Children of Alice LP
in the Ghost Box Guest Shop

The Children of Alice is an occasional collaborative project between James Cargill (Broadcast), Julian House (The Focus Group) and Roj (Roj). On this eponymous LP Warp records have compiled their output to date, originally released over a series of compilations and a split cassette for the Folklore Tapes.

A beautiful mirrorboard sleeve with fold out poster designed by Julian House. Includes download code card.

Warp have this to say:
Named as an act of tribute to the late Trish Keenan, for whom Alice in Wonderland and in particular Jonathan Miller’s summerhazy ’60s idyll of an adaptation, was a presiding inspiration. The name invokes her abiding spirit and also creates a sense of continuity with the evolving Broadcast soundworld, which became more concentrated and individual as it refined itself and adapted to new configurations. The record combines a narrative of country life rooted psychedelia with a strong soundtrack feel that perfectly fits and continues the lineage of the three members’ individual projects. Children Of Alice plays out like a long lost library soundtrack, complete with all of the trademarks of the trio’s collective consciousness, filtered through a gauze of Czech new wave cinema soundtracks, 1970s cult children’s TV shows such as The Owl Service & Children Of The Stones and then shot through the record collections of Julian Cope, Bo Hansson, David Chatton Barker & Ian Humberstone. A truly engrossing listen from start to finish, Children Of Alice is a spellbinding journey down the rabbit hole, that for those willing to take the trip there is much to discover. An album that excavates a dreamlike sound of wonder.

New in the Ghost Box Guest Shop

Through Passages of Time – The Hardy Tree (LP)

On translucent blue vinyl, individually numbered sleeves, limited to 500, with free download code inside. A beautiful package designed by Clay Pipe Music curator, Frances Castle for one of the finest homespun labels in the UK.

The Hardy Tree is the musical project of Clay Pipe Music’s founder Frances Castle, her first LP ‘ The Fields Lie Sleeping Underneath’ was the initial release on the label over five years ago.


Through Passages of Time soundtracks buildings and areas of London that no longer exist. Small places stumbled upon by accident, traced on maps, and illustrated in Georgian prints. Frequently visited pubs that have been rebuilt and renamed, the ship breakers yard decorated with wooden figureheads at Baltic Wharf, or the Thames Watermen living in the shadow of the Hawksmoor designed church at Horselydown. Lost places re-imagined and brought to life using clusters of sequenced Moogs, off Kilter electronics, vibes, and Mellotron – capturing the essence of the dark city and its more bucolic outer suburbs. This is a plaint to an older stranger London that is quickly becoming priced out and forgotten. Look carefully and clues to the ancient past can still be found.

In Fairyland: The World of Tessa Farmer (Book)

Edited by fantasy curator Catriona McAra for the marvellous Strange Attractor Press, In Fairyland consists of eight carefully crafted chapters by Giovanni Aloi, Gail-Nina Anderson, Gavin Broad, Brian Catling, Jeremy Harte, Petra Lange-Berndt, and John Sears.

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For almost two decades now, Tessa Farmer has been evolving a new species of fairy. They represent the point at which science tilts into fantasy – as the sleep of reason produces monsters. In Fairyland is the first substantial scholarly volume devoted to Farmer’s work. Here, leading thinkers in the fields of animal art, natural history and gothic studies assemble to investigate the significance of Farmer and her fairies, covering aspects from their relationship to fairy traditions in folklore and art, to entomological precedents for the malevolent behaviours of her creations.

“Tessa Farmer’s dark, delicate spaces, her untamed, intricate creatures absolutely mesmerise me.” Kate Bernheimer, author of My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales of My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales

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Tessa Farmer is the great-granddaughter of the author Arthur Machen, who long term Ghost Box followers will recognise as an important influence on the label.

Edited by Catriona McAra
paperback
128pp + 16pp colour illustrations

New in the Ghost Box Guest Shop this week.

The Ghost Box Guest Shop is a section of our shop for records and merchandise from Ghost Box related artists, allied record labels and artists whose work overlaps with, or has inspired the world of Ghost Box in some way.

