Archive for April, 2010

OLAN MILL: Pine (Serein Limited)

themilkman on Apr 30th 2010 12:01 am

Olan Mill: Pine

Serein Limited 2010
10 Tracks. 34mins45secs

Amazon UK: CD | DLD US: CD | DLD

If ambient music can be a tricky genre to tackle, Alex Smalley and Svitlana Samoylenko, the duo forming Olan Mill, have negotiated the hurdle of their first collaborative ambient record extremely well. The second CD release on Welsh label Serein, following Nest’s Retold album earlier this year, Pine was recorded in a small church, but instead of relying on electronic textures and field recordings, Olan Mill work with a somewhat restricted set of acoustic instruments. Throughout the record, one can ear in turn echoes of a piano, a violin, a pipe organ, a guitar, but these are often wrapped in dense layers of reverb, their respective edges blurred, their attack soften, their decay prolonged almost to infinity, to create rich and vivid organic sonic spaces. Continue Reading »

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FATES: Murky Circuits (100m Records)

themilkman on Apr 29th 2010 12:23 am

Fates: Murky Circuits

Murky Circuits
100m Records 2010
06 Tracks. 41mins32secs

Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD Juno Records: CD | DLD

Fitting nicely within forty minutes and a bit and six tracks, Murky Circuits is no ordinary electronic record. The fruit of the collaborative effort between American composer Django Voris, Swiss electronic music Moritz Wettstein and British producer PJ Norman, who met in New York in the beginning of last year and channelled their combined creative juices at the Harvestworks foundation, originally set up partly by Bob Moog in 1977 to support artistic creation by means of electronic technologies, Fates work from a particularly complex set up involving three laptops and as many peripheral devices as they can connect to them, allowing the trio to record, sample, re-sample and process live. The resulting lengthy improvisations were then cut down and edited into bite size portions for the purpose of this record by PJ Norman. Continue Reading »

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AQUARELLE: Slow Circles (Rest + Noise Records)

themilkman on Apr 27th 2010 10:17 pm

Aquarelle: Slow Circles

Slow Circles
Rest + Noise Records 2010
05 Tracks. 44mins46secs

Amazon UK: CD US: CD

Aquarelle is the solo project of Minnesota-based experimental guitarist and sound artist Ryan Potts. The first release on newly-formed artisanal imprint Rest + Noise, based in St Paul, Minnesota, which Potts partly runs, Slow Circles follows a series of CDR releases. The fruit of three years of work and rework, this album collects just five tracks of minimal drone-like soundscapes, peppered with delicate acoustic motifs and ligthly abrasive electronic textures. While fairly minimal in format, Potts’s compositions are made from complex layers of acoustic and electric guitars, processed and shaped into impressionist pastoral pieces. This creates an interesting contrast all throughout Slow Circles and gives it a very particular tone, away from more common electro-acoustic works. Continue Reading »

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DAWN OF MIDI: First (Accretions Records)

themilkman on Apr 25th 2010 11:44 pm

Dawn Of Midi: First

Accretions Records 2010
10 Tracks. 52mins20secs

Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD iTunes: DLD

Unlike what their chosen name could lead to think, experimental jazz formation Dawn Of Midi operate an entirely acoustic policy. Formed of Pakistani percussionist Qasim Naqvi, Indian contrabassist Aakaash Israni and Moroccan pianist Amino Belyamani, the trio, based between Paris and New York, create with their debut album, released on Accretions, a particularly vibrant and contrasted piece of work, during which they constantly move from shaded to open terrains and back.

Totally improvised and left untouched, with no overdubs to cloud the result, First seems to explode in a variety of directions at first, giving it a kaleidoscopic feel, but repeat listens reveal a tighter focus, away from gimmicks and stylistic effects. Continue Reading »

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Broadcast/Oliver Coates & Anna Meredith/Andrea Parker, Ether Festival, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, 22/04/2010

themilkman on Apr 22nd 2010 12:39 am

Broadcast/Oliver Coates & Anna Meredith/Andrea Parker, Ether Festival, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, 22/04/2010

The South Bank’s Ether Festival, now in its ninth edition, has already seen a host of memorable performances this year, with a weekend of events around the work of Edgar Varèse, the premiere of a new piece by Philip Glass and an evening with Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Trio. Invited to take over the Queen Elizabeth Hall on this Wednesday evening were Birmingham’s finest, retro future pop stalwarts Broadcast, who in just a handful of records in well over ten years of existence have time and time again proved to be the most essential band the UK has produced in years.

Laptop and cello were the backbone of cellist Oliver Coates’s opening set, first in extremely minimal form with cello played over an arid and dissonant drone and clusters of distant field recordings (one could spot in turn the ebb and flow of the sea or the threatening pull of gusts of wind, amongst other things). Continue Reading »

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FOOD: Quiet Inlet (ECM Records)

themilkman on Apr 20th 2010 11:55 pm

Food: Quiet Inlet

Quiet Inlet
ECM Records 2010
07 Tracks. 46mins58secs

Amazon UK: CD iTunes: DLD

Formed around the nucleus of British saxophonist Iain Ballamy and Norwegian drummer and percussionist extraordinaire Thomas Strønen, Food once also counted trumpet player Arve Henriksen and bass player Mats Eilertsen as permanent members. The quartet debuted over twelve years ago when Ballamy joined the three Norwegian musicians for a one-off performance on stage. A self-titled album, then a second, Organic & GM Food, two years on, followed, both published on Ballamy’s short-lived Feral Records, before the quartet moved to Rune Grammofon, where they released two more albums, Veggie (2002) and Last Supper (2004), before both Henriksen and Eilertsen left, leaving Ballamy and Strønen sole in charge for the 2006 album Molecular Gastronomy. Continue Reading »

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RICHARD A. INGRAM: Consolamentum (White Box Recordings)

themilkman on Apr 20th 2010 12:09 am

Richard A Ingram: Consolamentum

White Box Recordings 2010
06 Tracks. 46mins25secs

Amazon UK: CD US: CD

A member of prog-metal outfit Oceansize, where he operates under the sobriquet of Gambler, and with whom his released three albums and a number of EPs since 2000, Richard A. Ingram investigates a very different series of soundscapes with his debut album, Consolamentum, released on White Box. Claiming influences as varied as Erik Satie, Jasper TX, Machinefabriek, Ben Frost or Tape, Ingram weaves here a series of dark and complex soundscapes, created from fragments of piano, guitars and tapes.

