P Y R E : N U M E N creatively explores the folklore and genius loci of the Pyrenees through field recordings, samples and original pieces.
M O N S : N U M E N uses the same methods, but with regards to mountain cultures throughout the world, outside of the Pyrenees.
B R Y T H O : N U M E N delves into the landscapes and folk-cultures of Britain, in all their bucolic and sinister guises.
P Y R E : N U M E N – The Case for Witchcraft in Andorra (2019)
The first album from P Y R E : N U M E N is entitled ‘The Case for Witchcraft in Andorra’, and aims to represent Andorran witch-lore using the sites featured in legends. All field recordings have been recorded at these appropriate sites. This album is free to download here: <<The Case for Witchcraft in Andorra>>
P Y R E : N U M E N – The Hunt for Heresy (2019)
The second P Y R E : N U M E N album deals with the Cathar mythos within the Aude/Ariege, and the Pyrenees, both in terms of historical facts and the ensuing mythos. This album is entitled ‘The Hunt for Heresy’, and the guest reading of Lenau’s ‘The Albigensians’ on ‘Esclarmonde Surveys the Ravaged Land’ is kindly performed by Amanda Radcliffe. Download here: <<<The Hunt for Heresy>>>
P Y R E : N U M E N – The Midwinter EP (2019)
The final offering in this seasonal return is ‘The Midwinter EP’ – two tracks conjuring rural life and the atmosphere of winter in Andorra, replete with field recordings and the sounds of livestock. One can download here: <<<Midwinter EP>>>.
P Y R E : N U M E N – Ethnographic Archives Series: Vol. 1 – The Bearn (2019)
A new venture within the P Y R E : N U M E N project, the ‘Ethnographic Archives’ series seeks to present short collages of folksongs, dances and field recordings from individual cultural regions within the Pyrenees and beyond. The first instalment takes the listener to the Bearn region, where various chanted songs, reels and dances are represented. Free to download here: <<<The Ethnographic Archies Vol. 1 The Bearn>>>
P Y R E : N U M E N – A Human History of the Pyrenees (2020)
The first P Y R E : N U M E N album of 2020.
Using a wealth of sounds and samples from forges, livestock, Iron Age horns, 17th-century military marches, Medieval cansos, forests, millstones, carts, 20th-century political hymns, 1970’s Occitan protest folk songs, regional chants, charcoal burner documentaries and everything in between, ‘A Human History of the Pyrenees’ is the most complex P Y R E : N U M E N album to date, and tells the tale of the various cultures, histories and crises of the Pyrenees from the Palaeolithic to the current day. Based on the Chapters 1 & 2 of ‘The Tears of Pyrene’. Free to download, as always, here: <<<A Human History of the Pyrenees>>>
P Y R E : N U M E N – Dead Winter Wassail EP (2020)
The second EP and second P Y R E : N U M E N release of 2020 is a slight departure to the normal geographical focus of the project (i.e. the Pyrenees), however it acts as a short tribute to the eerie and rural folklore of the project creator’s home, Britain, and is an experimental paean to that land. Free for download here: <<<Dead Winter Wassail EP>>>
P Y R E : N U M E N – Masks, Mists & Mountains (2020)
With this release, the P Y R E : N U M E N project delves more deeply into dirges and darkness, with six pieces relating to various masked rites from the Pyrenees, Cantabria and northern Portugal. A more droning effort, the aim is to conjure a primordial sound, elevated by various ethnographic field recordings from both film and first-hand experience. Enter the mists, mountains, and masked rites here, for free as always:
<<< Masks, Mists & Mountains>>>
P Y R E : N U M E N – Ethnographic Archives Series: Vol. II – The Ariege (2020)
The second instalment in the mini-series of ‘Ethnographic Archives’ focusses on the Ariege, containing all manner of merriment and the somber primordial/medieval atmospheres of this mystical Pyrenean region. Free to download here: <<< Ethnographic Archives Vol. II – The Ariege >>>
P Y R E : N U M E N – Ethnographic Archives Series: Vol. III – Andorra (2020)
The third instalment in the mini-series of ‘Ethnographic Archives’ focusses on the mountain nation of Andorra. Combining field recordings of nature and livestock, plus the national hymn, sardanas, extracts from Radio Andorra, church bells and Giant dances, this is an homage to Andorra created in the compulsory isolation of the Plague: <<< Ethnographic Archives Vol. III – Andorra >>>
P Y R E : N U M E N – Ethnographic Archives Series: Vol. IV – The Navarre (2020)
The fourth instalment in the mini-series of ‘Ethnographic Archives’ brings you to the Navarre region, home of numerous noble French and Spanish houses, monasteries and the introductory Spanish section of the infamous pilgrimage route the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. Appropriately this track is built around a Medieval spine, around which weaves a series of folk songs, field recordings and ambient soundscapes. Download here: <<< Ethnographic Archives Vol. IV – The Navarre >>>
P Y R E : N U M E N – Ethnographic Archives Series: Vol. V – The Val d’Aran (2020)
Integral to the ‘Ethnographic Archives’ is that of language, dialect and patois. Thus is Aranese mixed among the folk songs, folk dances, rural ambiences and hymns mixed amongst this archive… download for free here: <<< Ethnographic Archives Vol. V – Val d’Aran >>>
P Y R E : N U M E N – A Hymn to Rural Wessex (Single, 2020)
Nothing more than a hymnal to my own nostalgia of my dear Wessex, combining rural wisdom and traditions with ambient paeons. Feel free to ignore or download here: <<< A Hymn to Rural Wessex >>>
M O N S : N U M E N – The Pamirs (2020)
M O N S : N U M E N was launched in 2020 to sonically expand beyond the borders of the Pyrenees, and in its own small way preserve/conserve the various folk traditions and music of various mountain cultures around the world. This being the inaugural release of M O N S : N U M E N, we present a single track thirty minute piece that takes you to the remote mountains of the Pamirs, a complex region that spans from Afghanistan through to the Himalayas, historically including Zoroastrian, Buddhist and Islamic cultures, lush valleys, barren mountainsides and all the various peoples that live therein. Free to download here: <<< Pamirs >>>
M O N S : N U M E N – The Himalayas Vol. I – Nepal (2020)
With this release you are taken to the lush valleys, temples and villages of Nepal. Featuring various local processions, folk songs, chanting monks and the sounds of Nepalese nature, this will transport you to that remote mountain kingdom, a verdant jewel in the Himalayas. Free to download here: <<< Himalayas Vol. 1 – Nepal >>>
M O N S : N U M E N – The Himalayas Vol. II – Tibet (2020)
In this, the ‘Himalayas Vol. II’ work, MONS:NUMEN escorts you into the monasteries and mountains of Tibet, far from the modern world. Crashing symbols, blaring horns, chants, droning synths and Tibetan folk songs take you far away into this ancient mountain land to a worldly Shambhala, where prayer wheels turn daily and prayer flags flutter in the winds that blow from Mount Kailash. Download here: <<< HIMALAYAS VOL. II – TIBET >>>
M O N S : N U M E N – Appalachia (2020)
Turning our attention West, we move to the Appalachians, home of bluegrass, zithers, stills and mines. With this MONS:NUMEN episode you will hear countless pieces of Appalachian music, interviews with locals about moonshining and hard lives lived hard and even a old union song. Come visit this fascinating region, which stretches from the Great Smokies to the Blue Ridge: <<< Appalachia >>>
M O N S : N U M E N – Altai (2020)
Straight from the Steppes and Altai mountains, this instalment features a great deal of throat singing, various traditional songs and explanations of traditional Altai cosmology. Download here: <<< Altai >>>
