Here we go with a compilation which explores abandoned Cold War installations that would be refuge places for the stricken populace should the button be prodded. It's part of the A Year in the Country project which aims to discover the strangeness which sits underneath the British countryside. here's a track list which demonstrates that it includes several Normans favourites.
1) Lower Level Clock Room - Keith Seatman2) Drakelow Tunnels - Grey Frequency3) The Filter’s Gone / The Last Man Plays The Last Piano - A Year In The Country4) Aggregates II - Panabrite5) Bunker 4: Decommissioned - Polypores6) Comms: Seen Through The Grey - Listening Center7) Crafty Mechanics - Time Attendant8) Crush Depth - Unknown Heretic9) Waiting For The Blazing Skies - David Colohan
CD £24.99 ATA004NIGHT
NIGHT EDITION: Hand-finished box-set contains: album on all black CDr, 12-page string bound booklet, 4 x badge pack, 4 x sticker pack & landscape format sticker. Edition of 52 copies.
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CD £11.99 ATA004DAWN
DAWN EDITION: Hand-finished white/black CDr album in textured recycled fold out sleeve with inserts and badge. Edition of 104 copies.
A Year in the Country continue to simultaneously dig up Britain’s physical and musical undergrounds with their latest compilation The Quietened Bunker, this time investigating the abandoned Cold War nuclear retreat bunkers in all their bygone mystery. Listening Center and Panabrite may already be familiar to Normaners, but there are plenty here that are unfamiliar so let’s trot down the steps.
Most of the stuff on here is tarnished by a weathered sort of murky/graininess that you’d probably expect from a nuclear bunker-themed collection. It leans toward the ambient and electronic (read: synthy) zone, but with plenty of clunking or rumbling field recordings that do successfully place you in subterranean isolation.
Keith Seatman’s ‘Lower Level Clock Room’ sets the tone with a bubbling synth arps and icy tundra sounds, before you’re taken deeper by Grey Frequency into ‘Drakelow Tunnels’, a proposed government fallback building near Kidderminster. This is where things get wispy and alone, especially since you then get to hear ‘The Last Man Plays The Last Piano’ while his body disintegrates around him, dramatised by the ebb and flow of strangely peaceful synth strings and static noise. Panabrite gets his glitch on with wheeling Radiophonic synths and sputtering electronic percussion that sounds like Eno circa Small Craft on a Milk Sea. Things get a bit slow techno on Polypores’ offering, but by no means less of a spooky ambient noise wash, while Listening Center lifts his skinny fist and tries his best to sound like a malfunctioning drone antenna before entering into an overtly jovial bouncy vintage sequence. Vangelis would be proud mate.
Overall a diverse but unified comp for nuclear nerds.
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