Recording Our Own Ghosts – A Review of A Year In The Country: Wandering Through Spectral Fields at Folk Horror Revival (and Other Intertwinings)

  • There is a piece on the A Year In The Country: Wandering Through Spectral Fields book by Grey Malkin at the Folk Horror Revival site:

    A Year In The Country embrace a wide range of avenues to bring together not only a sense of how far reaching and varied the origins, mainstays and current players of genres such as folk horror or hauntology can be, but crucially also how they intertwine and cross pollinate.

    Each chapter expertly charts its chosen subject’s impact upon the public consciousness as well as indicating that these artefacts are now part of a greater cultural cobweb that may well have threads and components that are radically different in genre or style but that equally have a strong commonality in their sense of unease and their haunted content; of similar ghosts in the machine (or spooks in the television and bookshelves).

    The article is a layered exploration of both the book and the cultural background it explores, taking in the likes of The Wicker Man, The Midwich Cuckoos, No Blade of Grass, 70’s acid folk, hauntology etc.

    Alongside Grey Malkin’s own writing on the book, the piece also contains extracts from a conversation between him and the book’s author Stephen Prince:

    I think, to a certain degree, the way in which it isn’t easily definable how the different and loosely gathered areas of culture that are discussed in ‘Wandering Through Spectral Fields’ appear to connect, influence one another, have become part of a lineage etc is an aspect of what is appealing about them and that gathering; it is part of what creates a certain mystique around it. Possibly in an age where every area of culture, no matter how niche, can be investigated and explained by for example a brief online search, it is the sense of a hidden history and stories, of an at least partly unexplained aspect to such work that is one of the things which may draw people to it.

     

    Intertwinings:

    Harvest Hymns II – Sweet Fruits, was published in 2018 by Folk Horror Revival and as with a number of their other book releases explores otherly folkloric and hauntological orientated work. It includes Cuckoos in the Same Nest, which is an alternate version of the Cuckoos in the Same Nest: Hauntological and Otherly Folk Confluences and Intertwinings chapter from the A Year In The Country: Wandering Through Spectral Fields book.

    Grey Malkin is one of the instigators of/collaborators with The Hare And The Moon, Embertides and Widow’s Weeds.

    Embertide’s Ash, Oak & Sulphur is included on the upcoming A Year In The Country released album The Quietened Mechanisms:

    An exploration of abandoned and derelict industry, infrastructure, technology and equipment that once upon a time helped to create, connect and sustain society… and their echoes and remains.

    The Hare And The Moon’s work has also been featured on a number of A Year In The Country released albums, including A Whisper In The Woods on The Forest / The Wald, which is a:

    …study and collection of work that reflects on fragments and echoes of tales from the woodland and its folklore; greenwood rituals performed in the modern day, fantastical childhood rhymes, sylvan siren calls that tremble through tangles of branches, electronics pressed into the summoning of otherworldly arboreal creations unearthed amidst the creeping thickets and elegies to woodland intrustions, solitudes and seasons.

    The Hare And The Moon “existed between 200 and early 2017 and are now as ghosts”. You can visit the spectral echoes of their explorations of the further furrows of folk/folklore at their Bandcamp page.

    Also Widow’s Weeds’ track The Unquiet Grave was included on the A Year In The Country released album Audio Albion, which is a:

    …music and field recording map of Britain, which focuses on rural and edgeland areas… the history, myths and beliefs of the places, their atmospheres and undercurrents, personal and cultural connections – the layered stories that lie amongst, alongside and beneath the earth, plants and wildlife.

     

    Elsewhere:

     

    Elsewhere at A Year In The Country:

     

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