Pye Corner Audio – The Endless Echo (Ghost Box)


It can be pretty difficult to keep up with the output of UK electronic artist Martin Jenkins, not just because of his monikers Pye Corner Audio, the Head Technician, or the House in the Woods, but because he labels around. You never know where he’ll pop up next with an EP, album or remix – Ecstatic Records, Lapsus, Sonic Cathedral, Death Waltz, Polytechnic Youth, Analogical Force and numerous others have released his work in recent years. Yet he keeps coming back to Ghost Box, and it makes so much sense, given their unique retro futuristic aesthetic. In fact this, his fifth outing for the label feels more Ghost Box than ever, with these low key atmospheric synthscapes peppered by occasional Carpenteresque machine funk stomps. It feels very 70’s science fiction, a lost soundtrack, an analogue missive sent into the outer reaches of the cosmos decades ago that has only just found its way back to earth.

All the familiar elements are here. The analogue synths, the beautiful arpeggios, the structural precision, the melancholic cinematic feel. There’s a darkness here, yet also a light and humanity – sometimes its even transcendent, such as the beatless Heat Haze that feels like the score to a robot coming to life. It’s these moments, these deep emotive soundscapes that are interspersed throughout the album that hold the emotional core of this work. It’s all about mood. Even when the tempo increases, veering into minimal Plastikmanesque stomps there’s still an inherent darkness swirling beneath the warbling synths. There’s even some vocals – albeit heavily vocodered.

It’s an exacting work. Nothing is out of place. There are no accidents. It’s lush and hypnotic, these dense beds of hazy psychedelic synthetica that are just a world unto themselves. It’s this world building that has always been so fascinating and inviting about Pye Corner Audio, and its hard to think of a more self contained carefully rendered creation than The Endless Echo. It’s compelling, atmospheric and deceptively complex, so much so that it verges on being a score. That said it’s so evocative it doesn’t really need images attached to it. All you need to do is press play and they’ll come.


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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.