Archive for January, 2008

THE ORB: The Dream (Liquid Sound)

themilkman on Jan 31st 2008 01:23 am

The Orb: The Dream

The Dream
Liquid Sounds 2008
15 Tracks. 72mins55secs

The Dream sees the reunion of long-term friends and collaborators Alex Paterson and Martin ‘Youth’ Glover, working together under the Orb umbrella for the first time in fifteen years. The pair met at school in the seventies, then, while Youth gained famed as part of post punk outfit Killing Joke, Paterson followed as a roadie for the band. The pair went on to set up W.A.U.! Records and work together, alongside Jimmy Cauty, and later on Kris ‘Thrash’ Weston, on the two first Orb albums. While they remained friends over the year, it wasn’t until Youth set up a brand new studio at the end of his garden a couple of years ago that the pair began working on a new project. Continue Reading »

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HARMONIC 313: EP1 (Warp Records)

themilkman on Jan 30th 2008 08:19 am

Harmonic 313: EP1

Warp Records 2008
06 Tracks. 22mins43secs
Format: 12″/Digital

Mark Pritchard certainly needs no introduction. From his time as one half of Global Communication, responsible for one of the finest ambient albums ever released, to various other projects, solo, with Tom Middleton or others (Jedi Knights, Reload, Link or Troubleman to name but a few), he has made an undeniable mark on electronic music. His latest project sees him remodel Harmonic 33 by adding a one between the threes and move away from the down tempo, library music-infused sound he has developed with Dave Brinkworth on the pair’s two albums to turn his attention to classic Detroit techno and eighties electro pop. Continue Reading »

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CHRIS WATSON: Oceanus Pacificus (Touch)

themilkman on Jan 30th 2008 12:21 am

Chris Watson: Oceanus Pacificus

Oceanus Pacificus
Touch 2008
02 Tracks. 05mins35secs
Format: 7″

Chris Watson returns to Touch with this limited run, the second in the label’s new Touch Sevens series. One of the best known and most highly regarded wild life recording artists, Watson delivers two recordings made in the Galapagos Islands in April 2006. Documenting the Humboldt current, and recorded at depths of 3 and 10 metres, the two short tracks capture underwater movements as rarely heard by the human ear. As the current pushes ahead continuously, it appears to affect the water in a slightly different way as the pressure increases. While the sound palette is clear and open at 3 metres, it becomes slightly more muffled and sombre deeper. The recordings on Oceanus Pacificus have been left totally untouched. Each represents a snippet of life, extracted from its original setting and brought to the surface. Continue Reading »

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VETIVER: Remixes (Fat-Cat Records)

themilkman on Jan 23rd 2008 12:29 am

Vetiver: Remixes

Fat-Cat Records 2008
02 Tracks. 14mins00secs
Format: 12″

Two years ago, Andy Cabic, heading Vetiver, dropped the superbly crafted To Find Me Gone, the band’s second album. Although the record followed in the folk footsteps of its predecessor, Cabic & Co. seriously widened the scope of the project by injecting elements of psychedelic pop, but Cabic and producer Thom Monahan envisaged going even further by experimenting with electronic textures. Teaming up as Neighbors, it is exactly what they have done with You May Be Blue and Been So Long, two of the album’s undeniable highlights. Remixes collects these two radically different versions. Continue Reading »

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ÓLAFUR ARNALDS: Eulogy For Evolution (Erased Tapes)

themilkman on Jan 21st 2008 12:59 am

Ólafur Arnalds: Eulogy For Evolution

Eulogy For Evolution
Erased Tapes 2007
08 Tracks. 39mins36secs

Ólafur Arnalds is a young musician composer hailing from a small suburban town just outside of Reykjavik, who, besides drumming in two separate hardcore bands, focuses on modern classical music, although his work can also occasionally include elements of indie rock. Eulogy For Evolution is Arnalds’s debut album. Released on rising London-based imprint Erased Tapes, it was recorded over four months in early 2006 and features eight tracks, identified only by numbers, most of them led by melancholic piano lines and beautiful strings brushes, evoking the work of fellow countryman Jóhann Jóhannsson or composers Max Richter and Nico Muhly. Continue Reading »

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CLARK: Turning Dragon (Warp Records)

themilkman on Jan 18th 2008 12:19 am

Clark: Turning Dragon

Turning Dragon
Warp Records 2008
11 Tracks. 46mins35secs

Since he first appeared on the scene, in 2001, with his debut album, Clark has systematically upped the stakes with each new release, first by refocusing his sound essentially around electronics and gritty textures with Ceramics Is The Bomb and Empty The Bones Of You, then by refining his template and pushing into darker and dirtier territories with Body Riddle and its companion EPs, Throttle Furniture and Ted. With Turning Dragon, Clark steps up the pace, pushes up the experimentation levels and gets down and dirty on the dance floor.

