Mentioned in earlier despatches, strangely enough at the beginning of this particular missive as things would have it, a wonderful slice of classically vintage toned Radiophonic disturbia via the Castles in Space folk courtesy of ‘Akiha Den Den’. Limited to 300 copies, all pressed on opaque clear wax and including a CD’s worth of unreleased recordings totalling seventy-one minutes, ‘Akiha Den Den’ is your traditional ghost telling from the crystal set, a play that sensory wise, echoes to the golden age of radio for what is a traditional haunting. No doubt inspired particularly by the writings of Nigel Kneale, Brit folk horror and those stories that populated an Earth bound Dr Who in his third incarnation (Jon Pertwee). The drama, written and directed by Neil Cargill, was broadcast across six episodes last Autumn and was blessed by sinister score arranged by Simon James. A supernatural tale of an invading malevolence crossing between dimensions from beyond the veil, its setting a remote Scottish village. Such thematic pairing provides perfectly, all the requisite ingredients for a listening experience whose eerie chill is primed in the finest tradition of the spoken word ghost story, James’ scoring exquisitely accentuating a claustrophobic and unworldly atmosphere that’s both metered in dark dread and stricken in tension. Within these grooves, excerpts of the broadcast are liberally spliced with soundtrack incidentals, the feeling is one of isolation, capturing perfectly that intimate connection and ominous sense of the words’ power of suggestion in turn acting as a conduit for the imagination to take flight. In addition to both the album and the CD, via the download code (the CD tracks incidentally aren’t available on this option), you’ll find two further tracks, remixes therein by Jon Brooks of both the ‘Akiha Den Den’ theme and ‘Cool Ending’ with the latter especially gravened by a sparsely crafted disquiet that’s very much shaped in the likeness of an 80’s era John Carpenter score and found flickering with a ghostly foreboding that recalls moments from drawn from the ‘Halloween III’ and ‘the Fog’ suites. As to the bonus CD, as said seventy one minutes worth of terrorphonics creatively chilled by Simon James, between moments of ethereal beauty and Radiophonic pulsars, you are taken beyond reality and over through to the dark side, for here lunar mosaics dissolve into spectral fairgrounds, the key watchwords here are remoteness and abandonment. At times Stockhausen-ian apparitions flicker in and out of the shadows, likewise an indelible dusting of Delia dialects haunt this icy mysterio, with one ear on a classicist crafting the other spent frequency detuning and manipulating sound waves, Mr James creates an alien landscape that finds its roots between the narrow gaps of dream and nightmare. Much here is classic late 60’s Dr Who orchestrations, and here i’m much minded of ‘the tenth planet’ score with a heavy nod towards Louis and Bebe Baron’s legendary ‘forbidden planet’ soundtrack. That said draw a little closer towards the fragmenting motifs and sometimes obliquely subliminal effects and buried between the icy isolationism, the disconnection and the minimalist murmurs, peers brief moments of symphonic lushness.
All six episodes of Akiha Den Den can be heard here .. http://www.akihadenden.com/listen/