One of the weirdest, most unusual record labels of the British scene at the end of the 60s – a company who completely marched to their very own drummer, and put out music that was really unlike anything else at the time! The company started as a collaboration between Peter Howell and John Fernandio – hence the initials of the label – two young composers who worked on the first few albums in instrumental modes inspired by grander ideas – sounds that could fit somewhere in the warmer territory of British underground folk in the late 60s, given the guitar, but which also had some deeper aspects too – more like the kind of sound library material featured by Trunk Records in some of its reissues. As the label went on, they moved into territory that was maybe more song-like – which is what really got them strong interest from collectors over the years. The first album in this legacy is the set Fly Away, issued under the group name Agincourt – a beautiful blend of folk and psychedelia – carried off with a bit of a Sunshine Pop twist as well! The recording's got a homespun sort of feel – one that's a lot less polished than other efforts like this of the time, in a way that really furthers the charming nature of the tunes. There's clearly elements of bigger, more established acts filtering through the music – but the end result is deeply personal and homespun. John Ferdinando and Peter Howe sing in a harmony-based style on some of the best tracks – more Sunshine than folk, despite the acoustic guitars on the set – and the lovely Lee Menelaus also delivers some great vocals too, further sweetening up the sound! Many tunes have a catchy, jingly-jangly quality – a bit like post-folk work from the west coast of the late 60s. Another important album is A Game For All Who Know, by Ithaca – An incredibly ambitious record – despite the fact that it was recorded in a tiny home studio! Ithaca are basically the same group who recorded the Agincourt album a few years before – and like that one, this set is awash in some of the best elements from bigger progressive groups of the time – filtered down into much leaner, more personal levels of presentation. The tunes are all longish, and build with a gently layered blend of guitars, piano, organ, mandolin, flute, and recorder – plus some especially cool tape effects, which are used to electrify a few moments, and create some subtle sonic intensity. There's also a beautiful female voice on the record – floating through the tunes with an eerie feel – and the overall sound is almost a folksy take on Pink Floyd
– with great acoustic and electric elements slowly simmering together. In addition to these two albums, presented in their original sleeves – the box also features the never-issued album Fragile by Friends, plus the two initial records Alice Through The Looking Glass and Tomorrow Come Sunday – both initially billed to Peter Howell and John Fernando. All albums come in tiny LP-styled sleeves – and the box has a big booklet of notes as well!