Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

From an Ancient Star – Belbury Poly [#620]

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Today I’m stepping back in time to add some of the albums I have bought since starting this project back in 2014. While I will continue to work through my album collection alphabetically, occasionally, once a month at least, I will post an album bought recently that  I may have missed alphabetically. One such example is todays offering from hauntology experts Belbury Poly.

From an Ancient Star is, in my mind at least, the soundtrack from a British 1970’s children’s TV programme from Ghost Box Studios. A young family, mother deceased, move into a spooky old manor house in rural Berkshire (because it always is); Two older children, brother and sister, their adopted younger sibling and scientist father.

Within the house they discover a “hidden door” which, it transpires, allows passage between a strange new world wherein the children have a most peculiar adventure. Freddie Jones or Patrick Troughton would be the old man living near the house with seemingly bizarre ideas, while rugged Patrick Allen would provide wise sensible fatherly words to his wild sounding children alight with strange tales, perhaps supported by his new girlfriend possibly played by someone like Caroline Munro.

Sadly, there isn’t really such a programme, but, upon listening, hauntological memories of Owl Service, Children of the Stones and Dramarama from the golden age of children’s TV are invoked. Its not hard to imagine the music being used in such programmes, yet the album is actually from 2009.

Belbury Poly have a really unique and imagination driving sound and I think of recent years, this has got to be my most favourite Belbury Poly album. From beginning to end, every time you listen, you get something new.

Or should that be reawakened memories from that parallel universe you slipped in from….

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In a Moment…Ghost Box – Various Artists [#619]

Unknown-1Ghost Box. The stable from where delights such as Belbury Poly, Broadcast and Focus Group hail. In a Moment…Ghost Box is a compilation of some of the most awesome hauntological music you’ll ever hear. If you’re looking to relive those summer holidays in Scarfolk or those school gatherings around the TV in a cabinet on stilted wheels, then this is what you want to listen to.

Invoking memories of a prenuclear holocaust society, crap video graphics and lots of nylon sweaters, the album is a showcase for many different bands that come under the Ghost Box label’s protective cloak. An excellent starting place for people wanting to explore music of its type.

This album is definitely a gateway album. Though probably to another dimension rather than hard drugs. I suppose that depends on your outlook on life. It is also one of the main reasons why there was a hiatus of the Music Project last year. Having obtained the compilation, I then discovered I had actually bought more albums since starting the project and they had been omitted because they didn’t show on my list. Frustrated by not having a completely alphabetical list of albums, I’ve now decided it doesn’t really matter and only a few OCD readers will be upset by the out of sequence post that will follow this but I’m sure you’ll forgive me when you hear how awesome From an Ancient Star is.

 

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Farmer’s Angle (Revised Edition) – Belbury Poly [#460]

Another album of 1960’s government safety film music from Belbury Poly who we’ve also met before on the music project.

This time instead of sounding like the intermission music between programmes for schools and colleges, Belbury Poly manage to pull off a hauntological mixture of samples from Hammer Classic The Devil Rides Out (which in my opinion is the greatest film ever made), unique music to accompany a neo-fascist state’s “Inform on your Family” propaganda film and the theme tune to a Eastern European children’s cartoon about a communist cow.

Marvellous stuff

 

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#145 – Belbury Tales – Belbury Poly

Belbury Tales Belbury Tales – Belbury Poly

There was a time before 24hr TV when BBC programme schedulers did a poor job. People would turn their televisions off after watching their programme and return to strangling the mop or smoking a pipe in the parlour until the next programme they had selected came on.

Around this time, BBC schedulers were not focussed on things finishing on time. It was often the case that TV programmes would over or under run, leaving the station with the problem of finding something to fill the gap. Of course this is in the days before TV self promotion and when people could be arsed to turn off their telly.

But during those heady days of fill-in’s, viewers would often be subjected to educational shorts such as films about a potter’s wheel or a machine making pencils or trains going into tunnels. The soundtrack to these films would normally sound like Belbury Poly.

If you took a large drop of acid or a hallucinogen of your choice you could quite easily listen to this album and find yourself educated while your mind plays educational fill-ins like: Potters wheel, Telephone Exchange or Industrial Processes 1954-1974.

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