Jon Dale, The Wire 
Belbury Poly "The Owl's Map"
December 2006

If Ghost Box are the torch bearers for the hauntology "zeitgeist", as Simon Reynolds suggests in The Wire 273, then label cofounder Jim Jupp's Belbury Poly is the psychogeographer amongst his cohort. On The Owl's Map Jupp aims for nothing less than the (re)creation of previously unknown topography. The album's liner notes detail a tourist guide to the fake town of Belbury, and the songs leap from jaunty radio stings to clamarous drone rock vamps and on into yet more uncertain territory, willing the village into being via audiovisual means.

By accessing the disquiet of Britain's other hidden reverse, Ghost Box trace an after-effect of the realtionship between high modernism and populist thought that was endemic to British culture between the 1950s and 1970s. This makes it easy to trace key influences: you can hear the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Basil Kirchin, The Wicker Man soundtrack and so on. But I can also hear, in the jaunty TV ident music of Owls and Flowers and Your Way Today, shadows of The Human League’s Dignity of Labour of Thomas Leer’s Tight As A Drum, and the charmingly gauche post Cluster solo recordings of Roedelius. Indeed, the chintzy toytown quality and simple melodies of German electronics post-Krautrock shines through good portions of The Owl’s Map: music made after the experiment, somehow "settled" or content and yet shot through with disturbances drawn from creative impulses stored away in history’s files.