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BELBURY POLY

Belbury Poly

The Gone Away

    Inspired by far-fetched fairy folklore, The Gone Away is the new album by Belbury Poly, the recording name of Ghost Box Records co-founder Jim Jupp. Vintage electronics, music room instrumentation and polyrhythmic sequences conjure up folk-ish, kosmiche melodies.

    Evocative and unsettlingly familiar, it sets a darker and more serene tone than the last full-length Poly album, New Ways Out. Belbury Poly’s sound palette is still in evidence however; mellow analogue synths, rustic pipes and rusty strings. Gone are the usual supporting session musicians, with Jupp performing all parts himself. The album came together slowly over the course of three years while Jupp collaborated on various side projects and was finally completed a few days before the global lockdown commenced.

    The Gone Away’s 11 tracks are inspired by British fairy folklore, especially its recurrent themes of things that always seem on the point of leaving or vanishing. Also there’s the notion of things that can’t be seen head on but are only glimpsed from the corner of the eye. A scorned and neglected corner of folklore, beguiling and bonkers in equal measure. Of course, this being a Ghost Box record, these themes are received through the prism of old TV soundtracks, and the credulous beliefs and childhood obsessions of a pre-digital age.

    “I’ve always had this subject matter in the back of my mind for Belbury Poly, but I wanted to focus in on it more this time round. When I say I’ve been recording music about fairies, after the inevitable silence, there’s usually an awkward response somewhere between ridicule and revulsion. I guess that’s because the tiny winged fairies from 19th century children’s stories have won out over the weirder and wilder versions from folklore. There’s a wealth of folk tales and even contemporary accounts of the subject, but unlike ghosts, aliens and half-baked new age spirituality it’s usually only spoken of in the context of childhood or of mental health issues. Look at it directly and it’s not there at all, but the stories persist.”

    Jim Jupp has released EPs, singles and six albums on Ghost Box as Belbury Poly. He is also a member of The Belbury Circle along with Jon Brooks (of The Advisory Circle) and occasional collaborator, John Foxx. He has recorded library tracks for KPM, BMG and Lo-Editions. He’s remixed tracks for several artists including John Foxx and Bill Ryder-Jones (The Coral) and has co-written a song with Paul Weller for his 2020 album On Sunset.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    says: As soon as I see a new Belbury Poly release, it's pretty much an instant buy. Jim Jupp has covered a huge range of subgenres within the electronic / synth landscape but this one sees him in more shadowy, ambient territory. We still get the arps and vocal samples of yore but imbued with a darkness that serves perfectly to ready the mind for the more euphoric moments. Predictably superb.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    LP includes MP3 Download Code.

    Justin Hopper & Sharron Kraus With The Belbury Poly

    Chanctonbury Rings

      A spoken word and music project by writer Justin Hopper and folk musician Sharron Kraus. It also features Ghost Box's own Belbury Poly. Based on live performances of Hopper's 2017 book The Old Weird Albion (publ. Penned in the Margins), it’s a poetical, autobiographical and psychogeographical account of his experiences at Chanctonbury Ring on the West Sussex Downs.

      The album is a blend of folk, electronic music, poetry, prose and environmental sound. Kraus’s electro-acoustic soundscapes and songs interweave with Hopper’s rich, intimate narration. Musically it moves effortlessly from the traditional to the avant-garde with Belbury Poly contributing music and production throughout and bookending the work with a memorable theme tune.

      Finding its spiritual home on Ghost Box, the project is reminiscent of a lost era of poetry and music albums, like David Cain and Radiophonic Workshop's The Seasons. It comes artfully packaged in a style that recalls a poetry and music for schools LP, with a nod towards 1960s Topic folk anthologies.


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