Archive for June, 2008

VENETIAN SNARES: Detrimentalist (Planet Mu)

Robert Rowlands on Jun 30th 2008 08:59 pm

Venetian Snares: Detrimentalist

Planet Mu 2008
10 Tracks. 51mins27secs

One thing that Aaron Funk, the prolific Canadian musician behind Venetian Snares, cannot be accused of is boring the listener. Since first taking on the sometimes staid world of electronica in the late nineties with a battering ram, he has gleefully been launching assault after assault with his reconstructed drum ‘n’ bass sounds. Detrimentalist, like the many albums to have come before it, barely takes time out to breathe, such is the manic wellspring of energy at the core of the record. And whilst the dizzying aural barrage will deter the tender, there is a delightfully over the top vivacity at work in his music that at the very least ensures attention. Continue Reading »

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TWINE: Violets (Ghostly International)

themilkman on Jun 27th 2008 12:26 am

Twine: Violets

Ghostly International 2008
10 Tracks. 58mins42secs

Greg Malcolm and Chas Mossholder met in high school in the late eighties and began collaborating as Twine toward the end of the nineties, after having spent part of their formative years in various bands. Their first album, Reference, was released on AdAstra in 1999 and was quickly followed by Resource, a split album with Horchata. Since, the pair’s complex and emotional mix of glitch, dense atmospherics, reminiscent of 4AD at its haunting peak, and intricate electronic structures adorned with found sounds, has been constantly refined, redefined, and applied on three magnificent albums, released over a three year period, from Circulation (Komplott, 2001), to Recorder (Bip-Hop, 2002) and Twine (Ghostly, 2003). Since, despite being announced for over three years, Violets had remained mysteriously out of Ghostly’s release schedule, until now. Continue Reading »

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RONE: Bora (InFiné) / FRACTION: Superposition (InFiné)

themilkman on Jun 24th 2008 12:46 am

Rone: Bora Fraction: Superposition



InFiné 2008
05 Tracks. 33mins01secs

InFiné 2008
05 Tracks. 23mins59secs

French imprint Infiné has been around for just over a year, but is already starting to get noticed thanks to a series of EPs by artists as diverse as Luxembourg-born classical musician Francesco Tristano Schlimé, German techno artist Apparat or French afro electronic ensemble Donso.

The label’s recent outputs continue to showcase the ambitious scope of the label with two somewhat different electronic releases. Continue Reading »

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SPIRITUALIZED: Songs In A&E (Sanctuary Records)

David Abravanel on Jun 22nd 2008 11:38 pm

Spiritualized: Songs In A&E

Songs In A&E
Sanctuary Records 2008
18 Tracks. 51mins41secs

What happens when a young rocker who made a name chronicling a fast and dangerous lifestyle lives to face middle age? Consider this when looking at Jason Pierce, AKA J Spaceman, the creative center of Spiritualized. As part of Spacemen 3 in the late eighties, Pierce and fellow songwriter Pete “Sonic Boom” Kember wrote minimalist drone-rock chargers which chronicled drug use – heroin, most specifically – with a shocking openness and honesty. As Sonic and Spacemen reached irreconcilable disagreement, Pierce formed Spiritualized, a project which kept the minimalist, repetitive drive of Spacemen 3, while incorporating large, dizzy orchestrations. Continue Reading »

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KESTON & WESTDAL: One Day To Save All Life (Unearthed Music)

themilkman on Jun 19th 2008 10:47 pm

Keston & Westdal: One Day To Save All Life

One Day To Save All Life
Unearthed Music 2008
12 Tracks. 61mins37secs

John Keston and Nils Westdal have been working together since the tail-end of the nineties, although their debut album, Super Structure Baby, was only released four years ago on short-lived New York imprint Coup De Grâce. With this record, Keston & Westdal presented a series of chilled electronic compositions infused with chunky jazz overtones, fusing Keston’s background as a jazz pianist and Westdal’s warm and enveloping bass. The album was followed by a second opus, Truth Is Stranger, released in 2007.

One Day To Save All Life takes quite a different path. Partly leaving behind the soft lounge forms they had become accustomed to, Keston & Westdal investigate here much more complex grounds and occasionally find themselves in the vicinity of Boards Of Canada or Isan Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Jun 17th 2008 12:06 am


Twenty one year old Icelandic musician Ólafur Arnalds first appeared last year with his debut album, Eulogy For Evolution, released in the UK on the excellent Erased Tapes imprint, and instantly gathered some impressive critical praises for his widescreen contemporary classical music tinted with discreet electronics and hints of indie. Earlier this year, Arnalds returned with a more minimal EP, Variations Of Static, on which he let electronics texture his work more prominently. With an opening slot for Sigur Rós during the summer and a major tour already in full swing, Ólafur took a few moments to talk about his musical background, the elitism in modern classical music and the challenges of taking the genre to a young audience, and being the next big thing to come out of Iceland.