Glistens (LP)

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New in the Guest Shop this week is a compilation of Chappell AV library music from the 1980s. Glistens is expertly curated for Lo Records by Ed Macfarlane of The Pattern Forms. To date this is a largely overlooked era in library music, its a highly inventive period that heralds the dawn of new digital technology in electronic music.

The compilation was mastered by fellow library music expert Jon Brooks (The Advisory Circle & Pattern Forms) who also contributes notes to the lovely looking, informative gatefold sleeve.

Gurdy Hurding (CD)

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We also have a new CD album by Renaldo & The Loaf, Gurdy Hurding which comes 30 years after their last, The Elbow is Taboo. Over the course of 6 albums, spanning the late 70s to late 80s, Renaldo and the Loaf created of a unique sound world using an unguessable instrumental palette, collaged tape cut ups and wildly inventive, weird songs. Its a sound that’s simultaneously avant-garde, electronic, ethnographic, punk and oddly folk-ish. Renaldo & the Loaf will appeal to fans of The Residents or Position Normal. In fact they collaborated with the Residents in 1983 and released three of their albums on The Resident’s own Ralph Records. Their spliced and mangled songs were an early influence on Belbury Poly’s Jim Jupp.

The Forest / The Wald (CDR)

Finally we have The Forest/The Wald, the next instalment in the on going series of compilations put together by blog and CDR label A Year in The Country. As usual its available in two beautifully handcrafted versions (both limited to 104 copies). 

The Dawn Edition  A numbered, hand-finished white/black CDR album in textured recycled fold out sleeve with inserts and badge.

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And the Night Edition – A numbered, hand-finished white/black CDR album on all black CDR, 12 page string bound booklet, 4 x badge pack, 4 x round stickers, landscape format sticker and an unique, one-off print.

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This chapter in the series explores tales and folklore of the woodlands. And features:
Bare Bones, Magpahi, Polypores, Time Attendant, David Colohan, Richard Moult, Sproatly Smith, The Hare And The Moon ft Alaska, The Rowan Amber Mill, The Séance with Lutine, Cosmic Neighbourhood and A Year In The Country.

Plaint of Lapwing
Alasdair Roberts & James Green
In the Ghost Box Guest Shop

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Available today in the Ghost Box guest shop, this remarkable collaborative LP by Alasdair Roberts and James Green (of Big Eyes Family Players ), on Clay Pipe Records. The passionate syncretism of Roberts’ own songs and those he selects coupled with Green’s varied and unusual instrumentation, is at times reminiscent of The Incredible String band. But rather than the fey and whimsical there’s a more visceral variety of mysticism at work here. This is a thing of rare and uplifting beauty.

Alasdair Roberts explains how Plaint of Lapwing came about:

“Mayday 2012: an email from James Green in Sheffield reached me in Glasgow. I knew James a little – not particularly well; we had met a few times over the years and had collaborated a little too (I’d sung on a couple of songs on the album Folk Songs 2 by his group The Big Eyes Family Players). I understood that he played the harmoniflute, an instrument somewhere between a harmonium and an accordion, and seemed very enamoured of it. His email read: “had an idea about approaching you with… an ep or few songs (trad or otherwise) accompanied by my harmoniflute, and nothing else… just an idea once the dust has settled, maybe…”


The dust was not long in the swirling before coming to rest upon both of our past endeavours, and shortly we set to work on the project which became Plaint of Lapwing. My initial thought was to concentrate on just four pieces – I’d just recorded the Drag City LP/CD A Wonder Working Stone and had some songs left over from that. In a process which James was later to characterise as ‘surreal’, I started emailing him recordings of my disembodied voice; in response I would eagerly await, tracks featuring aforesaid voice with James’ harmoniflute accompaniment.

The project gradually, almost imperceptibly, developed in scope and complexity over two years. I began sending James more vocal takes as well as other sonics I’d generated, for a variety of original compositions and some by other authors (including a song by the Perthshire folklorist Hamish Henderson, an arrangement by Benjamin Britten of a piece by the Irish poet Thomas Moore, a lyric by beekeeping Cornish film maker Timothy Neat and a setting of a work by the Angus poet Violet Jacob). James in turn increased his instrumental palette to include drums, guitars and all other kinds of musical things.”

