Archive for July, 2009

LOKAI: Transition (Thrill Jockey)

themilkman on Jul 29th 2009 10:18 pm

Lokai: Transition

Thrill Jockey 2009
09 Tracks. 37mins45secs

Icon: arrow CD: Amazon UK | Amazon US LP: Amazon UK | Amazon US

Lokai materialised briefly in 2005, just long enough to record a collection of granular electro-acoustic pieces, 7 Million, released on Austrian imprint Mosz. Since, Vienna-based Florian Kmet and Stefan Németh have been busy with other projects, the latter having notably a solo album on Thrill Jockey last year, leaving Lokai dormant for all this time.

The pair reconvened last year, using Kmet’s old flat as rehearsal venue/recording studio, allowing them to take the necessary time to explore the wealth of acoustic instruments at their disposal and work ways to process them into fully-formed compositions. Continue Reading »

Filed in Albums | Comments Off

LUKE VIBERT: We Hear You (Planet Mu)

themilkman on Jul 28th 2009 09:09 pm

Luke Vibert: We Hear You

We Hear You
Planet Mu 2009
14 Tracks. 65mins40secs

Icon: arrow CD: Amazon UK | Boomkat LP: Amazon UK | Boomkat

Lord Vibert is back, once again on Planet Mu, which seems to have become a semi permanent home for his eclectic blend of electronic music. One of the forefathers of modern electronica, and a long-time friend of Richard D. James, Tom Jenkinson or Planet Mu boss Mike Paradinas, Vibert’s back catalogue spans more genres than these three put together. Ambient, hip-hop, drum’n’bass, library music, acid or funky disco have all been part of his diet, whether he recorded as Wagon Christ, Plug, Kerrier District, Amen Andrews or under his own name, and these are still constant elements of his sound, over fifteen years on from his first releases. Continue Reading »

Filed in Albums | Comments (5)

JOSEPH AUER: Nu Age (Rednetic Recordings)

themilkman on Jul 28th 2009 12:44 am

Joseph Auer: Nu Age

Nu Age
Rednetic Recordings 2009
11 Tracks. 76mins15secs

Icon: arrow Download: iTunes

Born in Chicago, Joseph Auer grew up in Yorkshire and Wales, where he met Mark Streatfield, with whom he eventually set up Rednetic Recordings. Although he is still actively involved in the label, Auer relocated to Tokyo a few years ago and has been living there ever since. Since, he has delivered music for a variety of labels beside Rednetic, including October Man, Boltfish, Lacedmilk Technologies, Smallfish or, recently, Symbolic Interaction. Beside his solo project, Auer is also a member of Lowrider Deluxe with Streatfield, Clive Burns and Simon Thomas. The quartet released their debut album, Future Deluxe, last year on Japanese imprint Symbolic Interaction.

Like Mark Streatfield when he records under his Zainetica guise, Auer has developed a particular blend of Detroit-infused techno which finds its roots in the early nineties British interpretation of the genre, especially The Black Dog or, in Auer’s case, B12 or Kirk Degiorgio. And this is very much what informs his latest release, Nu Age, his first for Rednetic in five years. Continue Reading »

Filed in Albums | Comments Off

SPUNK: Kantarell (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Jul 23rd 2009 09:17 pm

Spunk: Kantarell

Rune Grammofon 2009
09 Tracks. 46mins44secs

Icon: arrow CD: Amazon UK | Boomkat Download: Amazon UK | iTunes

If it was possible to add up the musicianship for each of the bands housed on the excellent Rune Grammofon imprint and place them in ascending order, it is probable that all-female improv collective Spunk would be light years ahead of their nearest contenders. Formed of Kristin Andersen, Hilde Sofie Tafjord, Maja Solveig Ratkje and Lene Grenager, all classically trained and highly respected musicians and composers in their own right, Spunk, which celebrates ten years at the forefront of the avant-garde improv movement, has always seemed like the most exhilarating of playgrounds. One of the staple acts of Rune Grammofon, they released their debut album, Det Eneste Jeg Vet Er At Det Ikke Er En Støvsuger only a few months after the label was launched, and, consequently had the like of Svalastog, Kim Hiorthøy, Martin Horntveth, Phonophani or Lasse Marhaug remixing their work for the Filtered Through Friends album. Continue Reading »

