Various Artists ‘The Layering’ (A Year In The Country) 

Label boss Stephen Prince assembles an impressive roster of folktronic maestros to explore “places literally layered with history”. So Sproatly Smith’s ‘Chapel Still Stands’ employs vintage radiophonica to chart the chequered life of a medieval Herefordshire church, and ‘At The End Of The Aerial Flight’ sees Rob ‘Handspan’ Colling celebrate north-eastern mining heritage with an evocative melding of windswept field recordings and traditional pipe melodies. Vic Mars, Pulselovers and The Heartwood Institute also contribute to this haunting evocation of, as the label puts it, “what lies beneath”.

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Japan ‘Quiet Life’ (BMG)

By the time post-punk’s dressed-down urban anxiety began to define the late 1970s zeitgeist, Japan had already taken a couple of unsuccessful shakes of the musical dice.