Archive for August, 2008

CAPITOL K: Notes From Life On The Wire With A Wrecking Ball (Faith & Industry)

themilkman on Aug 21st 2008 12:26 am

Capitol K: Notes From Life On The Wire With A Wrecking Ball

Notes From Life On The Wire With A Wrecking Ball

Faith & Industry 2008
12 Tracks. 41mins05secs

A true oddball and maverick artist, Kristian Craig Robinson has been carting his Capitol K funfair around for just under ten years, crafting genuinely exciting little electronic and electro indie pop gems onto four albums, five if the two different versions of Island Row are to be counted as separate records, and countless EPs. First a member of the rather exclusive Planet Mu club, he has, since 2003, set up his own imprint, Faith & Industry, and has been releasing his work via this outfit ever since. Robinson is a citizen of the world in the purest meaning of the term. Born in Malta, he grew up in Brunei, he now lives in squats in and around London. To suit his chosen lifestyle, the latest Capitol K adventures were recorded in rudimentary conditions in a squat situated on the east on London, with contributions from Italian jazz drummer Vladimiro Carboni and Brazilian guitarist Felipe Pagani, alongside who he played as part of Brazilian songstress Cibelle’s tour band a couple of years ago. Continue Reading »

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David Abravanel on Aug 20th 2008 12:05 am


PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3

DD: You said you were going to get really geeky, but then you never did.

MS: Yeah, bring on the geek!  I see the word ‘IRCAM’ written in your notes.

Oh, we’ll get to that, but first, some other words.  You took this vow of synthesizer-chastity for Supreme Balloon – not even vocoders.  I came up with a bunch of cool ways to cheat – what about FFT? [FFT, a Fast Fourier Transform, is a synthesis which can deconstruct any sampled sound into a complex series of sine waves]

MS: Honestly, it wasn’t a synthesizer thing, really, the only rule was ‘no microphones’.  We were allowed to use any kind of signal generation, as long as it didn’t involve microphones.  Of course, the trick is the slip between what is a microphone, any kind of transducer?  Is a guitar pickup a microphone or not? Continue Reading »

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David Abravanel on Aug 20th 2008 12:04 am


PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3

So, as a side note, you’re both on [a site where students can anonymously weigh in on their professors].  Have you checked your hotness ratings lately?

DD:  I haven’t.  Last time I looked, Martin was ‘hot’, but I don’t think I’ve been rated at Hopkins yet.

MS:  Do you remember what he’s [Drew’s] rated as?

I don’t remember, I just remember there was a really eerie post for you, Martin, which just said in all caps, ‘MARTIN WILL HELP.  MARTIN WILL HELP’.

MS:  [laughs] I always said to my students that it was a lifetime contract, and that they could call me any time and I would help them.  And sure enough, two weeks ago, the phone rang in Slovenia or some place, in the middle of the night.  It was a student of mine from five years ago asking, ‘I need to make a DVD, and I don’t have DVD Studio Pro.  What should I do?’  The answer was, sorry to her for saying so, but the answer was idiotically simple.  I asked, ‘are you using a Mac?  Use iDVD!’   She was like, ‘oh.  Thanks Martin!’  And I went back to sleep!

DD:  So she probably wrote that ‘MARTIN WILL HELP’ immediately. Continue Reading »

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David Abravanel on Aug 20th 2008 12:02 am


PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3

Before meeting with Matmos, Martin Schmidt called me to dispense some words of warning: ‘just so you know, we tend to go on’.  This would certainly be the case, as Schmidt, along with Drew Daniel, kept me thinking on my toes for the better part of an hour, traversing such topics as aestheticism, synthesizers, and, well, Zac Efron.  Presently on tour supporting their latest release, Supreme Balloon, Schmidt and Daniel, joined intermittently by tour mate (and longtime friend and collaborator) Wobbly, gave themilkfactory an engrossing earful, which is shared with you now, with great pleasure.  Do read on… Continue Reading »

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NIGHTMARES ON WAX: Thought So (Warp Records)

themilkman on Aug 14th 2008 11:40 pm

Nightmares On Wax: Thought So...

