Tuesday, 26 May 2015

A Year In The Country - In Every Mind

H**ntological music's dead, isn't it? Kaput. But isn't everything the minute it's born, these days? We're speed dating...with data...a quick glance into the 'eyes' and we decide - Yes? No? Maybe? Move on.

Every genre should die, but doesn't, except in the eyes (ears) of those who decide and that's you and me, there being no taste-making authority figures any more. So, with this internet thing, we freely 'revive' or keep alive anything we want. More often than not, we time travel on a sonic cross-genre trip...just because we can...those of us with an interest in both The Past and The Present at least.

If H**ntology as music is dead, so too are the myths of an older Kingdom that have inspired it's modern musical interpretors. The opposite of Urban music, H**ntology's past was that of this country. If, through the use of electronics, it acknowledges other modern musical forms, it also drags them away from night clubs and into the night of Horrors, be they haunted lanes and houses or foreign cinematic fiction (usually Italian). It also took from our Pop cultural history of TV and experimental sound, mostly the BBC's radiophonic department.

Perhaps it was our equivalent of Prog's exploration of Arthurian mythology and the Folk/Rock renaissance of the early 70s. But more tasteful, we like to think. No lute's here, thank you. Instead, technology at the service of sound bite archaeology. A sample from an obscure 70s children's TV programme is far more interesting than a 17th century ballad played on acoustic guitar, isn't it?

To start In Every Mind A Year In The Country present Folk disrupted, barely played, simple guitar strumming with a submerged vocal - it's not promising; it's an exercise in the unbearable lightness of being vague. But things quickly pick up with Escapees, playing out the trapped scenario with a nagging synth line and the voice which insists' that 'It's time to get out', a child's voice, of course. The way it fades as if the escape has been made before returning more stridently accentuates the subject. It Doth Blow...'Doth'?...Olde English! Be gone! Yet, that knocking...and the undercurrent...the pause before disturbing rumbles appear...the monsters of the Id? There are bird calls, footsteps and more children's voices, yet even such common tropes don't prevent me from liking this album. It's as if it's makers know all that has been done before but refuse to be deterred in the name of newness or originality. Besides, along with the distant melancholic strings there are enough brutal wallops and 'motorik' moments to keep us awake.

A Year In The Country (Bandcamp)

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