There has always been a sense of innocence and mystery surrounding Pye Corner Audio. The music feels as if it could have been made in some alternate past, the dusty takes serving up synthetic nostalgia. Drawing on influence from Brian Eno, Tangerine Dream and the film music of John Carpenter and Claudio Simonetti, Pye Corner Audio take you on a voyage into the past. Analog sounds and textures feature heavily, along with wavering tape machines hampered by dusty noise. Black Mill Tapes is a collection of Themes, Transmissions and Electronic Rhythms (as many of the songs are labelled) that Pye Corner Audio has intermittently released over the past few years. They're supposedly transfers from 1/4" tapes and cassettes exhumed by the Head Technician, Martin Jenkins (bka Pye Corner Audio). Once the dust has been cleared from the boxes of tape and cassette cases titles like "Building Obscured By Mist," "Void Bound," and "Dystopian Vector" seem to paint their own picture. Dark arpeggios and hazy textures float easily by on their own or with the help of minimal beats suspended in the sediment of the past. The Electronic Rhythms are particularly intriguing. Their sound looks back towards Warp's early Artificial Intelligence releases while still maintaining Pye Corner Audio's soundtrack feel. Some of the tracks seem to explicitly reach for the dancefloor, like the dark proto-techno of "Dystopian Vector Part One," while tracks like "Electronic Rhythm Number Two" move with a classic Boards Of Canada feel. Black Mill Tapes Volume 3 & 4 is an excellent introduction to the world of Pye Corner Audio. Recommended.
- music label: Type 2014