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Pye Corner Audio Sleep Games
9/10 Brian Staff review, 26 October 2012
A fresh selection of dilapidated sloth-techno and decaying witching-hour electronica from this new master of home-brewed analogue doom. His wonderful eerie sounds come replete with an austere yet comfortingly nostalgic outlook that no-one until now has quite done this way. The first track makes me think of the Dutch techno underground - it has a sort of melancholic Eurodisco electro strut with liberal splashes of that pondering wonky synth that initially made OPN such an intriguing proposition. In short it totally rules and trips right into the richly hypnotic Carpenter-esque cruise of 'The Black Mill Video Tape'.
'Sleep Games' has that real classic hazy alternate-universe groove to it, like I mentioned in a previous fawning write-up, his music really does often resemble exciting archive tape discoveries. 'Palais Spectres', situated around the middle of this multi-faceted gem of an album, has authentic drop-outs and a murky patina to the sound. 'A Door in The Dry Ice' is like early Vector Lovers pacing glumly at a funeral in the snow but about twenty times better than that sounds.
This guy, The Head Technician, somehow manages to transcend much of the potential retro cheesiness of the main modern pretenders by making this whole thing sound like he was playing this on some real crazy old bulky synths that are a hairs breadth away from malfunctioning and dissolving into dust, whilst gazing wistfully out of his eleventh-floor flat window at a bleak forgotten city being battered in the wind and rain...
By 'Into The Maze' he has gyrated and shifted his sound towards a darkly sensual take on some form of moody backroom cosmic-industrial techno. This track is just fucking ace, replete with an entrancing bubbling synth motif that comes wandering in and features brief passages of weird unnerving screeing noise just below the sound horizon making you feel a little startled.
The Ghost Box family must be quite proud to have this shadowy youngster releasing stuff on their dinky electro-nostalgic stable. He brings a considered contemporary approach along with him and adds, what they themselves say is, this kind of "post-rave meltdown" affect to their bloopy quizzical niche. Some of the synth lines scattered throughout this album are truly evocative and genuinely affecting, his brittle, dystopian sound-world featuring superb shifting drone-arcs and plenty of curious grainy alien clutter. A cosmic death disco odyssey that will delight fans of most melodic electronic music. The closest thing this country has to a downbeat lo-fi Danny Wolfers?
If you buy two electronic records this Autumn make it this beauty and the new Andy Stott album. So sad, so full to the brim with slowly blossoming life.
9/10 R Bramich Customer review, 29th December 2014
Before The Head Technician found friends in high places (he toured with Mogwai this year, has just delivered a fine remix for them and even got a gig in Ibiza's Space on a Richie Hawtin Enter. night) he made a comfortable, brief home at Ghost Box.
After a great 7" with The Advisory Circle at said label along came Sleep Games, the first PCA long player although the tape released Black Mill I & II were already out and soon to be rereleased on Type.
If unfamiliar with Pye expect great things from this lp. If I refrain from using Hauntoligical as a nudge to the sort of genre PCA might sit with then I'd also have to not say he may remind you of John Carpenter, or BOC or even Carl Craig in some strange way.
Regardless, I think all his releases are worth acquiring and still find much to enjoy here although the more recent Black Mill 3 & 4 is superior in my mind. I love the syrupy machine funk of the early tracks on Sleep Games as well the later drifting fog like drones and smudged synths of the closing section. All in all excellent.
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Sleep Games by Pye Corner Audio. Vinyl LP. GBX017LP.
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