Filed in Albums | Comments (1)


themilkman on Jul 22nd 2009 10:36 pm

Alva Noto + Ryuichi Sakamoto with Ensemble Modern: utp_

Raster-Noton 2009
10 Tracks. 71mins57secs / DVD 112mins07

Icon: arrow CD+DVD: | Boomkat | Download:  iTunes | Boomkat

utp_ is the fourth collaboration between legendary Japanese innovator Ryuichi Sakamoto and German sound artist Carsten Nicolai, as Alva Noto, following Vrioon in 2002 and Insen and Revep in 2005. In 2007, the pair were commissioned an audio-visual performance with eminent German contemporary orchestra Ensemble Modern, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the city of Mannheim, situated in the state of Baden-Württemberg, in the South West of Germany. Released as a CD, presenting the various compositions, and DVD, documenting both the live performance, complete with synchronised visuals projected at the back of the orchestra, and utp_ Tryout, a behind the scene documentary showing every aspect of the preparation for the performance, from composition to the creation of the visual components, utp_ is quite a big piece of work, totally in contrast with the minimal aesthetic of the work itself. Continue Reading »

Filed in Albums,DVD | Comments (4)

Fredo Viola, The Fly, London, 20/07/2009

themilkman on Jul 22nd 2009 12:57 am

Fredo Viola, The Fly, London, 20/07/2009

The very essence of Fredo Viola’s work to date lies on his vocal prowess, singing each and every melody and harmony on each and every one of his songs. The issue with this is that, while he can record or video himself many times, there is, ultimately, only one of him. The live environment could therefore have been well beyond his reach, his music too clever to be performed in front of an audience. The solution could well have been to take backing tracks with him and sing over them, and it is exactly as his set starts, with, fittingly on the night of the fortieth anniversary of the moon landing, a rendition of Moon Over Berceuse, where he sung the lead vocal over pre-recorded instances of his voice harmonising. This was however the only song relying entirely on the laptop that was performed all night. Right from the second song, he was joined on stage by Ben Evens (guitar/voice), Graeme Brooker (bass), and Jasper Walkinson (rudimentary drums – only a bass drum, a snare and a couple of cymbals to him to play with – guitar, voice) all three of Manchester outfit I Am Your Autopilot, together with French touche-a-tout Scalde, who added many textures and sounds by playing anything and everything from bells to flute and cythera. Continue Reading »

Filed in Live | Comments (2)

ON: Your Naked Ghost Comes Back At Night (Type Recordings)

themilkman on Jul 20th 2009 12:41 am

On: Your Naked Ghost Comes Back At Night

Your Naked Ghost Comes Back At Night
Type Recordings 2009
07 Tracks. 63mins26secs

Icon: arrow CD: Amazon UK | Boomkat | Download: Amazon UK | Boomkat

On is a project like no other. The brainchild of French composer Sylvain Chauveau and American percussionist Steven Hess, best known as one third of Chicago-based electro-acoustic outfit Haptic, On started six years ago when the pair met and recorded a session together, with Chauveau on prepared guitars and Hess on percussions. The recordings were then put in the hands of Norwegian ambient artist Helge Sten, who was then officiating as Deathprod and is, still, amongst others, a member of experimental jazz outfit Supersilent, and French composer Pierre-Yves Macé who each worked on a number of tracks, modelling them to their own sound world. The Sten tracks were collected on Your Naked Ghost Comes Back At Night and originally released in 2004 on Les Disques Du Soleil Et De L’Acier, and the ones processed by Macé were released on the album Second Souffle on Brocoli in 2007. Five years on from its original release, Type Recordings are now reissuing the Helge Sten collaboration. Continue Reading »

Filed in Albums | Comments (2)

JIMMY BEHAN: The Echo Garden (Audiobulb Records)

themilkman on Jul 17th 2009 12:58 am

Jimmy Behan: The Echo Garden

The Echo Garden
Audiobulb Records 2009
10 Tracks. 44mins16secs

Icon: arrow CD: Amazon UK | Download: Amazon UK | iTunes | Boomkat

Irish sound artist Jimmy Behan first appeared in 2001 with an EP released on Kin Recordings and a split single with Connectfour Orchestra on Road Relish, but it is with his debut album, Days Are What We Live In, released three years later, that he first got the chance to fully showcase his sound, bringing together acoustic instruments, found sounds and electronic treatments to create evocative sonic vignettes. Five years and a couple of EPs later, Behan returns, this time on the excellent Audiobulb, with The Echo Garden, his second full-length. Continue Reading »

Filed in Albums | Comments (1)

VARIOUS ARTISTS: Birmingham Sound Matter (Audiobulb Records)

themilkman on Jul 16th 2009 12:18 am

Various Artists: Birmingham Sound Matter

Birmingham Sound Matter
Audiobulb Records 2009
08 Tracks. 65mins53secs

Icon: arrow Download: iTunes | Juno | Boomkat

Over fifty years ago, French composer Pierre Schaeffer, the father of musique concrète, described sound recording as ‘objet sonore’, suggesting that, while documenting a sonic event, it is also one. This is very much the philosophy behind the Sound Matter series of projects orchestrated by Spanish sound artist Francisco López. After Brussels in 2004, Montreal in 2006 and Victoriaville in 2007, López was invited to come to Birmingham and gather a handful of regional sound artists.

