Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Music Review: Pye Corner Audio - Black Mill Tapes, Volumes 1-4

(Type Recordings TYPE118CD)
I'm pretty much a newcomer to the joys of PCA having first heard him via the live stream of his Boiler Room set that I was pointed towards by a friend; it is well worth your time. Duly impressed I went forth and picked up the 'Sleep Games' album on Ghost Box and found myself a copy (cough) of the first 2 Black Mill Tapes (which make up the first CD in this here set). 'Sleep Games' is terrific and, at the risk of repeating myself terribly, well worth your time but not really current enough to feature here and I try not to include things that I've acquired by slightly nefarious means so I've been waiting my chance to give a shout out for PCA.

The full set of Black Mill Tapes is a joy to behold. As you should imagine from the Ghost Box link there's a definite nostalgic flavour to some of the music here; it is occasionally whimsical, sometimes solemn and often deeply unsettling. Across the three discs there are a number of common touch points that give us an insight into where PCA are pulling inspiration from with suggestions of Vangelis’ Blade Runner soundtrack, Boards of Canada(esque) twisted electronica, the kosmische musik of Klaus Schultze (and friends) and the abundant joys of the European library music vaults all mixed with an obviously abiding love for the deeper, slower, trancier ends of dance music.

With a two and a half hour runtime over three discs covering 5 years worth of work this is a phenomenal set that shows a committed, organic and most of all an instinctual development to create a body of work that is quite simply utterly and completely well worth your time.

For the last 11 years Wonderful Wooden Reasons has championed experimental and non-commercial music of all forms. Please visit to access our extensive archives of music, book and movie reviews.
It is the in-house magazine for the Quiet World label which has released music from artists such as Ian Holloway, Darren Tate, Banks Bailey, Philip Corner, Colin Andrew Sheffield and many more.

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