We’ve updated our Terms of Use to reflect our new entity name and address. You can review the changes here.
We’ve updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.

Murder Ballads [Drift]

by Mick Harris / Martyn Bates

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Purchasable with gift card

      €10 EUR  or more


  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    2LP Limited Edition Textured Sleeve + Marbled Vinyls

    Includes unlimited streaming of Murder Ballads [Drift] via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 2 days
    7 remaining
    Purchasable with gift card

      €16 EUR or more 


The Fowler 18:28
Lucy Wan 14:38
Long Lankin 16:02


For the first time on LP vinyl
Post-Isolationist - Deep Ambiance & Folksong re-emerge in this first vinyl outing of the classic 'Murder Ballads' (Drift) by M.J. Harris / Martyn Bates
Limited Textured Sleeve + Marbled Vinyls

"Leaving nothing behind but the wild birds to moan"

Rarely do two types of music meet on a level where they threaten
to cancel each other out - let alone create something even more
meaningful in their mutual vanishing. But the music created within
the seminal Murder Ballads (Drift) by Martyn Bates (Eyeless in Gaza,
& parallel solo career) and Mick Harris (Napalm Death, Lull, Painkiller,
Scorn) creates just such a world. Murder Ballads (Drift) evolves Martyn
Bates vocalisations / storytelling song-voices, by turns expressed as
labyrinthine layers, calls and responses, muted and distant echoes,
sung whispers and counter-melodies, ultimately resulting in a
mesmeric conversation of musical inferences and correspondences.
Murder Ballads (Drift) created the post-isolationist frame of reference, innovating and extemporising into a truly original dazzlingly unique form.

Mick Harris traffics in the isolationist ambience of Lull, while Martyn
Bates is the emotive voice of literate cult-pop duo Eyeless in Gaza.
The unlikely pair - one given to terminally frigid drone, the other to impassioned, bittersweet voicings - finds common ground in folk
music's most macabre tradition, the murder ballad. These ghoulish
parables are awash in blood and tears, the strands of love, hate,
birth, death, sin, and salvation entwined within like the roots of
an ancient tree. Mothers callously kill their children; suitors slay their
maidens without remorse; and fate exacts its cruel price from all.

The archaic murder ballads that leak from Bates' vocal cords are
intensely sad and carnal. They tend to leap off cliffs of hollow effects
or drone darkly, offering neither a robust delivery nor an element of
irony to take the edge off. The archetypal characters that live and
die in them give life's full tragedy back to Harris' electronically
numbed "post-isolationist" dreaming.

Drift (originally released in 1994) plays out an unbreakable and
timeless cycle of bloody folklore (people) and hypnotic soundscapes
(the god who watches). The effect is chilling yet engrossing. Where
most ambient music has barely enough courage to ring the doorbell
and run, Murder Ballads slips through the cracks of the unconscious
and does its work with remarkable ease.

All the more reason to listen thoughtfully.

In 2021 - re-emerging nearly twenty years after its initial inception - somewhat surprisingly, Murder Ballads (Drift) still remains/exists in an area overlooked by other artists, an area that truly still remains the sole province of M.J. Harris / Martyn Bates.


released September 11, 2016


all rights reserved



Sub Rosa Label Brussels, Belgium

Record and production company managed by Guy Marc Hinant and Fred Walheer - releasing records in Electronics/ Experimental/ Unclassical/ Drone/ Noise/ Concrete/ Spoken Words/ Rare recordings/ Rituals genres.

contact / help

Contact Sub Rosa Label

Streaming and
Download help

Shipping and returns

Redeem code

Report this album or account

If you like Murder Ballads [Drift], you may also like: