Archive for February, 2008

RAF & O: Has The Air Gone Walking? (Geo)

Robert Rowlands on Feb 27th 2008 10:43 pm

Raf & O: Has The Air Gone Walking?

Has The Air Gone Walking?
Geo Records 2008
04 Tracks. 17mins38secs
Format: 10″

From the collision of sounds that comes together on the opening seconds of this debut EP, there is little doubt that Raf and O are something new. The shrill, off-kilter vocals of Italian singer Raf Mantelli married to the cool electronics of glitch producer Gagarin fuse together a sound that is often enthralling and occasionally perplexing, but always full of interest.

The collaboration – which also features a low-key Richard Smith on bass – is the first step in the relaunch of Geo Records, whose output has so far largely been of Gagarin’s – a.k.a. Graham Dowdall’s – solo efforts. It continues a long tradition of working with other musicians that has kept Dowdall busy since the early 1980s. His polished CV reveals long stints with the likes of John Cale and Nico as well as more recent work with Pere Ubu. Continue Reading »

Filed in Singles/EPs | Comments Off

JAY DENHAM: The Truth (Disko B)

Robert Rowlands on Feb 27th 2008 10:31 pm

Jay Denham: The Truth

The Truth
Disko B 2008
09 Tracks. 52mins32 secs

For a man who has been involved in the Detroit techno scene since the movement’s infancy, Jay Denham has had to make do with far less of the limelight than some of the city’s more famous sonic elder statesman. While producers like Derrick May, Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson are now spoken of in hallowed, almost breathless tones, Denham’s music is probably better known among the furrow-browed aficionados of the scene than the casual music fan. Yet, in the years since he first appeared on Transmat, he has if nothing else been prolific – both as a DJ and, with numberless twelve inches to his name, as a producer. Continue Reading »

Filed in Albums | Comments (1)

WILLITS + SAKAMOTO: Ocean Fire (12K)

themilkman on Feb 27th 2008 01:25 am

Willits + Sakamoto: Ocean Fire

Ocean Fire
12K 2008
07 Tracks. 56mins02secs

Ocean Fire is the result of the meeting of two visionary musicians willing to explore a common creative ground. With a career spanning over thirty years at the forefront of contemporary and experimental music, Ryuichi Sakamoto certainly needs no introduction. While he has been recording for a more modest ten years and releasing music commercially since his 2001 debut Pollen for Fällt, Christopher has since released music on 12K, Sub Rosa, Ghostly International and Room40 to name but a few and has regularly been collaborating with Taylor Deupree.

This collaborative effort between Willits and Sakamoto was recorded live during a series of improvisations at Ryuichi Sakamoto’s studio in New York almost two years ago and edited down to just under an hour and seven tracks. Continue Reading »

Filed in Albums | Comments Off

GAVIN BRYARS with PHILIP JECK & ALTER EGO – The Sinking Of The Titanic (1969-) (Touch)

Colin Buttimer on Feb 26th 2008 12:02 am

Gavin Bryars/Philip Jeck/Alter Ego: The Sinking Of The Titanic (1969-)

The Sinking Of The Titanic (1969-)
Touch 2007
01 Track. 72mins35secs

Crackle inhabits the first four minutes of this new version of Gavin Bryars’s The Sinking of the Titanic. It’s an ominous sound. Heard on old blues records it’s the sound of time passed. And cultural distance. Here it also suggests, perhaps rather inevitably, the cracking of ice.

Strings ebb and swell in mournful, elegiac fashion and are occasionally pierced by reverberating percussion that could be the dripping of water into pools. An elderly, well-spoken woman recalls going up on deck at the twenty minute mark. Her confident chatter and sudden eruption into song make for a simultaneously familiar and completely otherworldly experience. Continue Reading »

Filed in Albums | Comments (1)

FOOD: Molecular Gastronomy (Rune Grammofon)

Colin Buttimer on Feb 25th 2008 10:05 pm

Food: Molecular Gastronomy

Molecular Gastronomy
Rune Grammofon 2008
10 Tracks. 46min26secs

It’s been three years since Food’s previous release, the rather prematurely named Last Supper. In that interval, the one-time quartet has slimmed down to the duo of saxophonist Iain Ballamy and percussionist Thomas Strønen. I had the good fortune to catch them performing at a concert celebrating the founding of the state of Norway in 2006. Strønen sounded like the future as he explored virtual, hyper-speed sampling in mercurial fashion. Ballamy was, as always, highly melodic and more stately, a signifier of the human in otherwise distinctly William Gibson-esque soundscapes.

