Archive for February, 2009


themilkman on Feb 26th 2009 02:03 am

Francesco Tristano: Auricle Bio On

Auricle Bio On
InFiné 2008
02 Tracks. 49mins31secs

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At the confine of modern classical, electro-acoustic, musique concrète and Detroit techno, Francesco Tristano occupies a somewhat unconventional and radical place to say the least. A mere twenty-five years of age, the Luxembourg-born has already established himself as one of the most exciting classical pianists of his generation, having won the 2004 Concours International De Piano XXe Siècle in Orleans, France. He has since recorded a number of classical works by Bach, Berio, Ravel and Prokofiev. His first foray into electronic music came with Not For Piano, an album recorded with Fernando Corona, of Murcof fame, and released on InFiné, on which he offered piano pieces based on tracks by Derrick May or Autechre, and compositions stretching into jazz and techno territories.

Tristano’s love affair with techno and electronic music forms started when he moved to New York to study at the Julliard School aged seventeen, yet it took until last year for Not For Piano to materialise. Auricle Bio On is as unusual a project as is its creator. Continue Reading »

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SYMBIOSIS ORCHESTRA: Live Journeys (Baskaru)

themilkman on Feb 24th 2009 01:06 am

Symbiosis Orchestra: Live Journeys

Live Journeys
Baskaru 2009
11 Tracks. 38mins23secs

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Encompassing everything from modern composition to experimental jazz to electronica, Symbiosis Orchestra is actually quite difficult to place. Originally the idea of Italian sound artist Andrea Gabriele, known as one half of electronic duos Pirandelo and Mou, Lips!, the formation, which includes musicians as diverse as Scanner’s Robin Rimbaud, Iris Garrelfs, Mario Masullo, all three known for their involvement with electronic music, as well as vibes player Stefano Tedesco, flutist Geoff Warren, violonist Diego, trumpetist Robereto di Egidio and pianist Michele Scurti, plus multi media artist Claudio Sinatti, blends in electronic and acoustic into surprisingly spacious and versatile compositions. Continue Reading »

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REIGNS: The House On The Causeway (Monotreme Records)

themilkman on Feb 23rd 2009 12:51 am

Reigns: The House On The Causeway

The House On The Causeway
Monotreme Records 2009
11 Tracks. 42mins55secs

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Reigns go to great lengths to give their records unique contexts. With their first album, We Lowered A Microphone Into The Ground (2005), brothers Tim and Roo Farthing, who occasionally refer to themselves as Operatives A and B, proclaimed to have done just that in a bottomless ground hole somewhere on the Somerset Downs. With their second, Styne Vallis (2006), they found themselves in the quest to find a mysterious submerged village in Wessex, so it is no surprise to see that their third, released on Monotreme, comes with its own odd and wonderful story.

There is, we are told, a small man-made causeway that goes pointlessly about half a mile into the English Channel somewhere between Black Ven and Golden Cap on the South coast of England. Continue Reading »

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SVARTE GREINER: Kappe (Type Recordings)

themilkman on Feb 20th 2009 01:49 am

Svarte Greiner: Kappe

Type Recordings 2009
04 Tracks. 44mins25secs

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Things have got a lot colder in Svarte Greiner’s epic aural world since his debut, Knive, was released, in 2006, and colder still since he last appeared as one half of Deaf Center the year before. Gone are the cinematic orchestral drapes, replaced with dense mournful sound formations drenched with chilling noises and spectral effects.

With his first output as Svarte Greiner, Norway’s Erik Skodvin already showed an unhealthy taste for dark matter, but he takes this to an entirely different level with his sophomore effort. Kappe flirts with desolate isolationist landscapes on more than one occasion on here, especially on its two centre pieces, Where Am I and Candle Light Dinner Actress, burrowing through vast spaces, filled with distant echoes, noises and distortions to create the soundtrack for a doomed journey through Hell. Continue Reading »

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SUSUMU YOKOTA: Mother (Lo Recordings)

themilkman on Feb 19th 2009 01:37 am

Susumu Yokota: Mother

Lo Recordings 2009
13 Tracks. 52mins22secs

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One can never presume to know in which shape and form Susumu Yokota may reappear, so wide-spread and iconoclastic is his impressive body of work. He has successfully tried his hand at pretty much every form of electronic-based music there is, from dance to ambient and electronica to experimental composition. His latest venture finds him exploring the outer boundaries of pop music, and for that, he has enrolled a number of friends to lay vocals on his compositions, including Efterklang’s lead vocalist Casper Clausen, singer-songwriter Nancy Elizabeth, whose debut album was released a couple of years ago on Leaf, The Chap’s Claire Hope and Panos Ghikas, Caroline Ross, Our Broken Garden’s Anna Bronsted, and Japanese songstress Kaori.

