the quietened bunker

beyond the peacefully tranquil beauty of this land’s hidden village idyll, across the lush green velvets flat lands, amid the chorus of birdsong and the reassuring peel of distant bells, dark forces plot and stare from dimensional fractures. Their origins some known, some deliberate, some simply unseen after effects and some unexplained, lurk and loom often in plain sight, sometimes invisible whether through careless familiarity or through secretive intent. A traipse through lost and overgrown woodland paths and seemingly picturesque postcard locales, along the way uprooting alternative histories that the sight-seeing brochures either choose to forget to tell you or have mysteriously been airbrushed from a collective memory, its where minds begin to muddy and the blur between reality, custom, myth and folklore interweaves. A secret land where Wyndham and Kneale write, dreams of tall buildings play and an English eccentric of brit horror folk and conspiracy theories are run riot by a Jon Pertwee era Dr Who. The A Year in the Country collective have pondered often at such strangeness, they’ve noticed the unsettled aura descending on these lands of green and have long puzzled upon the coincidences of such eerie occurrences and to this end have resolved to carry out a year-long audiological project with the aim of conducting a scientific survey to unearth these secret villages, happenings or incidences cloaked from the gaze of the casual visitor, yet rooted in village custom, mystery and folklore. ‘the quietened bunker’ follows the collectives ‘the quietened village’ report, where previously they concentrated their minds to researching lost villages consumed as were, by nature, on this occasion they explore abandoned installations buried deep below the serene pastoral landscapes, secret underground government settlements planned for cold war communities to exist should the threat of nuclear hostilities be a grim reality. These relics to a darker past remain, often intact, silently waiting occupation, a solemn spectre perhaps a portal, to an age grimly grinning in suspicion, mistrust and political chess playing. ‘the quietened bunker’ unearths these vacant corridors, its report phrased as a sound collage is stilled in a haunting vintage that blends analogue electronica and sonic manipulation with field recordings. Within this report you’ll find nine sonic studies presented in two attractive packaging variants – the limited ‘night’ and ‘dawn’ with each version containing all manner of inserts with the former housed in a presentation box replete with stickers, badges, a string bound booklet and more. If Jean Michel Jarre’s recent ‘exit’ single was a fusing of the technological age in both terms of game play and surveillance into a furious technoid chase, then Keith Seatman’s ‘lower level clock room’ reveals a mirror opposite that sonically draws matters back to their barest binary monochromatic, despite its sparseness the edginess is explicit, a Tron-toned future nightmare, at its heart the chill of the countdown wearily ebbs away amid a sense of controlled calm at a point where everything is far from it as the danger alert pulsars merrily chime towards a final end game. In sharpening contrast, Grey Frequency’s ghost light that is ‘drakelow tunnel’ comes gloomed in a morose majesty, a funereal drone epitaph haunted and harrowed in an eerily faded spectral detachment. Both measured and poised not to mention, elegant and elegiac, the touching murmur tones of the opined tear stained ‘the last man, plays the last piano / the  filters gone’ by a year in the country is as the title probably gives ample hint – a bitter sweet light going out farewell salute crystal tipped in a sighing sepia lit aura trimmed in bruised neo classical orchestrations the likes of which draw immediate comparison to Antonymes. Thankfully panabrite lift the mood ever so slightly on ‘aggregates II’ for what is a deeply trance toned slice of sleepy headed binary glitch grooved lunar noodling much recalling the early minimalist murmurs of Maps and Diagrams albeit as though relocated to an equally youthful Melodic imprint forging cosmic love ins with a subdued Minotaur Shock. Much admired around these here parts, Polypores – who incidentally should be making a further appearance in these musings when we catch up with his imminent set for Polytechnic Youth – here serves up the rather stately ‘decommissioned’ – whose ominous marching precision aligned to the stilled cold shrill of a muted Soviet symphonia endow the proceedings with an end game futility the type of which calls to mind the sound backdrops to ‘the terminator’. Equally admired around here the Listening Center drape the audio space in the foreboding sound of ‘comms – seen through the grey’ – well we say foreboding yet once the trippy electronic fractures, which we must admit, have something of the Barrons’ Louis and Bebe about them fade, then something schooled in cool kosmiche swoons in to take its place that sumptuously plugs directly into the Zombi hive mind. Preferring a more abstract peppered in frequency modulations route, time attendant’s ‘crafty mechanics’ is your skulking mutant funk micro-chip chirping toaster and kettle teasing slab of binary boogie had your ears been accustomed the weird wires and diodes groove of EAR while unknown heretic whose previous outings have been associated with both the much missed owl service and the straw bear band, gets very dystopian in a mechanoid / cybernaut way with the deeply chilling doom drilled ‘crush depth’ whose seemingly brutal mantra is the sucking of both life and light until all that remains is a husk, that said certainly of interest for admirers of 70 Gwen Party et al. last but by no means least, united bible studies David Colohan wraps up matters for this particular strange occurrences report with ‘waiting for the blazing skies’ – a most alluring waltzing orbital sorrowfully sighing in the starry outlands mournfully transmitting crystalline cosmic distress calls from forgotten far off outposts to its long since fallen creator as it observes the heavenly nightlights in states of gracefall dulling, diminishing and disappearing.

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One Response to the quietened bunker

  1. Pingback: Audiological Transmission #50​/​52: The Quietened Bunker - Comms: Seen Through The Grey | A Year In The Country

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