Molecular Gastronomy is a hugely welcome statement and, perhaps surprisingly, the group’s sound doesn’t suffer for the departure of trumpeter Arve Henriksen and bassist Mats Eilertsen. If anything, Food’s ambient/electronic/improvisational/folk focus has become less ephemeral and more focused. Continue Reading »

Filed in Albums | Comments Off

MISOPHONE: Where Has It Gone, All The Beautiful Music Of Our Grandparents? It Died With Them, That’s Where It Went (Kning Disk)

themilkman on Feb 25th 2008 12:36 am

Misophone: Where Has It Gone, All The Beautiful Music Of Our Grandparents? It Died With Them, That’s Where It Went

Where Has It Gone, All The Beautiful Music Of Our Grandparents? It Died With Them, That’s Where It Went
Kning Disk 2007
12 Tracks. 40mins43secs

According to their MySpace page, Misophone have recorded thirteen albums in the space of five years, yet, Where Has It Gone… is their first to get a full release, courtesy of Swedish imprint Kning Disk. Listening to this little gem, it is a wonder how they have managed to remain hidden for so long. Formed of classically trained composer and multi-instrumentist S. Herbert, who claims to be able to play of over twenty instruments), and writer and artist M. A. Welsh, who here is in charge of vocal duties, banjo, found sounds and animal noises. Hailing for Bristol, the pair spent the first three and a half years writing and recording music, which M.A then gave away to customers of the off-license he works at in Bristol. Continue Reading »

Filed in Albums | Comments Off

AUTISTICI – Volume Objects (12k)

Max Schaefer on Feb 21st 2008 10:53 pm

Autistici: Volume Objects

Volume Objects
12K 2008
09 Tracks. 44mins05secs

Autistici gives over his first full-length to the object – to its ruses and to its allure. It’s something evident in both the album and the photographs that accompany it. Shots of metallic wires and their sharp calm; woodboards and their comforting simplicity; even a granular wall, wrinkled like an aged face, betrays a mystery that cannot be exhumed. Never in any of this is there a subject to be found.

In the album, too, pieces aren’t driven by a compositional (subjective) sense. Autistici is concerned with tracing the line of sound itself, with letting it develop, fleshing it out by (re)approaching it time and again from weirdly skewed studio perspectives. Continue Reading »

Filed in Albums | Comments (3)

AUTECHRE: Quaristice (Warp Records)

themilkman on Feb 20th 2008 01:36 am

Autechre: Quaristice

Warp Records 2008
20 Tracks. 73mins16secs

Warm and soothing electronic waves crushing over textured beat-less soundscapes haven’t been the staple diet of Autechre for some time, but it is exactly the angle that Sean Booth and Rob Brown have chosen to open the festivities on Quaristice. Far from the infinitely detailed sonic displays of their last three albums, Booth and Brown, now well into their second decade of collaborative work, have deflected their trajectory just enough to shine a very different light on their past work and give their sound a surprisingly playful twist.

The result is a thoroughly eclectic and colourful palette of short tracks, most of which clocking between three and five minutes, which alternates between hectic rhythmic constructions (The Plc, Plyphon, fwzE, chenc9), elegant melodic pieces (Simmm, Theswere) and granular atmospheric, textural or isolationist formations (Altibzz, Notwo, Outh9X). Continue Reading »

Filed in Albums | Comments (5)

ANGEL: Kalmukia (Editions Mego)

Max Schaefer on Feb 17th 2008 11:35 pm

Angel: Kalmukia

Editions Mego 2008
04 Tracks. 57mins47secs

As though emerging from a pirate airwave, the deep wobbly bass and stabs of twilight noise that open Kalmukia shadow the dirty, chaotic dynamism of so much present-day metal rock. It makes for a disconcerting moment, but at the very least, the rest of the album is an oftentimes disorienting, disjointed experience.

Ilpo Vaisanen (Pan Sonic), Hildur Guonadottir (Lost In Hildurness), and Dirk Dresselhaus (Schneider TM) tie together all of their loose, flying ends, but a great deal of curiosity and tact isn’t shown in the process. Continue Reading »

Filed in Albums | Comments (2)

SNORKEL: Glass Darkly (Slowfoot)

themilkman on Feb 14th 2008 01:49 am

Snorkel: Glass Darkly

Glass Darkly
Slowfoot Records 2008
10 Tracks. 49mins17secs

Snorkel is a London-based collective with a penchant for eclectic music forms and improvisation. Formed in South London by six musicians with very varied and colourful pedigrees, including singer songwriter and multi-instrumentist Charles Stuart, whose debut solo album was released on Slowfoot in May of last year, and Tom Marriott, who also releases music under a handful of monikers and is one of the founding members of Pest (Ninja Tune), Snorkel have honed their sound by regularly playing. Glass Darkly, the band’s first release, attempts to capture of the energy deployed on stage. Continue Reading »

Filed in Albums | Comments (1)

PETER BRODERICK: Docile – Solo Piano Series Vol. 1 (Kning Disk)

themilkman on Feb 5th 2008 01:22 am

Peter Broderick: Docile - Solo Piano Vol. 1

Docile: Solo Piano Series Vol. 1
Kning Disk 2007
10 Tracks. 26mins58secs

Peter Broderick recently charmed audiences across Europe, joining Efterklang as part of their tour formation (violin) and opening for them, showcasing his incredibly versatile musicianship by playing everything from piano and guitar to violin and musical saw, using tape loops to build delicate and moving pieces rooted in classical music, folk or rock.

Originally hailing from Portland, Oregon, Broderick currently lives in Copenhagen. While he is due to release his first album proper later on in the spring on Type, Broderick recently collected ten piano compositions for a limited CD release on Swedish imprint Kning Disk. Coming at just under half an hour, Docile is a short, often intriguing, and always captivating work, with sumptuous melancholic undertones and beautifully intricate melodies. Continue Reading »

Filed in Albums | Comments (2)