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The absolutely stunning sleeve art and design is by label owner, Frances Castle and as always with Clay Pipe records it’s a beautiful and high quality package. It includes 
a free download code and detailed sleeve notes by Alasdair Roberts himself on the background to each song. 


 The guest shop will be carrying the red version of the album sleeve – limited to only 500 copies.

Fractures

Fractures is the follow up compilation album to The Quietened Village from Blog and CDr label A Year in The Country. Its available now in the Ghost Box Guest Shop in two handcrafted versions.


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The Dawn Edition – A hand-finished textured fold out sleeve with white/black CDr with liner notes insert and badge.
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and the deluxe Night Edition – A hand-finished box-set containing an all black CDr, 12 page string bound booklet, 4 x badge pack and 2 x stickers.
The compilation is themed around the notion that the year 1973 was a cultural and psychic tipping point. Contributors include…
Circle/Temple, Sproatly Smith, Keith Seatman, Listening Center, The British Space Group, The Hare And The Moon ft Alaska/Michael Begg, Time Attendant, The Rowan Amber Mill, A Year In The Country and David Colohan.

Once again both are ultra limited hand made items. Here’s what A Year in the Country have to say…

“Fractures is a gathering of studies and explorations that take as their starting point the year 1973; a time when there appeared to be a schism in the fabric of things, a period of political, social, economic and industrial turmoil, when 1960s utopian ideals seemed to corrupt and turn inwards.

As a reaction to such, this was a possible high water mark of the experimentations of psych/acid folk, expressions of eldritch undertones in the land via what has become known in part as folk horror and an accompanying yearning to return to an imagined pastoral idyll.


Looking back, culture, television broadcasts and film from this time often seem imbued with a strange, otherly grittiness; to capture a sense of dissolution in relation to what was to become post-industrial Western culture and ways of living.


Such transmissions and signals viewed now can seem to belong to a time far removed and distant from our own; the past not just as a foreign country but almost as a parallel universe that is difficult to imagine as once being our own lands and world.”

The Quietened Village

The Quietened Village is a  new compilation from the beautiful blog/boutique CDr label A Year in The Country. Its available now in the Ghost Box Guest Shop in two lovingly made versions.
 Dawn Edition

 

The regular Dawn Edition – A hand-finished textured fold out sleeve with white/black CDr  with  liner notes insert and badge.

 Night Edition

 

and the deluxe Night Edition – A hand-finished box-set containing an all black CDr, 12 page string bound booklet, 4 x badge pack and 2 x stickers.

 Both editions

 

The album evokes a  beautifully atmospheric pastoral reverie, and a ghostly sense of loss. And the names to conjure with…
Howlround, Time Attendant, The Straw Bear Band, Polypores, The Soulless Party, The Rowan Amber Mill, Cosmic Neighbourhood, A Year In The Country, Sproatly Smith, David Colohan and Richard Moult.

Both are ultra limited to only 52 copies and here’s what A Year in the Country say…

The Quietened Village is a study of and reflection on the lost, disappeared and once were homes and hamlets that have wandered off the maps or that have become shells of their former lives and times.

Inspired in part by images of sections of abandoned, submerged villages and the spires of their places of worship re-appearing from the surfaces of reservoirs and lakes, alongside thoughts of dwellings that have succumbed to the natural erosion of the coastline and have slowly tumbled into the sea.

Some of the once were and lost villages which were seedlings for this body of work still stand but their populations are no more, those who lived there evicted at short notice and never to return so that their homes and hearths could be used as training grounds for those who would fight during great conflicts between nations.

Such points of reference have been intertwined with possibly more bodeful reasons for this stilling and ending; thoughts of Midwich Cuckoos-esque fictions or dystopic tales told and transmitted in times gone by and imagined/re-imagined in amongst the strands of The Quietened Village.

Ghost Box is a record label for a group of artists exploring the misremembered musical history of a parallel world.

“Buying one of its releases feels like stepping into another world” The Guardian

“...what's most impressive about Ghost Box is the aesthetic consistency and sheer quality of the material, recalling the heydays of labels such as Factory, 4AD and Warp.” Quietus

“...some of the most delightful electronica to arise in Britain since Aphex Twin, the Black Dog and Global Communication.” The Sunday Times

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