Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Review: Miscellaneous Series Vol 1 - Chthonic Cities (Folklore Tapes)

This Folklore Tapes cassette was never going to sound like a slickly produced project and its collaborative effort oozes a purposefully unpolished peculiarity. A strange combination of repeated keyboard loops, clicky tech rhythms and distorted sound bites drift amongst an experimental mish mash of melodies and contributors.

With distorted allusions to underground tunnels (commissioned by a man on a mission to dig a labyrinth under Liverpool – apparently a true story) the sounds are largely wordless, wandering and eerily evocative. Sinking and rising in dreamlike peaks of suggestion, football chants sit alongside radio interview accounts of the North’s industrial past. The effect is a warped cultural collage.

The word ‘Chthonic’ is the syntactic root of HP Lovecraft’s sleeping monster Chthulu and literally means ‘subterranean’. This explains much, as Chthonic Cities sounds like the kind of thing you’d unearth in a muso’s tomb or stumble across in somebody’s attic a century from now.

Words: Stefanie Elrick

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