We’re delighted to present the latest in our mix series – this moss-covered, enchanting effort from Travin Systems, a record label, writing and photography repository based in Derbyshire and Maryland. In the words of Travin’s chief, Charles, “we have a taste for saturated photography, off-kilter techno and house music, fingerstyle guitar, the dissection of rural idylls and slightly bizarre antiquarian writings, as well as the occasional bit of fiction.”
Charlie’s mix effectively traces the lines from contemporary rural psychedelia and hauntology back to the movement’s roots in folk music – a trajectory exemplified by a set of original synth vignettes he’s written and woven dreamily amongst Messrs Jansch, Tilston and Carthy, to give that “Portmanteau” feel. Beautiful. More words from Travin Systems below…
“Folk music makes up a large proportion of what I listen to. I was brought up on it and the label has been formed in its crucible. Even though it may not be immediately apparent through our releases, it is as big an inspiration as Baltimore, Detroit and Chicago have been on the electronic side. I spend a lot of time in the Appalachians as well as the Derbyshire Dales, and this is the music that rises from that sound and descends from the crags.
When traditional music is done well it’s some of the most harrowing yet beautiful music that you can listen to. When it’s done badly it can immediately lose all of that and become twee melodrama or a shallow affectation. The tunes I used for this mix represent the tip of an iceberg handed down by Childe and Sharpe, Percy and Aubrey. Martin Carthy’s version of “Barleycorn” is the best I have heard to this point. Severe reproach would be needed if Jansch wasn’t included at least twice and Maddy prior on “Saucy Sailor” is pretty much without equal. I also dropped in “Battle of Evermore” mainly for Sandy Denny’s vocal entry. A trunk of Travin Folk.
As for upcoming music on Travin Systems, we have the megalithic alchemist Poorgrass casting waveform ingots on his astounding début album, which will be projected out on cassette and CD sometime later this year. We also have an exclusive little sampler of the 1980s Welsh post punk scene, which is pretty odd, landing on limited cassette quite soon. Most of our written pieces are now housed under the newly minted Travin Press banner, with some really good eclectic work nudging the surface like hungry carp. New entries into the Travin Miniatures series are also on their way down the hill, and we should have some DJ and live spots around Baltimore in the coming year.”
Bert Jansch – Rosemary Lane
Led Zeppelin and Sandy Denny – Battle of Evermore
Steve Tilston – She’s the Woman
Steeleye Span – Sheep Crook and Black Dog
Shirley Collins – Cherry Tree Carol
Fairport Convention – Tam Lin
Bert Jansch and John Renbourne – East Wind
Young Tradition – Byker Hill
Bert Jansch – It Don’t Bother Me
Martin Carthy – John Barleycorn
Steeleye Span – Saucy Sailor