M O N S : N U M E N – Alps (2020)
Enjoy the pastures and peaks of the Alps with this episode, where you can hear vanishing dialects, soft yodels, traditional customs and the ever present clanging of bells (with the lowing of cattle). Who knows how long this way of life will last? Download here :<<< Alps >>>
M O N S : N U M E N – Urals (2020)
A far more primal affair, this issue focuses on the Urals and in particular their shamanic cultures. Hear the beating of drums, cries on the wind, explanations (in Russian and local dialects) of cosmologies within the Urals and various traditional musics here:
<<< Urals >>>
M O N S : N U M E N – Carpathians (2020)
We turn West, to the misty and verdant Carpathians, where you can hear tales of surviving traditions, uplifting voices, sounds of rural life and strong peasant culture. Not a vampire reference in sight, thankfully! Download here: <<< Carpathians >>>
M O N S : N U M E N – Atlas Mountains (Berbers) (2020)
Journeying South, we venture into the Atlas Mountains, to meet the fascinating Berber peoples. Here you will find, beside the river, the sounds of the Ginbri, pentatonic singing, hymns to loves lost and the thrills of tribal lives. Download here: <<< Atlas Mountains (Berbers) >>>
M O N S : N U M E N – Anatolia (Alevis & Yoruks) (2020)
The final instalment (for now) of the MONS:NUMEN project deposits you deep in the Anatolian mountains, where you will meet the nomadic Yoruk peoples, and discover Alevi devotional music. Embrace tales of Yoruk culture, Sufi-influenced ritual celebrations, processions and the sounds of a persecuted and vanishing culture here:
<<< Anatolia (Alevis & Yoruks) >>>
B R Y T H O : N U M E N – Rural Rides (2020)
B R Y T H O : N U M E N was formed to explore the particular subject of Britain, its landscapes and vanishing traditions. In ‘Rural Rides’ you will encounter a more bucolic affair, narrated with various British Film Archive episodes from the early to mid-twentieth century, where harvest festivals, native industries and rural life still held sway of large amounts of the population. Retreat to rolling fields, Medieval market towns and hedgerow-enclosed farms here: <<< Rural Rides >>>
B R Y T H O : N U M E N – Beating the Bounds (Folk Horror) (2020)
With this release B R Y T H O : N U M E N delves into the ‘folk horror’ landscapes of Britain, the eerie moorlands, misty forests and strange archaic traditions that march around villages, masked and horned. Featuring samples from various classic films, televised horrors, public safety films from the 1970’s (more sinister than you would guess) and even the voice of Algernon Blackwood, this will plunge you into the unsettling aspect of Old Weird Albion. Download here: <<< Beating the Bounds (Folk Horror) >>>
P Y R E : N U M E N – Industrial Catharism EP (2020)
P Y R E : N U M E N returns with an experiment noisy foray into the modern Cathar mythos. Featuring readings from the works of contemporary Cathar luminaries such as Otto Rahn and his mentor Antonin Gadal, this EP attempts to present the atmosphere of sacred Cathar sites in the current climate, via grating synthesisers and marching rhythms. Will you find the Grail? Download here: <<< Industrial Catharism >>>
P Y R E : N U M E N – The Black Stone Betwixt Two Rennes
With this album P Y R E : N U M E N shifts its focus to personal encounters and the mysterious figures at Rennes-le-Chateau and Rennes-ses-Bains, twinned sites in the Aude that have long been the focus of investigation. Their mythos ties into Pyrenean Grail elements, as well as far reaching theories linked to a regional regarding Mary Magdalene and Pech-le-Cardou, alleged tomb of Christ, that towers above Rennes-les-Bains. All tracks are simply impressions from visits, aiming to express the inexpressible atmosphere of these two locales, one gazing down upon the other, beyond which the mountains stretch away. Samples include readings from ‘The True Celtic Language and the Stone Circles of Rennes-les-Bains by Abbe Boudet, a local geological rumour imparted to me by a reliable source, and interviews regarding the activities of both Boudet and the illusive Abbe Sauniere, as well as the words of Henry Lincoln. The front cover is the map of sacred sites from Boudet’s magnum opus, quoted in the album. Enter this realm of sacred Pyrenean geometry here: <<< The Black Rock Betwixt Two Rennes >>>
P Y R E : N U M E N – Ethnographic Archives Series: Vol. VI – Labourd
The sixth issue in the ‘Ethnographic Archives’ series takes you up to the Pyrenees-Atlantiques, to the historical region of Labourd, which blends French and Basque influences into a unique coastal combination. Stirring hymns of regional pride, dances, folk songs and the sound of the sea greet you when you download <<< Ethnographic Archives Vol. VI – Labourd >>>
P Y R E : N U M E N – Beneath the Stars, Watching Over the Corral (Single, 2020)
P Y R E : N U M E N presents a single, droning track that aims to portray the experience of being out in the pastures of the Pyrenees at night, beneath stars, in the form of a shepherd watching over his corralled flock. Experience the majesty of the Pyrenean night sky here: <<< Beneath the Stars, Watching Over the Corral >>>
P Y R E : N U M E N – Ethnographic Archives Series: Vol. VII – Bielsa (Carnaval) (2020)
In the seventh instalment of the ‘Ethnographic Archives’ series, P Y R E : N U M E N introduces you to the village of Bielsa in Huesca (Aragon) during its infamous ‘carnaval’, where men in dressed as archaic bears roam the streets with staffs and bells, faces blackened with oil, accosting locals and causing mayhem. The audio draws you through the process of ‘carnaval’ preparation, the various acts of chaos by the players, an explanation of the significance of the costumes, and finally a joyous local dance, to finish on a positive note. Immerse yourself in this centuries-old tradition here:
<<< Ethnographic Archives Vol. VII – Bielsa (Carnaval) >>>
P Y R E : N U M E N – Ethnographic Archives Series: Vol. VIII – Euskadi (2020)
In this, the eighth instalment of the ‘Ethnographic Archives’ series, we journey to the Basque Country, ‘Euskadi’. Through beech woodlands, to the sounds of the Txalaparta and the woodcutter’s axe, to hymns to the Basque country, winding through dances and 1970’s interpreted folk songs, you can visit this archaic region of the Pyrenees here:
<<< Ethnographic Archives Vol. VIII – Euskadi >>>
P Y R E : N U M E N – Ethnographic Archives Series: Vol. IX – Catalunya (2020)
The penultimate issue in the ‘Ethnographic Archives’ series takes place in Catalunya, a long contested land. Catalan farmers and explanations of traditional costumes are interwoven with local bagpipes, ‘Sardanas’ and other exuberant dances, and finally a rousing recent rendition of the Catalan anthem ‘Els Segadors’. Free to download here:
<<< Ethnographic Archives Vol. IX – Catalunya >>>
P Y R E : N U M E N – Ethnographic Archives Series: Vol. X – Cerdagne & Roussillon (2020)
The final instalment in the ‘Ethnographic Archives’ series travels to both the Cerdagne and Roussillon, collectively known as the ‘Pays Catalan’. Combining introductions to castles, local dances, tourism narratives and a rousing hymn, this concludes the audial journey around the various regions of the Pyrenees. Thank you travelling. Free to download, as ever, here:
<<< Ethnographic Archives Vol. X – Cerdagne & Roussillon (Pays Catalan) >>>
P Y R E : N U M E N – Pyrenean Cultures Matter (EP) (2020)
This EP is simply a dual attempt to recognise that many intrinsically valuable historical cultures exist within the Pyrenees, much of which are terribly old and rooted within the mountains and valleys of this region; plus there isn’t anything wrong with a bit of experimental 1990’s backtracking. To be fair, it might work, it might not – this is an experiment. <<< Pyrenean Cultures Matter (EP) >>>
