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Sidse Babett Knudsen skirt deep in watersports & butterflies? Quite a conjuring indeed.


Strickland's Sonic Catering Band are an audiophile's delight, although i dunno if its an Andrew Liles bias cos his works are the epitome of atmospheric resonance, some folks are good engineers but he's on another plain entirely, shame his solo/NWW gigs are so few & spread out to a handful annually

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This is more on a Pagan / folklore tip, but I never realized how much the rocks at Stongehenge have been fucked with over the years, to "approximate" what scholars think they looked like; re-arranged, restored, set into concrete foundations, etc.



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*dons archaeologist cap


Stonehenge was indeed done in phases, it even has previous Mesolithic (hunter-gather/middle stone age) deposits that suggest the area had a significant chronology b4 its Neolithic (tethered mobility/agriculture etc) inception, from then on it got altered fairly regularly every few hundred years until about 2500-2000BC which is whats evidenced today


the Blue Stones did indeed arrive first, from Pembrokeshire of all places, imagine transporting those hundreds of miles a millennia before the Pyramids were built


**see Mike Parker Pearson's work on Stonehenge for a deeper synopsis of chronologies, use and sequence of alterations:




the intriguing aspect is that in indigenous British mythology the Preseli Hills are associated with Annwn, the "otherworld" of Welsh mythology, ruled by Arawn who pops up in all manner of stories and mischief


these hills are just over the Irish Sea from the Neolithic complexes @ Newgrange & Knowth in the bend of the Boyne in Eire


the metaphor of using stone is universal in these realms in representing the lands of the dead


these "Western Lands" of Preseli, Stonehenge, Avebury, the Brittany alignments/stone-rows, the isles of Scilly & the Irish Neolithic monuments in the bend of the Boyne might have a further archeological association with the Egyptian concept of the lands of the dead, their "Western Lands", that you traveled to upon dying, with tentacles that stretch out as part of a network of prehistoric worship evidenced in Egypt, the Mediterranean, Iberia, Brittany, as well as Britain & Eire


far out maaaaaaaaaaaaan

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ps: if you want a mission out around southern British Neolithic monuments, i'd recommend doing Wayland's Smithy chambered tomb, then south a few miles to Avebury, Silbury Hill and West Kennet tomb


Avebury is probably more cosmic than Stonehenge due to its sheer scale, its fkn enormous & thats one of the few sites where you actually get in touch with how the ancients worshiped


a stone's throw away from there the West Kennet tomb has an acoustic range thats stayed intact since its construction, so if you play drones in there they reverberate like nothing else


every now again you can go in there & encounter a bunch of *new-age types doing this choral sound healing thing, well-worn multi-coloured woolly jumpers, dreadlocks & bits of feathers in hair-braids are de rigeur


*new-age travelers didnt die out as a species here, they just settled down around Glastonbury & opened tatty crystal shops

Edited by cwmbrancity
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I'm fascinated by the ancient cultures and religions of Britain, did they have written language, like cave drawings, etc?  I don't believe paper had spread this far from Ancient Egypt at this point, total amateur archaeology here, haha.  Having gone to Egypt since I was a wee child, it was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen, and not really realized until later, cultures almost as old survived from UK.  Of course, the entire Gothic era of Christianity is fascinating as well for its religious ruins among Europe, but the Pagan / almost prehistoric cultures just blow my mind, and the monuments they were able to build.  I can't imagine what society was like that far back, 3,000 BC in Europe, it's like it's almost been wiped away by history.  Ancient African history suffered a similar fate, although they do have some folklore and mythology that was passed down.

