[Music – Album]
It’s thick and dark, mysterious yet earthy, electronic manipulation of the natural world. That could be water running through the brook, the cry of crows. Samples and field recordings evoke a place, a time of day; maybe early morning in Agrarian Lament, perhaps mid-afternoon in Ghosts of Blood and Iron, with space, a contemplative space to view the field in your imagination.
This is not just one field. The beanfield is not Edgehill, Graveney Marsh is a different landscape to Mortimer’s Cross, so the unification is textural, like the geology under the topography holds the landscape together. Here the construction of the music is as much about the effect as the [lack of] rhythm and melody. When there’s a hint it’s as if there’s sounds from a distant church, or the effect of entering a clearing in the woods.
The English lament rolls through the album, the inspiration of the struggles of the forgotten, the undervalued, specifically the rural against the urban. Nevertheless you can’t stop people wanting to better their lives and believing a move to the city will do that. There is at least money in the city, though you may not see any of it. Those who are left behind still have their struggles, will still agitate, and often history has vindicated them even if society has dismissed them. Often there is no monument left, and I know people who live in Orgreave and beneath Kinder Scout with no knowledge of the seismic events. These tracks track that, in a way, in constructions that don’t leave a trace but have their effect in a subtle way.
They are often monochrome portraits, utilising the drone, a modern musical phenomena with an ancient pedigree. They emerge from a world of the Radiophonic Workshop and the soundtracks of the hauntological and psychogeographic. Their power pulses or soars with lines like a Tudor mass setting heard through the wind of a dissolute abbey. They build and fade as the sun is revealed and cloaked. Picture the shadow made by the cloud flowing down the valley side, scratching at the dry stone walls, submerging into the dark lanes and tracking the hedgerows that were the routes of history and the demarcations of society. There might be dancing, but it’s distant, on a hill on the horizon, silhouetted against the setting sun.