Archive for December, 2008

VS02 – Virtual Soundtrack January 2009

themilkman on Dec 24th 2008 10:52 am

VS02 - Virtual Soundtrack Vol. 2

VS02 – Virtual Soundtrack: The 2008 Review (launches iTunes)

Matmos: Rainbow Flag
Supreme Balloon
, LP, Matador

Populous With Short Stories: Breathe The Best
Drawn In Basic
, LP, Morr Music

Flying Lotus: Roberta Flack [feat. Dolly]
Los Angeles
, LP, Warp Records

Minilogue: Hitchiker’s Choice
, LP, Cocoon Recordings

Encomiast: Azazel
, LP, Lens Records

Portishead: Machine Gun
, LP, Island Records

Hercules And Love Affair: You Belong
Hercules And Love Affair

Leila: Little Acorns [feat. Khemahl & Thaon Richardson]
Blood, Looms And Blooms
, LP, Warp Records

Arve Henriksen: Sorrow And Its Opposite
, LP, ECM Records

Janek Schaefer: Extended Play – Radio Jodoform
Extended Play (Triptych for the Child Survivors of War and Conflict)
, LP, Line

Paavoharju: Kevätrumpu
Laulu Laakson Kukista
, LP, Fonal

Lindstrøm: Grand Ideas [Johan Agebjörn Remix]
Where You Go I Go Too
, LP, Smalltown Supersound

Air France: Collapsing At Your Doorstep
No Way Down
, LP, Sincerly Yours

Wire: Hard Currency
Object 47
, LP, Pink Flag

Luomo: Nothing Goes Away [feat. Johanna Iivanainen and Sue Cie]
, LP, Humme Recordings

Mercury Rev: Senses On Fire
Snowflake Midnight
, LP, V2/Yep Rock

Autechre: Outh9X
, LP, Warp Records

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themilkman on Dec 23rd 2008 01:55 am

Jóhann Jóhannsson: Fordlandia

4AD 2008
11 Tracks. 67mins03secs

The fifth album by Icelandic classical composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, Fordlândia takes its name from a megalomaniac project of Henry Ford, who bought 10,000 km2 of land in Brazil in the 1920s to produce the rubber that would be used for the tyres of Ford cars. The project ran into trouble after the indigenous workforce grew discontented with working conditions and rampant Americanisation. By 1945, Fordlândia was given a further blow as the use of synthetic rubber increased greatly, forcing Ford to sell the land at a considerable loss.

How much this actually filters through Jóhannsson’s latest opus is debatable, although the album was partly inspired by the idea of nature reclaiming the territory once invaded by industrial activities. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Dec 21st 2008 08:22 pm

The 2008 Review

This time of the year again. We’ve absorbed twelve months of music, digested it and featured some of it on this site. Here, we compile the definitive milkfactory top 20 albums of 2008, as voted by our regular contributors. And, we’ve also got the individual lists available here. Was this the best of 2008? It was for us. Continue Reading »

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THE 2008 REVIEW: David Abravanel

David Abravanel on Dec 21st 2008 08:21 pm

The 2008 Review

My 2008 best-of list is one of the more eclectic I’ve assembled.  As usual, I owe much to themilkfactory writers and readers for introducing me to some delightful sounds, including Leila, Alexandre Navarro, and Minilogue.  Other factory favorites just missed the top 20 and bear honorable mention, including Ólafur Arnalds, AGF, and B12 and The Black Dog.

2008 was a good year for interesting surprises, from the hard data dots of Ryoji Ikeda to Hauschka’s gentle prepared-piano pieces.  A number of old favorites came through again as well, from Jamie Lidell’s soul-stomping Jim to Jason Pierce’s gorgeous meditations on Spiritualized’s Songs In A&E.  Perhaps the best story comes from Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, who many-times-upped Radiohead by releasing The Slip, easily his best record since 1999’s The Fragile, for free, in a multitude of high-quality formats.  Rounding everything out are the playful albums, The Dream seeing the Orb return to silly form, and Supreme Balloon charting Matmos’ lush, synthesized excursions.  In the end, Italian producer Populous and his understated emotional pieces, with Doseone-esque vocals from Short Stories, takes number one.

Populous With Short Stories: Drawn Basic1.

Drawn In Basic
Morr Music

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THE 2008 REVIEW: Robert Rowlands

Robert Rowlands on Dec 21st 2008 08:20 pm

The 2008 Review

It has been the year of the credit crunch, the year moneyed ease took a clobbering, the year having a job suddenly became something you couldn’t take for granted. But a listen to most of the music made in 2008 shows few links with the panic in the markets or the shuffling of feet in the Job Centres. Any art form is only linked second hand to the era in which it is forged, but much of what has come through this year – especially in electronic music – has been the music of the good times, the music of the high point before the wave collapsed. Vampire Weekend epitomised that as well as anybody with a guitar this year. But in electronics, it was the beatific sound of artists such as Lindstrom and Air France that seemed to dominate. Sure, there were dark sounds out there – with Portishead’s gloomy opus Third perhaps the most obvious example – but the prevailing mood was not down but up. As the recession sinks in, and as the musical zeitgeist takes another twist, the music of 2009 may well have a far gloomier ring to it.

Minilogue: Animals1.

