WORDS & MIX: Gareth E. Rees
Cover illustration: Maxim Peter Griffin
Below is a selection of UK-based music, all released in 2014, which touches upon themes of landscape, time consciousness, folklore, horror, hauntology and uncanny narratives. In other words, a soundtrack to the Unofficial Britain year.
If you want to hear more, I’ve featured some of these EPs and albums in a new mix, [scroll down to hear it].
The list, in no particular order (click on the album titles to purchase!)…
- Mica Levi – Under The Skin – an intensely creepy soundtrack to a film about a growingly conflicted alien who stalks the streets of Glasgow looking for men to seduce and kill.
- eMMplekz – Your Crate Has Changed – Funny and surreal, Baron Mordant muses on modern life to Ekoplekz’s Bristolian dubscapes.
- Concrete/Field – A Theory of Psychic Geography – if ever a person (presuming themselves mad) began to hear pylons and telegraph poles singing hymns to each other across forgotten lay lines, this would be what it sounded like.
- Strange U – EP #2040 – barnstorming British hip-hop that flips the usual ‘keeping it real’ narrative on its head: “Reality’s wack, I’m trying to escape/ FUCK THE TRUTH MAN I’M TRYING TO BE FAKE”
- Joseph Curwen – Forest Night – pulsing nocturnal woodland ghost-rave vibes.
- Howlround – Torridon Gate – an album made from a single recording of a suburban garden gate on Torridon Road, Hither Green, London. Expect creaking!
- Lutine – White Flowers – The debut album by Lutine emerges, shimmering, through a rift in time: a grieving widow who wanders the countryside in a cruel sunshine haze – read the Unofficial Britain review here.
- Wizards tell Lies – The Ninth Door – Noisy, menacing, occult post-rock from the 9th dimension
- Ekoplekz – Unfidelity – imagine the spectre of Delia Derbyshire, at the helm of a wobbly black tripod, stalking the mud in the Severn Estuary at night, looking for a rave
- Dour Tonic Input/DJ Votive – Yogyakarta/Dead Roads – from Glasgow, a release which is split between gamelan hip hop beats and Burroughs inspired techno
- Lowland Hundred – 3 – an exploratory sonic journey through a landscape of mountains, silver mines and brooding weather fronts. Read my Unofficial Britain piece here.
- Midwich Youth Club – Gamification – dazzling, proggy voyage into our memory of the 80s, and back again with a whoosh.
- Sub Luna City – City Rivims Mk 1 – Smoky late night street-life according to the South London collective.
- IX Tab – R.O.C – ghostly plunderphonics and lysergic noise. Like listening to a dream. A weird dream.
- Kemper Norton – Loor – Traditional folk filtered through a prism of ambience, drone and field recordings. A twilight world where phantoms drift across fields in search for their dead lovers. Read my Unofficial Britain piece here.
- Bass Clef – Acid Tracts – Dubby acid house accessed via a lower state of unconsciousness
- The Resource Centre – Low Fantasy EP – “Sunlight fixed in glass, a melody glides from window pane to page of text, oscillating there between the lines.”
- Time Attendant – Blood Hounds – Sonic expression of the English countryside as an indistinguishable fusion of the industrial and rural.