P Y R E : N U M E N – Midsummer’s Eve/Midsummer’s Morn (2020)
Dedicated to Midsummer and the following festivities of San Joan/Sant Joan/Saint Jean, this album takes the listener from the descending dusk, into the fires and frenzies of rural celebrations, and through into the dawn of the following morning. Drones, drums, pastoral airs and guitars combine in an attempt to conjure the atmosphere of this very special time in the Pyrenees. Free to download here:
<<< Midsummer’s Eve:Midsummer’s Morn >>>
P Y R E : N U M E N – Count Estruch (EP) (2020)
With this thirty minute EP, PYRE:NUMEN delves into the legend of Pyrenean vampire Count Estruch from Llers (Catalunya), the only tale of its type from the Pyrenees and reputed to be one of the oldest in Europe. After leading a life of sin he became undead, stalking the local villages of Alt Emporda, sucking blood and impregnating village girls, whose babies would be stillborn. Bells, rain, brooding atmospheres, shrieks and a dark rhythm make up this experiment. Earphones/headphones are recommended for the fully immersive experience. Free to download (if you dare) here:
<<< Count Estruch (EP) >>>
P Y R E : N U M E N – An Aural Ethnography of European Transhumance (EP) (2020)
In preparation for the forthcoming publication by Mons Culturae Press, ‘Borderlands: Traditional Industries of the Pyrenees’, an EP is being created for each chapter as it is completed, expanding out from the Pyrenees to Europe as a whole. This inaugural offering is based on the chapter which focusses on pastoralism and contains a variety of songs, sounds and interviews which range from Portugal to the Pyrenees, France to Romania, and aims to conjure the pastoral life in sonic form. Free to download here:
<<< An Aural Ethnography of European Transhumance (EP) >>>
P Y R E : N U M E N – An Aural Ethnography of European Hunters (EP ) (2020)
The second in this mini-series related to the forthcoming ‘Borderlands’ book revolves arounds the practise of hunting, both peasant and aristocratic…. featuring multiple horns (including Wagner, of course), chants, interviews and even a Medieval Armenian hunting motif, prepare to throw yourself into the chase! Available here:
<<< An Aural Ethnography of European Hunters (EP) >>>
P Y R E : N U M E N – An Aural Ethnography of European Woodsmen (EP) (2020)
Here we present in the mini-series an ‘homage’ to the various woodcutters and charcoal burners of Europe, truly liminal figures who traditionally would spend months together in the woodlands practising their trade. You will find acapella, folk and chant songs, mixed in with interviews of current woodsmen…a disappearing world. Free to download here: <<< An Aural Ethnography of European Woodsmen (EP) >>>
P Y R E : N U M E N – Unravel [Bjork cover/homage] (2020)
I always loved this song, one of the most romantic songs I ever heard. So I decided to turn it towards the Pyrenees. Dedicated to V///A. Download here for free as always:
<<< Unravel [cover single] >>>
M O N S : N U M E N – ALEVI // ALAWITE // ALLIANCE (2020)
MONS:NUMEN is back. Alevis and Alawites are two ‘minority’ belief sects/ethnic communities within the mountains of Syria and Turkey. Both have very archaic origins, and both share a heritage of beautiful sounds and rituals. Immerse yourselves in them here. Featuring an introductory narration by a genuine practitioner, crafted specifically for this release.
Download here: <<< Alevi Alawite Alliance >>>
P Y R E : N U M E N – LUCIFER’S COURT [EXTRACTS] (2020)
(Part One Cover)
(Part Two Cover)
(Part Three Cover)
This marks the first foray into ‘audiobook’ or ‘radio play’ territory for PYRE:NUMEN. Extracts from archaeologist and poet Otto Rahn’s legendary ‘Lucifer’s Court’ surrounding the Pyrenees, Germany, the Tyrol and Iceland are set against a backdrop of effects, samples and original compositions, all aimed at conjuring the places discussed. Beware, this mammoth effort clocks in at three and a half hours long, so sit back and relax, it will take some time! Download here: <<< Lucifer’s Court [Extracts] >>>
P Y R E : N U M E N – SI NO L’ESTIMES, EL PERDRÀS (2020)
Catalunya has been simmering for a while now, it’s important to highlight that one cannot trust everyone, especially those who claim to act in your best interest. No skin in the game but, think for yourselves, preserve your culture, defy those who wish to destroy you from within.
P Y R E : N U M E N – C A T H A R : W A V E (2020)
Here’s something I never thought I would do. If you were on of the few who didn’t hate ‘witch house’ then you may enjoy the new genre ‘c a t h a r w a v e’, set against troubadour songs and the chirruping cicadas of the Ariege:
B R Y T H O : N U M E N – Lying Prostrate in the Witch’s Clover [EP]
BRYTHO:NUMEN is back, with the encircling mists and rains of Autumn. Just over 20 minutes of collage featuring Sherlock Holmes (the real one, played by Brett), dark 60’s pysche and Algernon Blackwood, supported by undulating eerie drones.
P Y R E : N U M E N – C A T H A R W A V E 2 (2020)
Well it seems c a t h a r w a v e is now a thing, thus the second instalment. Try to enjoy witch house beats with troubadour songs, or skip to the next album.
P Y R E : N U M E N – C A T H A R W A V E 3 (2020)
Here is the final in the c a t h a r w a v e trilogy, I’ve probably pushed this (highly) limited ‘genre’ as far as it can be pushed. Anyway, enjoy this nocturnal offering of organs, vocal dirges and mildly narcotic rhythms here:
B R Y T H O : N U M E N – FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD [EP] (2020)
Here we have an homage to the village idiot, who we once laughed at and who now laughs back at us. A cyclic melody, punctuated with various samples of rural life and classic English cinema. Who laughs last? Find out. Dedicated to Gerald Locker, in his last weeks.
P Y R E : N U M E N – GERALD LOCKER TRIBUTE (2020)
Not a sympathy post but a commemoration of a good chap who always supported the project, and who embodied the ‘born to lose, live to win’ philosophy. Farewell mate.
P Y R E : N U M E N – A Crown of Ice, A Shivering Bough (2020)
As Winter once again approaches, PYRE:NUMEN makes its first foray into glacial synth work, delving into subjects from Catalan and Basque folklore, frozen atmospheres and sounds of wintery nature, complete with ethnographic recordings from the Pyrenees. The first full album in a while, ushering in the time of coldness. Free to download here:
P Y R E : N U M E N – Winter Ghosts [EP]
In this offering, PYRE:NUMEN presents a specially recorded EP for Samhain and the thinning of the veil. Vocals and ‘lyrics’ by yours truly, mixed with sampled EVP recordings, wailing winds and eerie electronica. Be careful not to look, you may just see them, beyond the shift.
P Y R E : N U M E N – An Aural Ethnography of European Miners & Blacksmiths (EP ) (2020)
As the penultimate chapter in the ‘Borderlands’ book nears fruition, another accompanying EP from PYRE:NUMEN celebrates the various activities, songs and folklore of the subject in question; in this case, the miners, forgers and blacksmiths of the Pyrenees, and within the EP Europe at large. Grab your irons, and smudge thy faces, the forges are alight!
B R Y T H O : N U M E N // N A W I Z – A Christmas Mummer’s Dying Heart (2020) [single]
The first collaboration of the NUMENs occurs with my friend NAWIZ to create…. Industrial-Folk? Death Mumming? Who knows! In this single, a Gaudete is followed by industrial rhythms that accompany Steeleye-Span’s only mumming play, rounded off by a modulated piece by Coil. Ware the Mummer and his demand for ale!
