What constitutes an actual definition of an EP nowadays is clouded in mystery. It’s probably written down somewhere, hidden away from the rest of humanity and guarded constantly by successive generations of big men with no eyebrows. It all used to be so much easier back in the day when it used to be defined by the simple epithet of ‘7″ at 33 & 1/3, 12″ at 45rpm’, and when this record was announced this week (this Thursday just gone, at 5pm to be exact), it was mentioned that the Head Technician had gone a bit more dancefloor-orientated with this EP. And when it arrived without a prescribed speed on the label or sleeve, I assumed that this 4-track offering was a 45. Initially, I went along with this quite happily with only a passing thought of “well, it’s a bit Disco, isn’t it?” before realisation dawned, I changed gear and enjoyed it properly.
Pye Corner Audio’s last album, the elegant sci-fi experimentalism of Sleep Games just missed out on a Top 10 slot in my year end list of 2012, and this 4-track collection released by Mancunian electronic specialists Boomkat is an extension of the same ideas, albeit with a bit more of a constant beat compared with Sleep Games’ more eclectic set of cues. That said, it’s still very cinematic and evocative – only this time instead of a Carpenter/Howarth vision of urban horror, it’s all a bit more in keeping with the early work of Michael Mann’s films; namely The Keep and Manhunter’s strong arrangements. Not so much in the tunes themselves (they’re all rather upbeat here) but in the way that they are arranged, that lo-fi analog synth with the early 1980s patina that did “ominous” so well.
That eerie atmosphere continues throughout, Side 2 opener Wasted Evolution in particular comes across as a piece that approaches slowly from an imagined, empty distance and could fit easily as part of the opening credits to any (or indeed all) early 1980s post-apocalyptic movie, whereas Side 1 introduction Vorticism has more positive connotations, which would have made Blade Runner’s soppy original ending much more palatable.
I must admit to still being rather new to much of the great stuff that’s either coming out of or orbiting around Ghost Box, but Pye Corner Audio are a great introduction to a whole world of quality British electronic quirkiness and this EP is not only tremendous fun but a fantastic insight onto an almost alternative universe of great music and a lovely green colour with it.
Available from Boomkat by clicking here or anywhere on the doings below, and for more insight into the heady world of Pye Corner Audio’s enigmatic Head Technician, visit here.
Read full review of Superstitious Century – Pye Corner Audio on Boomkat.com ©