Belbury Poly – The Belbury Tales

Belbury Poly

CD – Ghost Box
Under the moniker Belbury Poly hides the experimenter and musician Jim Jupp, head honcho of Ghost Box Music, a label he co-founded. There is a definite British sensibility to this record with psychedelia, folk and progressive rock influences all present. We also find allusions to medieval music, eccentric electronics, sixties sounds and soundtrack music, weaved into scores that are sometimes confusing and uncertain but very evocative and sci-fi. We distinguish analogue and fuzzy synths, electric guitars, zithers, ocarinas and authentically vintage drums. Here it seems time has been stopped and a certain exotic, rustic and unconventional taste peeps out among the tracks. The pace is sometimes nostalgic, sometimes literary, with overlapping harmonies and voices, electro-folk and pastoral soundscapes, vintage radio-style adverts and interweaved arpeggios mixed up together. Maybe it is necessary invoke the category of “English eccentrics” – always useful when we face works that are difficult to classify from that country and also helpful when dealing with the freaky and the illogically brilliant. Overall the effect is enjoyable and haunting, ad hoc piecemeal and pleasantly open to interpretation. If Belbury Pole wants to surprise us, he has been successful, because the strain of the melodies has conquered us, and in this case we don’t need to analyze whether his approach has been rigorous or not.