Archive for April, 2009

STRINGS OF CONSCIOUSNESS & ANGEL: Strings Of Consciousness & Angel (Important Records)

themilkman on Apr 30th 2009 12:43 am

Strings Of Consciousness & Angel: Strings Of Consciousness & Angel

Strings Of Consciousness & Angel
Important Records 2009
02 Tracks. 40mins43secs

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Strings Of Consciousness, the collective of musicians led by French music activist Philippe Petit, who also heads the excellent Bip-Hop imprint, and Angel, originally a project consisting of Pan Sonic’s Ilpo Väisänen and Dirk Dresselhaus, better known as SchneiderTM, now also comprising Hildur Guðnadóttir of Múm, have teamed up for a project combining the various acoustic, electric and electronic inputs of these formations.

The two tracks making up this album, one clocking at twenty two minutes, the other at just under nineteen, and simply labelled #1 and #2, are the result of improvisation sessions between the two ensembles. Continue Reading »

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DAN DEACON: Bromst (Carpark Records)

themilkman on Apr 29th 2009 12:42 am

Dan Deacon: Bromst

Carpark Records 2009
10 Tracks. 64mins20secs

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Dan Deacon is not your archetypical classically trained musician, with past outputs ranging from the playful, quirky or bizarre to the manic or plain silly. Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, home of Animal Collective, Deacon first got noticed over two years ago with his debut album, Spiderman Of The Rings, published on Carpark Records, largely made up of hyperactive laptop-based songs sounding half way between 8-bit electro inferno and cartoon-esque insanity. Prior to the release of this album, Deacon had already got the hype machine running overtime in his neighbourhood thanks to is involvement with art collective Wham City and incendiary live sets. Since, he’s had music featured on a handful of split singles and collaborated on a DVD release with Jimmy Joe Roche.

With Bromst, his sophomore release, Deacon shows some clear signs of maturing as he incorporate more live instrumentation and brings down the pace of his compositions a tad, resulting in a much more balanced collection. Continue Reading »

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INFINITE SCALE: Ad Infinitum (Rednetic Recordings)

themilkman on Apr 28th 2009 12:30 am

Infinite Scale: Ad Infinitum

Ad Infinitum
Rednetic Recordings 2009
09 Tracks. 46mins37secs

In the twelve years since the publication of his debut EP, Infinite Scale’s Harmi Palda has been pretty frugal with releases under this particular guise, only issuing a trickle of tracks on EPs and compilations through imprints such as Toytronic, Boltfish or Rednetic. Drawing on a tradition of warm, lush and rich electronica, his work has regularly crossed to live, with, notably, performances at Glastonbury and Bestival under his belt.

On his debut album, Palda develops further his particular blend of electronic music, using beautifully polished and gentle soundscapes and bending them into remarkably effective melodies. Continue Reading »

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MAUXUAM: Viceversa (Interchill Records)

David Abravanel on Apr 27th 2009 09:32 pm

Mauxuam: Viceversa

Interchill Records 2008
10 Tracks. 73mins06secs

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The world is getting smaller: just ask an electronic musician. True, the concept of “world music” is nothing new, but attempts at harvesting non-Western musics in bite-size pieces for white people to listen to has generally been fraught with (un)intentional exotification and misappropriation of said musical cultures. Good intentions, certainly, but as the saying goes, there leads the path to hell; listen to any of the dime-a-dozen compilations with yawning beats over tambura loops from the mid-nineties and tell me I’m wrong.

The past few years have seen an upset in this formula for the positive, however, as increasing Internet speeds and ease of access to digital media has fostered a more universally collaborative global musical realm. Continue Reading »

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MODERAT: Moderat (BPitch Control)

themilkman on Apr 24th 2009 12:34 am

Moderat: Moderat

BPitch Control 2009
11 Tracks. 48mins07secs

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When two acts join forces on a common project, they have the option of doing so under a new name, risking in the process to go unnoticed, or merge their individual noms-de-scene in the way Berlin-based duo Modeselektor, Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary, and electronic wizard Sascha ‘Apparat’ Ring have done. The trio’s first collaboration goes back to 2002 with the Auf Kosten Der Gesundheit EP, released on Ellen Allien’s BPitch Control, but, due to other commitments, this never materialised into anything more until a chance encounter last year in a swimming pool in Berlin brought them back together and rekindled the collaboration

Recorded in Berlin’s famous Hansa Studios, using the venue’s vintage equipment, the album combines Modeselektor’s elegant and playful electronica and Apparat’s sleek textural moody pop to create a rather suave and warm hybrid where evocative instrumentals and angular vocal pieces coexists in perfect harmony. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Apr 19th 2009 06:00 pm


New York based audio visual artist Fredo Viola released his first EP, The Sad Song, to critical acclaim last year. The EP, including the video accompanying the title track, shot and directed by Viola, generated a lot of interest, especially from film directors and authors. Viola even received an offer to collaborate with Massive Attack. A few months later, he launched, a website collating more videos and new songs. The Turn is now being released as a full length album, and the CD also comes with a DVD featuring the videos showcased on the web. Here, Fredo discusses his artistic background, how he developed his particular blend of work and how the internet is a key part of his work. Continue Reading »

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FREDO VIOLA: The Turn (Because Music)

themilkman on Apr 17th 2009 08:43 am

Fredo Viola: The Turn

The Turn
Because Music 2009
12 Tracks. 45mins19secs

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Fredo Viola makes pop music like no-one else. Fearlessly rejecting traditional forms, he uses vocal layers to build songs and harmonies, but instead of relying on other people’s voices, he works with multiple instances of his own, adding line after line, variation after variation, to eventually surf on the strength of a choir of which he is the sole defining element.

