Archive for November, 2009

AGF: Einzelkämpfer (AGF Producktion)

themilkman on Nov 27th 2009 01:10 am

AGF: Einzelkämpfer

AGF Producktion 2009
13 Tracks. 60mins09secs

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Poet, musician and sound artist, Antie ‘AGF’ Greie-Fuchs has been distilling her particular blend of electronic music for over fifteen years. Born in what was then East Germany, Greie relocated to Berlin in the mid-nineties, where she met Jürgen Kühn and formed Laub. The pair released their first album in 1997 on Kitty-Yo and went on to release four more, the latest one published two years ago on Greie’s AGF Producktion. Beside the many projects that have kept her busy over the years (The Dolls, The Lappetites or her collaboration with long term partner Vladislav Delay as AGF/Delay), she established herself as a solo artist as early as 2001 with the split release Constant Variable with Kyborg, for which she contributed three tracks and, a year later, her solo debut, Head Slash Bauch.

Her latest effort, Einzelkämpfer, which translates as Lone Warrior, is said to explore the idea of lone warriors through the ages and across species. Pushing the concept to the extreme, Einzelkämpfer is released through Greie’s own AGF Producktion imprint. Continue Reading »

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THE EMBASSADORS: Coptic Dub (Nonplace Records)

themilkman on Nov 24th 2009 01:03 am

The Embassadors: Coptic Dub

Coptic Dub
Nonplace Records 2009
08 Tracks. 41mins37secs

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New Zealander saxophonist and multi-instrumentist Hayden Chisholm leads The Embassadors, an oddly named jazz formation which counts in its ranks drummer Jochen Rueckert and bassist Matt Penman. A long term collaborator of Burnt Friedman – he is, amongst other things, a member of the Nu Dub Players, Chisholm has released a number of records under his own name or as part of Root 70 or Zeitkratzer. His Embassadors materialised for the first time a couple of years ago with an album entitled Healing The Music, which featured a wide international formation, including Kenyan vocalist Michel Ongaru. This time round, Chisholm and his Embassadors have recorded an entirely instrumental record which gives Hayden a much more imposing presence.   Continue Reading »

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VARIOUS ARTISTS: In The North EP (Dust Science Recordings)

themilkman on Nov 20th 2009 12:54 am

Various Artists: In The North EP

In The North EP
Dust Science Recordings 2009
04 Tracks. 20mins08secs
Format: Digital

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After a hiatus of a few months, Dust Science, the label ran by Black Dog current members Martin and Richard Dust, is back with a collective EP featuring tracks by The Black Dog, Grievous Angel, The Bass Soldier and Carl Taylor, each contributing one slice of mighty fine electronic music.

Opening the proceedings are the legendary Black Dog, who have, since the Dust brothers joined force with Ken Downie, wandered freely between classic Detroit-infused techno and more subtle and refined atmospheric electronica. With Tesco (Dark House), they are found on supremely minimal form, invoking the spirit of Perlon more than that of Plus 8 Record, especially in the first half of this rather moody, robust piece. Continue Reading »

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SISTERS OF TRANSISTORS: At The Ferranti Institute (This Is Music Ltd)

themilkman on Nov 18th 2009 10:26 pm

Sisters Of Transistors: At The Ferranti Institute

At The Ferranti Institute
This Is Music Ltd 2009
11 Tracks. 45mins07secs

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The Sisters Of Transistors are something of an oddity. Like an alternative version of the WI, they meet regularly and partake in various activities, which can involve electronic seminars, soldering or choir practice, although they are in much more restricted number (four) than any WI committee. In the early nineties, Graham Massey stumbled upon a collection of Hammond organs and sheet music while setting up for a set with 808 State at a rave at Burton Wood Air Force Base, in Cheshire. A little further investigating revealed that the base played a considerable role in providing a platform for ladies organ quartets in the North East of England from the Second World War onward.

The Sisterhood was born from Massey’s interest in ladies organ quartets and through a research project at the Ferranti Institute and at his own South Manchester Museum Of Keyboard Technology, with the aim to emulate the work of one of the genre’s pioneers, Lillian Meyers. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Nov 16th 2009 11:46 pm


In the space of just a handful of records, Australian-born musician Ben Frost has defined a very particular sound, which blends in elements of modern classical, metal and electronica into haunting cinematic soundscapes. Although his first album proper was published on Room40 in 2003, it is with his debut contribution for Valgeir Sigurðsson’s Bedroom Community, Theory Of Machines (2006) that he began to receive the attention he deserves. With his latest opus, By The Throat, Frost has developed a much more organic sound, which he developed with a number of collaborators, including Valgeir Sigurðsson, Nico Muhly, Sam Amidon, Swedish hardcore metal band Crowpath, Arcade Fire drummer Jeremy Gara and Icelandic string quartet Amiina. Ben took a few minutes out of his current tour with the Bedroom Community guys to talk to themilkfactory about his many influences, how he got acquainted with Bedroom Community, how he faced the weaknesses in his work and addressed them, and how things are not just black and white. Continue Reading »

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AUFGANG: Aufgang (InFiné)

themilkman on Nov 16th 2009 01:06 am

Aufgang: Aufgang

InFiné 2009
09 Tracks. 60mins07secs

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Aufgang is a formation like no other. Formed of classically trained pianists Rami Khalifé and Francesco Tristano, who met ten years ago while they were studying at the world-renowned Julliard School in New York, who, beside sharing a common interest in their study, also enjoyed the club scene that the city had to offer, and drummer Aymeric Westrich, also a classically trained musician who studied percussions at the Conservatoire de Boulogne in France, Aufgang became a proper entity in 2005 when they played at the Sonar festival in Barcelona. It took a further four years for the trio to record together and document their unusual sound, resulting in a debut EP, entitled Sonar, released earlier this year on French imprint InFiné, and now followed by their self-titled debut album. Continue Reading »

