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Monday, 17 December 2012

Pye Corner Audio - Sleep Games (Ghost Box)

FLAC available from Boomkat for £6.99

A synth soundtrack to a memory of 60s & 70s concrete Britain.Somewhere between the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and John Carpenter. John Carpenter at his most restrained though. Not in a bad way, just it's not bombastic soundtrack stuff. More like if John Carpenter wore tweed and did a soundtrack for Kes.

It's on Ghost Box so you know full well it's going to be high quality. It fits quite nicely into the whole hauntological Ghost Box thing besides Belbury Poly and The Advisory Circle. The artwork is typically top notch. Maintains that 60s/70s Open University look. Also has some great liner notes. I always like an album with liner notes. Feels like there's a bit more thought gone into it.

The liner notes are all about "parapsychological disturbances" are public buildings made of concrete. There's JG Ballard quotes and something about "inorganic demons" infiltrating people by Reza Negarestani from something called Cyclonopedia: Complicity With Anonymous Materials. All very odd but all a very perfect fit the music and the artwork.

It's a step up from the Black Mill Tapes double LP we reviewed earlier this year - http://spoonfuloftar.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/pye-corner-audio.html. The music on those was fantastic but this feels more complete as a conceptual whole. Music is still fantastic though.

Definitely on my "best albums of the year" list.

FLAC available from Boomkat for £6.99

And here's their blurb which should entice you even more (oh, and it also made The Wire's Top 50 of the year as well):-

Pye Corner Audio's darkling synthetic transmissions had been hovering under the radar for a couple of years before 2012's Black Mill Tapes collection on Type brought them to a wider and grateful audience. Now, Martin Jenkins finds himself equally lauded by the likes of Sandwell District's Juan Mendez and Minimal Wave's Veronica Vasicka as by the UK hauntological set - a testament to the scope and adaptability of his stygian productions. Nonetheless, this album release feels right at home on Ghost Box, and it follows Jenkins' contribution to the label's 7" Study Series last year. If The Black Mill Tapes focussed on the unheimlich but decidedly driving meta-techno side of the Pye sound, Sleep Games gives as much time to exploring its more abstract and oneiric peripheries. Nonetheless, rhythm is foregrounded throughout: from the woozy, tape-warped Boards of Canada-ism of 'Sleep Games', via the Xander Harris/Umberto-esque giallo-disco chug of 'The Black Mill Video Tape' through to the distant, dubby pulse of 'Palais Spectres' and the rolling toms of 'Underneath The Dancefloor'. Eschewing the tweeness which has arguably softened the impact of recent Ghost Box releases, Sleep Games is refreshingly drug-hazed and zonked-out yet shark-eyed, minimalist and full of post-apocalyptic, cold-wave menace: you can more easily imagine this stuff soundtracking a car ride through the deserted industrial zones of coastal America than a ramble round the Belbury parish and its bucolic environs. At the same time, this feels like a Ghost Box release through and through: 'Print Through' is a radiophonic seance right from the grimoire of Eric Zann, 'Deep End' has the school textbook sci-fi sigh of classic Belbury Poly and 'Yesterday's Enemy' the occult public service broadcasting vibe of early Advisory Circle.

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