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one of the better writers in archaeology is Professor Richard Bradley, his "Archaeology of Natural Places" gives a trans-chronological scheme of specific places & typologies of locations which a lot of recent music/culture seems to be alluding to, he's succinct with zero waffle, that text in itself is deffo worth a few shekels & you wouldnt need a time-frame in mind because Bradley is lucid enough to flow through the eras.


from Bradley's framework, other writers of a different variety worth a rummage include the occultist Ithell Colquhoun... her books on Cornwall (The Living Stones) & EIre (The Crying of the Wind), are right at the intersection of Mircea Eliade, Carl Jung, travelog and archaeology....it just helps to have Bradleys book as a first call to establish a rigorous chronology cos Colquhoun was writing in the 1950's, but her themes are their own psycho-geographies & Stewart Lee's done the new edition intros.


if you wanna go deeeeep down the rabbit hole, The White Goddess by Robert Graves is the definitive text on bridging pre-christian and modern myths, its a hard read but its scope and results are immense.

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the Tibetan Chöd are your crew for graveyards




The Chö[d]pa's very lifestyle on the fringe of society - dwelling in the solitude of burial grounds and haunted places, added to the mad behavior and contact with the world of darkness and mystery - was enough for credulous people to view the Chödpa in a role usually attributed to shamans and other exorcists, an assimilation which also happened to medieval European shepherds. Only someone who has visited one of Tibet's charnel fields and witnessed the offering of a corpse to the vultures may be able to understand the full impact of what the Chöd tradition refers to as places that inspire terror

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Julian Cope was one of the primers for exploring Neolithic sites same-ish period as his better drone works with Thighpaulsandra, The Modern Antiquarian is good fun & even has a vibes report alongside the chronologies, interpretations & rights of access.


theres a kind of lament in-between the lines about the loss of the relationship between people & these sites + landscapes. Academic archaeologists dismiss it as travelog, but that was the intention. Worth trying to track down with the dvd & the following Megalithic European issue, cos youlube only offers so much quality-wise




the tunes from are up there with Coil's drone works, even if Silbury is Neolithic & def not Norse







Cope & TSP's Queen Elizabeth "Elizabth Vagina" has nuggets & pearls, check Eisteddfod 69, Callanish & the more coherent parts of The Dianaver



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  • 2 weeks later...

Razen continue to release absorbing, immersive fusions of acoustic drones, electronic strangeness & all kinds of warped fun


the blurb from their last release's church recordings was enough to lure me in superficially, but this track winds a v distinct path in the autumnal weather commute:





The Xvoto Reels provides additional proof (if necessary) that Razen is an audacious group. If the Belgian band led by the duo Brecht Ameel and Kim Delcour has explored different musical worlds with changing formations, the involuntary irruption of a sixth “member” has upset the content of this new album. Through these brutal and unpredictable interventions, it made an ambitious album - recording live improvisations in a church with an organ and a tabla - unique.

“When we listened to the tape reels months after the recording sessions at the St Martin’s Church, we were forced into noticing that a presence had placed itself on all of the recordings. A presence playing tricks with the dynamics and the church acoustics, leaving inexplainable sound prints and cuts on the reels, turning our music into stray phantoms, as if what was left on the tapes was only a vague recollection of the sessions, reducing the slowed down ragas we had had in mind into a version so different and frayed yet at the same time so layered and eternal, that at first we had a hard time recognizing our original ideas,
let alone deciding whether this was not too personal, intimate and obscure at all to let it out into the world, because what we had in our hands now, was the sound of a deeply private dream, a message from the subconscious, rather than a collection of tracks by five improvising musicians.

It did not take us long before we observed that what was lost in terms of our original expectations of these recordings (the precision of our tunings and interplay, proper endings and beginnings, clearer definition of sound) we had suddenly gained on other and far more worthier levels; the levels of randomness, unexpectedness and irrationality, precisely the sort of qualities our improvised music had always embraced, which were now put to the fore in a manner we had not yet encountered."

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  • 5 months later...

Doc Rowe is an institution, bought the actual G-paper today but missed this, cheers ears


some proper strangeness, Kernow's Obby Oss seems a lot like the Mari Lwyd here, different feast day's doe, Solstice & Beltane, they're almost carnivalesque insomuch as everyone gets ripped to the gills, mingles, bit like the Wassail & Mumming over the border too


Philadelphia has a big Mummer's parade on New Year's Day/possible repost, so these traditions have traveled a bit (longish vid but yah gets me bwlad)


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  • 4 weeks later...

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