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Ashburn County does not really exist. Well… the city of Ashburn exists. 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 the musicians grew up in, deep in the rural areas of Louisiana. Close to their homes, when they were kids, there was a local drive-in where they 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 their soundtracks, mixing bluegrass with bizarre sounds from analog synthesizers, had a tremendous influence on them. Sometimes were also projected some European art-house and terror movies.
In 2012, Leroy Delbert Quebedeaux and his friends decided to direct their own movie which would be a tribute to these independent hick films and their grotesque humor set in the midst of a terrifying nature. But they had no cameras, no money, nothing. So they decided to work on the soundtrack of the film they would have done if they had the adequate equipment. They bought a digital handheld recording machine and, inspired by the soundtracks of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Eaten Alive, they did some field recordings of instruments, agricultural machines or natural environment. So everything has been recorded with it : accordions, trombones, voices, synthesizers, cellos, etc. It gave a particular quality to the sound of all these instruments. By mixing traditional folk and Cajun culture with industrial collage, droning synthesizers, old rhythm boxes, neoclassical grandeur, samples and mechanized sounds, the musicians confronted themselves with ghosts of their own past and ghosts of the earth itself on which they have grown up and lived until now.
Somewhere between the work that Ralph Records have done for the Potatoes compilation and Hank III with the Gutter Town album, they create their own folklore, very creepy and haunted. They say to have been impressed by obscure post-industrial bands from the eighties like Human Trapped Rhythms or Somewhere in Europe, the psychological terror of S.F. Brownrigg's films, local legends of Louisiana as well as the photographic work of Ralph Eugene Meatyard or Clarence John Laughlin. The world of Ashburn County is black and white, out of time, full of melancholy and terror, ghost tales and dancing skeletons. A visual universe in which each song is like the sequence of a film.
released May 28, 2014
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