Apr 27 • 53M

Uncanny Landscapes podcast: Jem Finer

An interview with artist, musician and Local Psycho, Jem Finer.

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Appears in this episode

Justin Hopper
Interviews with contemporary landscape practitioners on the eerie and the weird; psychogeography and hauntology; radical architecture and archaeology; artists, writers, musicians and more working on our uncanny relationship to place.
Episode details

Thank you for reading Uncanny Landscapes. This week I've got another episode of the podcast; an interview with Local Psycho’s Jem Finer. As you know, this is a free project, both newsletter and podcast. If you're able to support my work through a paid subscription - thank you!! I truly appreciate it. And if you're not, perhaps you can support by telling a friend (or two, or 100) about the Substack's free subscriptions and accompanying podcast.

As always, books, records and events ‘n’at here: https://linktr.ee/oldweirdalbion

(The Hurdy Gurdy stone in place! Photo courtesy Jem Finer)

Uncanny Landscapes #14: Jem Finer


Jem Finer’s website, or the bandcamp for Hrdy-Grdy

Local Psycho info

Heavenly Recordings

Caught By The River’s Kingston event


Score for a Hole in the Ground

Other episodes of Uncanny Landscapes podcast

I’ve been a fan of Jem Finer’s work since I was a kid. Then, it was the Pogues - the raucous Irish-influenced punk band he cofounded in the early 1980s and whose songs, for some of us, remain a metric by which to judge a certain kind of writing.

Then, just over 20 years ago, I learned about what Jem had been up to since when I discovered Longplayer - Finer’s 1,000-year-long composition created for the turn of the millennium. I interviewed him for Paste magazine, and then brought him to Pittsburgh for an installation and performance at Wood Street Galleries, and have followed the ever-evolving Jem Finer ouevre ever since.

His latest project is Local Psycho - a duo with The KLF co-founder Jimmy Cauty that makes mad, heretical, barely-controlled hurdy-gurdy ‘acid house barn dance’ music: their recording, ‘The Hurdy Gurdy Song’, is released 1st of May by legendary indie Heavenly Recordings.

In this interview, Jem Finer talks about his philosophy of ‘psychocosmology’ - a variation on psychogeography that implies the human need to imprint the cosmos, the heavens, onto our landscapes; to gather together in specific locations, and look up. ‘The Hurdy Gurdy Song’ is being dedicated in the year of the return of the ‘green comet’, which was last seen in our skies 50,000 years ago; in honour of this event, the song will be embedded forever inside a standing stone which Local Psycho has just (this week) erected in a field near Kingston, East Sussex.

The music in this episode - besides snippets from Local Psycho - is from Jem’s Thanet Tape Centre release, Hrdy-Grdy.

This podcast will be available on all the normal formats the day after the newsletter goes out. For now, it’s just for you. If you like it, spread the word!