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Various Artists - Where the Moon was Red [Woven Wheat Whispers/Cryptanthus Productions - 2008]

Where the Moon was Red is a splendid and consistent compilation of dark and ocultic hued English folk that celebrates the work of Cryptanthus Productions, bringing together out of print songs along with exclusive tracks for the compilation all for the cheap as chips price of £2.50!.

Cryptanthus Productions was formed by  Alan Trench(Orchis, Twelve Thousand Days, NWW and ex partner of World Serpent records) in 1990 as a way to releasing  ocultic and psychedelic folk/ post industrial  matter featuring the works of Martyn Bates(Eyeless In Gaza, M.J. Harris & Martyn Bates, Twelve Thousand Days) Julie Brackenbury, Tracy Jeffery, Christopher Patinios, Amanda Prouten, Stephen Robinson, Elizabeth S and Alan Trench and includes the bands Orchis, Temple Music, Twelve Thousand Days, Cunnan, Seven Voyages (film soundtracks) and J Greco's SQE..

Though out there’s a nice mix of pace and sonic variation we go from haunted and damn creepy of   Orchis - The Gallows Man that's a brew of joint female vocals and sinister yet tuneful pagan folk.To Cunnan - The Wizard of Carpathia which opens in rising & ritual lo-fi synth scapes then opens up into haunted and sensual rich female vocals over a mix of  flute, tabular and soothing melodic acoustic guitar to give a mysterious folk pop vibe. Or the swirling creepy ceremony licked ambience of Temple  Music'sAlphabetagammadelta that starts with a drifting and murky percussive/ bell tolls, drone textures and weird distant voice like tones to build  up chilling and compelling dread. Which at the 8 minute mark opens up into lively yet still darkly tinged jigging folk matter before drifting into atmospheric blues tinged folk vibe with beautiful female vocals, the track really moves through some great and varied sonic season. One of Cryptanthus Productions mainstays Martyn Bates also pops up quite few times through out the compilation either with his quite distinctive sub Mark Almond singing tones or as song writer.

All in all a great and varied darken folk compilation- but it’s all sadden by finding out that the excellent Woven Wheat Whispers folk download service/ label that put this out jointly with Cryptanthus Productions as is no more. So I’m not really sure were to advise to get this now- you could try Cryptanthus Productions here .

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Roger Batty
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