Thursday, February 08, 2007

Deserted Village Article Just Posted on PT Site

The latest long-form article from this source is an interview with Gavin Prior and Dave Colohan on the subject of the ruling Irish underground label du jour - Deserted Village. You can find it here.

Here's a taster from the introduction:

In 1770, Irish writer Oliver Goldsmith (best known for his novel The Vicar of Wakefield and his play She Stoops to Conquer) wrote an epic poem - The Deserted Village - in memory of his brother. In the poem, Goldsmith uses near hallucinogenic imagery to evoke a sense of landscape and life on the land, in a time when modernization was dispossessing the land's original inhabitants and changing its character irrevocably. Fast forward to the early 21st Century, and the abiding sense of melancholy beauty conjured by Goldsmith in this work applies equally to the works of a new wave of underground Irish musicians orbiting micro-brewed labels like Deserted Village, Deadslackstring and Rusted Rail. These labels exist as a natural extension of these collectivist endeavours, because without them there would be little other way for their music to be heard. Pre-eminent among these is Deserted Village, with some 30-or-so releases to its name in a handful of year's existence.

Deserted Village started as a way to release the work of drone-improvisation outfit Murmansk, which itself grew out of an improvisation workshop conducted by the legendary Eddie Prevost-led ensemble AMM. Their complex future course was signposted by a second CD-R release, 'Music from the Deserted Village', which contained everything from drone to free jazz to lo-fi bedroom pop oddities to pristine psychedelic folk. (Go to their web site: like a number of the early Deserted Village releases you can download it for free now.) A string of releases explored these avenues; some accessible like underrated releases by Townparks Foundry and The Cosmic Nanou, and some gnarly and confronting, like releases by Amygdala, Wrecking Ball, and Weapons of Mass Destruction. And the drone continued with a second Murmansk CD-R and Agitated Radio Pilot's superbly evocative 'A Drifting Population'. Central to the label was the United Bible Studies collective concept, represented directly by the 'Stations of the Sun, Transits of the Moon', 'Airs of Sun and Stone' and the masterful 'The Shore that Fears the Sea', but also represented indirectly by nearly everything else, and most strikingly by the acoustic project Magickal Folk of the Faraway Tree, whose two CD-Rs were snapped up be fans and collectors on release. Fear not though, a compilation CD of the MFFT material is forthcoming.