Sunday, 24 December 2017

Review - A Year In The Country – All The Merry Year Round

A Year In The Country – All The Merry Year Round (A Year InThe Country)


Out Now

8 / 10

Electronic/drone folklore series releases new compilation.

It is perhaps to our eternal shame that we have never reviewed anything from A Year In The Country but, it is not without wanting.  Albums are beautifully crafted pieces of music and art that have maybe demanded much more attention that we were able to give but, as another year closes it is time to at least give a brief introduction to the uninitiated.

Stephen Cracknell has, as you’d maybe expect from the name, created a project detailing a year of photos, artwork and music influenced by the link between traditional folklore and how it sits alongside media based folklore via tv, film, etc.…  It all sounds very highbrow but in reality it all sounds quite enthralling.

The latest album features tracks from twelve artists including one from A Year In The Country each one haunting, ethereal or intriguing in varying and differing degrees.  From the opener Towards The Black Sun (United Bible Studies) with its monotone bass line, scaled tones and gentile voice it carves a pathway for the remainder of the album which fits so beautifully together you’d be forgiven for thinking it was just one artist.

The album ranges through some stunning instrumentation and in many cases gorgeous voices particularly Magpahi performing She Became Ashes And Left With The Wind which grips you early doors and tears at your heart and soul.  It’s incredibly charming with an ability to conjure up a picturesque landscape locked way in your head.

Indeed, the whole of the album succeeds in transcending one away to a world of simple exquisiteness.  Field Lines Cartographer (Azimuth Alignment Ritual) has a dark drone sound which injects a light horror to the proceedings and Moons Part 1 (Sproatly Smith) maintains the dark feel with glimmers of light and shimmers of star shine.

It’s an album of quite wonderful quality and one which has to be listened to with an open mind and an even more open heart.  If it succeeds on drawing you in then a delve into the back catalogue of A Year In The Country is inevitable.  Be impressed.

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