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WATCH: Eccentronic Research Council
The Quietus , August 20th, 2012 09:30

Homage to the 400th anniversary of the Pendle Witch trials - watch new video below

To be honest, when we heard that Finders Keepers were going to be releasing an album by the Eccentronic Research Council and Maxine Peake on the 10th September, entitled 1612 Underture and inspired by the Pendle Witch Trials, we thought we already had a pretty good idea of what it was going to sound like: dusty beats, BBC ident samples, a whistlestop tour through things hauntological.

Well, it turns out that we weren't quite correct: 1612 Underture is actually a rather marvelous and fascinating, very British-sounding pop album, occasionally reminiscent of past voyagers like Broadcast, featuring Peake's sing-song vocals and spoken word playing tag with woozy, fairground-esque synth backdrops. Certainly there are sonic connections to the likes of The Focus Group - and the subject matter is also the namesake for Modern Love's haunted techno operators Pendle Coven and Demdike Stare - but there's a lot more going on here than might first meet the eye. You can watch the new video for album track 'Another Witch Is Dead' above, and listen to 'Autobahn 666 (Travelogue #1)', which has already been doing the rounds for a while, below.

The album is, according to the text accompanying its release, "an updated homage to one of the major miscarriages of justice in the history of the pre-industrialised north: The Pendle witch trials of 1612. [The Eccentronic Research Council] collective primarily comprises of Adrian Flannagan, Dean Honer and the actress Maxine Peake who undertook a modern day pilgrimage to Pendle Hill in the spirit of an electronic Smithsonian Folkways record. The results are part sound poem, part political commentary and feminist manifesto, taking musical cues from Joe Meek, Daphne Oram, JP Massiera and Delia Derbyshire."

Keep an eye on the Quietus in the coming weeks for a full interview with the members of the Research Council.

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