Heavenly drones of Martin Jenkins' "Bucolica" on Exotic Pylon
The House In The Woods (Pye Corner Audio) "Bucolica" 2013 | Exotic Pylon
Martin Jenkins is yet another artist trying to escape the earlier success of his various projects being affiliated with British “nostalgia” movement of Ghost Box variety. Although we have to remember that, even at its grooviest, his music has always been a bit more perverted, dark and considerably more varied than the canon would entail.
Last year saw Jenkins gradually moving away from Boards Of Canada atmospheres of his best-loved "Black Mill Tapes" releases and slightly underwhelming "Sleep Games" for aforementioned Ghost Box. Mainly by way of exploiting recognizable dance structures on his entry to Boomkat Editions series "Superstitious Century" and boogying space-disco of recent 12" for Dekorder.
Martin's latest takes another sharp turn by dispensing with beats whatsoever. "Bucolica", released under his other alias The House In The Woods, is set to reinstate the mystery with its widescreen vistas built on patiently evolving harmonic drones, ricocheting synth pads and gaseous ambience. Only the self-titled track of "Bucolica" contains any semblance of rhythm, albeit buried deep beneath the detuned pads and the only instance of conventional melodic progression. There is almost no trace of the warm retro-synth sounds associated with Pye Corner’s earlier catalogue. Also gone are the catchy and awkwardly funky basslines of “Electronic Rhythm” tracks.
The album then is tonally homogenous and takes its sweet time to unravel. Being created with apparently minimal set-up “Bucolica” nonetheless manages
to vibrate with colour and harmony. In this sense “Bucolica” resembles the great pastoral
soundscapes of Wolfgang Voigt’ Gas albums or less widescreen and more melodic version of
last year’s Voices From The Lake. Other reference that often comes to mind while listening to the album is masterclass in impeccable sound-design on Laurel Halo's unjustly overlooked "Antenna", released to little fanfare on Vermont's NNA Tapes a couple years back.
Meanwhile the album is only available on CD via Jonny Mugwump's experimental imprint Exotic Pylon .
Listen to the previews below.