Thought So…
Warp Records 2008
11 Tracks. 53mins23secs

Nightmares On Wax’s George Evelyn is one of the original Warp artists. While his first releases, centred around the1991 A Word Of Science album, shared with the rest of the label’s early roster a taste for bleepy electronica, albeit tainted with occasional smokey grooves, his consequent work demonstrated a much smoother and soulful approach. With the seminal Smokers Delight (1995) and Carboot Soul (1999) Evelyn, now sole master on board the NoW ship following the departure of Kevin Harper, combined hazy hip-hop grooves and funky soul melodies into effective laidback compositions which seemed to feel most at ease deep into the night.

Nearly twenty years on from the first NoW twelve inch, Evelyn returns with his sixth album, Thought So… Continue Reading »

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MAJA S. K. RATKJE: River Mouth Echoes (Tzadik)

themilkman on Aug 13th 2008 11:53 pm

Maja S. K. Ratkje: River Mouth Echoes

Mouth Echoes
Tzadik 2008
06 Tracks. 66mins41secs

Despite being only 34, Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje is one of the world’s leading modern composers and musicians and has been for well over a decade. Her extensive discography alone shows her multi-faceted approach, from her regular forays into noise, improv, electronic composition and avant-garde jazz to vocal experimentation and more traditional orchestral and chamber work. Her impressive solo work is dwarfed by the sheer number of collaborators she has worked with over the years, either as part of formations such as all-female improv quartet SPUNK, Fe-mail, the duo Ratkje formed with Hild Sofie Tafjord, and X,Y,Z, an electro-acoustic ensemble formed of Ratkje, Risto Holopainen and Asbjørn Blokkum, or on various projects with Jazzkammer’s Lasse Marhaug and John Hegre, Lotta Melin or Jaap Blonk to name but a few. Continue Reading »

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LINDSTRØM: Where You Go I Go Too (Smalltown Supersound)

themilkman on Aug 13th 2008 12:38 am

Lindstrøm: Where You Go I Go Too

Where You Go I Go Too
Smalltown Supersound/Feedility 2008
03 Tracks. 55mins06secs

Hans-Peter Lindstrøm is pictured with an ear-to-ear grin on the cover of his first proper album, and on the strength of it, he has every reason to considering he has just produced the most ecstatic, uplifting and bloody perfect electronic record in years. End of.

Lindstrøm has been making serious waves all the way down from his native Norway to the coolest dance floors in Europe and beyond for some time now with his highly personal take on classic disco, fed on big dollops of Giorgio Moroder and Cerrone and seasoned with warm analogue electronics a la Ash Ra Tempel/Klaus Schulze. Lindstrøm’s first foray into the music scene dates back to 2003, and since, he has released a number of EPs, which were compiled into an album, It’s A Feedelity Affair, in 2006, an album with Prins Thomas in 2005, and has also been spotted remixing anyone from LCD Soundsystem to The Killers. Continue Reading »

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DEPTH AFFECT: Hero Crisis (Autres Directions In Music)

themilkman on Aug 12th 2008 12:45 am

Depth Affect: Hero Crisis

Hero Crisis
Autres Directions In Music 2008
12 Tracks. 45mins34secs

Have Batman’s wings been clipped? Is Superman suddenly sighted? Have the X-Men turned Z-list celebs? Stuck between endless conflicts, political upheavals and credit crunchTM, the world could do better than be afflicted with heroes in crisis. Brace yourselves kids, Heroes are not what they used to be.