Cocoon Recordings

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THE 2008 REVIEW: themilkman

themilkman on Dec 21st 2008 08:20 pm

The 2008 Review

When I was a kid, I clearly remember my parents telling me that the older you get, the faster time seems to pass. At the time, of course, I had all eternity in front of me, and time was never passing fast enough. I couldn’t wait for school holidays, birthdays or Christmases and dismissed what they were saying with all the contempt I could gather. I have since understood how right they were. It seems like I was putting together my end of year list for 2007 only last week, but it’s well and truly been a whole twelve months, filled with countless pocket-sized tales of blood sweat, tears, re-invention, revival, weird explorations and revived hopes.

Perhaps above all, 2008 has been marked, for me at least by the stunning return of Portishead, once one of the many jewels in the Bristol crown, now a totally revitalised and more powerful than ever formation, and by the faultless first album proper of Norwegian disco lord Lindstrøm. There were also magnificent albums by Arve Henriksen, Paavoharju, Peter Broderick and Nico Muhly, while Leila and Twine both released new albums after years of silence and Dark Captain Light Captain proved to be one of the year’s best newcomers.

Portishead: Third1.

Island Record

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THE 2008 REVIEW: Max Schaefer

Max Schaefer on Dec 21st 2008 08:19 pm

The 2008 Review

Before the year leaves we acknowledge our debts, we try and address those with and through whom we live.  While discrete exchanges of information happen nearly all the time today, those who approach with a face and speak to us remain few and far between.  Musically, this is achieved by those who, against a backdrop of emulsion, of input-output, and controlled chain reactions, resist the draw of the digital download or the anonymity of standard jewel casing and interrupt, confound, and challenge with a body of work whose meanings are quite insidiously written all over it.  My thanks, then, to the following labels who seek to maintain this dimension in music: Spekk, Symbolic Interaction, And/Oar, Helen Scarsdale, Crouton, Mystery Sea, Room40, Gears of Sand, Die Stadt, Twenty Hertz, Edition Sonoro, Sedimental, Afe, Data Bloem, Data Obscura, Noble, Cronica, The Land Of, Experimedia, Kvitnu, 12k, Line, Winds Measure Recordings, Infraction, Dynamophone, Die Schachtel, Sirr, Leerraum [], Staubgold, Samadhisound, Schole, Flau, Elevator Bath, Palace of Lights, and countless others.  A few noteworthy pennyworths:

Graham Lambkin & Jason Lescalleet: Breadwinner


The Breadwinner

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KWAIDAN: Kwaidan (Highpoint Lowlife)

themilkman on Dec 16th 2008 01:44 am

Kwaidan: Kwaidan

Highpoint Lowlife 2008
02 Tracks. 23min27mins

Kwaidan is a one-off project from Mat Ronson, who usually officiates under the Fisk Industries banner, released on the ever-excellent Highpoint Lowlife imprint as a digital-only EP, available to buy straight from the label.

With this release, Ronson turns his attention to dark and dense urban electronic by cutting two thick slice of haunting and caustic dubstep-infused techno, each clocking at over eleven minutes. Continue Reading »

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STEINBRÃœCHEL: Home (Slaapwel Records)

Max Schaefer on Dec 11th 2008 12:43 am

Steinbrückel: Home

Slaapwel Records 2008
01 Track. 33mins36sec

Steinbrüchel’s high quality manipulation of guitar recordings from Daisuke Miyatani is pleasantly calming, almost indifferent, as though a light squall of rain at sea.  The instrumental colors are constrained, the harmonics scant, but the texture and friction is delightfully varied and yet fluent.  Rich, vibrant chords first lap up against scratchy textures and humid atmospherics, until they settle into a slow breathing that forms an organic polyphony with stately, levitating electronic tones and waves of low end fuzz. Continue Reading »

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B. FLEISCHMANN: Angst Is Not A Weltanschauung! (Morr Music)

Max Schaefer on Dec 10th 2008 11:32 pm

B. Fleischmann: Angst Is Not A Weltanschauung!

Angst Is Not A Weltanschauung!
Morr Music 2008
09 Tracks. 54mins48secs

Bernhard Fleischmann’s habitually dark electronic textures and minor key harmonics luxuriate in fresh, expansive grooves on Angst Is Not A Weltanschauung!, his most explicitly pop album yet.  An embryonic indie rock quality is whipped into shape on a number of pieces by stuttering drum machine hi-hats and cockily affirmative vocal twists.  At times the accessible minor key phrases evoke the grinding of large bodies and come off rather well.  The brooding, sexy male-female vocalizing of Last Time We Met At A T&tt Concert, for one, entwines effortlessly with a cavernous, tub thumping rhythm. Continue Reading »

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ARVE HENRIKSEN: Cartography (ECM Records)

themilkman on Dec 9th 2008 01:52 am

Arve Henriksen: Cartography

ECM Records 2008
12 Tracks. 51mins11secs

For his fourth album, Norwegian jazz trumpeter Arve Henriksen has moved from the excellent Rune Grammofon, who have provided a fitting home from his wonderfully airy displays since his debut, Sakuteiki, released in 2001, to the seminal jazz and classical German imprint ECM, which have, over the years, released work by the likes of Jan Garbarek, Keith Jarrett, Arvo Pärt and many more. But, while Cartography is Henriksen’s first solo record for the label, he has contributed to records by the Christian Wallumrød Ensemble, Sinikka Langeland, Frode Haltli or Trygve Seim, to name but a few, all released through ECM. Continue Reading »

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