P Y R E : N U M E N – THE WHISPER OF THE BRUMAL WHEEL [EP] (2020)
The final offering for 2020, ‘The Whisper of the Brumal Wheel’ is comprised of two shorter tracks which surround the main, lengthy piece. Featuring field recordings of gates, creaking mills, crunching snow, crows, livestock and a Bearnese shepherd recounting his memories, this EP is an homage to the deep rural winter that settles upon the Pyrenees, and gradually lifts with the advent of Spring.
P Y R E : N U M E N – An Aural Ethnography of European Smugglers and Exiles (EP ) (2021)
The first release of 2021 (recorded in 2020) and the last in the ‘Aural Ethnography’ series that pre-empts the forthcoming ‘Borderlands’ book deals with smuggling in the Pyrenees, both of goods and people. Interviews, political chants, protest songs and field recordings are woven with electronic ambience to conjure the shadowy world of the Pyrenean contrabandista. Shoulder your burdens, and ‘ware the eagle eyes of customs officials!
B R Y T H O : N U M E N – THE DUSKE ROUNING 
The first freshly recorded album for 2021 sees the return of BRYTHO:NUMEN with ‘The Duske Rouning’. A diet of eerie English fiction resulted in this; 5 quiet tracks of unsettling ambience set in Wessex and Shropshire. Among the rustling leaves and tweeting birds lies a creeping presence, and a one-off visual style.
M O N S : N U M E N – Orientalism [EP] (2021)
MONS:NUMEN returns for 2021 with the ‘Orientalism’ EP. Two tracks based on the Arabic souk and the Mughal courtyard, carefully constructed from self-made loops cut from vintage recordings, layered and modified to create a dreamlike atmosphere based on 19th century travels in these environments. Undoubtably the most complex effort for MONS:NUMEN to date. Inhale the scents of sand and sandalwood, and voyage with your mind!
P Y R E : N U M E N – The Dreaming Path [single] (2021)
An unintended single (trying to keep to a minimum this year), based on a recurring dream in the Andorran landscape. For the past six months I have had a dream in which I keep trying to reach a pasture which I have previously found (in the dream) but can never remember the exact path to, which follows a stream through the woodlands up into an alp. There is always the same melody playing, and finally I had this dream close enough to waking to recall it. Welcome to some Andorran psycho-geography.
P Y R E : N U M E N – Andorra Amagada [EP] (2021)
This offering is composed largely of field recordings taken in natural contexts around Andorra between 2017 and 2021, in hidden pastures, woodlands and caves, beside lakes and both underground/overground streams. A slight evolving drone accompanies these sounds of nature. Cattle, hounds and birds also call to you across the valleys and forests. In the words of Dorothy Lewis, ‘Words, words words… you may as well listen to the birds.’ Assembled on Ostara’s eve, MMXXI.
M O N S : N U M E N – Liechtenstein [EP] (2021)
MONS:NUMEN transports you to the Alpine principality of Liechtenstein, a landlocked realm in the Upper Rhine valley bordered by Austria and Switzerland. Despite its size, it has a wealth of history and traditions, and in this twenty-minute tribute you will encounter the flaming Funken at Essen, the Alpabfahrt (when the cattle move down from the summer pastures through the towns and villages )and the Fasnacht celebrations. All of these are woven among traditional songs, stirring anthems and looped atmospheres; all this within only 160 square kilometres – ‘En Guete!’
M O N S : N U M E N – Vosges [EP] (2021)
This week we travel to the forested hills and mountains of the Vosges in eastern France, bordering with Germany. A verdant land filled with wooden chalets, woodcutters, lakes, castle ruins, hearty cuisine and, lying as it does in the Alsace region, a dialect influenced by Alemannic German. There was (or is?) even an old Celtic god of hunting worshipped in this area around the Mount Donon, known as ‘Vosegus’ in Latin. Here you will hear the sounds of the forests, the traditional ‘epinette de Vosges’, leg slapping reels and the old inhabitants talking of traditional life. G’sundheit!
P Y R E : N U M E N – The Complete Known Works of Herbert Bunter (2021)
PYRE:NUMEN presents: The Complete Known Works of Herbert Bunter:
‘BBC sound engineer and composer Herbert Bunter died after being hit by a car outside his home on the 17th August, 1971. He had recently returned from a three month stay in the Pyrenees (particularly the Ariege) where he had collected field recordings and inspiration to complete the main motifs for the (later cancelled) children’s television series ‘Troubadour’s Test’, whose story was set around Montsegur. Within his diary, he hints at having purchased a remarkable manuscript in Foix, and having then been followed to London, where he would meet his death. Thanks to his only surviving relative, Hillary Bunter, both the pieces recorded for submission to the series’ creators and a collection of miscellaneous recordings, as well as all documents relating to this affair, are finally made publicly available via PYRE:NUMEN. The ‘Lost Tape’ contains those pieces Herbert wished to submit. The miscellaneous collection includes motifs recorded and rejected by Herbert, the sole recording of his time with the short-lived 1969 group ‘Uncle Clegg’s Tuck Shop’ (the band would collapse after six months), a rejected Public Information Film piece, a short recital on Montsegur and two draft recordings of a planned Tolkien concept album. Documents include scans from his travel diary, a letter and series plot synopsis from the BBC, obituary, and letter from the Bunter estate. All these are now restored and available to the public for the first time since their creation. The only interview with his mother, fifteen years after her son’s death, is also included, which explores some of the theories regarding his ‘accident’. The full transcript of the diary may be made available at a later date.’
M O N S : N U M E N – Alps Vol. II [Brauchtum] [EP] (2021)
MONS:NUMEN returns to the Alps, exploring some of the masked rites and traditions that occur through the Alpine year, especially around the mysteries of the Perchtenlaufe and Rauhnacht. Threaded together by a narration sampled from both a Styrian documentary on this subject and interviews of traditional Alpine life, we find a variety of songs from the across the region and sounds of these traditions being enacted, glued together with sample loops and atmospheric ambience… Enjoy the wild nights and winsome pastures… Prost!
M O N S : N U M E N – кукери [Kukeri] [EP] (2021)
(For more information on the Kukeri, see the unpublished PhD thesis: Bakalova, Kalina, ‘Kukeri: Ritual Performances in Bulgaria’ (Athens, GA: University of Georgia, PhD diss., 2009).)
P Y R E : N U M E N – Memories and Mysteries of the Cagots (2021)
Walpurgisnacht is on its way, a mysterious time indeed! Equally mysterious is the phenomenon of the ‘Cagots’, present throughout France and especially in the Pyrenees (on both sides of the modern border). Forced to wear badges of goose’s feet, despised and feared yet valued for their skill in woodworking, and whose origins are theories to lie in everything from Neolithic exiles, rogue cathars, moorish deserters, a once-powerful woodworking guild and even in the realms of the supernatural, these people existed at the margins of Pyrenean society yet endured for centuries. In this EP, PYRE:NUMEN explores some of the attributes, memories and origins of the Cagots, placed against a pastoral backdrop.
M O N S : N U M E N – A Passage Through The Caucasus [Part I] (2021)
This time MONS:NUMEN transports you to the mountains, plains and rivers of the Caucasus, a mysterious land with over fifty different cultures inhabiting its various countries and landscapes. Encounter traditional songs from Armenia, Georgia, Ossetia, the Tartars and the Vainakh, all woven, chopped and aligned to place you within the Caucasus towers, villages and forests, where some of the oldest mythologies originate!
M O N S : N U M E N – A Passage Through The Caucasus [Part II] (2021)
MONS:NUMEN returns for the second and final time (for now) to the Caucasus, land of a thousand myths including the Nart saga, some of whose tales are found in this recording alongside martial and marital songs, explanations of how songs sound different when sung in the mountain or forest and sounds of elders singing in their villages.
