Pye Corner Audio, Not Waving, & Silent Servant
Pye Corner Audio
w/ support from CZ and Marco de la Vega
Thursday May 18th, 2017
San Francisco, Ca
"Future|Perfect" is a concept heavy, forward thinking showcase for local, national and international producers, DJs, and live acts. We aim to foster unique experiences of art, music, and culture through inclusive, performative events in dark places.
Pye Corner Audio
Emerging from the mid- to late-2000s underground electronic music scene that was once coined "British Cosmic Music" by noted author Warren Ellis, the suspenseful sounds of Pye Corner Audio -- the musical alias of Martin Jenkins (also known as the Head Technician) -- were first heard through his self-released Black Mill Tapes in 2010. The minimal yet textural sounds of these tapes soon captured the attention of fans of similar acts such as Demdike Stare, Ekoplekz, Jon Brooks, and artists on the Ghost Box label. The two volumes of the Black Mill Tapes (Vol. 1: Avant Shards and Vol. 2: Do You Synthesise?) were later reissued by respected electronic label Type in 2012. Inspired by a kaleidoscopic cornucopia of influences ranging from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, the soundtracks of John Carpenter, and Tangerine Dream to the clinical electro sounds of Drexciya and classic Detroit techno, Jenkins would soon harness these influences with the release of his debut album, Sleep Games, on Jim Jupp's Ghost Box label in 2012. A flurry of singles followed in 2013, highlights being the Dekorder label-released "Conical Space/Dusk Veiled" and the 7" Ghost Box Study Series collaboration with the Listening Center. He also started a new musical project, the House in the Woods, in 2013, with a more ambient and experimental sound compared to his other work; the self-titled EP was released via Exotic Pylon Records that same year. In 2014, Type issued the third and fourth volumes of Black Mill Tapes, as well as a triple-CD compiling all four volumes. A split LP between PCA and Not Waving also appeared on the Ecstatic label. Pye Corner Audio's Prowler was released by More Than Human in 2015, and he returned to Ghost Box for 2016's Stasis.
After the end of his solo guitar and laptop outfit Banjo or Freakout in 2012, Italian-born, London-based Alessio Natalizia continued to work on his project Walls with Sam Willis, but with personal circumstances and musical differences taking their toll, the duo amicably split, and Natalizia focused all his energy on his new solo project, Not Waving. 2013 saw the release of his debut full-length Umwelt. A concept album of sorts, the LP used the idea of "Remote Listening" as its basis -- initially informed by the CIA and KGB's use of Remote Viewing during the height of the Cold War -- to create an album of music for places that Natalizia had never been to. Inspired by his homeland's rich heritage of avant-garde electronic music, the album signaled a new chapter in Natalizia's output. The nine-track limited cassette Redacted was also released that year, while Natalizia put together the compilation Mutazione -- a look at Italy's underground new wave, post-punk, and avant-garde electronic scenes in the 1980s -- for Strut Records. 2014 saw a slew of releases from Not Waving, including a split 12" with fellow electronic artist Pye Corner Audio, as well as the self-released Voices cassettes. A sophomore release, Human Capabilities -- which was released on Stuart Leath's Emotional Response label -- also appeared. Playing a host of live shows throughout 2015, Natalizia returned to the studio to record what would be his third full-length album. At the end of the year, Oscar Powell and Jaime Williams announced that they had signed Not Waving to their Diagonal label, with the limited-edition EBM-referencing 12" Get Serious being the first release. The clubbier-sounding album Animals was released to acclaim at the beginning of 2016.
Silent Servant is the pseudonym of Californian techno artist Juan Mendez, and with a musical history stretching back to the mid-'90s; Mendez is no stranger to the techno scene. Originally producing as Jasper and running the experimental techno label Cytrax, Mendez befriended Karl O’Connor (Regis) at the end of the nineties and formed a long-lasting friendship which helped develop the Silent Servantsound. As a founding member of the Sandwell District label/music collective -- along with O’Connor, Dave Sumner (Function), and Peter Sutton (Female) -- it wasn’t long before the first Silent Servantmaterial emerged. 2006’s The Silent Morning mined the experimental sound that he’d produced as Jasper, while also drawing on Karl O’Connor’s industrial-influenced style of techno that his label Downwards had become known for.
2008 saw the release of two more 12” singles, Violencia and The Blood of Our King, both on Sandwell District. Splitting his time between the Sandwell District project while helping his wife, Camella Lobo’s own outfit Tropic of Cancer, Mendez’s Silent Servant output slowly gathered pace. A handful of releases between 2009 and 2011 -- most notably Negative Fascination, El Mar, and Hypnosis in the Modern Age -- saw the Silent Servant sound evolve. With the Sandwell label brought to a close at the end of 2011, Mendez focused on recording what would become his debut album, and a chance meeting with Dominic Fernow (Vatican Shadow, Prurient, Cold Cave) saw Mendez sign the unfinished album to Fernow’s Hospital Productions label. Released in 2012, Negative Fascination, brought together all of Mendez’s influences; his early techno productions as Jasper, the shoegaze and post-punk sound of Tropic of Cancer, and the industrial-techno of Sandwell District and Downwards.