Under Review

Pye Corner Audio (And Various Artists)


More Than Human Records; 06/01/2017

Jessica Lin

Half-Light is an electronic instrumental album full of remixes that play off of Pye Corner Audio’s 2015 LP Prowler. It is composed of  two original songs, and four different remixes by artists such as Clesse, Silent Servant, Cloudface and Not Waving. Though the album features only a handful of songs, each track compensates with length and density. A simple structure is followed throughout the release. Often, songs begin with a simple beat or melody. Gradually, new elements are stacked on top of one another. And finally, things collapse into an intense and busy climax. However, just as the song reaches a fever pitch, the chaos gives way to a peaceful denouement. These patient peaks and valleys give your pores time to soak in the music, until it courses through your veins and makes you move. As a result, Half-Light comes across as as mature and well-rounded release.

Though drawing from the same source material, the songs on Half-Light cannot be called monotonous. It is a diverse release that switches tones throughout. The first three songs are  light and airy. “Corrupt Data,” one of the originals, is backed by a funky percussion, and “Decade Counter” (remixed by Cloudface) sounds like chill trance music. While Clesse’s “She Hunts at Night” sounds a bit more devious, it’s still comparatively light, with a minimalist beat throughout the song.

In comparison, the last three songs can only be described as metallic and dark. “Morning” sounds nothing like what typically comes to mind when one thinks ‘morning’ – refreshed and re-energized. Instead, it sounds ominous and suspicious, fading out with threatening electronic staccatos. “Octal Run,” the other original song on the album, is full of distorted dissonant, which, although strange, makes for a unique listening experience. But “Prowler,” the second-to-last track, is by far the album’s best. It begins menacingly: metallic drums pound suggesting something bad to come. A trombone interrupts the flow like a beast that swallows the listener whole. Suddenly, a grittier beat is introduced revealing the track as sinister and amorphous. The song starts glitching near the end before fading into frantic static – almost as if the music is running away. Then it cuts off.

It’s not hard to feel the personality, imagery and story in these tracks. Just let the beats sweep over you. Get lost in the curated world of Pye Corner Audio, and let the undulating electronic waves melt into your skin.