Born in England, where he spent his first few years before his parents moved to Italy then, later, to New York where he still resides, Viola released his first EP, entitled The Sad Song, last year. The title track was accompanied by a video, directed by Viola, which expanded on the vocal concept by using multiple sequences of himself singing different lines. Shortly after he posted it on his myspace page, he began receiving emails from directors and film critics, and even got an offer to collaborate with Massive Attack. The EP featured three original songs plus three radically different reworkings of the title track from Prins Thomas, Roland Appel and Tunng.

The Turn first materialised at the end of 2008 as a dedicated website, where users were invited to play with shapes, each one representing a song and its accompanying video. Continue Reading »

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VARIOUS ARTISTS: Money Will Ruin Everything: Second Edition (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Apr 16th 2009 12:25 am

Various Artists: Money Will Ruin Everything: The Second Edition

Money Will Ruin Everything: The Second Edition
Rune Grammofon 2009
25 Tracks. 152mins42secs

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‘It’s hard work to sell Rune CD outside of a small group of freaks’. To celebrate its first five years of activity, Norwegian label Rune Grammofon issued Money Will Ruin Everything, a beautiful limited collection documenting the label’s first few years spent charting the outer reaches of the music industry, spread over two CDs and presented with a book designed by Kim Hiorthøy. Fast forward five years and a few months, and it is time for label owner Rune Kristoffersen to look back once again and take stock of one of the most eclectic and forward-thinking catalogue around. And once again, Kim Hiorthøy, who is still single-handedly responsible for the visual identity of the label, including its occasional advertising, has designed a beautiful artefact, which collects not only the two CDs of this second edition of Money Will Ruin Everything, introduced by Geoff Travis and Robert Fricke, but also essays by Wire collaborator Rob Young and design consultant Adrian Shaughnessy, photographs and artwork reproductions. Continue Reading »

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MINT: Cardboard Rocketships (Boltfish Recordings)

themilkman on Apr 15th 2009 08:00 pm

Mint: Cardboard Rocketships

Cardboard Rocketships
Boltfish Recordings 2009
13 Tracks. 61mins15secs

Only weeks after Cheju, one half of the team heading Boltfish Record released his latest album, it is the turn of London-based Murray Fisher, AKA Mint, the other half, to deliver a collection of fine electronic music. Infused with the rich evolving melodic and textures that have been at the heart of the Boltfish ethic ever since the label was first established, five years ago, Cardboard Rocketships concentrates in twelve tracks, plus a reworking of Ulrich Schnauss’s Shine, what Fisher has been developing over the course of countless EPs, released not only on his own imprint, but also through U-Cover, Kahvi Collective, Rednetic or Lacedmilk Technologies.

Even more so than that of Cheju, Fisher’s music is characterised by strong, evocative, almost naïve, melodies and sweeping cinematic orchestrations, which heavily contribute to create deeply dramatic and effective pieces. Continue Reading »

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MARK PRITCHARD: ? / The Hologram (Ho Hum Records)

David Abravanel on Apr 14th 2009 10:01 pm

Mark Pritchard: ? / The Hologram

? / The Hologram
Ho Hum Records 2009
02 Tracks. 11mins23secs
Format: Digital

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Most electronic musicians have some kind of signature sound – a crunchy clap/snare hybrid, or an acid synth squelch, perhaps. It’s something to signify to listeners that, even if the tracks we’re hearing are from a new pseudonym, it’s still the same person behind the controls.

Not so with Mark Pritchard. A member of Global Communication, Jedi Knights, Harmonic 33, and his recent solo project Harmonic 313 (just to name a few), Pritchard is a true sonic chameleon. The mellotron-heavy noir-museum feel of Harmonic 33 signifies little that it’s the same person who’s behind the lush ambient house of Global Communication or Harmonic 313’s bassy tech-hop. ?, Pritchard’s latest single – this time released under his given name for a change – throws yet another curveball. Continue Reading »

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WILDBIRDS & PEACEDRUMS: The Snake (The Leaf Label)

themilkman on Apr 9th 2009 12:02 am

Wildbirds & Peacedrums: The Snake

The Snake
The Leaf Label 2009
10 Tracks. 42mins59secs

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A year ago, the excellent Leaf Label delivered Heatcore, the debut album by Wildbirds & Peacedrums, a Swedish duo formed of husband and wife Andreas Werliin (drums/percussions) and Mariam Wallentin (voice). The album, originally released a year before in their homeland, had been gathering considerable praises in the whole of Scandinavia, resulting in the pair pocketing the prestigious Jazz In Sweden 2008 prize, a considerable honour for a band evolving outside of the jazz canon. In addition, the pair’s deeply organic and incendiary live shows helped established them as one of the hottest acts to have emerged from Sweden in a while.

The Snake, recorded in Gothenburg and originally released in Sweden a year ago, sees Wallentin and Werliin considerably developing the scope of their collaboration. Continue Reading »

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THE BLACK DOG: Further Vexations (Soma Quality Recordings)

themilkman on Apr 7th 2009 08:49 pm

The Black Dog: Further Vexations

Further Vexations
Soma Quality Recordings 2009
15 Tracks. 68mins26secs

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Almost a year to the day after the release of the rather impressive Radio Scarecrow, and twenty years on from Downie’s first ever release, The Black Dog is back, tail wagging, with another slice of dense and moody electronica, fuelled with classic Detroit flavours and self-styled Northern electronic soul attitude.

While Radio Scarecrow represented quite a departure from its predecessor, Further Vexations appears in many ways as a more in-depth exploration of a particular groove, as if the stones turned on Radio Scarecrow had, with times, brought to the surface much more subterranean life than originally found. Continue Reading »

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