Among the diverse nuances of meaning that help contextualizing the philosophy behind the A Year In The Country project, my favorite one is “exploration of an otherly pastoralism”. The rest is there for everybody to read and listen to, so we won’t dwell on it here. Britain has been a committed donor of music related to bucolic perceptiveness across decades and genres; rarely the products of those movements have failed to involve.
Audio Albion is the latest chapter of this ongoing enterprise, mainly established on the juxtaposition of location recordings with the instrumental offspring of fleeting fantasies by various musicians. Speaking of which, the nature of the single contributions is obviously unique: purely acoustic rarefaction to aggregated loops, layered/solitary voices to morsels of modern folk melodies, palatable soundtrack-ish electronica to eerie nebula. This might cause someone to raise an eyebrow if what is looked for is “continuity” in the strictest acceptation. The only continuity is symbolized by the sense of total accessibility conveyed by each episode, including the ones where the limit separating a Roedelius-like educated innocence from a quiet easy listening sentimentalism is extremely subtle.
But today I’m not willing to pontificate on levels, for this is neither a place for dogmatists nor a source of curve balls and startling surprises. The countryside offers many possibilities for an individual to grow an open-mindedness that is likely to remain a chimera for people preferring the “excitement” of urban stress. The same attitude should characterize the enjoyment of this and other phases of AYITC’s saga. Breathing silence is different from talking about it; therefore, don’t say nothing while playing the album. Let its serene spirit permeate your environment, even accepting the lesser tracks (because there are some, to be entirely honest). Receive now, understand later. Maybe.