The ever intriguing Ghost Box imprint began their Study Series of 7" singles two years ago. These bite sized transmissions, inspired in part by BBC schools' albums from the 1970s have featured such Ghost Box luminaries as Belbury Poly, The advisory Circle and The Focus Group as well as likeminded associates Pye Corner Audio, Mordant Music, Broadcast and Johnny Trunk. It's always an interesting proposition to see what each band can do within the confines dictated by this antediluvian format.
Instalment number 08 welcomes back two previously featured label stalwarts to reinterpret each others' material.
First up, Jon Brooks' Advisory Circle cover 'Wildspot', a track taken from Belbury Poly's 2004 debut The Willows. The track begins with a flanged acoustic guitar and flute then quickly develops into a stomping John Carpenter inflected jam.
Next, Jimm Jupp's Belbury Poly covers 'Now Ends the Beginning' from last year's rather excellent As the Crow Flies album by The Advisory Circle. This one is steeped in retro analogue goodness complete with disco-fried handclaps and a '60s style female vocal interjection.
Once again, Ghost Box cement their reputation as being one of the most inventive, original and important labels in the UK both in terms of music and vision. Tiny, homegrown operations like this should be cherished, nurtured and supported by us as they provide the perfect antidote to the vast majority of today's bland, formulaic and utterly homogenised music.
The 7" vinyl version of this release is available directly from the label's online shopfront. Digital downloads are also available in mp3 or flac formats. Check out the rest of the Ghost Box shop as there are still previous instalments of the Study Series for sale as well as other, associated goodies to tempt you.
As always, essential listening.
Stream previews of this release on Soundcloud;