Recorded in his apartment in Berlin, where Clark has recently moved, Turning Dragon is a much more immediate and incendiary collection, which builds on the momentum of the recent Throttle Promoter EP, yet those expecting a whole album of blasting Dirty Pixie or Kin Griff may be in for a shock. Continue Reading »

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CYAN341: Numbers (Kreislauf)

themilkman on Jan 10th 2008 01:31 am

Cyan341: Numbers

Kreisaulf 2008
04 Tracks. 28mins30secs

Cyan341 is the latest project from Rednetic label boss Mark Streatfield, who is better known for his long running electronica project Zainetica. As Cyan341, Streatfield investigates a much more dance floor friendly series of soundscapes fueled with Detroit electronic textures and Berlin techno minimalism.

The Numbers EP, available to download from Kreisault, features four tracks, soberly entitled 05, 06, 07 and 08, echoing the rarefied tones and linear beat structures employed throughout. Yet, despite avoiding any unnecessary flourishes, Streatfield still manages to create warm polished soundscapes to wrap his compositions in. All four tracks appear to form from a same restricted sound pool and could, on first listen, seem to be variations on a unique theme, but on closer listen, the individuality of each piece becomes more apparent. Continue Reading »

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RIVAL CONSOLES: The Decadent EP (Erased Tapes)

themilkman on Jan 9th 2008 12:41 am

Rival Consoles: The Decadent EP

The Decadent EP
Erased Tapes 2007
06 Tracks. 20mins23secs
Format: 10″ / Digital

Rival Consoles is the project of twenty-one year old Leicester-based Ryan Lee West. Although this is his first outing as Rival Consoles, West has previously released an EP, already on Erased Tapes, in early 2007 under his Aparatec moniker. Claiming influences stretching from Debussy to Autechre, it is no surprise to find the Decadent EP combining orchestral and electronic textures into tight and angular pieces.

With The Decadent EP, West takes the listener on a journey ranging from the twisted electro of Seventeen and the elegant orchestral swathes of Juncture to the incendiary rush of Kitsch, the warm synthetic waves of The Decadent and the soothing tones of Vari. Continue Reading »

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FREDO VIOLA: The Sad Song EP (Because Music)

themilkman on Jan 7th 2008 12:26 am

Fredo Viola: The Sad Song EP

The Sad Song
Because Music 2008
04 Tracks. 16mins23secs / 02 Tracks. 15mins36secs
Format: Digital, 10″ / 12″

Fredo Viola was born in London where he spent the first few years of his life before his parents moved to Rome and then New York and Los Angeles where he spent most of his formative years. He studied to become a film director, but music took him on a different path. Strong from a recent collaboration with Massive Attack, Viola follows a couple of MP3 releases with his debut EP, The Sad Song EP, on French imprint Because Music.

The Sad Song EP features three of Viola’s delicately crafted songs, showcasing quite a wide range of styles, starting with the elegant vocal layering and melody of the title track, with only discreet electronic textures added in the background. Continue Reading »

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CANON BLUE: Halcyon EP (Rumraket)

themilkman on Jan 4th 2008 01:19 am

Canon Blue: Halcyon EP

Halcyon EP
Rumraket 2007
04 Tracks. 17mins10secs
Format: Digital

Following the release of his debut album as Canon Blue, New Orleans-based Daniel James dropped a perfectly formed four-track EP in Rumraket’s stocking just before Christmas. The EP, which is available to download for free from the Canon Blue Myspace and Rumraket sites (see below), features four brand new tracks, recorded in November 2007 in his bedroom, with a handful of friends lending a hand. Halcyon is, according to James, a celebration of winter, a period during which he feels particularly creative.

Set in a similar style to James’s excellent Colonies album, the songs collected here denote however a gentle evolution in the way James assembles his pop songs and gives them a definite edge. The melodies appear more confident and refined, the soundscapes are increasingly cinematic and the vocal performances have gained in definition, yet the songs still have a subtle air of naivety about them.

As the opening title track rises from initial processed guitar stutter and progressively swells into an intricately layered orchestral noise cloud before dying all too suddenly on a single note, James clearly reassess the space within his music by bringing forward real instrumentation and taming down his more technological side so it works in perfect symbiosis. Ennui, (French for boredom), shows a similar approach as a piano cascades down on a catchy melody which appears in turn uplifting or melancholic, while the firmly paced beat which seats in the background works as a tempered counterpoint to James’s vocals. Avatar Furr is a much more upbeat and pressing affair, but the melody ebbs and flows as the beat retires for a moment, leaving for a moment the orchestral drapes and swirling piano lines to lead. The highlight of this EP comes with the cinematic closing piece, Kingfisher Sweet, as James the singer steps back to leave James the musician sole at the helm of this ambitious miniature pop epic.

With this excellent new EP, Daniel James refines his sound and steps up the pace from his debut album, revealing a much wider and evocative sound while retaining the very essence of Colonies. Not to be missed!


Icon: arrow Canon Blue (MySpace) | Rumraket

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