Caught by the River

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14th February 2023

‘Common Land’ by James Holden.

Holden explains: “The title comes from the British Library bird recordings I wrote the track around, but obviously references the idea that all land is everyone’s and we are all born with the right to roam or rave on it. I think who and what is allowed on the land tells you a lot about how this place is run, and for who. Personally I think anything a rich person claims as ‘theirs’ is stolen off the rest of us and there’s nowhere that’s more obvious than the English countryside. Imagine! — the state protects the right of these cretins to fence off thousands of acres for their barbaric hobbies while ancient traditions like communities coming together to get high and dance in the woods are criminalised! Everything is upside down and we need to fix it.”

The ‘Common Land’ video, by James Holden visual collaborator Innerstrings, follows a curious donut-headed red figure around a psychedelic-tinged Wormwood Scrubs — one of the largest areas of common land in London which is currently being partially redeveloped to accommodate the HS2 railway.

‘Common Land’ is taken from the album Imagine This Is A High Dimensional Space of All Possibilities, out 31 March on Border Community.