Ashburn County – Scenes Of Daily Life In The Rural South
Label: Cabaret Curioux – CX#1
Format: Vinyl, LP
Genre: Electronic, Folk, World, & Country, Stage & Screen
Style: Dark Ambient, Industrial
Ashburn County does not really exist. Well… the city of Ashburn exists. It is set in the state of Georgia and it is well-known for having the greatest number of churches by inhabitants. At one point, there were forty one churches for eighty eight inhabitants. So they said…. But the county of Ashburn is rather a projection of the mind, as when William Faulkner created Yoknapatawpha. It is just a mirror image of the place we grew up in, deep in Louisiana. We consider our work itself as some kind of folklore, since it is very much linked to the fact of living in a rural area of the South of the United States with our inheritance of Cajun culture. And religiosity and mysticism is just part of the place we live in.
Close to our homes, when we were kids, there was a local drive-in and it had a tremendous influence on our lives. There we saw a great quantity of cheap horror movies, mostly local productions set in the bayou with degenerate rednecks shooting at some creatures living in the muddy lakes or deformed killers lurking in the mountains. These films were called Creature from Black Lake, Don’t Go in the Woods or Terror in the Swamp. That was in the eighties. These movies were bad but we liked watching them, and their soundtracks, mixing bluegrass with bizarre sounds from analog synthesizers, had a tremendous influence on us. Sometimes were also projected some European art-house and terror movies.
As we were talking about that, we decided to direct our own movie which would be a tribute to these independent hick films and their grotesque humour set in the midst of a terrifying nature. Our problem is that we had no cameras, no money, nothing. So we decided to work on the soundtrack of the film we would have done if we had the adequate equipment. We bought a digital handheld recording machine called Zoom H4N and, as the French musicians of musique concrete, we did some field recordings of instruments, agricultural machines or natural environment. So everything on Scenes of Daily Life in the Rural South has been recorded with it: accordions, trombones, voices, synthesizers, etc. Then we sculpted the sounds on a computer. The narrated story itself is a combination of our memories of this cinema and what we liked in it.
Of course, the harmonica, the Jew’s harp, the flutes or Breton reeds remind the Cajun heritage but, as in these movies, we mixed it with industrial collage, droning synthesizers, old rhythm boxes, samples and mechanized sounds. The voices go from the lyrical to pure screams, from the liturgical to indistinct whispers. The composition process itself was really close to rituals as if the imaginary characters in this story were possessing us. It confronted us with ghosts of our own past and ghosts of the earth itself on which we have grown up and lived until now. We hope you will like this trip into the Louisiana lands, where passions get raw under the hot wet oppressive weather and where mental illness is just a fact of everyday life.
A1 Let's Start The Auctions
A2 Owls In Love
A3 She Was Squeezing Her Head And Made A Strange Noise
A4 Conversations At Midnight
A5 Buy A Rifle, Man!
A6 Threat - Sirens Call
A7 Frogs In The Bayou
B1 The Cajun Party
B2 Psychological Turmoil
B3 The Cause Of Our Fall
B4 Mental Pain
B5 Curse The Almighty Pray For Our Mercy
B6 The Harmonica Woman