Archive for October, 2007

BUILD BUILDINGS + MARLO BRIGHT: Isomers EP (StandardKlik Music)

themilkman on Oct 31st 2007 12:15 am

Build Buildings + Marlo Bright: Isomers EP

Isomers EP
StandardKlik Music 2007
07 Tracks. 21secs44mins
Format: MP3

There Is A Problem With My Tape Recorder announced Ben Tweel back in 2004 as a summary to his debut album, which collected twelve lovingly put together melodic pieces, built primarily from processed guitar, piano and other instruments, and arranged into short atmospheric vignettes. For his most recent effort, New York City-based Tweel has teamed up with Marlo Bright, a musician originally born in Minsk, Belarus who now lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and who made his debut MP3 album, Polymers & Monomers, available for free on his own website last year.

The Isomers EP is not a collaborative effort as such, as booth contribute remixes of each other’s compositions. However, the pair tend to work from similar sound sources and, although they adopt a different process here, the result is surprisingly consistent. Continue Reading »

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TIGRICS: Synki (Highpoint Lowlife)

themilkman on Oct 26th 2007 11:30 pm

Tigrics: Synki

Highpoint Lowlife 2007
09 Tracks. 73mins13secs

After a few months of non activity due to a deep rethinking of intentions and aspirations, the ever-excellent London-based Highpoint Lowlife are back in business, having decided to focus largely on extremely limited numbered CDR releases, with digital albums made available from the label’s website. This process, which mirrors the label’s Analog For Architecture DVD-R of a few months back, aims at recapturing the original Highpoint Lowlife ethic and provide music enthusiasts with unique artifacts rather than mass produced items.

Inauguring this new phase for the label is Hungarian musician and illustrator Tigrics, born Róbert Bereznyei, who hails from Budapest. Continue Reading »

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NOMADIC: Trek 19 (Touchin’ Bass)

Joe Muggs on Oct 25th 2007 10:19 pm

Trek 19

Trek 19
Touchin’ Bass 2007
10 Tracks. 57mins01secs

DJ/producer Andrea Parker’s label usually specialises in a kind of very psychedelic and very high-tech sounding underground electro, so at first listen this extremely rough’n’ready album seems like something of a diversion for them. However, although the crunch and buzz of the individual sounds on Trek 19 are superficially punkier and more violent than Touchin’ Bass’s usual fare (indeed frequently it recalls some of The Aphex Twin’s earliest, rawest Rephlex 12″ excursion into piledriving noise under Caustic Window and other such names), a couple of listens through and it becomes very clear that the heart and soul of this album is electro – funky, body-popping, head-spinning, robo-funk electro indebted to Kraftwerk and the Soul Sonic Force – just as much as any previous releases on the label are. Continue Reading »

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SYLVAIN CHAUVEAU: S (Type Recordings)

Max Schaefer on Oct 25th 2007 10:13 pm

Sylvain Chauveau: S

Type Recordings 2007
o5 Tracks. 21mins.40secs

With his past few releases, be it under his own name or the On moniker, Sylvain Chauveau has been moving away from his gorgeously sparse and poetic piano works, towards brooding electroacoustic compositions. His first recording on the Type label attempts a fusion of these two realms, resulting in something that is heterogeneous stylistically, yet clearly reserved in its musical forms. Each track enjoys a short but seething lifespan, consisting of discrete audio chunks that are fragile, tentative, and irresolute. Continue Reading »

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STRINGS OF CONSCIOUSNESS: Our Moon Is Full (Central Control)

David Abravanel on Oct 25th 2007 12:13 am

Strings Of Consciousness: Our Moon Is Full

Our Moon Is Full
CCI 005
Central Control 2007
08 Tracks. 49mins25secs

Rock flirtations with experimental music can be some very risky territory. On the plus side, you can end up with sublime fusions of the traditional and the avant garde; on the other hand, there’s the wankery that eventually drowned seventies prog. Several groups in this decade have given the concept another go, and Our Moon Is Full, the new album from psychedelic collective Strings Of Consciousness, is a thoroughly engaging look at the potential of this merger.

First, a word of caution: this is a record steeped in post rock, featuring, on the majority of the tracks, spoken word rather than singing. It’s a pretentious proposition, but one that works out the majority of the time. Continue Reading »

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DISRUPT: Foundation Bit (Werk Discs)

themilkman on Oct 24th 2007 01:12 am

Disrupt: Foundation Bit

Foundation Bit
Werk Discs 2007
10 Tracks. 41mins05secs

Although it may show some affinities with dubstep and dancehall, two musical genres usually, although not exclusively, associated with London, Foundation Bit comes all the way from Leipzig, once one of the most important cities in the German Democratic Republic. Disrupt, not to be mistaken with the American punk band of the same name, is the brainchild of Jan Gleichmar, who spent years experimenting with various forms of electronic art forms before developing a healthy interest in dub and trying his hand at it with an old laptop and pretty much nothing else. Continue Reading »

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RICARDO VILLALOBOS: Fabric 36 (Fabric)

David Abravanel on Oct 23rd 2007 08:55 pm

Various Artists / Ricardo Villalobos: Fabric 36

Fabric 36
Fabric 2007
15 Tracks. 74mins13secs

It’s funny to see Ricardo Villalobos as a superstar DJ. Listening to one of Villalobos’s live sets (such as the half-hour live at Fabric mix that was released to radios in advance of this release), there are no bangers, no sudden beat drops, no satisfying moments where it all comes together. Villalobos’s music fits on the dance floor, but it can also soundtrack life’s more contemplative moments, and tends to reward the listener who can pay special attention to its subtle changes.