M O N S : N U M E N – Alps Vol. III [Mythen] [EP] (2021)
M O N S : N U M E N – Seven Demons [East] (2021)
MONS:NUMEN presents ‘Seven Demons [East]’, a series of pieces that explores seven demonic figures from the folklores of the Far and Middle East. Nestled among the various manipulated loops and samples of traditional musics from these various cultures you will find recordings of cultural-appropriate exorcisms, summoning and banishing ceremonies and tales relating to these various malevolent entities. Also included are the full set of seven sample videos created by Hsein Sleiman to illustrate the creatures and the atmospheres conjured by the songs.
M O N S : N U M E N – Seven Demons [West] (2021)
M O N S : N U M E N – Norge [Folkeeventyr] (2021)
M O N S : N U M E N – Svenska [Folksägner] (2021)
B R Y T H O : N U M E N – The Companie of the Hidden Crone: Archival Recordings [1970 – 2021]
M O N S : N U M E N – Suomi [Kansantarut & Loitsurunot] (2021)
M O N S : N U M E N – BAYERN [psychedelische volksweisen] (2021)
If the (admittedly niche) combination of the sounds of Bavarian folk traditions, spoken Bavarian legends and samples from German 1970’s krautrock/pyschadelia/electronica is your cup of tea then rejoice! MONS:NUMEN brings you ‘BAYERN [psychedelische volksweisen]’ in which all these aspects are present, including loops from Tangerine Dream, Popul Vuh, Amon Duul II, Darkness, Gila, Sparifankal and Faust… Enjoy the trip!
P Y R E : N U M E N – Herbert Bunter: The Complete Middle-Earth Sessions [1970 – 1971] (2021)
Another excavation from the Herbert Bunter estate? But of course, it’s too much fun to give up. The ‘legendary Tolkien sessions’ are here; embrace around 90 minutes of seventies-style synthesised Middle-Earth adventure. Letter scans included in the download. Now for the official blurb:
‘PYRE:NUMEN presents the posthumous release of ‘Herbert Bunter: The Complete Middle-Earth Sessions [1970 – 1971]’. The rumours of the Tolkien trilogy were true; for three decades the first half (i.e. Books 1 – 3) of the planned Lord of the Rings synthscape trilogy have been lingering in Herbert’s colleague’s cottage, thankfully copied to cassette from the master tapes before the great English floods of 1991. Through happenstance they have arrived at the Perennial Pyrenees HQ accompanied by a letter (scanned) and after digitising them PYRE:NUMEN is pleased to offer them (with permission) for your edification. The story covered in ‘To Follow a Fellowship’ and ‘By Root, Stone & Sword’ takes you from Bilbo’s birthday bash in the Shire to Gandalf’s ride to Minas Tirith following Isengard’s destruction by the Ents. Journey forth, a #MoogHobbitSummer awaits you!’
B R Y T H O : N U M E N – The Wessex Mistery Transmissions 
For this ‘BRYTHO:NUMEN PRESENTS’ outing we return to the concept of Para-Albion, courtesy of a rural agrarian commune from the 1990’s, the Wessex Mistery. Included in the download are three EPs on tape by three different projects complete with printable tape covers and a 19-page exemplar issue of the Wessex Mistery zine. Now for the ‘official story’:
‘Between the late 1980s and early 1990s the Wessex Mistery existed as an agrarian commune near Avebury in Wiltshire, focussed on reviving traditional farming techniques, folk practises and rustic crafts in Wessex. They were also the hub of a thriving experimental folk music scene, and in 1990 three affiliated projects produced an EP each available for purchase only from the Wessex Mistery and their headquarters, Crickledale Farm. ‘Dark Shepherd’s Dale’ (Dartmoor) offered rural curses and sinister folklore through dark doomed ambient noise, ‘Harvest Hare’ (Cotswolds) described agrarian life through organic electronica and looped songs from yesteryear, and ‘Wyvern’s Crown’ (Winchester) created acoustic Wessex neo-yeomanry. The Wessex Mistery also produced a quarterly DIY-style zine, called ‘The Hedgerow Chorus’ which detailed Mistery updates/event announcements, poetry by affiliates and articles on folklore/rural crafts. Recently discovered in the cottage of an ageing affiliate (now a carpenter in Yatesbury), these three tapes and a single issue of ‘The Hedgerow Chorus’ (Spring, 1990) have been rescued and digitised for posterity, preserving a unique experiment in rural communal living. Spread the word, the Wyvern lives!’
P Y R E : N U M E N – Contes et Chantes du Pays d’Oc (2021)
PYRE:NUMEN returns to the magnificent and mysterious land of Occitania, where the ‘Oc’ language has enjoyed a history rich in poetry, peasantry and repression. Stretching (variously) from the Pyrenees across the south of France, Occitania was a cradle of Medieval culture, heresy and artistic endeavour until its suppression by the Romane Church, however it’s peasant culture remained and remains firmly rooted in its mountains, plains and fields. In this offering is a selection of vintage recordings in the ‘langue d’oc’ encompassing various Occitan dialects from the Pyrenees and further afield in songs and recollections. Gausir!
P Y R E : N U M E N – Entheogenic Catharism [Swallowing Sabarthès Stars] (2021)
P Y R E : N U M E N – Transcendental Catharism [Golden Grail Gateway] (2021)
P Y R E : N U M E N – Pyrenean Chthonic Communion [EP] (2021)
With ‘Pyrenean Chthonic Communion’ we turn from the heavens to the caverns of the Pyrenees. Deep within the subterranean depths of the Pyrenees people have painted spirits and animals, fashioned votive figures, conducted heretical rites and sheltered from all manner of enemies, both natural and man-made. With this EP, PYRE:NUMEN plunges you deep into the cavernous hollows and chthonic halls that form the inverse of the mountainous peaks, where strange communions with the otherworld(s) have been conducted for millennia.
P Y R E : N U M E N – Entre La Croix Et La Hachette (2021)
With ‘Entre La Croix Et La Hachette’, PYRE:NUMEN takes you back in time to Pyrenean Vichy France where the Milice and the French Resistance vie for survival amid picturesque towns and villages, parades and fields. Taking inspiration (and offering a humble homage) to the likes of Les Joyaux de la Princesse and early Der Blutharsch, this album conjures the fear and fanfare of this turbulent time, amid samples of processions, speeches and period songs set against brooding dark and martial ambient soundscapes. It shouldn’t need to be said, but just in case, this is not an endorsement of anything, merely a tribute to the artists mentioned above, and the endless war memorials and unmarked graves that derive from this historical chapter.
M O N S : N U M E N – Baedeker’s Alps: Echoes From Villages, Valleys and Vistas 
Following PYRE:NUMEN’s lead from last week, MONS:NUMEN presents a series of period-specific echoes, this time from the late 19th century/early 20th century Alps, inspired by the wonderful guidebooks of Karl Baedeker which provide an exhaustive list of villages, peaks, paths and views for the traveller to enjoy. Sadly it is extremely probable that several of these villages no longer exist, lost to the onslaught of modernity and the call of the cities. So, let these be a tribute to them and to this preeminent period of Alpinism and Ethnography, inspired by Baedekers guides. These echoes are primarily driven by samples of festivals, songs, rural lives and nature from across the Alps, may they bring a happy tear of nostalgia to your eyes!
P Y R E : N U M E N – La Mélancolie De Perceval [EP] 
The ‘Knight-wave’ trilogy begins! Over three weeks, beginning today with ‘La Mélancolie De Perceval’, PYRE:NUMEN presents three EP’s based on a Templar and Grail themes, wrapped in a mixture of cold-wave, minimal romantic electronics. Knight-Wave is here, romance & reverb!
