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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Music Project – Album #49 – Absinthe: La Folie Verte – Blood Axis & Les Joyaux de la Princesse

Absinthe: La Folie Verte – Blood Axis & Les Joyaux de la Princesse

Absinthe

In days gone by, I would scour the usenet binary newsgroups looking for delicious audible morsels to shove in my ears and seem highbrow and cultured. People like my friend Nick seem to do it without blinking. They’d find a band nobody had heard of, proclaim them as the best thing ever, and bang on about how other people just don’t understand their message. Then, as the band becomes popular, they deny ever having liked them in the first place or proclaim that they’re not as good as they were when the drummer used Zillon drumsticks or whatever.

Hipsters I believe the youth of today call such people.

Knobheads, as we used to call them back in the day.

Oh but how things change.

I came across Blood Axis and Les Joyaux de la Princesse (LJDP) on usenet and immediately fell for their mix of poetry and atmospheric melodies carved from old wax cylinders and gramophone records. Genius.

Kind of like what Ibizan DJs do, but with 78s. And with atmosphere. And culture.

Absinthe is a brilliant work of art. It’s trippy, dark and very atmospheric. I’ve used that word a lot in this post. Atmosphere. Yes. If ever you wanted to know what atmosphere was, you should listen to this. I recall having it on my MP3 player when I was in hospital and thinking “If I listen to this when I’m tripping off my tits on painkiller/morphine I’ll have a right royal time!”

Yeah. I did. I was immediately transported to a Paris of dirty opium dens, unclean absinthe shops and moody Gauloises cigarette smoking in the 18th/19th century. I highly recommend listening to this alone, in a dark damp uncarpeted room during a rain storm. With only a rag for a curtain, a rickety table and an old wooden chair for company.

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