Archive for March, 2009

MOKIRA: Persona (Type Recordings)

themilkman on Mar 31st 2009 12:48 am

Mokira: Persona

Type Recordings 2009
07 Tracks. 53mins07secs

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Mokira is one of the many projects from Swedish musician Andreas Tilliander, who began operating under this particular banner in 2000, when Chiphop was released. He has since released a handful of albums and EPs on various labels. Two years on from his last album, Hateless, published on Swedish imprint Ideal Recordings, Tilliander returns to Type, five years after his first output for the label, with the eighth Mokira album.

Continuing on the path set with previous records, Tilliander creates once again a series of dense glitch-infused decaying electronic pieces which linger around textural atmospheric soundscapes. Continue Reading »

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RIVAL CONSOLES: Helvetica / KIASMOS/RIVAL CONSOLES: 65/Milo (Erased Tapes)

themilkman on Mar 27th 2009 01:33 am

Rival Consoles: Helvetica

Erased Tapes 2009
04 Tracks. 12mins51secs
Format: 7”/Digital

Kiasmos/Rival Consoles: 65/Milo

Erased Tapes 2009
05 Tracks. 24mins36secs
Format: 12”/Digital

One of the most iconic type faces of our times, Helvetica celebrated its fiftieth anniversary a couple of years ago amidst a wide range of events across Europe, including the ABC123 EP by To Rococo Rot. Created in 1957 by designer Max Miedinger, Helvetica has since infiltrated just about every form of visual communication and become one of the most ubiquitous and versatile fonts, used equally successfully on public signage, record covers, advertising and art.

Versatile is an adjective that can also be applied to Ryan Lee West’s Rival Consoles, whose debut release, The Decadent EP, was published on Erased Tapes at the end of 2007. Released as a four track seven inch single and digital EP, Helvetica is a hell of an eclectic release. Continue Reading »

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PREFUSE 73: Everything She Touched Turned Ampexian (Warp Records)

themilkman on Mar 26th 2009 01:40 am

Prefuse 73: Everything She Touches Turned Ampexian

Everything She Touched Turned Ampexian
Warp Records 2009
29 Tracks. 48mins24secs

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In recent years, there has been a noticeable shift towards a generally softer and more polished sound in the work of Guillermo Scott Herren, characterised first via his Savath & Savalas project which, following the pastoral ambiences of his debut, Folk Songs For Trains, Trees And Honey (Hefty, 2000), adopted a resolutely sunnier disposition with Apropa’t (Warp, 2004), before drifting into torrid torpor with Golden Pollen (Anti, 2007). Other projects didn’t appear as affected, least of all, for a while at least, Prefuse 73, Herren’s flagship project, which continued to challenge conceptions through his take on abstract hip-hop, but his last release, Preparations, published in 2007, showed some clear signs that the man was indeed mellowing Continue Reading »

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ALVA NOTO: Xerrox Vol. 2 (Raster-Noton)

Max Schaefer on Mar 23rd 2009 11:13 pm

Alva Noto: Xerrox Vol. 2

Xerrox Vol. 2
Raster-Noton 2009
11 Tracks.  66mins32 secs

Carsten Nicolai’s conceptual bent and experimental drive get relativized in a larger whole on this, the second edition of the Xerrox series.  The former, led again by Nicolai’s interest in clarity, precision, and finesse, are made to bleed into a previously untapped luxuriance.

Samples from Michael Nyman, Stephen O’Malley and Ryuichi Sakamoto are processed to varying degrees, and often occupy a delicate, fragile place between their original coherent identity and a unintelligible, anonymous state.  As a result, though the composerly feel for pace and dynamics is apparent, and though the arcs are finely wrought, the skillfully maintained ambiguity of these musical interfaces ensures that dubiously unresolved tensions characterize them equally as much. Continue Reading »

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LIONDIALER: Live! (White Box Recordings)

themilkman on Mar 13th 2009 01:45 am

Liondialer: Live!

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White Box Recordings 2009
07 Tracks. 52mins25secs

Liondialer exist primarily as a live outfit, with a particular pledge to bring their sonic experimentation to a public who would normally not be confronted with anything quite like this, by playing outside of the usual leftfield venues circuit. This has led to their live improvisations being largely ignored, or, as the story goes, for the pair to be asked by a band due to play straight after them when they planned to start and receiving for answer a straight to the point ‘We are playing. This is our set. You’re kind of interrupting my flow’.

Formed of Greg Haines, whose debut, Slamber Tides, published on Miasmah in 2006, gathered well deserved praises, and Danny Saul, a guitarist who, beside his solo work, is also involved in a handful of formations, Liondialer have been performing live improvisations for a couple of years. Continue Reading »

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David Abravanel on Mar 12th 2009 11:01 pm


Guitarist and electronic manipulator Chris Willits is a pioneer and a teacher, exploring new methodologies for signal processing, while publicly sharing his techniques through the video series What You Talkin’ ‘Bout Willits? for XLR8R. The latest EP from Willits’ side project, Flossin, with Zach Hill from Hella, features a who’s who of experimental musicians, from Matmos to Strategy to Wobbly. Willits sat down with themilkfactory’s David Abravanel after a solo show at John Zorn’s New York performance space, The Stone, to discuss advances in music technology, what exactly ‘folding’ is, and whether or not ‘Flossin’ should have umlauts over the ‘o’. Continue Reading »