P Y R E : N U M E N – L’Amour de Lancelot [EP] 
PYRE:NUMEN’s Knight-Wave saga continues, this time with a more romantic turn towards the loves and losses of Lancelot! Undulating synths, shuddering rhythms and amorous samples – as ever, romance and reverb!
P Y R E : N U M E N – [Mid]Knight Templar [EP] 
Hard on the heels of t Autumnal Equinox, the Knight-Wave trilogy comes to an end with ‘[Mid]Knight Templar’, which presents a combination of up-tempo militaristic melodies and dream-like encounters in the chapel, bringing you confrontation and contemplation in the realm of Reverb & Romance!
B R Y T H O : N U M E N – No Parish But Albion: The Vagabond Trust 
The world of ‘Para-Albion’ returns with ‘BRYTHO:NUMEN Presents – No Parish But Albion: The Vagabond Trust ’. Within the Gamekeeper’s Cottage of Upper Aylebury [Hampshire] a box was discovered in 1997, upon its scheduled demolition. Inside lay a cassette recording and a manuscript, both pertaining to the secretive world of ‘The Vagabond Trust’, a network of vagrant wanderers and their supporters the length and breadth of Britain. The recordings contain tales and interviews recounted by some members set to music, whereas the manuscript tells the story of Henry St. John Tarbridge and his entry into the trust, as well as a history of the organisation and some of its practises/secrets. Will you take the wanderer’s path? On this freedom road, there are no barriers, and no parish but Albion will hold you.
M O N S : N U M E N – Pamirs Vol. II [Poi Mihra] 
MONS:NUMEN takes a trip back to the mighty Pamirs, also known as ‘Poi Mihra’, the ‘foot of the sun’. Presented are a range of folk songs and sounds from across this mountain range, along parts of Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and even parts of China, blended and chopped to conjure once again this region filled with archaic traditions, mysterious roots and remote fortresses. Also included in this download is a copy of Danish explorer Ole Olufsen’s, ‘Through the Unknown Pamirs – The Second Danish Pamir Expedition 1898- 99’ (London- William Heinmann, 1904) which provides some fascinating descriptions of the landscapes and peoples of the Pamirs in the late 19th century.
M O N S : N U M E N – ÍSLAND [TÖFRALAND] 
M O N S : N U M E N – Chants et Contes de Savoie 
This week MONS:NUMEN takes you somewhere very special, a location which first sparked my interest in the mountains many years ago: the Savoie region! A mixture of Savoyard tales, folk songs, cattle processions and the majestic beauty of this Alpine area are presented, alongside a scan of James Forbes’ ‘Travels Through the Alps’ (London: Adam and Charles Black, 1900), which provides some delightful descriptions of the Savoie and other areas across the French and Swiss Alps.
B R Y T H O : N U M E N – The Samhain Collection: ‘Deofol Mutters Above Reversed Autumn Forests‘ & ‘CoHC Samhain Installation’ 
In honour of Samhain, two BRYTHO:NUMEN creations are offered, both very different.
The first, ‘Deofol Mutters Above Reversed Autumn Forests’ both summons the ominous presence in the English forest which lurks on All Hallows Eve, and also explores aspects of demonic folklore in the British Isles as noted by folkorist Ralph Whitlock. Eerie, lurking fear between the boughs as Deofol walks the land.
The second, ‘CoHC Samhain Installation’ is a specially commissioned piece designed to accompany a film created by the Wyrd Isle Collective, which will be shown only at the Companie of the Hidden Crone’s Samhain celebration, taking place in the West of England. This soundtrack is comprised of original pieces, cut up samples and modulated theft; may it conjure something in your minds…
M O N S : N U M E N – Bitans and Folk Melodies [Gilgit-Baltistan] 
MONS:NUMEN returns for the final in this year’s weekly NUMEN instalments, taking you to the far Hunza Valley, located in Gilgit-Baltistan territory in Kashmir, where indigenous shamanic [‘Bitan’] practises co-exist and meld with later Islamic culture. A haven of gorgeous mountains and pristine lakes which has seen Tibetan, Turkic, Chinese, Persian and Dogra forces try to claim it for their own, with some locals even claiming descent from Alexander the Great’s armies, resulting in an extensive history of Buddhist, Zoroastrian and Islamic cultures laying down their influence on the land. A variety of folk melodies and Bitan field recordings weave together to whisk you off to this region. Also included is the article ‘”Malang”, Sufis, and Mystics- An Ethnographic and Historical Study of Shamanism in Afghanistan’ by M. Sidky (Asian Folklore Studies, Vol. 49, No. 2, 1990) which gives some key insights into this aspect.
P Y R E : N U M E N – Heavy Gyre: Archive Recordings 1971 
Herbert Bunter returns for his final chapter! PYRE:NUMEN presents: ‘Heavy Gyre: Archive Recordings 1971’.
‘Recently a letter arrived at the Perennial Pyrenees HQ from Terrence du Bouley, singer of Uncle Clegg’s Tuck shop in which Herbert Bunter played organ and other keys. According to the letter, the band reformed in early 1971 under a new name, ‘Heavy Gyre’, to record two short albums in the depths of the Oxfordshire countryside. Having become immersed in the works of Coven, Atomic Rooster and others, the band decided to follow this darker route with ‘Light the Candle!’ and a spontaneous recording of heavy psyche ‘Under Cosmic Eaves’. Both were put to tape in Tin Drum Studios in the Cotswolds, and would be the only archive of the band’s new material. After the studio closed in 1972 following failed mortgage repayments and with the death of Herbert in the previous year, the band delayed sending the master tapes to record companies, only to fail to find a home for them in years to come. Now they are finally available, conjuring the spirit of the age and more besides. Included in the download is the letter from Terrence du Bouley accompanying the recordings. With these songs, the story of Herbert Bunter is finally laid to rest!’
P Y R E : N U M E N – El Passatge de l’Hivern 
In time for deep winter, PYRE:NUMEN offers up ‘El Passatge de l’Hivern’, a Pyrenean journey through Autumn and Winter to Spring via atmospheric black metal and dark ambient. Moving from the golden pastures and wet forests to frozen fields and shuttered villages, into the first movement of livestock and the blossoms of Spring, ‘El Passatge de l’Hivern’ will bring you close to this turn of the seasonal wheel in the Pyrenees. All lyrics are in Catalan and Occitan, taken from poems dealing with these themes.
A remastered version will be released on pro MC by Under the Dark Soil in 2022 and potentially CD by another label.
HEXAFOIL – ‘Uncommon Maleficia: The Demonstration Archives’ 
Technically unrelated to the Perennial Pyrenees project but by the same hand (and thus stored on the site), HEXAFOIL emerges from Andorra. Presented here are the three demo recordings collectively titled ‘Uncommon Maleficia’, filled with curious ‘black metal’ of sorts in ‘Moss Spells’, ‘Moon Spells’ and ‘Moth Spells’. Rickety and oneiric on the one hand, impish and delicious on the other, HEXAFOIL nods towards the Saarland scene, Wormsblood, Moorgeist, Old Forest, Asymmetry and others. My great thanks to Nathaniel Ritter for his magic in mastering these recordings.
B R Y T H O : N U M E N – ‘Wordless Winter Ways’: The Visions of Dr Calder Halt 
2022’s round of releases begins with another delve into Para-Albion!
BRYTHO:NUMEN Presents: ‘Wordless Winter Ways – The Visions of Dr Calder Halt’.
