Archive for June, 2008


David Abravanel on Jun 3rd 2008 11:44 pm

Interview: Jamie Lidell

Whether the focus is on his divine set of Motown-esque pipes, his instrumental arrangements evoking classic soul, or his thoroughly modern electronic production prowess, there’s no denying that Jamie Lidell is a man of many talents. Coming off the heels of his frenetic breakthrough Multiply, JIM, Lidell’s latest, is set to catapult him even further into the spotlight. Here, Lidell takes a break from touring to speak to David Abravanel about his new band, medical-utensil swag, how Rick Astley has influenced him, and why Cristian Vogel’s name should never be spelled with an “h”, all with his biting wit and charisma in tow. Continue Reading »

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NICO MUHLY: Mothertongue (Bedroom Community)

themilkman on Jun 3rd 2008 11:26 pm

Nico Muhly: Mothertongue

Bedroom Community 2008
10 Tracks. 49mins11secs

A year on from the release of his critically acclaimed debut album Speaks Volumes, New York-based classical composer Nico Muhly returns with an altogether more ambitious and visionary record. Entirely based around the notion of language, Mothertongue is a strange and fascinating work which goes beyond Muhly’s previous work and undoubtedly feeds on his brush with various musical genres, most notably with the likes of Björk, Antony & The Johnsons or Bedroom Community’s label head and producer Valgeir Sigurðsson.

Mothertongue is split into three major parts, each recorded with a different vocal artist and making use of the human voice in a particular way. Continue Reading »

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NICOLA RATTI: From The Desert Came Saltwater (Anticipate Recordings)

Robert Rowlands on Jun 2nd 2008 09:09 pm

Nicola Ratti: From The Desert Came Saltwater

From The Desert Came Saltwater
Anticipate Recordings 2008
06 tracks. 44mins42secs

What most people know about Nicola Ratti could be written on the back of a postcard. The former guitarist of the now defunct Pin Pin Sugar is not exactly a household name, although work with Giuseppe Ielasi on 2007’s well-regarded Bellows will have gone some way to establishing him with a wider audience. He has also collaborated with Andrea Belfi, and is today a guitarist with underground Italian instrumentalists Ronin. But obscurity is probably not something that would worry someone like Ratti. After all, his sound virtually invites it. Hushed guitars played at half-pace on studied, earnest compositions are not easily going to grab the attention of the average listener. But this is the point, it seems, with his music, and with From The Desert Came Saltwater in particular. It is the sound of music stripped of verbosity and excess, a sound that in doing very little very slowly manages to lure its way insidiously into perception. Continue Reading »

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DAEDELUS: Love To Make Music To (Ninja Tune)

themilkman on Jun 2nd 2008 12:17 am

Daedelus: Love To Make Music To

Love To Make Music To
Ninja Tune 2008
15 Tracks. 55mins00secs

With nine albums and a handful of EPs and collaborations under his belt, Daedelus’s Alfred Darlington has made the blend of hip-hop-infused electronica he has helped shaping up his own, giving it an unmistakable dandy slant. Love To Make Music To, his latest offering, his first long player recorded especially for Ninja Tune, is once again a distinctively colourful and varied collection, centred on an imaginary story which begins during the 1894 Chicago World’s Fair and concludes a hundred years later. Continue Reading »

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ELLEN ALLIEN: Sool (BPitch Control)

Robert Rowlands on Jun 2nd 2008 12:04 am

Ellen Alien: Sool

BPC 175
BPitch Control 2008
11 Tracks. 52mins54secs

Given Ellen Allien’s close links with the Berlin techno scene, this album is probably going to come as a surprise to many. While it does not abandon the dancefloor aesthetic of earlier records, the beat count has certainly slowed and a more inward-looking sound has superseded the skeletal techno of old. Whether the helping hand in the studio of fellow Berliner AGF has contributed to this more reflective sound is not easy to say, but the cut-up, Schaefferesque sound experiments of AGF’s Words Are Missing do definitely seep through into the mix from time to time on Sool. Perhaps this change of direction is a sign that Allien is moving away from the modern minimalist scene she has done so much to shape. But if not, it does at least suggest her sound is drawing on new sources. And after the largely disappointing Boogybytes techno compilation she DJed earlier this year, this would be no bad thing. Continue Reading »

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STEPHAN MATHIEU: Radioland (Die Schachtel)

Max Schaefer on Jun 1st 2008 09:46 pm

Stephan Mathieu: Radioland

Die Schachtel 2008
07 Tracks. 55mins48secs

The Sad Mac, Stephan Mathieu’s last album, dreamed an overfoaming white whose veneer was smudged and cracked by misty slides of tone and violin sonotas wrung through the proverbial digital hamper. Radioland slinks under the same umbrella, yet its materials float from a wholly other fount. The sack of material – which amounted to some fifty gigabytes – was sprung from real-time processed short-wave radio signals and was doctored through custom-designed auto-generative software. It’s no moot point, as the alterations in procedure makes the ensuing work a bit more enigmatic to itself, the elements a little more alien to one another, and thus better able to continually refresh their own theoretical premises. Continue Reading »

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