Mega Dodo 2016
Where old mysteries and modern science meet for a strange phenomenon to aid cancer research.
There’s a place in the North Yorkshire Moors where weird things have been happening for ages, but all attempts to give it an explanation brought forth no result, the disappearance of Professor Roger Mullins in 1972 in the area remaining one of Black Meadow’s latest secrets. It’s his work, though, that channeled traditional lore into the art of today, yet this compilation creates a narrative of its own by weaving together various strains of the story to make the result arrestingly diverse. So while THE SOULLESS PARTY – represented by a vibrant, sci-fi-kissed “Radomes” on the CD – have their own album dedicated to the cultural miasma, alternative stylistic approach uncovers more strata of the ancient enigma.
Outside of “Wealcome To The Meadow” which finds EASTGREEN rapping and raving, it’s hypnotic for the most part. More so, it’s tempting to lend an ear and blend into a pure folk tapestry of “The Horseman” from WYRDSTONE or a sound collage of Septimus Keen’s “When The Mist Spreads” which lingers on for ten chilling minutes. And if, elsewhere, THE HARE AND THE MOON’s baroque ripples lap over Alison O’Donnell’s spectral vocals on “Black Meadow Song” to a kaleidoscopic effect, and Keith Seatman dips “Playing Hop The Scotch” into a bubbling, squelching electronica, everything is a part of a perfect picture of cold, desperation here.
The drift may get merrier for WINTERBERRY’s “The Fruits Of The Moor” but Elena Martin’s “Search The Fields” – another one of a few previously released pieces on display – is as eloquent a reflection of emotionally barren land as a few ambient tracks interspersing the songs are. Still, as Mervyn Williams and Theale Green School Senior Choir point out, in a majestic hymn, for the English it’s “Our Fair Land” and that’s why its mysteries, even tragic ones, feel like integral element of the country’s inhabitants; that’s why The Black Meadow is a place in people’s psyche – the fact this compilation gently stresses over and over again. Here’s a legend for a new kind of perception.