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Food/Vladislav Delay/Eyebrow, Union Chapel, Islington, London, 12/11/2009

themilkman on Nov 13th 2009 01:07 am

Food/Vladislav Delay/Eyebrow, Union Chapel, Islington, London, 12/11/2009

Pete Judge and Paul Wigens form Eyebrow, a trumpet and drums duo which is found somewhere on the cool headed side of jazz. With pretty impressive CVs under their respective belts, each having performed alongside the likes of Super Furry Animal, Cousteau or Natasha Atlas, the pair were first to take the stage at the Union Chapel this rainy November evening. In the twenty minutes or so of their set, Eyebrow created a rather impressive series of jazz-infused tracks. Judge, on trumpet, assisted by a delay pedal borrowed from Vladislav Delay, and a few effects, provided the melodic structure, often in light floating strips, over Wigens rather delicate drumming. Continue Reading »

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LUCID DREAM: Recovered Data 95 (Phthalo Recording Co.)

themilkman on Nov 11th 2009 08:13 pm

Lucid Dream: Recovered Data 95

Recovered Data 95
Phthalo Recording Co. 1995/2009
10 Tracks. 63mins03secs

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The music industry is full of long lost classics, released to almost total indifference before gaining iconic status once deleted from a label’s catalogue, and mythic records which have, for one reason or another, fallen off the release schedule never to be heard off again. As its title indicates, Lucid Dream’s Recovered Data 95 falls into this second category. In 1996, John Tejada, then a new comer on the electronic circuit, released two EPs and an album under the Lucid Dream banner on the now defunct British imprint A13. These however were preceded by another album, entitled Palette, originally due to be released on the same label, yet, before Tejada had the time to deliver the record to A13, they had decided to refocus toward club music, confining Palette to be forgotten. This was until Tejada inadvertently stumbled upon it while digitalizing some old tracks and promptly offered it to Phthalo for their Phthalo Origins series of releases, which aims at unearthing early releases and previously unheard material by contemporary electronic artists. Continue Reading »

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BEAK>: Beak> (Invada Records)

themilkman on Nov 11th 2009 12:52 am

Beak>: Beak>

Invada Records 2009
12 Tracks. 60mins58secs

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Geoff Barrow is well known for being the über perfectionist musician/producer behind Portishead, but with Beak>, the band he formed with fellow Bristolian Billy Fuller and Matt Williams earlier this year, the emphasis is on the raw and direct rather than on the immaculately produced. Written and recorded in just twelve days, in live conditions, with no overdubs, within days of the band getting together, this eponymous debut album is the fruit of a very different process, and has very little to do with Barrow’s past records. Continue Reading »

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MAX RICHTER: Memoryhouse (130701/Fat-Cat Records)

themilkman on Nov 5th 2009 01:17 am

Max Richter: Memoryhouse

130701/Fat-Cat Records 2009
18 Tracks. 65mins04secs

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Max Richter spent his formative years studying music and composition in Edinburgh and at the Royal Academy of Music in London, then went on to form Piano Circus with five other pianists in the late eighties in order to perform Steve Reich’s Six Pianos. He stayed with the formation for ten years, working on pieces by composers such as Reich, Arvo Pärt, Philip Glass, Terry Riley or Michael Nyman, during which time he also collaborated with Garry Cobain and Brian Dougans of The Future Sound Of London for a number of years, notably contributing to the pair’s Dead Cities album in 1996, and The Isness in 2002.

Recorded with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and originally published on the BBC’s short-lived Late Junction imprint in 2002, Memoryhouse was the first of Richter’s records as a composer, and established the blueprint for his work to follow, blending often melancholic orchestral themes and piano solos, peppering them with discreet electronics and samples of conversations. Continue Reading »

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Fennesz/Grouper/Natural Snow Buidlings, St Giles In The Fields, London, 4/11/2009

themilkman on Nov 4th 2009 01:11 am

Fennesz/Grouper/Natural Snow Buidlings, St Giles In The Fields, London, 4/11/2009

Natural Snow Building is a French duo formed of Mehdi Ameziane and classically trained cellist and pianist Solange Gularte, who met over a decade ago in Paris and whose records, often released in very limited quantities, have gained much praise and respect since. Opening the hostilities for this performance at St Giles in the Fields church, niched in the heart of London’s West End between Soho and Covent Garden, Natural Snow Building spent the major part of their set weaving layers of distorted guitars into a tapestry of dissonant drones, Ameziane and Gularte apparently evolving in their own universe, but converging to a central point. Ameziane provided the bulk of the cloud of noise, Gularte knitting faux melodic features over the top, until the distortion dissipated unexpectedly to leave just a few guitar textures floating in mid air. A ghostly voice then rose from the debris of the previous twenty or so minutes, feminine in aspect, yet belonging to Ameziane, who over the last few minutes of the set blew a gentle breeze over a rather stunned audience.

An Autumnal chill came down on St Giles with the next set, as a persistent wind engulfed the venue, catching distant vocals in its grip while shadows of leaves blown in all directions were projected onto the back of the church.  Rising from this seasonal setting, a lone guitar materialised for a moment before a gentle loop took its place, providing the backdrop for the voice to lie in. Continue Reading »

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