More hauntological high jinks from the aptly named Pye Corner Audio. Sharing much common ground with the Ghost Box stable, Pye Corner adopt the well worn conceit of the objet trouvé, realigning the future through the recent past, swathed in the mystery and menace of a suburban 70’s landscape. Think of the darkness and weirdness of the BBC’s Life on Mars series before it became a cliché, its colours and contours, its sense of urban strangeness and creepy reverie. Despite mining similar seams of 70’s ‘folk’ nostalgia as Mordant Music and the Advisory Circle, there seems to be a little less tongue in cheek in play here. There is a suburban, post industrial feel that has more in common, both conceptually, and to some extent musically, with forgotten Britfilm classics like the Will Malone scored Death Line, Skolimovski’s Deep End and the post-Hammer terror of Norman J Warren, than with the oft referenced pastoral dystopia of films like The Wicker Man.
There is much to enjoy and admire across this satisfyingly consistent two-parter. We are treated to the gloomy ambient synthlore of public information films, 70’s horror-core soundtracks, and lustrous, dreamier rhythmic excursions which recall genre defining benchmarks like the early works of Boards of Canada and more recent beat led practitioners like Solar Bears. Sometimes the lost and found routine sits a little uncomfortably with the narrative suggested by the tracks themselves. Like all good ideas you can have too much of a good thing and in this case the tracks transcend their context with strong reference points that stand up to the clever backstory.
So this is less a soundtrack to lost bucolic customs, and instead more suggestive of soul searching drives through darkening country lanes bisected by the scars of motorways and concrete flyovers. It’s a fine amalgam of Mogador Surrey, motorik meanderings and Mogadon malaise; sonic matchsticks for the eyes in the uneasy darkness before dawn.