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English Heretic – Summer Of Blood

English Heretic

English Heretic - Summer Of BloodThis has a stately grace, which seems full of ghosts. A fifty year de-celebration of The Summer of Love and a fugue for a darkening isle (that book seems closer to reality than any of us would like). It reimagines and repurposes, taking obscure psychedelic tracks from that lost year, 1967, and forming a new kind of folk music that evokes, amongst other things the summer subcultures of Coil circa the Solstice EPs. This is particularly the case in the opening section, where it might almost be Balance’s voice, if you screw your ears up just a little, and turn off all the lights. There’s beautiful string instruments winding around the drones, sliding off into old worlds.

The second section might be something like a more poetic Crass, and reminds us that there was always a hippie element to their music too, in amongst all the martial drums and punk snorting. Later, some more easily discernible psych sounds appear; chugging guitar, foghorn shimmers and ecstatic Theremins brutalising the third section, which calls to mind (I know, I know; utter laziness) Current 93’s Lucifer Over London maximalism.

The English Heretic project has been consistently putting out strange and beautiful collections for a while now and this release comes with an OZ-style booklet, lurid and bloody and filled with ephemera, from the ‘magickal fagging’ of Victor Neuburg to Brideshead Revisited, to the Chartists and Karl Marx. There’s real and imaginary timelines here and a real sense of becoming about the project as a whole. This may be a damaged form of history, but it is supreme in its ability to generate atmosphere, Art as lies that tell the truth, as Picasso might have said.

English Heretic - Summer Of Blood booklet

Andy Sharp might be occasionally added in to the Ghost Box hordes, but his music is altogether more embedded into the past than the regular hauntologists and the use of psych records (Tintern Abbey, The Bee Gees, Love, The Daybreakers, etc) in many ways emphasises this… no Screen Test-style plip-plopping electronics here; the sounds are repurposed to serve, not to signify. This feels like a ritual in itself.

This is your Summer. Your Summer of Blood.

-Loki-

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