Pye Corner Audio, the project of English keyboardist Martin Jenkins,
John Carpenter's soundtracks,
Throbbing Gristle's 20 Jazz Funk Greats (1979),
Brian Eno's Another Green World (1975),
Kraftwerk's Autobahn (1974)
Aphex Twin and
Boards Of Canada,
and mediated by retro-futurist revivalists such as Oneohtrix Point Never,
and produced ambient instrumental synth-pop
on the triple-disc Black Mill Tapes Volumes 1-4 (Type, 2014), that
compiles four cassettes of 2010-2014.
This translucent kaleidoscope consists of more than 40 compositions, including
series of "electronic rhythms"
(such as the hypnotic funk phrase of Electronic Rhythm Number Three,
the pompous Electronic Rhythm Number Seven, the
syncopated Electronic Rhythm Number Twelve
and the austere Electronic Rhythm Number Four),
a series of "themes"
(notably the austere, almost religious, Theme Number Seven)
and a series of "transmissions" (the most abstract part of the project).
Jenkins borrows not only ideas from the classics but sometimes even iconic
We Have Visitors is suspiciously reminiscent of the Love Of Life Orchestra's Extended Niceties,
Electronic Rhythm Number Eight is, ultimately, an elegant and subliminal evocation of Giorgio Moroder's From Here to Eternity (1977),
Electronic Rhythm Number One sounds like a remix/deconstruction of Los del Rio's Macarena (1994).
Jenkins is at his best when he merges different strands of inspiration,
for example in the
ambient horror techno of Electronic Rhythm Number Eighteen, a blend of
Autechre, Sisters Of Mercy and Morricone's spaghett-western feeling.
The method is relatively trivial (gentle melodic drifts over gentle rhythmic
patterns) but can yield a broad range of outputs besides
impressionistic sketches (Building Obscured By Mist) and
new-age relaxation music (Recrypt and Cont No Stop).
There is the hypnotic glacial disintegrating sub-techno of Toward Light,
as well as the propulsive Evil Surrounds;
the denser and more aggressive Dystopian Vector Part One and
Dystopian Vector Part Two,
as well as the
African-esque Void Bound.
Jenkins is a cautious and sophisticated artisan of timbres, and the connection
with the soundtracks of vintage sci-fi/horror films is almost irrelevant.
His art is more about recasting machine music as humane music than about
creating sensational mood.
Sleep Games (Ghost Box, 2012) contains the
oneiric and cinematic Sleep Games.
Martin Jenkins also released Bucolica (2013) under the moniker House In The Woods, which is more properly ambient music (no rhythms).
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