Continue Reading »

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FLYING LOTUS: Los Angeles (Warp Records)

themilkman on Jun 16th 2008 12:38 am

Flying Lotus: Los Angeles

Los Angeles
Warp Records 2008
17 Tracks. 43mins17secs

Flying Lotus’s family credentials could hardly be more legendary. Grand son of Marilyn Mcleod, who penned songs for Diana Ross, The Four Tops and countless other Motown legends, and great nephew of jazz legend Alice Coltrane and cousin of Ravi Coltrane, Steven Ellison has quite a lot to live up to. With his first offering, 1983, released two years ago on Californian imprint Plug Research, Ellison set the foundation for his classic blend of hip-hop infused electronica and established Flying Lotus alongside the likes of Dntel, Madlib or Daedelus. Having consequently moved to London’s Warp Records, Flying Lotus delivered the rather impressive Reset EP last year, and is now bringing out his second album.

Dedicated to the city in which he grew up, Los Angeles is a largely instrumental collection, with only a handful of tracks featuring vocal contributors. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Jun 12th 2008 11:33 pm

Dark Captain Light Captain: Circles

LOAF 2008
04 Tracks. 16mins35secs
Format: CD/Digital

London’s ever expanding (it seems) and mysteriously named Dark Captain Light Captain came together in early 2006 around the nucleus of guitarists and vocalists Neil Kleiner and Dan Carney, and have since grown into a full six-member outfit, but their music has lost nothing of the fragility it had in the early days. Circles is the band’s second release and follows last year’s debut single Jealous Enemies/Mid-Session Interval. It is also the prelude to the band’s first album, scheduled for later in the year.

Building their songs around gentle vocal layers and harmonies, brushed with acoustic guitars, soft rhythmic patterns and discreet electronics, DCLC have undoubtedly refined their sound since Jealous Enemies and developed the music lexicon which informs their work to great effect. Continue Reading »

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OUR BROKEN GARDEN: Lost Sailor (Bella Union)

themilkman on Jun 12th 2008 09:41 pm

Our Broken Garden: Lost Sailor

Lost Sailor
Bella Union 2008
06 Tracks. 19mins34secs
Format: CDS/Digital

In the light of her recent live performance at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, on London’s South Bank, when she opened for Efterklang, it is quite fitting that Anna Brønsted’s Our Broken Garden has been signed to Simon Raymond’s and Robin Guthrie’s Bella Union. Indeed, thanks in part to dense guitar textures, some of her set was very reminiscent of the Cocteau Twins circa Victorialand and the collaboration they did with Harold Budd on The Moon And The Melody. Continue Reading »

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CHARLEMAGNE PALESTINE: From Etudes To Cataclysms For The Doppio Borgato (Sub Rosa)

Colin Buttimer on Jun 10th 2008 07:04 am

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From Etudes To Cataclysms For The Doppio Borgato
Sub Rosa
15 Tracks. 135minutes56secs

Charlemagne Palestine is an American composer born in the mid 1940s in New York. He may be as well known for his fascination for soft toys, as featured extensively on his website and in his performances, as he is for his intensely minimal music, often consisting of two notes that expand into clusters of sound as they progress.

From Etudes To Cataclysms is a 135 minute composition in fifteen parts, performed by the composer on a unique double piano played by both hands and feet. Imagine two grand pianos, one standard, one with its legs removed, placed beneath the other and operated by foot pedals. It’s a strange object to behold, but it seems fitting for Palestine’s unique music. Continue Reading »

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Wildbirds & Peacedrums, The Luminaire, Kilburn, London, 5/06/2008

themilkman on Jun 10th 2008 12:40 am

Urban Fauna: Wildbirds & Peacedrums

Swedish ensemble Mariam Wallentin and Andreas Werliin, whose debut album, Heatcore, was recently released outside of their homeland by Leaf, graced Kilburn’s Luminaire for a somewhat short but perfectly formed headlining set.

First to take to the stage was London-based Banjo Or Freakout, who has gained a bit of a reputation in recent months with the tracks posted on the act’s MySpace page and was featured on Drowned In Sound’s artists to look out for. Continue Reading »

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MRS JYNX: The Standoffish Cat (Planet Mu)

Robert Rowlands on Jun 4th 2008 12:40 am

Mrs Jynx: The Standoffish Cat

The Standoffish Cat
Planet Mu 2008
13 tracks. 58mins27secs

IDM, electronica, ambient techno – everyone has their own name for the music that shaped the electronic music scene of the 1990s. Everyone too has their own list of the heroes who dominated the scene, whether it be Aphex Twin, Autechre, Black Dog or one of countless other artists to have come to prominence in that era. Yet everyone also has their own theory about when IDM fell apart, and when the scene’s death was officially confirmed. For some, it was the slipshod meanderings of Aphex Twin’s Drukqs that drove the nail into the coffin, proving that Richard D. James, the movement’s leading voice, had finally lost his way. For others, it was the recondite nature of Autechre’s Confield that proved electronic music had lost its pulse and drifted into the obscure realms of academia. But whatever the moment, whatever the cause, few now would dispute that IDM as we once knew it is a dead movement. Continue Reading »

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