Hailing from the city of Nantes, situated at the bottom of Brittany, Depth Affect is the project of David Bideau and Rémy Charrier, who spent part of their student time collecting keyboards and computers. Signed to the excellent Autres Directions In Music imprint, the pair released their first album, Arche-Lymb, a couple of years ago. Continue Reading »

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Robert Rowlands on Aug 11th 2008 08:58 pm

INTERVIEW: Maurizio Bianchi & Emanuela De Angelis

Maurizio Bianchi is one of the leader of the Italian noise and experimental scene. He first appeared in 1979, and in the first five years of his career, he released a considerable amount of work on a variety of labels before retiring from the music scene completely. For the next thirteen years, he remained silent, but he resumed his relentless work pace. His latest project is a collaboration with Emanuela De Angelis Twenty years his junior, De Angelis has nevertheless an already impressive body of work behind her, as a member of various formations and, in recent years, as a solo artist. As MD+EDA, the pair have, for a moment, left behind their respective noise remit to investigate a much quieter realm, developed over the whole length of their first album together. Robert Rowlands caught up with the pair to discuss age difference, the pros and cons of working on a collaborative project and how their calm soundscapes are much noisier than it seems. Continue Reading »

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RUDI ARAPAHOE: Echoes From One To Another (Symbolic Interaction)

themilkman on Aug 8th 2008 12:02 am

Rudi Arapahoe: Echoes From One To Another

Echoes From One To Another
Symbolic Interaction 2008
12 Tracks. 49mins58secs

Wide open spaces, delicate and precise soundscaping and moving atmospherics all define this somewhat mysterious and haunting delivery from Japanese imprint Symbolic Interaction. The fruit of the labour of Rudi Arapahoe, Echoes From One To Another is an ambitious piece of work on more than one level. Inspired by Dante Alighieri’s fourteenth century epic poem The Divine Comedy, which takes the narrator through the various stages of the afterlife as seen by Christians at the time, the album, which stretches over fifty minutes, is in itself a stunning and memorable journey through stark atmospheric textures and emotions.

Describing himself as a composer, sound artist and storyteller in equal measures, Arapahoe is credited here for concept, sound design, field recordings and ‘antique electronics’, and is supported by a host of additional musicians contributing piano, guitar, harp, violin, synths and vocal performances. Continue Reading »

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THE BUG: London Zoo (Ninja Tune)

David Abravanel on Aug 7th 2008 10:52 pm

The Bug: London Zoo

London Zoo
Ninja Tune 2008
12 Tracks. 57mins54secs

Kevin Martin is quite the musical chameleon, having played parts in the jazz-minded project God, the industrial hip-hop of Ice, and guess which genre he was producing as a collaborator with Techno Animal.  The one common thread between all of Martin’s creative phases has been a kind of abrasive-yet-cerebral hardcore.  Everything is sharp and overdriven, but the edges have more of an aesthetically tricky purpose than simply to boom out speakers for the sake of it.  For the past decade, The Bug has been Martin’s outlet for his forays into Jamaican styles, primarily focused on bizarre nightmare dub visions and violently political dancehall chant assaults.  The former dominated on 1997’s Tapping The Conversation, in which Martin (along with collaborator DJ Vadim) conceived of a new soundtrack to Francis Ford Coppola’s paranoid masterpiece of claustrophobic deception, The Conversation.  It was a fitting backdrop for an introduction to the dark, heavy, and distorted dub rhythms from The Bug.  It was also a fantastic dubstep release, appearing roughly a decade before the genre would officially get its recognition. Continue Reading »

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MAX RICHTER: 24 Postcards In Full Colour (130701/Fat-Cat Records)

themilkman on Aug 1st 2008 12:50 am

Max Richter: 24 Postcards In Full Colour

24 Postcards In Full Colour
130701/Fat-Cat Records 2008
24 Tracks. 34mins33secs

Max Richter’s latest offering is not, so the press release claims, the follow up to his 2006 album Songs From Before. In fact, the twenty four tracks assembled here are part of a much wider experiment, due to be performed in art galleries, with at its centre mobile phone technology. Audience members will be able to pre-register their phone number and receive SMS messages triggering specific tracks, making each performance totally unpredictable and unique.

Beyond the concept and the cold technological practicality, Max Richter revisits here some of his favourite themes (the passing of time, the ephemeral aspect of memories, the melancholy of leaving places behind) and assembles them into miniature vignettes which, in most case, last little more than a moment. Continue Reading »

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