And, subtle change is the name of the game on Fabric 36. Instead of releasing a mix primarily of others people’s tracks, as every other DJ has done for the Fabric series, Villalobos mixed a set composed entirely of new, original material. Continue Reading »

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OREN AMBARCHI: In The Pendulum’s Embrace (Touch)

themilkman on Oct 21st 2007 11:50 pm

Oren Ambarchi: In The Pendulum's Embrace

In The Pendulum’s Embrace
Touch 2007
03 Tracks. 40mins49secs

In recent times, Australian guitarist Oren Ambarchi has been busy with the more experimental side of his work and has published a considerable amount of music on various labels, including Southern Lord, Room40 and For 4 Ears. He has also become a regular fixture as part of Sunn O)))), and has been spotted playing alongside the likes of Fennesz, John Zorn, Keith Rowe, Günter Müller, Evan Parker or Toshimaru Nakamura to name but a few, leaving the line of work leading up to his 2004 album Grapes From The Estate to lay somewhat dormant. In The Pendulum’s Embrace therefore marks his long awaited return to Touch and to more melodic forms. Continue Reading »

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SEABEAR: The Ghost That Carried Us Away (Morr Music)

Max Schaefer on Oct 21st 2007 10:48 pm

Seabear: The Ghost Carried Us Away

The Ghost That Carried Us Away
Morr Music 2007
12 Tracks. 44mins22secs

The debut full-length from Icelandic group Seabear consists of understated vignettes that center upon simple three-or-four-note acoustic guitar lines, which unfold and circle in the shifting light of successive sound washes. The harmonica and violin of Gudbjorg Hlin Gudmndsdottir provides the buoyant melodies with a firmer foundation with which to wrestle and coalesce; so too does the idyllic atmosphere of lightly brushed drums, flugelhorn, and slide-guitar, all of which, at some point or other, manage to consolidate a certain degree of independence in their category, tumbling to the fore, and thus ensuring a more elastic and varied development. Continue Reading »

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SAM AMIDON: All Is Well (Bedroom Community)

themilkman on Oct 17th 2007 02:10 pm

Samamidon: All Is Well

All Is Well
Bedroom Community 2007
10 Tracks. 47mins49secs

In just over a year, Icelandic imprint Bedroom Community, headed by Björk and Bonnie Prince Billy (amongst others) collaborator Valgeir Sigurðsson, have distilled some of the most interesting records around, first with Nico Muhly’s delicate Speaks Volumes, then with Ben Frost’s textural Theory Of Machines, and, more recently with Sigurðsson’s own stellar pop opus Ekvilibrium.

Joining them is folk singer Sam Amidon, a twenty-six year old musician from Brattleboro, Vermont, who currently lives in New York. He shares his time between his solo project and various bands, including Doveman, Stars Like Fleas and The Amidons, a band formed by his parents and dedicated to traditional dance and music forms. Continue Reading »

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THE BLACK DOG: Temple Of Transparent Balls (Soma Quality Recordings)

themilkman on Oct 16th 2007 02:40 pm

The Black Dog: Temple Of Transparent Balls

Temple Of Transparent Balls
GPR 1993 / Soma Quality Recordings 2007
11 Tracks. 62mins09secs

Temple Of Transparent Balls was originally released on General Production Recordings (GPR) a few months after the seminal Bytes (1993, Warp), and was followed a couple of years later by Parallel, which collected three of the band’s early EPs. Following the demise of the label in 1996, original copies of both albums became very difficult to track down. They were both reissued in 2002, but the poor quality of the artwork likened them to cheap bootlegs, making this a long awaited re-release.

Earlier this year, Scottish imprint Soma Quality Recordings released Book Of Dogma, a double album collecting Parallel and a handful of other early EPs, all in full remastered glory. Now, Temple Of Transparent Balls gets the same treatment. Continue Reading »

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SWOD: Sekunden (City Centre Offices)

Max Schaefer on Oct 15th 2007 11:10 pm

Swod: Sekunden

City Centre Offices 2007
09 Tracks. 41mins04secs

While Swod deviate little from the blueprint laid down on their first full-length effort, their ability to trim their music back to the essentials so as to arrive at a simple, eloquent statement remains firmly entrenched and effective. Similar to an artist who purposefully rejects any vibrant colors so to focus on shades of grey, Oliver Doerell and Stephan Wohrmann achieve an appropriate evening austerity on Sekunden. The piano, as the primary focus, is quietly ominous and melancholic, shaded lightly by electronics which add melodic elaboration on themes, scratchy stridulations, dry rattling, and, on ocassion, abstracted twittering.

Individual works are finely compact and move swiftly in unison. Ja and Exit in particular, manage to achieve a close proximity through shared textures, complementary phrasing, and consensual dynamics. Continue Reading »

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