Sunday, April 29, 2012

belbury poly: the belbury tales (ghost box)

I wol with lusty herte fressh and grene
Seyn yow a song, to glade yow, I wene,
And lat us stynte of ernestful matere.
Herkneth my song, that seith in this manere.
(Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales)

I’ve had The Belbury Tales, Jim Jupp’s fourth LP as Belbury Poly, a good couple of months now. I’ve listened to it more often and enjoyed it more completely than any other release so far in 2012. It’s an unusually satisfying record, actually. It just feels so much like the culmination of something, a kind of apotheosis, a near-perfect realization, after almost a decade, not just of Jupp’s own project, but that of his label, Ghost Box, too. And that’s just not something that happens very often. Hence, the satisfaction. Here’s my problem though: As endlessly rich and fascinating as this record is, it also feels totally over-determined from a critical perspective. The cold specter of Hauntology looms dauntingly large. There’s so much to say, yet so little that’s new...

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