Hollow Earth

Long Meg and Her Daughters is a stone circle near Penrith, a megalith constructed somewhere between five and three thousand years ago, pictured here on Sunday afternoon when we visited in the Cumbrian drizzle. Long Meg herself is twelve feet high, lying outside the circle and decorated with some Neolithic carvings. Her daughters number fifty nine stones, some upright and some toppled. Legend has it that if you count the stones twice and get the same number bad luck will befall you. So we didn’t count them.
Ghost Box Records have been releasing albums since 2004, drawing on parts of British culture familiar to people born between the 1950s and 1970s- eerie public information films (where children often died in terrible and unexpected ways such as drowning in slurry pits on farms or playing in fields near pylons), library music, weird synth soundtracks from Open University programmes broadcast in the middle of the night, British sci-fi programmes and strange folk stories. As such some of their output is right up my street. Earlier this year one of Ghost Box’s key artists, Pye Corner Audio, released an album called Hollow Earth, an album that forms a soundtrack to a descent into the earth, through caves and chambers. The synths sound like they date from Cold War East Germany (or early 60s Derbyshire). The individual tracks all work well but Hollow Earth is best taken as an album with the record forming a narrative, hints of rave and disco and house evident. It takes you down into the depths and then up again, finally drawing breath.