Funny, I was just thinking about Wales the other day as I searched for an excuse not to go there. All the stereotypical reasons popped into my mind with mass unemployment, goats, devil worship and the kind of urban deprivation that you can’t even joke about vying for pole position. Then it occurred to me that Scotland was just about as appealing only this fiefdom of the Holyrood Hitlers doesn’t have the relentless Peski label ready, willing and able to release oddities like Y Pencadlys.
Disturbed electro minimalism is perhaps no surprise to those of you familiar with this label’s output. After all, they knocked out a cassette of Gwenno’s petulant urban dystopia a few months back. Y Pencadlys – a nom de plume for Haydon Hughes – is something altogether nastier and, while “Syrette” does indeed sound like just another sequenced bleep fest on a coke stained laptop, it is actually the fadeout for this collection of turbulent undercurrents. “Beth oedd yn bod gyda'r moch” illustrates that nicely. Those guttural, twisted welsh tones sit comfortably atop a nice piece of eighties style synth pop driven along by a distorted melody seemingly drawn from the archives of Michael Legrand. Then, it is off into the brooding lair of early period Cure for “Salvatore” where even the basic 8 bit Atari sound cannot disguise mischief amongst the decay of the tower blocks. As for the messed up rap that weaves with uncertain intent through “Ymestyn Dy Hun”, this is the kind of song that hypnotises your mind into a mood of mass slaughter. Why don’t video games have soundtracks like this?
Uneven and as uncompromising as a sequencer can get, Y Pencadlys do the right thing and keep the emotional fires burning all the way through this EP.