Saturday, May 6, 2017

Pye Corner Audio's new album "Stasis" and US Tour: May 12 - 20 | Moogfest Durham North Carolina: May 18 - 21

The Head Technician himself, Martin Jenkins, will be appearing in a brief series of domestic settings before arriving at Durham North Carolina's annual tribute to Dr. Robert Moog. The east coast meeting of all things electronic, both historic and contemporary, sees Jenkins' techno-atavistic take on analog process appearing in the lineup alongside Colleen, Suzanne Ciani, SURVIVE, Pharmakon and The Haxan Cloak. Before arriving in Durham to celebrate the legacy of musical synthesis, Jenkins embarks on limited set of domestic dates including the Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery Los Angeles, programed by Mount Analog. A San Francisco show follows, with The Head Technician appearing in the unlikeliest of unlikely settings for his Seattle date. Local all-female synth, industrial, and DJ collective, False Prophet have been enlisted as guest curators for another of Paul Allen's cultural endeavors, their contribution to Upstream Festival sees a Boy Harsher and Haunted Horses showcase. Which intersects thematically with Kremwerk's programmed night of music from the Diagonal label's foremost techno-brutalist, Not Waving, and Jenkins, under his Pye Corner Audio moniker. In their review for what many to consider to be masterpiece of Jenkins' prolific catalog, The Quietus review of The Black Mill Tapes touches on the nature of this explicit branch from the world of the Hauntological. The Wire offering the greatest tutorial of the form with their "Revenant Forms: The Meaning Of Hauntology". Describing the collective headspace of "Alternative Nostalgia" as Phil Harrison coined it, Pye Corner Audio are perhaps the most purist in their recreation and reclamation of our proto-electronic heritage. While their music fits in nicely with the techno-mystic cult built up by other early practitioners around the likes of J.G. Ballard, M.R. James, Nigel Kneale and the a reverie for all things BBC Radiophonic Workshop it's conceptually less abstruse and sonically more authentic, with the great majority of their output sounding like it could have been recorded pre-1984. What his work shares with Ballard, and some of his 1980s offspring like David Cronenberg and John Carpenter is the fascination for desolate spaces of leaded, weighty tension and a pre-computer era mix of future-fantasy and weary trepidation for our imminent 21st Century technoscape. The Dystopian Modernity that The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography attributes to Ballard's work as being occupied with "eros, thanatos, mass media and emergent technologies" most clearly describes the themes of his most recent endeavor, "Stasis" for Julian House's Ghost Box label. House himself being the preeminent Hauntological practitioner in the world of graphic design and aesthetics. Work that should be considered alongside his compatriot, Richard Littler's Scarfolk Council gesamtkunstwerk of paranoid, propagandistic, satiric plumbing of, "Why the 1970s was the Most Terrifying Decade".