utorak, 4. lipnja 2013.

Xenis Emputae Travelling Band - Three Spirits (2013)


Phil Legard stvara psihogeografsku, pogansko-elektroničku drone-mitologiju. Poboljšava kvalitetu koliba i ručno izrađenih snova.

free downloads at the Internet Archive


We first encountered the enchanting music of Xenis Emputae Travelling Band, way back in 2005, when 23 Productions released the breathtaking album "Heard Gripe Hrusan." Xenis Emputae Travelling Band is primarily the wandering field rituals of Yorkshire native Phil Legard, a sometime collaborator with Ashtray Navigations, and all-around English folk hero, who has released a rush of timeless sounding rural free folk album since XETB's debut in 2001.
As with all his works, on "Three Spirits", we find Legard and company following a muse connected to the physical locations they are captured in. These recordings are clearly reverent to a spiritual dimension particular to Yorkshire. Not only does Legard celebrate these themes in the songforms of this album but also with written work, notably the chapbook published recently by Hadean Press "The Mirror of Elicona." For further elaboration on the themes of this album, it's corresponding book and the symbolism used throughout both, we have an insightful quote from Master Legard himself:
"The image on the front [of the cassette] is taken from a manuscript of Thesaurus Spirituum, attributed to Roger Bacon, and often known as "De Nigromancia."The Thesaurus Spirituum probably dates from the mid 15th century and details the creation of magical paraphernalia and how to use it to call a diverse range of spirits for various purposes, chiefly locating treasure. The circle on the cover of "Three Spirits" is the circle of Elicona and Almazim for magical operations in love and friendship. The names of these spirits often occur in general lists used by cunning men and magicians in the 16th century - and it was in one of these lists (in Sloane MS. 36674) that I first became aware of this pair of spirits. The sigils on the inner sleeve are a talisman of Elicona of my own design. I personally felt myself drawn into contact with this spirit during a time when I was staying in the tiny village of Littlebeck, hidden in a wooded valley in North Yorkshire. This album contains the invocation to Elicona and uses recordings from the ritual site."


The Crooked Pool (2008) streaming

Gamaaea (2007) streaming

Stella and Astrophel cover art

Stella and Astrophel (2006) streaming

The Old Weird Britain of folk tales, folk songs and pagan ritual has been a recurrent theme for the past couple of months so here’s another post on the subject. The music of Phil Legard’s Xenis Emputae Travelling Band is steeped in British folklore but mostly sidesteps songs in favour of drones and improvised soundscapes. Early pieces feature electronic sounds which are substituted in the later works by bells and accordion tones. A number of Legard’s recordings are made in response to locations with a weight of history and ritual association, a process elaborated in a chapbook entitled Psychogeographia Ruralis.
The past decade has seen the emergence of a cottage industry of micro-label music production, mostly people offering limited run CD-Rs via mail order. Many of Legard’s recordings were released in this fashion on his own Larkfall label but you can now explore them as free downloads at the Internet Archive. (Thanks to Warren Ellis for pointing this out). Among the few songs there’s a setting of Moly, a poem by Clark Ashton Smith. If you need a respite from unavoidable seasonal torment then this is a good place to start. -  www.johncoulthart.com/

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