Upon the turn of the millennium, the archaeologist/folklorist/esoteric researcher Dr Calder Halt entered into a series of trance-like states at sites around Hampshire; these sites held significance to the CoHC and in his mind represented foci of rural witchcraft. The visions were recorded in his manuscript ‘The Visions of Calder Halt’ [which have gained some notoriety in certain circles] and he also made two audio recordings during the first and final trance which reveal some highly sinister presences. One year later he returned to these sites to photograph the locations and write up the visions. Both the manuscript and audio recordings are provided. Revealed are a series of folkloric and paranormal figures who stalk the landscapes of Para-Albion, and which have haunted his dreams ever since.
P Y R E : N U M E N – ”Crusade Against The Grail’ [Extracts] by Otto Rahn’ 
PYRE:NUMEN unveils ‘Crusade Against the Grail [Extracts] by Otto Rahn’.
Following from the audioplay adaptation of Rahn’s second book ‘Lucifer’s Court’ last year, we return with a similar approach to his first full exploration of the Grail mythos in relation to the Albigensian Crusade, Cathars and multiple strands of Rahn’s research which dive into mytho-historical explorations of the subject. Over four hours in length and stuffed to the brim with sampled loops, modulated classics, new/old original compositions and effects, this recording will subsume you within the world of Otto Rahn’s researches into Occitan culture, the Grail myths and the last stands and secrets of the Cathars. Included in the download is a pdf of the original publication translated into English.
P Y R E : N U M E N – ‘The Traveller From Taured [Where Andorra Wasn’t] [EP] 
PYRE:NUMEN delves into the urban legend of ‘Taured’, the parallel Andorra!
As the tale goes, in 1954 a traveller arrived at a Japanese airport with a strange passport bearing the origin of ‘Taured’, a country he claimed had existed for over a thousand years. Officials had no idea what this territory was, and when asked to point out the location he pointed to Andorra, however the man had no idea why his country was not called Taured. After being taken away for questioning and locked in a hotel room with no balcony on the third floor (and with guards outside), he vanished the next morning and was never seen again. Some claim it to be fake, others say he was a time traveller or from a parallel dimension where Taured existed in the Pyrenees. Enjoy retro sci-fi sounds and invented interrogation narratives which flesh out this mysterious urban legend – or was he indeed from another dimension, where Andorra/Taured was a key player in world development?
P Y R E : N U M E N – ‘On The Path To The Holy Grail’ [Extracts] by Antonin Gadal 
PYRE:NUMEN presents the audioplay of Antonin Gadal’s ‘On The Path To The Holy Grail’.
Often considered the mentor of Otto Rahn, and a huge figure in the resurrection of the Cathar faith in his native Ariege and Occitania in the 20th century, Antonin Gadal is one of the seminal characters in the modern Cathar mythos. In ‘On The Path To The Holy Grail’, Gadal delves into his historical researches and imaginative intuitions to recreate the period of training and initiation of a Cathar ‘parfait’ in the caverns and subterranean chapels which sustained the heresy in the Sabbarthes region. The narrative is pitted against a sober background of sacral chants, atmospheric loops and meditative sounds which aim at heightening the sacred nature of his descriptions. Included in the download is a pdf of the original publication translated into English.
M O N S : N U M E N – Alps Vol. IV [Tiroler Sagen und Volksbräuche] 
A new quadrology of Alpine collages from MONS:NUMEN begins, each of which accompany region-specific legends as read by Michael Köhlmeier!
We start with ‘Alps Vol. IV [Tiroler Sagen und Volksbräuche]’, which plunges you into the beautiful region of the Tyrol. Accompanying the myths are swirls of Tyrolese folk songs (both looped and cut), ambience, field recordings and samples from unexpected sources including Popol Vuh and Graumahd, all designed to transport you to this gorgeous Alpine region! Included is a pdf of Tales and Legends of the Tyrol by A. von Gunther (London. Chapman and Hall, 1874).
B R Y T H O : N U M E N – British Cunning Broadcasts 
BRYTHO:NUMEN returns with ‘British Cunning Broadcasts’. In the 1970s there was a rash of mainstream television documentaries from the BBC and others on the rising ‘witchcraft’ scene, and here we mix ‘The Legend of the Witches’ , ‘Witches – Old Religion’  and ‘The Witches of Wexford’  together into an eerie collage of interviews and narrations which overlap and interlace against an ambient backdrop, creating an unsettling archival experience of British ‘crafte’.
M O N S : N U M E N – Alps Vol. V [Kärntner Märchen und Klänge]
M O N S : N U M E N – Parahyang [Urang Sunda] 
M O N S : N U M E N – Alps Vol. VI [Das Nachtvolk Vom Vorarlberg] 
B R Y T H O : N U M E N – l u d d s p e l l s [EP] 
With ‘l u d d s p e l l s’, BRYTHO:NUMEN delves in harsher audial realms revolving around the anti-industrial/anti-enclosure actions of the Swing Riots and the Luddites in 19th Century Britain. Follow the descent of man from the farm to the factory floor through an approximation of Power Electronics and other unpleasantness; is this industrial music against industrial culture?
M O N S : N U M E N – Ouled Naïl [Bou Saâda] 
M O N S : N U M E N – Alps Vol. VII [Drei Legenden aus Oberösterreich] 
P Y R E : N U M E N – ‘L’Estiu Salvatge’ 
Soon it is Saint John’s Eve, a time of bonfires and dances across the Pyrenees marking the height of the summer. With that, PYRE:NUMEN releases ‘L’Estiu Salvatge’, which can be considered the summer counterpoint of ‘El Passatge de l’Hivern’.
Combining blown out, warm and fuzzed up punk/black metal/post-punk/post-whatever sensibilities with field recordings, acoustic interludes (recorded at some of the most beautiful Andorran landscapes) and lyrics culled from from prominent Catalan poets, ‘L’Estiu Salvatge’ aims at conjuring the wild and wonderful Andorran summer, filled with revelry, majesty and pristine nature.
A N T I : N U M E N – ‘Slow Simmered Stews’ 
HEXAFOIL – ‘Moor Hag’ 
HEXAFOIL returns! Six full lengths have been recorded and the catalogue is currently being mastered, album by album. A hell of a job and I can’t thank Nathaniel Ritter enough for his work on this.
We begin with the debut full length ‘Moor Hag’. Idiosyncratic, slightly eccentric and certainly rickety with notes of moorland heather, old hands and wet earth. Plus an unexpected cover of Jethro Tull’s ‘Witch’s Promise’… the cheek of it.
Mastered by the analogue wizard Nathaniel Ritter.
B R Y T H O : N U M E N – ‘Pewter Portals’ 
Originally conceived to accompany an ongoing sketchbook, both this album and the book were meant to remain private. However, I am rather happy with the audio and thus make a gift of it to you all – the images (aside from those used in the album art) will remain private, as they are all amateur efforts at best.
Mixtures of surreal ambient soundscapes peppered with spoken word extracts with influences from various quarters (particularly Coil and Cyclobe), this is a different side of BRYTHO:NUMEN, drawing on dreams, natural numens and automatic channels, and the most personal effort to date.
P Y R E : N U M E N – ‘Radieuse Pyrénées’ 
This double album is the definitive statement of the PYRE:NUMEN project, exploring the myths, traditions and landscapes of the Pyrenees. Acoustic interpretations of traditional songs, folk-esque ambient soundscapes and narrations culled from 19th/20th century travelogues around the region are mixed with samples from local festivities, interviews and field recordings from pastures, rivers and mountains.
Both Parts I & II are theoretically slated for physical release later this year by Goatowarex on two cassettes with professional layout. My thanks to Bairaz for his collaboration on ‘L’Assetjador del Puigmal’.
Clocking in at an hour and a half long across sixteen tracks, if you were to listen to only one PYRE:NUMEN offering, my recommendation would be these two, their being the project’s ‘magnum opus’. Influences include Sturmpercht, Jägerblut and Arnica.
