The Folklore Tapes imprint marks out a new chapter in their catalogue with Sacred Island: The Legend and Magic of Isle Maree, the first stages of an extensive programme into the North West Highlands of Wester Ross. Arriving in the form of a limited edition project booklet that details illustrations and film photography from the expedition alongside hitherto unpublished archival images, the label has paired with it an accompanying double-sided 7" flexi-disc featuring music for analogue synthesizer and symbolic action. As with everything these guys do, it arrives as a beautifully packaged and designed item that offers both a kind of awe and reverence within its education yet never forgoing the mystical wonder to which the imprint's mission is eternally bound.
Taking place in the early spring of 2016, Ian Humberstone and Jordan Ogg's journey to the grey mountains of the Cairngorms saw the pair diving deep into the murky depths of Loch Maree. Extending their research to encapsulate the sixty-four islands that decorate the loch’s surface, they sort out to uncover the secrets found within the verdant haven. A place said to be brimming with enough lore "to fill the library of any old Highland mansion".
The Sacred Island is said to carry many mysteries, and with the utmost respect, this first edition has laid bare the first fragments of these using "little-known Victorian sources and contemporary interviews". By excavating these sources Ian and Jordan have slowly begun to unfurl the start of the isle’s tangled history. Using the booklet to detail some of the wistful magic they captured, Ian's fellow Folklore Tapes head researcher David Chatton Barker designed the sleeve for a booklet that the duo used to piece together their findings into an (as usual) beautifully composed artifact, while the accompanying audio flexi-disc has all the veneer and wit musicality of some of the label's greatest projects.
Unfolding with the pace of the very best Werner Herzog films, The Legend and Magic of Isle Maree offers a dreamlike escape for those that delve into its offerings, and in doing so stands up alongside the label's now-considered-classics such as Megalithic Monuments, Rituals & Practices, Black Dog Traditions of England, Inland Water & Theo Brown and the Folklore of Dartmoor.