Forget minstrels from the Middle Ages and Donovan's late-60s hippie guff. "A hurdy-gurdy", says Jennifer Lucy Allan in a fascinating piece written for the Quietus, "sounds like medieval Sunn O))); like a parade come to collect you for the eternal hot licks of the underworld; like a squall of wraiths; like a horde of horrifying troubadours in animal heads singing your sins; like the wheezing exhalations of the pained geologic earth itself."
Exaggeration? Not really - not if you listen to the drone compositions she recommends by experimentalists France and Keiji Haino. Be warned, though - they may drive you insane.