HEXAFOIL – ‘Sorcerous Fortress’ 
HEXAFOIL emerges from the fresh Autumn air and turning trees with its second offering ‘Sorcerous Fortress’. As the dusk settles a spectral castle emerges, bringing the scents of old phantoms, gleaming turrets and lost birds. Will you enter? Notes of Medieval magic, nostalgic stones and wizards’ sleeves… embrace the gloaming woodlands and lonely stone corridors of the dreaming citadel.
Mastered by the irrepressible Nathaniel Ritter.
HEXAFOIL – ‘Fungal Fancy’ 
Halloween is on the horizon and thus the third album of HEXAFOIL, ‘Fungal Fancy’, turns away from the prior gentility of ‘Sorcerous Fortress’ and proffers a crooked combination of kitsch electronics and horrible rhythms. Bad mushrooms, haunted woods and spooked trips are presented in 19 instrumental vignettes that conjure pixilated Psilocybin, wonky witches and the surreal supernatural. Definitely not for everyone, or perhaps anyone, these sounds are highly decayed. Anticipated as the least popular HEXAFOIL offering to date.
Bravely mastered by the expert hands of Nathaniel Ritter.
P Y R E : N U M E N – ‘Nocturnal Sylcan Nostalgia’ 
PYRE:NUMEN offers up a seance in the woodland night with ‘Nocturnal Sylvan Nostalgia’. A mixture of romantic ‘black metal’ and shoegazing shimmers together with introspective ambient interludes, this album aims to plunge you into the solitude and emotive magic of the moonlit forest, where stars and branches give balm to the soul.
To be issued on cassette by Under the Dark Soil at some point in 2023.
B R Y T H O : N U M E N – ‘Village Voices’ 
As Winter begins to tighten its grip we often delve into the halls of memory on the long, dark nights. In this vein BRYTHO:NUMEN presents ‘Village Voices’, four pieces that explore the concept of the lost rural geography of England. Extensive use of tape loops, decaying samples from mid-20th century British Pathe information films, Loyd Silverthorne’s ‘Vanishing Sounds in Britain’ and original eerie synth pieces, these elements meld and blend together to conjure the beauty and nostalgic melancholy of villages and villagers which now are vanished or forever changed. Or perhaps they still exist in the realms of our imagination? After all, the landscape is a repository of memories and dreams. These are the liminal recollections of the English village, playing back through time and wavering between the nostalgic and the eerie. Influences include Leyland Kirby and William Basinski.
GNAWED CHRISOM – ‘Malignant Undercroft’ 
GNAWED CHRISOM was born and killed during one album, likely never to be resurrected, and here it is: ‘Malignant Undercroft’. Horrible hauntings of raw Black Metal and primitive ambient from forgotten subterranean arches. No finesse, no forseable continuation, no circle.
To be released on cassette by Under the Dark Soil in 2023.
HEXAFOIL/PAUSSINBLUME Split – ‘Two Little Kings’ 
Two peculiar projects unite with their own idiosyncratic visions, Paussinblume with their trademark wonky discordant mixture of black metal and new wave, Hexafoil with a strange old brew of nostalgia, not-very-black metal and an homage to the dreamy hippy psyche of Emily Bindiger. Presented here is the Hexafoil side, the full split will be available online elsewhere.
M O N S : N U M E N – ‘Shambhala’ 
MONS:NUMEN returns to bring you its newest album, ‘Shambhala’. A shade shy of forty minutes, this single track attempts to conjure the concept of the inner kingdom, heavily influenced by the likes of acts like Vishudha Kali, Closing the Eternity and Chaos as Shelter.
The insert features a painting by artist/writer/mystic/explorer Nicholas Roerich, his books are highly recommended, particularly on this area of the world.
Chase and Embrace Shambhala, your Shelter and Revolt.
HEXAFOIL – ‘Hovel Homilies’ 
In the fourth HEXAFOIL album you are brought to the village outskirts where the ‘Hovel Homilies’ are enacted. Characters tell of loss, harvest, memories, field magic and eerie pastures. Smell the dry stalks of wheat and woven spell stems that burst from the hedgerow, smoke in the thatch and flames in the hearth. But don’t forget the manor houses and hearty moors where crafte secrets are enacted! Included is a cover of that eerie psyche classic ‘When Will The Rain Come’ by The Troggs, in Hexafoil’s inimitable style.
Gently mastered by the fine fingers of Nathaniel Ritter.
P Y R E : N U M E N / ALPABUTZ – ‘Lost Pastures’ 
I am very happy to unveil this split recording to you all. I have long enjoyed the few songs created by Alpabutz, and it’s been a real pleasure to work with the project’s creator and present them here, finally in a full ‘official’ form. They have been floating around as isolated tracks online for nearly seven years but here they are gently cleaned up and given their originally intended sequence.
The PYRE:NUMEN side follows the path set by the ‘Radieuses Pyrenees’ double album, bringing a heavy emphasis on the folkloric and rustic side of the project through songs both traditional and dreamy. There is a strong Occitan element which some might detect.
The ALPABUTZ side presents a hoary wonder of archaic folk music, fairly dripping with primordial nostalgia, and telling of the landscapes and legends from the Allgäu region of Bavaria. The term ‘Ur-Folk’ is often thrown around but here it is most appropriate.
In ‘Lost Pastures’ the old worlds of the Pyrenees and the Alps meet as one.
HEXAFOIL – ‘Spirit Mirror’ 
The fifth manifestation of HEXAFOIL presents a thinner, free-form, improvised and more screechingly ethereal affair, conjuring the phantoms of lost rooms and spirit circles with melodies buried under the phantasmagoric veil and automatically recieved vocals. As lo-fi as an Elizabethan privy and just as unreliable, ‘Spirit Mirror’ explores a night with Enochian angels and household phantoms captured on EVP cassettes, harking somewhat back to the demo days. The deeper you listen the more is revealed.
HEXAFOIL – ‘Rural Oneiromancy’ 
Six times’ a charm with HEXAFOIL… offering up its ‘Rural Oneiromancy ‘. A decidedly gentler and more mystical invitation, enter the dreamworld beyond the wicker gate where stars and soil divine your fate. Will you cross over or stare beyond the weaving thicket? Dreaming divination delves deep among the copses and field boundaries. Extracted narrations include recollections from the works of Carl Jung, John Dee and other oneironauts.
With this, HEXAFOIL withdraws back into the shifting thickets. Never say never, but this is likely the final manifestation of HEXAFOIL.
Beautifully mastered by Nathaniel Ritter.
GNAWED CHRISOM – ‘Night Pleasures’ 
Gnawed Chrisom is resurrected from its early grave, returning with its second full length entitled ‘Night Pleasures’. More of the same in the rotten vein of others which have gone before; rough, raw and unhinged.
B R Y T H O : N U M E N – ‘The Automatic Endeavour’ 
BRYTHO:NUMEN returns with this unusual release, a long-form forty minute droning and dreaming track inspired by the works of Bull of Heaven. It is designed to accompany the listener’s endeavours in automatic drawing/writing and remote viewing. The coordinates relate to a spot in Hampshire, see what you can see! Covers are hand drawn automatics.
GNAWED CHRISOM – ‘Murky Hallucinations’ [EP] 
Gnawed Chrisom returns with the EP ‘Murky Hallucinations’. Raw, unsettled and delirious but with a muddier quality.
B R Y T H O : N U M E N – ‘[Win]Stanley Knife’ [EP] 
BRYTHO:NUMEN presents something completely different from its usual fare – ‘[Win]Stanley Knife’, an effort at creating 90s free festival rhythms combined with the words of radical agrarian Gerrard Winstanley. Castlemorton Common Diggers. Love it, hate it or remain indifferent, it’s free after all and so are you.