Mudcat Café message #2999181 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #132501   Message #2999181
Posted By: Jack Blandiver
04-Oct-10 - 05:27 AM
Thread Name: What is psych folk...?
Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
Back in 1988 we recorded the Masstishaddhu / Shekinah album for United Dairies which came out with Current 93's Earth Covers Earth, an album which strikes me as being a bit of a watershed for Psych Folk in general. Weird thing was I had no idea C93 were working on an album of folk songs, nor yet that UD would be symapthetic to such a thing, so having recorded several supernatural ballads (Child #32 and Child #6 amongst them as I recall) by way of demos for the session, we jettisoned them for two side-long instrumentals instead. Although I often wonder how the album would have fared with the ballads, the music is nevertheless entirely acoustic improvised folk music using crwth, cello, hurdy gurdy, assorted flutes, voices, hand drums & percussion and remains inspirational in certain quarters to this day. Both the vinyl & the 2000 CD issue (on Psychedelic Pig) sold out fairly swiftly, but for the curious you can get the album gratis HERE.

Psych Folk is indicative of far wider (and generaly darker) folk sympathies & sensitivities than might ever be hinted at by what happens in clubs, fora, and festivals. For this reason John Barleycorn Reborn is a far purer a statement of musical authenticity than anything tailored for the folk mainstream which must forever be compromised to appeal to an ageing demographic who still reckon Steeleye Span somehow played good music - or else a younger generation rediscovering Steeleye Span (as evidenced by certain comments on my YouTube presentation of a very feral take on Long Lankin).

Psych Folk dares to go out there & as such there can't be enough portentious noodling as far as I'm concerned. Mind you, as I sit here writing this I'm listening to Tangerine Dream's Ricochet reflecting on a skewed pastoralism which is the main reason I dig folk anyway - from Harry Cox to Psych Folk and beyond.