Belbury is an English market town with a picturesque 11th century church, and some notable modernist architecture, including the Polytechnic College. None of which exist except in the constructed world of the Ghost Box
record label, whose founder Jim Jupp records under the name Belbury Poly
, and publishes the Belbury Parish Magazine
The Ghost Box aesthetic is a stuttering transmission of fragments from 'an imaginary past. But given that, it’s from the late-70s of this imaginary past
'. The music often sounds like lost theme tunes to children's science fiction TV shows from the BBC's Radiophonic Workshop
, with interference from fragments of late-night Open University lectures
(previously on Mefi
), school broadcasts, and public service announcements (also previously on mefi
) that manage to be at once educational and profoundly disturbing (like the infamous 'Lonely Water'
Co-founder of the label, Julian House (designer of sleeves for Primal Scream, Oasis and Stereolab, amongst others
) produces cover art which draws on classic Penguin paperback designs (like here
, and here
), and the whole is shot through with the kind of British folklore and affection for the weird that encompasses writers like Algernon Blackwood (Belbury Poly's 'The Willows
', Algernon Blackwood's short story
), Alan Garner's haunted landscapes (Belbury Poly's 'Owls and Flowers
' draws its title from Garner's wonderful 'The Owl Service
'), and John Wyndham's stories of ordinary English village life turned disturbingly wrong.
Given all that, it's perhaps understandable that those interested in the idea of hauntology
(previously on Mefi
) have found much to like in the Ghost Box project
Other Ghost Box artists include The Focus Group
, The Advisory Circle (whose Everyday Hazards
is very much in the spirit of the public service broadcasts mentioned above), and more
. Enjoy, but please: stay away from the dark and lonely water.