Archive for January, 2010

ROBERT A.A. LOWE & ROSE LAZAR: Eclipses (Thrill Jockey)

themilkman on Jan 29th 2010 12:31 am

Robert A.A. Lowe & Rose Lazar: Eclipses

Thrill Jockey 2010
08 Tracks. 36mins41secs

Amazon US: LP | DLD Boomkat: LP iTunes: DLD

A former bassist with experimental outfit 90 Day Men, Robert A. A. Lowe turned his attention to his solo project, Lichens in 2004 and consequently released two albums on Kranky. In 2008, Lowe teamed up with Chicago-based graphic artist Rose Lazar for Gyromancy, a limited edition book, collecting the art of both Lowe and Lazar, and CD of Lowe’s music. The pair reconvene on Eclipses, a limited LP which once again comprises their collective graphic work and Lowe’s music.

Created as a support for the visuals, the music has very little to do with the treated folk and vocal experiments which define Lowe’s work as Lichens. Continue Reading »

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BJ NILSEN: The Invisible City (Touch)

themilkman on Jan 27th 2010 12:55 am

BJ Nilsen: The Invisible City

The Invisible City
Touch 2010
08 Tracks. 62mins38secs

Amazon UK: CD Amazon US: CD Boomkat: CD

The sleeve notes of BJ Nilsen’s latest record read like the disparate inventory of a surreal junk shop. Chairs, window shutters, trains, dead trees, birds, various acoustic and electronic instruments, bumblebees, coffeepots all find their way into The Invisible City, yet, so drastic is the processing of this vast sonic palette that it is impossible to identify for sure which sounds have been used where or to what effect, leaving instead the listeners to feel the gaps and work out a path for themselves.

Benny Jonas Nilsen first appeared in 1991 with a series of dark ambient records released as Morthond, then Morthound, published for the most part on Swedish experimental imprint Cold Meat Industries. Continue Reading »

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I/DEX: Layers (Lagunamuch Records)

themilkman on Jan 26th 2010 01:06 am

I/Dex: Layers

Lagunamuch Records 2009
09 Tracks. 50mins53secs

Behind the rather cold and clinical sounding I/Dex hides Vitaly Harmash, a musician hailing from the industrial city of Novopolotsk in northern Belorussia, who began to experiment with electronic music in the mid-nineties. A first album, Seqsextend, appeared on Ukrainian imprint Nexsound in 2003, and while Harmash has since worked with a handful of musicians, including a collaboration with Pole for the Connections project released on ~Scape last year, he has until now remained largely unknown in Western Europe.

Spanning just over fifty minutes, Layers, Harmash’s second album, is a particularly exquisite collection of brittle electronica, built around nine pieces woven into each other to form a perfectly coherent whole. Continue Reading »

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FOUR TET: There Is Love In You (Domino Recording Co.)

themilkman on Jan 21st 2010 01:13 am

Four Tet: There Is Love In You

There Is Love In You
Domino Recording Co. 2010
09 Tracks. 47mins11secs

Amazon UK: CD | LP | DLD Amazon US: CD | LP | DLD Boomkat: CD | LP

After the jazz-tinted Dialogue, released on Output while Kieran Hebden’s main role was still as part of Fridge, and the two stellar follow ups, Pause (2001) and Rounds (2003), which both  gathered considerable praises, his wonderfully shimmering sound appeared to lose a bit of its lustre with Everything Ecstatic (2005). Over the next few years, Hebden switched focus to a project with legendary percussionist Steve Reid, the time of a few slightly over-indulgent records and extensive tours.

Things started to look up slightly last year though as Four Tet returned, first with the Krautrock-infused Ringer EP, then with a split release with Burial, which seemed to denote a renewed interest from press and public alike. It suddenly seemed like Kieran was on course to revitalise Four Tet and kick it in a different corner. Continue Reading »

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TU M': Monochromes Vol. 1 (Line)

themilkman on Jan 20th 2010 12:56 am

Tu M': Monochromes Vol. 1

Monochromes Vol. 1
Line 2009
04 Tracks. 64mins16secs

Amazon UK: DLD Amazon US: DLD Boomkat: CD | DLD

Rossano Polidoro and Emiliano Romanelli have been at the helm of the multimedia project Tu M’ for over twelve years now, experimenting with music, video and photography for works going from records, released on labels as diverse as Phthalo, Headz, Fällt, Bip-Hop, Dekoder or ERS, to installations in museums and galleries around the world.

One of such projects is Monochromes, which the pair describe as ‘a collection of modular audio and video compositions for two laptops, two mixing boards, two loudspeakers, one video projector, one room’, with the performance revolving around sound and light reverberating across a room. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Jan 19th 2010 12:48 am

One-Armed Bandit is the first release from Norwegian supergroup Jaga Jazzist in over five years. A constantly changing formation, the band has been around for fifteen years, with at its core brothers Lars and Martin Horntveth and their sister Line. While their sound has always encompassed a variety of genres, it relies primarily on a driven form of power jazz. With their last record to date, the band took to more rock structures and abandoned the electronic textures that had characterised previous releases. With this latest offering, they once again bring electronics into the fold and swap heavy rock forms for more cosmic prog rock. Here, band composer in chief Lars Horntveth talks about the five year break, how working on external projects benefit the band as a whole, working with Tortoise’s John McEntire and spending over half his life with the band. Continue Reading »

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RICHARD SKELTON: Landings (Type Recordings)

themilkman on Jan 15th 2010 09:00 am

Richard Skelton: Landings

Type Recordings 2010
12 Tracks. 70mins05secs

Amazon UK: CD | LP | DLD Amazon US: CD | LP | DLD Boomkat: CD | LP | DLD iTunes: DLD

Richard Skelton is a totally unique artist, who, through a string of exquisite releases has defined a very personal space for his work. Released primarily through his own imprint, Sustain-Release, in very limited hand-made editions, and coming under a variety of pseudonyms (Heidika, Harlassen, Carousell, Riftmusic, A Broken Consort…), Skelton’s music has, until recently, been the privilege of a lucky few. Two years ago, he released Making Time (Preservation), his first album published under his own name, and consequently touched a larger audience.

