P60 – Models

P60 - Models

P60 – Models

With a few notable exceptions, past releases on the hive-minded Second Language label have tended to veer towards the bucolic side of psychogeographical exploration.  Yet whilst this has served us well over the last six or so years, 2015’s planned spread of wares promises to push more urban and electronically-inclined artists to the fore.  If this first offering is anything to go by, then there is nothing to fear in terms sustaining the intelligence and intuition that has enriched so much 2L produce to date.

Naming their duo enterprise, P60, after a mysteriously-labelled black box discovered in amongst a collection of vintage synths and related technology, rescued from their deceased uncle Jim’s attic a few years ago, siblings Phillip and Peter Walker have tapped into the rich lineage of analogue electronica, through a combination of subliminal suggestion and assiduous craftsmanship.  Using the greyed backdrop of the Glasgow overspill town that is Cumbernauld as an environmental stimulus, this debut album from the twosome moulds its moodscapes masterfully and imaginatively through the musical tools found in their departed uncle’s loft space.

Joining the dots between ‘70s kosmische, ambient Brian Eno, the more avant-garde pioneers of British post-punk that found homes on Factory, Mute. 4AD and Rough Trade in the late-’70s/early-‘80s and the mid-to-late-‘90s bedroom-based DIY experiments of early-Piano Magic and ISAN, the sources of inspiration on Models are clearly audible yet assiduously assimilated into a seamless suite of – occasional disembodied vocal samples aside – wordless journeying.

Almost every track radiates with a bleak yet beautiful allure, to the point where picking highlights feels divisively ham-fisted.  But if forced, then there are some especially masterful moments that can be marked out.  This includes the radiant all-too-brief retro-futuristic glistening of “The Reception”; the melancholic empty factory ambience of “Broken And Unbroken”; the Kraftwerk-meets-Cabaret Voltaire brutalist beats, fizzing whirrs and self-destruct-countdown-like vocals of “Kronecker Prodcut”; the elegiac Ambient series Eno bliss of “Deco Nude” and “Ouverte”; the Tangerine Dream-via-Cluster eeriness of “Intervale” and “Dorataspis Diodon”; the languid loops and watery burbling of “Ways Of Seeing”; and the ethereal Popular Mechanics-era Piano Magic twinkling of “Conclusion”.

Although these Walker brothers are determined to remain virtually anonymous – with no touring or even press photos on the agenda and with Models restricted to a 300-only hand-packaged CD pressing – the artistry and character being deployed by P60 is anything but forgettable.  One of this year’s most inscrutably captivating debuts all told – find it without delay.

Second Language