I’ve always been fascinated with paranormal places, haunted places. Areas in the country where the unexplained remain as such. Where I’m from in the Midwest there’s a place called the Blue Light Cemetery. On certain nights in this nondescript final resting place for many a Midwesterner you can see a strange glowing blue light that is supposedly the spirits of the dead walking amongst the tombstones. A friend of mine and I searched an old, abandoned farmhouse near his home one summer day. It was supposed to be haunted and the sight of ritualistic killings. Upon hearing a noise upstairs and the sound of footsteps coming down dilapidated stairs we booked it out of the front door and halfway down the quarter mile driveway we looked back to see a handful of people in cloaks.
Point is, you can barely throw a rock in this country without it landing on some cursed ground.
The East Coast might be one of the most haunted places in the U.S., given it’s the oldest part of the country(and you know, witch burnings.) One place I didn’t know about till this amazing new album from North Carolina-based artist Mombi Yuleman is The Bridgewater Triangle. The Bridgwater Triangle is “an actual 200 square mile forest and swamplands within Massachusetts, USA, an area known for paranormal activity, including UFOs, Bigfoot, Thunderbirds and ‘Pukwudgies’ – or spirits of the forest.”
On the newly released Beneath Bridgewater, Mombi Yuleman soundtracks a fictional experience of a rescue search team lost within the Bridgewater Triangle. With deteriorated audio supposedly found 40 years after the search team disappeared while looking for a missing 19-year old man, ghostly voices talk while droning, nightmarish tomes tow the line between organic and synthetic terror.
So what does Beneath Bridgewater sound like? Electronic drones and folks-y southern Gothic that seem to lock into classic horror scores of the 70s and 80s while covering it all in a sheen of post-industrial noise, ala The Haxan Cloak or David Lynch and Alan Splet’s Eraserhead score. Imagine that sonic soup scoring a 1970s Barbara Kopple doc. This is like the scariest documentary music you’ll ever hear.
As if the excellent soundscapes created by Mombi Yuleman weren’t enough to lock you into your chair for the runtime, the added depth given by the tape hiss audio recordings is immeasurable. It’s like the best of both worlds; you get this amazing old radio serial vibe(or true crime podcast for those listening that aren’t 85-years old), along with the most engaging found footage audio ever. This is a fascinating and riveting listening experience.
Tracks like “The Bridgewater Triangle”, “We’re Surrounded”, and the excellent “Mutilated” set the stage for a sound world of horror, sadness, and empathy. These songs pull you in immediately with Yuleman’s deft touch and gift for emotional gravitas through obscure and mysterious sonic landscapes. This is truly a stunning and singular listening experience.
Over the course of 16 tracks Mombi Yuleman makes the case that exploring in the Bridgewater Triangle is not a good idea. Over tense synths, tribal rhythms, both melancholy and terrifying tones, as well as the doomed rescuers telling their own stories not aware of the fate that lied ahead for them, Beneath Bridgewater is the perfect companion for a dark, overcast night. Lights out, candle lit, and the imagination running much like Bigfoot in the Massachusetts wild.
‘Beneath Bridgewater’ is out now via Spun Out Of Control.