Belbury Poly The Path

Ghost Box
18th August 2023

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Format Info

LP - black vinyl

The Path is the latest album from Belbury Poly (aka Ghost Box records founder Jim Jupp). This time round Jupp has recruited a full band roster to expand his own unique electronica. He is joined by occasional Belbury Poly collaborator Christopher Budd on Bass and Guitar, Jesse Chandler (of Midlake, Mercury Rev & Pneumatic Tubes) on flute, clarinet and keyboards, Max Saidi on drums plus narration from author and poet, Justin Hopper.

Musically it takes as its starting point a particular moment of early 1970s British film soundtracks by the likes of Roy Budd and Roger Webb; a soundworld of easy-going jazz and funky rhythms gently coloured with pastoral strings and flutes. The Path, however, is unmoored from time or place thanks to Hopper’s narrative style, Chandler’s rustic flutes and keys, Budd’s soulful psychedelic guitars and Jupp’s production and electronics. The co-writers were all chosen for their unique abilities and an
intuitive understanding of the ongoing Belbury Poly project. The spoken word elements form a loose, open-ended narrative; very much an album with spoken word rather than a spoken word album.

The Band and Album Recording:
Christopher Budd: Electric Bass, Double Bass, Guitars, Electric Sitar
Jesse Chandler: Piano, Synths, Mellotron, Flute, Clarinet
Justin Hopper: Narration
Jim Jupp: Electric Piano, Synths, Mellotron, Percussion, Sound Effects
Max Saidi: Drums, Percussion

The project came together over two years, beginning with a conversation between Hopper and Jupp during a walk on the Sussex South Downs. Originally, it was to tell the tale of an American academic unravelling while adrift in an alienating English landscape. From the beginning, the pair wanted on a narration integrated lyrically into the piece, rather than dropped on top. The words gradually became more film-noir and open to interpretation; occasionally a little tongue-in-cheek. The final
texts explore a folklore of alienation; the way we impact the landscape and it impacts us.

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