Under Review

Tanya Pea

Handcut Ice Cubes 12” EP

Primes Music

Review By Danny McCash


Ever since moving into my new ground-level apartment, there hasn’t been a single day where I haven’t been rudely awakened by the 7 am conversations of construction workers, the sounds and smells of tar machines, dump trucks, jackhammers, metal detectors, nail guns, and JRFM blaring from a tinny radio speaker positioned just outside my bedroom window.

Placing Tanya Pea’s new 12” vinyl EP on my turntable and dropping the needle was suddenly an escape from all of that. Her ambient electronic soundscapes released me from the meat hooks of the chaos found outside my window. Particularly, the Philip Western (collaborator with Skinny Puppy and Download) b-side remix acted as a kind of noise cancellation device towards the clanging of the construction site. Whatever abrasive noise they made, Pea and Western’s collaboration made the opposite.

But the question dawned on me: from a critic’s standpoint, is it disrespectful to say that one prefers the remixes to the artist’s actual material? Both sides are well-crafted but, after repeated listens, I found myself consistently drawn to Side B of the record.

Perhaps it’s because I’m not learned in the ways of electronica and ambient music, and Side B provides a dancier, more accessible sonic platter to the ear of the layman. But Tanya Pea put those remixes on her EP for a reason, so she must be just as proud of those tracks as she is of anything else on the album. I am absolved of guilt.

Having worked alongside some of the biggest names in the biz (Orbital, The Orb, and Autechre to name a few), and sitting on a completed full length album acting as 50% of the industrial dance duo Primes, Tanya Pea is definitely a Vancouver name to familiarize yourself with fast.