Far from being a straight-forward affair, Mother rarely settles for long on a particular idea. Continue Reading »

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REDCELL / MUSICOLOGY / B12: B12 Records Archive Vol. 3 / REDCELL / CMETRIC / B12: B12 Records Archive Vol. 4 (B12 Records)

themilkman on Feb 17th 2009 01:59 am

B12: B12 Records Archive Vol. 3

B12 Records Archive Vol. 3
B12 Records 2009
11 Tracks. 61mins30secs

B12: B12 Records Archive Vol. 4

B12 Records Archive Vol. 4
B12 Records 2009
13 Tracks. 61mins43secs

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The archaeological endeavour of excavating the classic British techno published on B12 Records between 1991 and 1994, which began at the end of last year with the publication of the first two volumes in this Archive series, continues with two more. Volume 3 compiles the first, self-titled Redcell EP and Hall Of Mirrors, the second EP from Mike Golding and Steve Rutter as Musicology, while the fourth volume focuses on Retreat From Unpleasant Realities, the second Redcell EP, and the Cmetric eponymous release. Both volumes also contain additional previously unreleased material recorded around the same time. All original EPs were released on very limited runs and on vinyl only. Continue Reading »

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OBERMAN KNOCKS: 13th Smallest (Aperture Records)

themilkman on Feb 16th 2009 01:52 am

Oberman Knocks: 13th Smallest

13th Smallest
Aperture Records 2009
10 Tracks. 47mins45secs

Like an ice-cold Autechre starved of natural light and oxygen, Oberman Knocks dispenses incredibly dense and suffocating soundscapes, where sounds are shredded and pulverised, beats constantly falter or freeze in mid-loop and occasional shards of human voice get caught in the complex set of mechanical cogs that maintain this machine alive.

Released on Andrea Parker’s new Aperture imprint, set up to release conceptual experimental works, 13th Smallest is the debut album from Sheffield-born, south-London-based Nigel Truswell, who has previously recorded as Alkin Engineering and WG Machines and released music on Static Caravan, Unlabel and October Man Recordings amongst others. Continue Reading »

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VARIOUS ARTISTS: Bip-Hop Generation Vol. 9 (Bip-Hop)

themilkman on Feb 13th 2009 02:00 am

Various Artists: Bip-Hop Generation Vol. 9

Bip-Hop Generation Vol. 9
Bip-Hop Records 2008
11 Tracks. 70mins37secs

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In the ten years that Bip-Hop label boss Philippe Petit has been compiling Bip-Hop Generation volumes, the spectrum of artists and genres represented is pretty impressive: Murcof, Phonem, Accelera Deck, Schneider TM, Goem, Ilpo Väisänen, Wang Inc., Mira Calix, Neotropic, Twine, Taylor Deupree, Si-Cut.db, Bovine Life, Datach’i, Andrew Duke, Fm3, Scanner, Tu M’, Tennis and Petit’s own Strings Of Consciousness are amongst those who have helped make this a truly era-defining series. Continue Reading »

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HARMONIC 313: When Machines Exceed Human Intelligence (Warp Records)

themilkman on Feb 12th 2009 01:12 am

Harmonic 313: When Machines Exceed Human Intelligence

When Machines Exceed Human Intelligence
Warp Records 2009
15 Tracks. 57mins58secs

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“Music is now a thing of the past”. With this small detail settled, on Music Substitute System, one could just turn the page and think of other things. The past is, after all, quite important in the case of Mark Pritchard, and is certainly substantial enough to satisfy without the need of adding any new sections to it. That’s where he was in turn Global Communication, Chameleon, Reload or Jedi Knights with Tom Middleton; Link or Troubleman alone, and was involved in truck-loads of other collaborative efforts, scattered on too many labels to care to mention.

His latest project, Harmonic 313, is an offshoot of Harmonic 33, the vessel he created with Dave Brinkworth at the end of the nineties. Continue Reading »

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MOUNTAINS: Choral (Thrill Jockey)

themilkman on Feb 11th 2009 01:53 am

Mountains: Choral

Thrill Jockey 2009
06 Tracks. 51mins08secs

Vast sonic plains and beautiful, rich textures have been the corner stones of New York’s Mountains ever since they released their self-titled debut album four years ago. In 2006, Sewn, their second offering, developed on its predecessor’s blueprint to give the more succinct compositions an accentuated relief  and a greater overall focus. Following a very limited vinyl-only release collecting live recordings and odds and sods last year, which is due to be re-released on CD later on in the year, the duo formed of Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp have, with their third opus, taken their sound to yet another level.

While the pair’s first two records were published on their own Apestaartje imprint, Choral surfaces on Chicago-based Thrill Jockey. Continue Reading »

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LITHOPS: Ye Viols! (Thrill Jockey)

David Abravanel on Feb 11th 2009 01:41 am

Lithops: Ye Viols!

Ye Viols!
Thrill Jockey 2009
11 Tracks. 45mins28secs

When done properly, live collaborations between visual and audio artists are something special, possessed of the irreplaceable energy of a multi-sensuous experience grabbing the participant. Divorced not only of its live setting, but further of its visual aid, it’s a gamble as to whether the music will be merit its own, isolated appreciation. Jan St. Werner, half of ever-evolving electronic duo Mouse On Mars, takes such a chance by releasing Ye Viols!, a collection of his solo works meant to soundtrack visual artworks, released under his Lithops moniker.

To begin with, Ye Viols! is more experimental than anything from Mouse On Mars. Think of Autechre’s drone-heavy collaborations with The Hafler Trio, then add some glitches and the occasional beat, and a bit more silence, and you’ll have a decent idea of what this record sounds like. Continue Reading »

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LARS HORNTVETH: Kaleidoscopic (Smalltown Supersound)

themilkman on Feb 5th 2009 12:19 am

Lars Horntveth: Kaleidoscopic

Smalltown Supersound 2009
01 Track. 36mins47secs

One of the founding members of the all-out bopping Jaga Jazzist ensemble, Lars Horntveth surprised some years ago with a refined and mature debut solo output. On Pooka, Horntveth was seemingly applying some of the same concept he had helped develop with Jaga, but, he also hinted at much more elaborated music processes and showed a taste for orchestral forms. With his second effort, delivered five years on, he steps up the pace and takes on the challenge of working with a full classical formation, the Latvian National Orchestra, on a single piece. Continue Reading »

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