Xenis Emputae Travelling Band


The Old Weird Britain of folk tales, folk songs and pagan ritual has been a recurrent theme for the past couple of months so here’s another post on the subject. The music of Phil Legard’s Xenis Emputae Travelling Band is steeped in British folklore but mostly sidesteps songs in favour of drones and improvised soundscapes. Early pieces feature electronic sounds which are substituted in the later works by bells and accordion tones. A number of Legard’s recordings are made in response to locations with a weight of history and ritual association, a process elaborated in a chapbook entitled Psychogeographia Ruralis.


The past decade has seen the emergence of a cottage industry of micro-label music production, mostly people offering limited run CD-Rs via mail order. Many of Legard’s recordings were released in this fashion on his own Larkfall label but you can now explore them as free downloads at the Internet Archive. (Thanks to Warren Ellis for pointing this out). Among the few songs there’s a setting of Moly, a poem by Clark Ashton Smith. If you need a respite from unavoidable seasonal torment then this is a good place to start.

As usual I’ll be away for a few days so the { feuilleton } archive feature will be activated to summon posts from the past below this one. Enjoy your wassail.