I reviewed Sean Johnston`s Summerisle Six project a little while back, and something else that taps into that whole classic `70s folk horror vibe, or should that be vein, while sonically very different, is O.G. Jigg`s The Land Dictates The Lay Of The Stone.
The work of Bristol-based artist, William Yates, who also records as Memotone, the album, released in conjunction with Tokyo`s Diskotopia, launches his new label, Earth Memory Recordings. The imprint is aimed at curating music that explores the psychogeographical and global folklore. Here Yates` composes for a small orchestral ensemble – reeds, strings, and woodwinds, a little xylophone. The pieces are intended to invoke the BBC Radiophonic Workshop themes that once accompanied creepy, occult, children’s TV, and they so with aplomb. Resulting in homages that are strongly aligned with Ghost Box`s more electronic hauntology. The album is a ringer, for example, for that slightly sinister late `60s poetry record, The Seasons, that Jarvis Cocker used to cane.
Seemingly abstract in places – think Jerry Goldsmith’s serial compositions for The Planet Of The Apes – scratched and scraped instruments mimic nature, wildlife’s cries and calls, while a more traditionally bowed cello adds a touch of melancholy – a sad slow waltz. The drones, piercing whistles, and general eerie ambience could easily double for dramatic, cinematic, cues. Bernard Herrmann`s Taxi Driver atmospherics, without the jazz. Jollier moments, of short scurrying sequences, recall a Chuck Jones Tom & Jerry cartoon.
There`s a more modern classical air to the album`s second side, with the last track in particular echoing Johann Johannsson`s earlier offerings. Where muted machine manipulations, together with an ominous bass boom, supplement the graceful, requiem-like melodies and hooks.