Pye Corner Audio

Sleep Games

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

After releasing three volumes of the intriguing Black Mill Tapes throughout 2010 and 2011 on his own Pye Corner Audio Transcription Services, Martin Jenkins takes the natural step and releases his studio album Sleep Games on Jim Jupp's wonderful Ghost Box label. The darker reaches of the haunted ballroom, the creeping shadows and the ghostly ambience of abandoned warehouses and buildings, and the faded charm of cult '70s children TV shows comprise the similar sound aesthetic that Jenkins and Jupp both encompass. Sleep Games begins with a nod to Jenkins' previous work with the marauding "The Black Mill Video Tape." It instantly recalls the imperious electronics of the finest John Carpenter and Alan Howarth soundtracks. The album then gusts over you like a Cold War wind, with dark thudding beats and kosmische chimes and breezes echoing all around. Jenkins' love and obvious influence of Krautrock become apparent on the motorik-sounding "Palais Spectres" and continue to flicker throughout the rest of the record. There is a haunting, almost chilling, undercurrent to the material; the VHS rhythms of "A Door in the Dry Ice" is a foggy slice of '80s B-movie electronics. The almost ambient-sounding "Nostalgia Pills" conjures up -- as its title intends -- faded memories before the two closing tracks ("Chlorine" and "Nature Reclaims the Town") calmly yet eerily end the album like a forgotten sci-fi novel. Our Head Technician has delivered an accomplished album for Ghost Box that only serves to enhance the well-deserved reputation of both parties.

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