From The Vaults

In our latest delve through the archives, Chris Owens drags up one of the most atmospheric and threatening post punk albums in existence - from Killing Joke

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From The Bogs Of Aughiska | ‘From The Bogs Of Aughiska’


Dark Ambient is not a genre for which Ireland is famed. A shame, given the conceptual and spiritual riches that should in theory be there to work with.

Sometimes though a cd’s moment just comes. A perfect mix of source material, individual agenda and single minded vision coalesce into a great record. Connor Droney, otherwise known as From The Bogs Of Aughiska, has just composed such a release.

This is terrifyingly good.

In sampling the natural environment of Ireland’s rugged west coast and using it as a basis for sonic experimentation, one feels as though he has caught the quiet wrath of the earth.

Waves, both actual and sonic, crash hard and retreat in foams of electronic spray, as brooding, malign synths drone above. It feels like the breath of exposed, unforgiving nature. This music begs to be heard as Connor probably sampled it in the first place: high on the sea cliffs, or walking around weatherbeaten Connemara.

There isn’t an second of cloy Celticism in here. Yet this triumph of bleak atmospheres communicates more about the ‘Irish’ supernaturalism than any riffing and jigging ever could.

It opens with a track that’s as good an example of perfect execution as I can remember. A haunting, low drone is looped. Gradually, the voices of some entirely normal people begin to recount their experiences of the bean sidhe.

It’s almost like reportage, and is all the more striking not for it’s ham spookiness, but for the contemporary and down to earth way in which the stories are told.

From one man:

“I actually thought somebody must have been literally tying a cat up or strangling it or something. But I went out by the window with a lump of turf, and eh, there was nobody there, nothing there. But you could hear this wail, and suddenly my hair began to stand up and I thought, Jesus Christ”

The hair does, indeed, stand on end, and in the right place at the right time it’s chilling.

The rest of the cd is strictly atmosphere, comparable to perhaps Raison D’Etre, or Current 93′s cataclysmic ‘Nature Unveiled’. The sounds of harsh winds, an occasional black squirm of notes, and all the time the subterranean throb of earth deep underneath transports the listener to a dimension that feels close to deaths door.

The banshee serves as a perfect metaphor for the music on this whole cd. A product of a world both human and supernatural, caught in the middle, and tortured by it. What’s so staggering about this music is that it sounds like nature’s response back to that – cold, premanent and unsparing as the tides hit rock over and over and over.

It’s a rare day I call a cd perfect, but this one is. A pure translation of land and soul into darkened, callous and at times magnificent sound. This one’s for the annals of the Irish underground.

5/5 - Earl Grey ::: 09/02/11


29 Comments
  1. Jaysus! 5/5

    Must be good, so.

  2. Miotal Trom Says:

    Spot on CT. Noise usually ain’t my thang at all, but this is of a different class altogether. “Aos Sí” is the second track on the CD though, if memory serves me correctly, and what a spine-tingler it is!

  3. artwork by Mories of GTT…that’s really interesting, and should have been mentioned.

  4. I need to pick this up, cheers for the reminder

  5. Eoin McLove Says:

    Yep, great CD. One to listen to with the lights off as it is very visual stuff. I love the last track, Crosswinds, with the chilly stabs of keyboard at the end that make me think of a haunted castle emerging out of the gloom. Great stuffs.

  6. open face surgery Says:

    listened to ome tracks on facebook last week.noise is not usually my thing either but i enjoyed it.

  7. where can i get this?

  8. You can get it here Baggy: http://humanjigsaw.bigcartel.com/category/cds

    And you can listen here: http://www.facebook.com/#!/fromthebogsofaughiska

    Dave

  9. StandupPaul Says:

    As Baggy says, where can I get this?

  10. Got to say!

    The tracks up on the FTBOA facefuck page didn’t really do a whole lot for me.

    Don’t get me wrong. It’s done well. Far better than most droney crap out there. Just not my cup of ‘Barrys Gold Blend’.

  11. Thanks very much for the excellent review and the overwhelming response.

    The album is available in HMV and can be bought on-line here:

    http://humanjigsaw.bigcartel.com

  12. Which HMV has it? all of them?

  13. I got it in HMV in the Crescent SC in Limerick this morning – went in on the off-chance after reading this review – €14.99. Was surprised they had it as their selection ain’t great. You should be able to get it easily enough.

    One listen in interesting stuff – not what I normally listen to but enjoyable. Further listens needed.

  14. in the post. ill take yer word for it

  15. Headphones and lights off. It wont disappoint.

  16. Truly excellent. Unique and superbly crafted.

  17. Eoin McLove Says:

    Yep, it’s a lights-off job indeed.

  18. Just listened to “Lebor Gabala Erenn” on Soundcloud with headphones and a nice amount of THC in me. Very nice, atmospheric as fuck. Would be great going to sleep music, or on a rainy day on the Dart.

  19. When I saw the cover of this cd and read the review my interest was definitely piqued. However I was so disappointed by this, I have always had a fascination with people and place plus I literally grew up in a Bog (we call it Moss here). The samples I heard I just can’t make the associations with.

    Simply, I just don’t get this at all.

  20. Eoin McLove Says:

    Anyone have Connors email address?

  21. Andy, I have it. I’ll mail you now.

  22. I looked in Hmv, in the metal section, new age ,irish and rock and pop section, wheres it at?

  23. metal section in Limerick anyways

  24. Doomschmoker Says:

    keen to hear this based on that review. I find a lot of this stuff hit and miss and more often than utter it doesnt engage at all unless you are in the right mood, right time etc, very tempted to take a punt on this though; an excellent review!

  25. Doomschmoker Says:

    purchased!

  26. This is really fucking great. The closest to home music I can possibly listen to being from a bog in the west. I love it.

  27. Really enjoying the CD. ‘Aos Si’ in particular is great. The sample of your man talking about Frank in New York … is he a broadcaster of some description? I know that voice from somewhere.

    Just a shame about the “hertiage” on the inside cover. A somewhat embarrassing typo.

  28. Doomschmoker Says:

    ordered this over a month ago, still hasnt arrived!

  29. If you get the chance, go and see this band (artist?)in concert. They played here in Cork a few weeks ago and it was stunning, mesmerising.
    I put a few clips up on youtube, not great quality but they give you the general idea.

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