Originally a very limited release on Sustain-Release at the end of last year, accompanied with a book of writings, diary entries and poems collected between 2004 and 2008, and subsequently released as a limited double LP, with an exclusive CD of unreleased material on Type, Landings, now also available on CD, is a vibrant impressionist journey through dense and warmsoundscapes. Continue Reading »

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JAGA JAZZIST: One-Armed Bandit (Ninja Tune)

themilkman on Jan 13th 2010 01:01 am

One-Armed Bandit
Ninja Tune 2010
10 Tracks. 53mins32secs

Amazon UK: CD | DLD Amazon US: CD | DLD

It’s been over five years since Jaga Jazzist were last heard of. Although the band has existed in one form or another for over fifteen years, formed by then teenage brothers Lars and Martin Horntveth, with sister Line, and a handful of friend, it is not until they signed to Smalltown Supersound in 2001, and were later licensed to Ninja Tune for Europe, that the band gained widespread recognition outside of their native Norway, with albums such as A Livingroom Hush (2001) and The Stix (2002) causing more than a stir. Their last album to date, What We Must, saw the band, renamed Jaga for the occasion, adopt a harsher, grittier stance and distil their usual blend of progressive power jazz with a heavy does of rock. Continue Reading »

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NILS ØKLAND: Monograph (ECM Records)

themilkman on Jan 12th 2010 12:11 am

Nils Økland: Monograph

ECM Records 2009
13 Tracks. 51mins52secs

Amazon UK: CD Amazon US: CD iTunes: DLD Spotify: STRM

Norwegian Hardanger fiddler and violinist Nils Økland has collaborated with a number of Norwegian jazz and folk formations over the years, most notably with the Christian Wallumrød Ensemble, but it is with his solo records, two of which were released on Rune Grammofon, that he is best known. Classically trained, he studied classical violin with Terje Tønnesen, first violin of the Oslo Philarmonic Orchestra, Økland also studied Hardanger fiddle, a traditional Norwegian eight-string cousin of the violin, with some of the most renowned masters of the instrument, before taking on the role of musical director at the Ole Bull Academy, situated in Voss, southern Norway, an institute largely devoted to Norwegian folk music, for a number of years. Continue Reading »

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ÓLAFUR ARNALDS: Dyad 1909 (Erased Tapes)

themilkman on Jan 8th 2010 12:57 am

Ólafur Arnalds: Dyad 1909

Dyad 1909
Erased Tapes 2009
07 Tracks. 24mins33secs

Amazon UK: CD | LP Amazon US: CD | DLD Boomkat: CD | LP | DLD iTunes: DLD

Only a few months after Erased Tapes released Peter Broderick’s score for Adrienne Hart’s contemporary dance production Falling From Trees, it is the turn of Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds to present the work British choreographer Wayne McGregor commissioned for his piece Dyad 1909, which his company, Random Dance, premiered at Sadler’s Wells in London last October as part of In The Spirit Of Diaghilev, a series of performances dedicated to the creator of the famous Ballets Russes, which were set up a hundred years ago. McGergor’s Dyad 1909 is inspired by the great technological development between two expeditions to reach the South Pole, one, in 1909, on foot, and another, twenty years later, the year the Ballets Russes were dissolved, by plane. Continue Reading »

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SUPERSILENT: 9 (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Jan 6th 2010 01:03 am

Supersilent: 9

Rune Grammofon 2009
04 Tracks. 50mins45secs

Amazon UK: CD | DLD Amazon US: CD | DLD Boomkat: CD iTunes: DLD

Necessity is the mother of all (re-)inventions. This must have been in the mind of the three remaining members of Supersilent following the departure of drummer Jarle Vespestad last year. Not that the band are strangers to regeneration. Indeed, each one of their six releases to date has, in one way or another, seen them going back to the drawing board, but, for the first time since Helge Sten joined the original trio of Arve Henriksen, StÃ¥le Storløkken and Vesperstad in 1997, the fundamental dynamic of the band has changed. And Supersilent have changed with it. With Vesperstad‘s rhythmic powerhouse gone, Henriksen, Sten and Storløkken have created a totally atmospheric and moody record; not one that growls, threatens or jumps at the throat, but one that lurks in smoky corners and dark alleyways. Continue Reading »

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KORNSTAD: Dwell Time (Jazzland Recordings)

themilkman on Jan 5th 2010 12:58 am

Kornstad: Dwell Time

Dwell Time
Jazzland Recordings 2009
08 Tracks. 44mins08secs

Amazon UK: CD Amazon US: CD

“Håkon Kornstad: lives in Oslo, plays the saxophone”. This simple statement, lifted from Håkon Kornstad’s website, is a perfect illustration of what his latest solo album is all about. Far from the complex rhythmic patterns of Wibutee, the feverish élans of the Håkon Kornstad Trio or even the atmospheric tones of his collaborations with Håvard Wiik, Kornstad creates with Dwell Time an album all in nuanced brushes, elegant motifs and absorbing claire-obscure.

The follow up to Kornstad’s 2007 Single Engine album, Dwell Time stems from a very different approach. Recorded in the Sofienberg Church in Oslo – Arve Henriksen recorded part of his 2001 album Sakuteiki there – and entirely improvised, Dwell Time sees HÃ¥kon Kornstad focussing on the most introvert part of his work and bring the full emotional scope of his music to life. Continue Reading »

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