Album Reviews

Pye Corner Audio – Let’s Emerge!

(Sonic Cathedral) UK release date: 15 July 2022

Sunlight and heat like this only comes around but once a year

Pye Corner Audio - Let's Emerge! It may be a little tacky to judge a book by its cover or an album by its artwork, but even a brief glance at Let’s Emerge!, Martin Jenkins’ new album as Pye Corner Audio, gives an indication of the optimistic, summery feel that runs through it. A few reference points spring to mind – what if Apollo: Atmospheres And Soundtracks had a sequel focusing on the planet Earth, or what if Boards Of Canada were less eerie in their beatless vignettes? – while Ride guitarist Andy Bell cuts through the shimmering soundscapes with simple but effective playing across five tracks.

Haze Loops is perhaps the best example of this blissful ambience, as a charmingly lo-fi synth lead marks out a I-IV chord sequence underneath long, languorous pads. As its title suggests the structure is pretty simple, just these sounds in a cyclical motion like waves lapping the shore (and sure enough the next track contains what sounds like a field recording of just that). Meanwhile Lyracal is more drone-based, as major-key harmonies orbit the central low C and a bit of tremolo keeps the upper frequencies glistening enigmatically.

Generally Let’s Emerge! is a relaxed album, though the pace picks up in some of the later tracks. Saturation Point introduces semi-quaver spurts of phased white noise which are ultimately fused with a busy synth ostinato in a dynamic, soundtrack-ready build. Closing track Warmth Of The Sun takes a similar approach over a longer duration, delivering the titular vocal refrain first with vocoder then with sung harmonies as the elements lap over each other, and the effect is truly anthemic.

Other artists would do well to take inspiration from Pye Corner Audio’s work on Let’s Emerge!: there’s plenty of ambient music that dwells in moodiness and tonal shade, but sunlight and heat like this only comes around roughly once a year.

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Pye Corner Audio – Let’s Emerge!