 by Warp Records, on which Ghost Box Records co-founder and designer Julian House and Broadcast collaborated…

…the also Warp released Children of Alice album from 2017, a collaboration between James Cargill and Roj Stevens of Broadcast and again Julian House, which included folk ritual inspired tracks originally produced for Folklore Tapes…

…and Spaceship UK: The Untold Story of the British Space Programme released in 2010 by Sound and Music, featuring recordings by Jim Jupp and BBC Radiophonic Workshop co-founder Daphne Oram, design by Julian House and writing by Ken Hollings which interlinks a number of recurring hauntological touchstones and tropes including Quatermass, spectres of the past and electronic music experimentation.



Elsewhere at A Year In The Country:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.