Sam McLoughlin follows up his N.Racker exhibits for Demdike Stare's Pre-Cert imprint and the much-loved Samandtheplants and Supernatural Lancashire project with Magpahi for his return to Folklore Tapes with the second album in the labels Plants series.
Following on from one of the label's key compilations of recent years, the Folklore Of Plants Vol.II - The Venefic Garden travels down a path into a lesser spotted, shadier but no less verdant herbarium of poisonous wort. The venefic plants lie on the border of hallucinogenic drug and fatal poison, but thankfully for us, it appears that Sam McLoughlin has only been exposed to the hallucinogenic kind.
The music of Folklore Of Plants Vol.II is the sound of a mind going mad inside a garden shed, the walls slowly caving in while a soundtrack of crickets and raindrop guitar notes are plucked from the air, or float in through a broken window pane. Rich with all the detail of his most cherished recordings, the deep dark and ever so creepy at times element of Radiophonic electronics left out in the cold is strong. The Venefic Garden is offered as a soundtrack to the hidden history of this fascinating area of western folk-magic, an outer limit of occult herbalism that imparts visceral knowledge of the borderlands between life and death.