The album and track titles refer to the history of the Cathars, a religious sect active during the eleventh, twelfth and thirteen centuries, essentially in the south of France, yet this is not in essence a religious work or a concept album in any shape or form, although the particular mood of the record, and its increasingly sombre tone, could find echo in the persecution of the members of the sect and their eventual massacre. Continue Reading »

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AUTISTICI: Detached Metal Voice – Early Works Vol. 1 (Audiobuld Records)

themilkman on Apr 15th 2010 06:43 am

Autistici: Detached Metal Voice - Early Works Vol. 1

Detached Metal Voice – Early Works Vol. 1
Audiobulb 2010
11 Tracks. 47mins58secs

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

It’s barely been a few months since Autistici’s second album, Complex Tone Test, was released, yet here comes another collection of fine electronic music from David Newman, published on his excellent Audiobulb imprint. This time though, the album collates early recordings and brings a variety of experiments under one umbrella. No indication is given to when these tracks were recorded, but they are linked by a taste for retro-futuristic technologies, especially early voice synthesis experiments developed in the sixties and seventies in the US by the Bell Laboratories, an AT&T research site based in New Jersey, and old style electronic instrumentation.   Continue Reading »

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KYLE BOBBY DUNN: A Young Person’s Guide To Kyle Bobby Dunn (Low Point)

themilkman on Apr 14th 2010 12:03 am

Kyle Bobby Dunn: A Young Person's Guide To Kyle Bobby Dunn

A Young Person’s Guide To Kyle Bobby Dunn
Low Point 2010
12 Tracks. 112mins45mins

Amazon US: CD Boomkat: CD

Based in Brooklyn, Canadian-born sound artist and composer Kyle Bobby Dunn creates music at the complete opposite of the hustle and bustle of the urban metropolis he lives in. Working primarily from recordings of pianos, guitars, strings and brass, Dunn processes them into vast minimal sound forms, where sounds are blended into dense soundscapes to create superbly evocative atmospheric pieces.

The five tracks making the first CD were originally released as a download-only album, Fervency, on Moodgadget a year ago, and are now complemented by a second CD of previously unreleased material, and published on UK imprint Low Point. Continue Reading »

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ICARUS: All Is For The Best In The Best Of All Possible Worlds (Not Applicable)

themilkman on Apr 13th 2010 12:19 am

Icarus: All Is For The Best In The Best Of All Possible Worlds

All Is For The Best In The Best Of All Possible Worlds
Not Applicable 2010
08 Tracks. 43mins27secs

Live improvisation has been part of British duo Icarus’s work for years now, and this latest offering, recorded during the pair’s European tour in support to Sylt Remixes, released last year, continues to develop this aspect.

The work here seems in part inspired by the insect behaviours filmed by architect-turned filmmaker and visual artist Martin Hampton for the pair’s tour. This transpires predominantly in how Bown and Britton articulate busy soundscapes, stabs of hyperactive rhythms, at times recalling some of their early drum’n’bass work, albeit in much more deconstructed form, and abstract melodies into dense sonic vignettes, especially on pieces such as Husky Offset, Uke ‘Em, On The Sunny Sides Of The Ocean and closing sister track On The Sunny Side Of The Oceans Continue Reading »

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Autechre/Russell Haswell, Bocking Street Warehouse, Hackney, London, 10/04/2010

themilkman on Apr 11th 2010 11:04 pm

Autechre/Russell Haswell, Bocking Street Warehouse, Hackney, London, 10/04/2010

For the last date in their European tour, coinciding with the release of their tenth album, Oversteps, Autechre took over the Bocking Street Warehouse in Hackney, north London, and threw a party, inviting Russell Haswell to perform live and Rob Hall and Didgit to DJ for the event. After an opening DJ set for Didgit, Russell Haswell took the stage just after 12.30, and submitted the audience to an intense digital assault. Layers of distortions and interferences built up a particularly abrasive set of textures, pushing the sound system to the limit of the bearable, but ten minutes in, the intensity went up a few notches as the complexity of Haswell’s sonic fragments increased greatly. Barely twenty minutes in, it was all over.

Autechre are renowned for their hard-hitting sets, yet they kicked off this evening’s performance with a surprisingly smooth and straightforward beat, which for the first few minutes, eased an expectant crowd in gently. Continue Reading »

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FNS: FNS (Miasmah Recordings)

themilkman on Apr 9th 2010 12:05 am


Miasmah Recordings 2010
06 Tracks. 45mins26secs

Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD Boomkat: DLD iTunes: DLD

If spring is finally making an apparition in Britain, it appears as if Norway, or at least the corner occupied by Miasmah, is still in the grip of a permanent winter. The label headed by Erik Skodvin has claimed glacial landscapes as its own, and its latest signing, Oslo-based musician Fredrik Ness Sevendal, will do very little to contribute to a thawing in the aesthetic of its catalogue. Yet, Sevendal’s debut album for the label, very much like Simon Scott’s Navigare before it, scans a very different type of icy territories to that favoured by Miasmah until now. Continue Reading »

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