Monthly Archives: June 2018

Cassette(s) of the week: 3 Lovely box sets from Folklore Tapes

3 brilliant box sets from the incredible Folklore Tapes label have just been added:

  1.  The Lost Tapes Record Club ‎– EP03

Limited to 75 copies.  Numbered box set in an edition of 75 copies includes green cassette, inlay card, berry, photo slide in a sealed envelope and unused download card.

 

Part 3 of a series of four EPs curated by members of the band Clinic and presented by the Lost Tapes Record Club. Containing tracks pertaining to a unique project based around ethnographic radiolore and  surrounding the Dorset town of Symonsbury, showcasing a patchwork of randomised recordings of unknown vintage origin.

Presented in bespoke embossed boxes with unique conceptual inserts, echoing previous playful ‘intermedia’ works and happenings from the New York based Fluxus art group during the 1960s/70s.

 

Tracklist:

1. Nuclear War by Urban Collector (Rubber Jonathan OST)
2. Five Four by Professor Isaac Turton
3. Hotel by Laurie Carroll
4. Stylophone Interlude
5. Resistance by Oscar Boothroyd
6. Harvest Festival Interlude
7. Sniggery Wood by The Burrymen Four
8. Heartbeat by JellyRoll

 

2) Folklore Tapes Calendar Customs: Fore Hallowe’en

 Limited to 250 copies.

Box Contains:
Orange Cassette
24 page booklet
Poster
Pumpkin Seed
Unused Download Code

Folklore Tapes is the perfect label to address the observance of Samhain, as its primary focus is the preservation and dissemination of buried tales.  Folklore is more than just stories; at times it contains hidden truth.  The label’s last release, Theo Brown and the Folklore of Dartmoor, brought the point home through copious research and beguiling music.  Their latest release does the same via a 24-page booklet and the contributions of ten recording artists.  As the first installment of the Calendar Customs series, it’s a clever start, in line with the label’s mood of mystery.  Just don’t expect a happy Christmas tape anytime soon.

The booklet is a delight, filled with black-and-white photography and Hallowe’en lore.  One may read about the origins of the jack o’lantern, the symbolism of the female vampire, and a method through which one might identify one’s true love with an apple and a mirror.  Care to know which members of your parish are slated to die over the next year?  This tape may come in handy.  The same is true should one need a spell to counteract witchcraft.  Believe you don’t need such things?  Fine, don’t order the tape.  It’s easy enough to dismiss such tales as superstitions from the time fore Hallowe’en.  

As might be expected from a multi-contributor work, the selections are a bit uneven, but the overall effect is powerful.  The footsteps in the forest of “Domnhuil Dhu” are evocative ~ until interrupted by a seal-like voice warbling, “God is dead.”  Although true to the subject, a subtler touch might have been more effective.  And the sweetness of “Derwyn Adwy’r Meirwon” undercuts the otherwise unsettling nature of the collection.  But these tracks feature early in the mix, allowing a subtler, more disturbing spirit to enter midway.  Ian Humberstone’s “The Summons of Death” is a great mood-setter, dominated by a sinister wind in the first half, dark bass and psychedelic guitar in the second.  Eva Bowan’s vocals on “Aos Si” sound as if they have been stolen from the fairies, who would not have recognized field recordings, regarding them as dark magic.  While such creatures often aided the living, they were known to be fierce when provoked.

Field recordings, filtered choirs and chanting children join hands on “Punkie Night”, an always unsettling combination.  As the tape proceeds to unwind, one feels the spirit world drawing near.  Ritualistic elements descend like incantations; sacrifices are thrown in the fire; singing ceases.  The night is ceded to the spirits, some seeking revenge, others peace.  Side B lacks vocals.  With human elements removed, the spirits are free to frolic (Bokins’ “Taskmaster, Trickster, Troublemaker”), to haunt via magnetic tape (Children of Alice’s “The Liminal Space”), and to rattle chains, wind music boxes and spin bicycle wheels (Mary Stark’s “Nos”).  Annabelle has nothing on these creatures.  The past doesn’t care if we consider it folklore; malevolence will have its way.  So if you feel a chill on the back of your neck this evening, don’t worry; it was probably just a vengeful spirit.  (Richard Allen, acloserlisten.com)

 

3) Lancashire Folklore Tapes Volume 1: Pendle, 1612

 limited to 200 copies, the tapes are packaged in a screen printed heritage library buckram box which houses information and ephemera related to the trials: a map, photographs, an essay by the curators, and a dried nettle in glassvine envelope as well as an unused download code; also includes handwritten note from Rob St John

Curated by Rob St John and David Chatton Barker, ‘Pendle, 1612’ is the first release through the new Lancashire Folk Tapes imprint, following the continuing Devon Folklore series of limited edition tape releases exploring British folklore.

This release is a commemoration and remembrance

 

 to the Pendle Witch trials – a reminder of the rich, dark and entangled histories that are increasingly paved over and forgotten by contemporarycelebrations.

Tracklisting:

RSJ
1. Drcarlsonalbion And The Hackney Lass – Thee Betrothal of Alizon Device.
2. Dean McPhee – Rule of Threes.
3. Tom Western – Alice Nutter.
4. David A Jaycock – Black Malkin Tower.
5. Rob St.John & The Coven Choir – The Mandrake.

DCB
1. Bridget Hayden – Music In the Rocks.
2. Magpahi – The Power And The Glory.
3. Mary Arches – Hex Snoxums.
4. N.Racker – A New Maleficium.
5. Joe Duddell – Pendle Elegy.