Lately the syth soundtrack has become a pretty commonplace boilerplate for an album; with the creeping influence of John Carter and Vangelis reaching their icy fingers out to the masses. While S U R V I V E might be getting the lion’s share of attention lately, there are plenty of others who’ve been winding their way down the darkened alleyways that Carter and co. built by hand (see: Umberto, Steve Moore, Ensemble Economique). Martin Jenkins has been in the game longer than quite a few and Stasis acts as a sequel of sorts to 2012’s LP Sleep Games, which was also well steeped in Italian horror movie tropes and the creeping dread of their American counterparts.
The album builds, as any score might, from ambient nods to a driving center. Jenkins wastes little time jumping into the abyss of stressful strains, ramping up the fight or flight instincts by the time he hits third track, ‘Autonomization.” Its not entirely panic packed, but even when Jenkins takes it easy on the arpeggios he’s creating an atmosphere that’s less easy rollin’ than eye-of-the-hurricane calm before the second wave hits. I tend to find his hazier entries more intriguing than some of the pounding pulse runners and it would be interesting to see him flesh these moments out to a full album in their own right, though he did explore a bit of delicate territory on his split with Dalhous, Run For The Shadows. In a game that’s becoming increasingly crowded and almost bewilderingly so (how many Italo-horror fans are out there buying vintage synths), Pye Corner Audio still stands as a name others have to watch for cues on how to run the imaginary soundtrack right. There’s often little fumble on any Ghost Box associated project and Stasis is no exception. Jenkins nails the dark ambience, pinpoint tension and vintage feel that makes this genre still worth delving into.
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