The concept behind the Sound Matter projects is pretty simple. Get a few sound artists together, send them to collect sounds from a particular city, let them process them as they see fit. These two sound pools are then a common platform for each of the artists involved to create their own work. Continue Reading »

Filed in Albums | Comments (1)

ETHAN ROSE: Oaks (Baskaru)

themilkman on Jul 14th 2009 12:45 am

Ethan Rose: Oaks

Baskaru 2009
08 Tracks. 37mins51secs

Icon: arrow Buy: CD | MP3 | iTunes

Hailing from Portland, OR, Ethan Rose works with unusual sound sources which he processes and collates into delicate atmospheric pieces to create wonderfully textural records. His debut album, Ceiling Songs, released in 2006 on Locust Music, documented his work with automated instruments (music boxes, taped up player piano rolls), which, combined with acoustic instruments and electronics, created a fragile and ephemeral world where textures were layered into gossamer formations. His follow up record, Spinning Pieces, published in 2007, once again on Locust, collected three tracks which had previously been released in extremely small quantity, and continued to showcase his work with automated instruments.

For his third album, Oaks, released on Baskaru in Europe, Holocene in the US and Headz in Japan, Rose has sourced all his sounds from a Wurlitzer theatre organ dating back from the mid-1920s, which was originally used to accompany silent films. Continue Reading »

Filed in Albums | Comments (1)

OPSVIK & JENNINGS: A Dream I Used To Remember (Loyal Label)

themilkman on Jul 13th 2009 10:11 pm

Opsvik & Jennings: A Dream I Used To Dream

A Dream I Used To Remember
Loyal Label 2009
10 Tracks. 44mins55secs

Icon: arrow Buy: MP3 | iTunes

It is the third time that New York-based Norwegian multi-instrumentist Eivind Opsvik and Tulsa, OK, born guitarist Aaron Jennings get together to collaborate on an album. Both renowned musicians in their own right, the pair got together in the late nineties when they both moved to New York. Their first album together, Fløyel Files, was published in 2005 on NCM East, was a pretty electronic affair, built around extremely delicate treated acoustic brushes and feeding on both Opsvik’s jazz and Jennings’s pop influences. Since, their sound has progressively moved to incorporate fuller acoustic textures. Their 2007 Commuter Anthems, published on Rune Grammofon, gave Jennings’s guitar playing a much more prominent space, while Opsvik’s warm bass also came through much more clearly.

Released on Opsvik’s relatively new Loyal Label, A Dream I Used To Dream continues where Commuter Anthems left off, and brings in richer soundscapes and more ambitious melodies. Continue Reading »

Filed in Albums | Comments Off

KRENG: L’Autopsie Phénoménale De Dieu (Miasmah Recordings)

themilkman on Jul 10th 2009 12:39 am

Kreng: L’Autopsie Phénoménale De Dieu

L’Autopsie Phénoménale De Dieu
Miasmah Recordings 2009
18 Tracks. 55mins19secs

Icon: arrow Buy: CD | iTunes

Miasmah’s ill and sombre hinterlands welcome their latest dweller in Belgian artist Pepijn Caudron. When he started as Kreng some years ago, Caudron’s work was entirely sample-based, his music borrowing from classical, jazz, electronica or improvisation. Over the years, Caudron developed a more cinematic feel to his work, leading him to work on soundtracks for films and theatre, and in particular with a company named Abattoir Fermé, based in Mechelen, half way between Brussels and Antwerp, where Caudron resides. While he is credited with a number of original pieces for both film and theatre, the ambitiously titled L’Autopsie Phénoménale De Dieu is his first official release, and follows a couple of digital EPs.

Dark, haunting and unsettling, this album is undeniably at home on Erik Skodvin’s Miasmah, yet its theatricality gives it a certain grandeur that is new to the label. Continue Reading »

Filed in Albums | Comments (1)

Next »