Archive for November, 2007

CLOUDLAND CANYON: Silver Tongued Sisyphus (Kranky)

Max Schaefer on Nov 15th 2007 11:03 pm

Cloudland Canyon: Silver Tongued Sisyphus

Silver Tongued Sisyphus
Kranky 2007
02 Tracks. 23mins35secs

At twenty-three minutes, this EP from Cloudland Canyon is a tight, concentrated workout for freeform percussion, guitar and woozy ambient washes that pull at the listener’s nerve endings. All of the segments of which these works consist are ingeniously sequenced together, taking full advantage of each moment of contrast or continuity. The opening piece is defined by layers of telegraphic bleeps slipping and sliding over each other, to the accompaniment of distant, contorted percussive crashes, and heavy, reverberating guitar figures. Continue Reading »

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VASHTI BUNYAN: Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind: Singles And Demos 1964 To 1967 (Fat-Cat Records / Spinney Records)

themilkman on Nov 15th 2007 01:21 am

Vashti Bunyan: Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind: Singles And Demos 1964 To 1967

Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind: Singles And Demos 1964 To 1967
Fat-Cat Records / Spinney Records 2007
25 Tracks. 52mins32secs

Before taking a turn toward earthy folk songs, then giving it all up to go travelling on a horse and cart with her husband, Vashti Bunyan was briefly heading for a career as a pop singer. Discovered by Rolling Stones manager Andrew Oldham, Bunyan found herself propelled in a world where she rubbed shoulders with greats and soon to become legends, culminating in her debut single being penned by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards no less. Soon though, the production became sparser, leaving her fragile voice exposed, with only an acoustic guitar to rely on.

The story of how she eventually returned to music, and released her sophomore effort, Lookaftering, a couple of years ago, has been told many a time. Here, Bunyan was given the chance to recollect and gather some long forgotten demos, some of which found only recently in her brother’s attic, and early and never released singles, including her debut release, Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind. Continue Reading »

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GULTSKRA ARTIKLER: Kasha Iz Topora (Miasmah Recordings)

Joe Muggs on Nov 14th 2007 10:54 pm

Gultskra Artikler: Kasha iz topora

Kasha Iz Topora
Miasmah Recordings 2007
18 Tracks. 66mins48secs

Isn’t technology beautiful? Now that even the cheapest PCs are capable – in the right hands – of sophisticated sound manipulation, the way is open for ever more peculiar people to realize the sounds in their heads no matter how far outside normal musical frames of reference they might be. No longer does a Captain Beefheart need to capture, imprison and brainwash talented young musicians in order to create a Trout Mask Replica. Instead, people with a unique vision need only lock themselves away with a computer and tweak and twist and warp whatever sounds are around them until they have an album’s worth of the sounds that will allow others access to their soundworld. Burial – if the myth is to be believed – is one such visionary, sat in his room with the TV on and an old PC with a fan so knackered it smokes, editing sound without even recourse to a sequencer in pursuit of the perfect aural painting of the fears and joys of the South London night time; and Siberian-born, Moscow-dwelling Alexey Devyanin is without doubt another. Continue Reading »

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310: Sixes And Sevens (Conduit Records)

themilkman on Nov 14th 2007 01:36 am

310: Sixes And Sevens

Sixes And Sevens
Conduit Records 2007
10 Tracks. 46mins50secs

310, the band formed by New Yorker Tim Donovan and Seattle-based Joseph Dierker, are quietly celebrating ten years at the helm of their good ship with their latest album, Sixes And Sevens, released on Conduit Records, the title perhaps a semi-hidden reference to the fact that, their 2001 effort Nothing To See Here being a strictly limited affair, this album, their seventh, is only the sixth to received a high profile release. The pair’s debut album, Aug 56, was released a whole ten years ago on their own imprint, and their sophomore effort, Snorklehouse, followed a year later, firmly establishing their blend of ambient, found sounds, hip-hop-infused beats and melodic electronic music. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Nov 10th 2007 07:09 pm

Jóhann Jóhannsson: Englabörn

4AD 2002/2007
16 Tracks. 48mins27secs

Last year, Icelandic contemporary classical composer Jóhann Jóhannsson released the superb IBM: A User’s Manual album, which drew from memories of his childhood and recordings made over forty years ago by Jóhannsson’s father, who was chief maintenance officer for the first IBM mainframe computer in Iceland, who had developed a way to produce music out of it, a purpose beyond the original scope of the machine. Four years before this, Jóhannsson released his debut album, Englabörn, on Touch, an album that his new label, 4AD, are now making available again. Continue Reading »

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INTERVIEW: 310 Music By Numbers

themilkman on Nov 8th 2007 01:50 am

INTERVIEW: 310 Music By Numbers

The brainchild of Tim Donovan, who lives in New York, and Seattle-based Joseph Dierker, 310 have been producing beautifully detailed records for ten years, bringing together elements of jazz, hip-hop, folk, pop and ambient to create a truly unique sound. As they are gearing up for the release of their sixth album, Sixes And Sevens, on Conduit Records, we caught up with Tim Donovan to talk about the new record, how they find it increasingly easy to work 3,000 miles apart, and why the new album is primarily being released digitally.
Continue Reading »

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TO ROCOCO ROT: ABC123 (Domino Recording Co.)

themilkman on Nov 7th 2007 02:05 am

To Rococo Rot: ABC123

Domino Recording Co. 2007
08 Tracks. 19mins49secs

Helvetica. Unless you have lived under a stone of in a cave for the last fifty years, you have, knowingly or not, been exposed to the ubiquitous typeface created by Swiss font foundry Haas. Revered by most typographists and graphic designers, and used in the most common urban signage, from airport and road signs to public toilets, and from record covers to eye-catching ad campaigns, Helevetica has become the most ubiquitous modern font around, thanks to its clear lines and high readability at pretty much any size. 2007 is exactly fifty years since its creation, and the event was marked by a series of exhibitions around the world, and by a documentary investigating its impact. Continue Reading »

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