I like the sound of pan pipes. They have a delicate, burnished tone that I find very attractive. On a recent visit to Finland my wife had to take a Pan Pipes Play The Beatles compilation away from me and return it to the one euro bin. Incantation’s “Cacharpaya” has an odd, loping groove to it which makes its rather weak hooks and melody bearable, but it’s hardly a masterpiece. For me, though, it’s hugely evocative.

This is the nub of pan pipe criticism, of which there is plenty. The shorthand association “pan pipe = Andes” has been hammered into peoples’ heads and the instrument has come to stand for a particularly lazy kind of cultural tourism. Combined with the pipes’ widespread use in music designed for relaxation and background use and it’s easy to hear commercialised pan pipe music as odious, pretentious mulch. (I wonder if there is more credible pan pipe material on world music labels, or whether those particular gatekeepers stay safely away.)

“Cacharpaya” hit at around the same time as Flight Of The Condor, the BBC Andes wildlife series that helped popularise pan pipe music for an early 80s generation. This, for me, is where its intense nostalgic pleasure comes from. I never watched the show but I have vivid memories of it being on and keeping my parents rapt. I believe it was the first thing we ever videoed, I can almost see a peeling label with my Dad’s writing on it. The image “Cacharpaya” brings on for me is being curled up on a sofa on a Sunday evening in Winter, lost in a fantasy book while my parents watched TV, half-hearing this soft, odd music in the background and able to forget school for a few more hours. You can keep your Boards of Canada: I have Incantation.