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HAUSCHKA: Snowflakes And Carwrecks (Fat-Cat Records/130701)

themilkman on Mar 12th 2009 12:48 am

Hauschka: Snowflakes And Carwrecks

Snowflakes And Carwrecks
Fat-Cat Records/130701 2009
07 Tracks. 39mins39secs

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Only a few months after releasing his second album, Ferndorf, Düsseldorf-based pianist and composer Volker Bertelmann returns with a companion EP of previously unreleased material recorded during the Ferndorf sessions. Clocking at just under forty minutes for the CD and MP3 versions, a little less for the vinyl, Snowflakes And Carwrecks is, like its predecessor, a beautiful and delicate collection of exquisite piano-led compositions, tinted by the addition of a small string ensemble and occasional electronics. Continue Reading »

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THE SUBS: Subculture (Lektroluv)

David Abravanel on Mar 11th 2009 10:44 pm

The Subs: Subculture

Lektroluv 2009
09 Tracks. 47mins23secs

There’s plenty to debate about the current crop of brash electro-house acts. Anyone with an ear from sound has been in pain over the walloping overcompression on their albums (and come on guys, recognize the difference between headphones and a club already), and there’s the argument that this whole movement is all style and no substance, more concerned with donning the latest neon fashion atrocities than making something meant to last. Unfortunately, both these common critiques ring true in droves for Subculture, the debut full-length release from It-group The Subs.

To begin with, The Subs have certainly done their homework. Subculture or overflowing with hoover stabs and vocal rushes that attempt to recapture the energy of the early nineties, the last period of popularity for this kind of big, dumb raver fun. Continue Reading »

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GERRY MITCHELL/VARIOUS PRODUCTION: The Invisible Lodger (Fire Records)

themilkman on Mar 10th 2009 10:56 pm

Gerry Mitchell/Various Production: The Invisible Lodger

The Invisible Lodger
Fire Records 2009
17 Tracks. 38mins41secs

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Some years ago, before The Black Dog became a three-headed entity again, Ken Downie teamed up with Scottish poet Black Sifichi on Unsavoury Products, weaving a densely layered electronic web around Sifichi’s haunting, claustrophobic or plain surreal poems, and his equally dense vocal inputs, for what remains his most uncompromising record to date. The secretive Various Production unit embarked on a very similar project when enlisting the services of another Scottish poet and artist, Gerry Mitchell, whose voice and texts sign-post the whole of this album, while VP warp their usual urban-flavoured electronic textures, tinted by occasional sweeping folk undercurrents, to soundtrack his contributions. Continue Reading »

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RONE: Spanish Breakfast (InFiné)

themilkman on Mar 10th 2009 12:12 am

Rone: Spanish Breakfast

Spanish Breakfast
InFiné 2009
10 Tracks. 41mins45secs

Rone’s debut album is of a surprisingly sunny disposition for an electronic record, especially one that owes a fair amount to Detroit techno. The fruit of the imagination of French musician and sound designer Erwan Castex, who beside this project, regularly produces music for exhibitions and adverts, Spanish Breakfast offers a somewhat playful and dreamy soundtrack, drenched in gentle melodies and cinematic grooves designed as much for overnight consumption as for chilled summery Sunday mornings. Continue Reading »

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FRAET: For Another Day (Benbecula Records)

Max Schaefer on Mar 9th 2009 10:51 pm

Fraet: For Another Day

For Another Day
Benbecula Records 2009
07 Tracks. 38mins34secs

For Another Day sees Tokyo-based electronic artist Fraet – who now and again also operates as Fjordne – relax into a selection of enchantingly faint techno pads that ping outward like splash rings in a pool of fresh melodic color.  In turning simple electronic tones and elastic percussion into slippery grooves, Fraet is decidedly unfussy, allowing them to carry on insistently, become entangled with competing patterns, and finally be taken asunder by the rich and luminous lumpen melancholy of the underwater ambience, which, gaining as it does in opulence near the end of the effort – provide some intimacy and perspective on the proceedings as a whole. Continue Reading »

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SYNTHEME: Lasers ‘N’ Shit (Planet Mu)

David Abravanel on Mar 6th 2009 12:06 am

Syntheme: Lasers 'N' Shit

Lasers ‘N’ Shit
Planet Mu 2009
20 Tracks. 62mins46secs

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At this point, it’s become standard to assume that any new classic-sounding acid act is, in fact, Richard D. James in disguise. The online chatter about the true identity of Syntheme, coupled with the fact that the latest release under the moniker, Lasers ‘N’ Shit, is an engagingly funky course of acid disco, has done little to quell such suspicions. (And how about those track titles – Thraqqwa? Eqxq? More suggestive evidence). In all likelihood, however, Planet Mu is telling the truth in simply stating ‘Syntheme is Louise Wood from outta Brighton’. After all, this Louise Wood has performed live numerous times as Syntheme; RDJ never went so far as to hire actors to perform as The Tuss.

So, assuming that we’ve got the debut full-length form the 24-year-old Wood on our hands, let’s get down to business: this owns. Continue Reading »

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