Archive for June, 2010

AUTECHRE: Move Of Ten (Warp Records)

themilkman on Jun 29th 2010 01:19 am

Autechre: Move Of Ten

Move Of Ten
Warp Records 2010
10 Tracks. 47mins48mins
Format: CD/2×12″/Digital

Amazon UK: CD | LP1 | LP2 | DLD US: CD | LP1 | LP2 | DLD Boomkat: CD | DLD iTunes: DLD

It’s been barely a matter of a few months since Autechre released Oversteps, an album on which Sean Booth and Rob Brown greatly expended on the melodic aspect of their work, a move that was started with Quaristice two years earlier. Move Of Ten is a different beast altogether. Darker, grittier, nastier, more angular, this EP drags Oversteps down into the gutter and purposely tarnishes its sheen. Although an EP, at least in Warp’s catalogue referencing, Move Of Ten clocks in at close to forty eight minutes, and ten tracks. Not quite as extensive as EP7, but a pretty densely packed release all the same

After a few years when releases were increasingly few and far between, it seems as if Autechre have entered a more prolific era in recent years. First, there was Quaristice, in all its versions, then a fairly extensive tour, and two year on, came Oversteps, quickly followed by this sister EP. Continue Reading »

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ITAL TEK: Midnight Colour (Planet Mu)

themilkman on Jun 25th 2010 01:05 am

Ital Tek: Midnight Colour

Midnight Colour
Planet Mu 2010
13 Tracks. 51mins45secs

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

Dubstep and garage may have originated from London, but both genres have long since expended outside the boundaries of the British capital to be re-interpreted by music producers across the land and beyond. One such artist is Brighton-based Alan Myson, who, under the Ital Tek banner, has been refining a particular form of dubstep through various EPs and a debut album, Cyclical, released primarily on Planet Mu.

Two years on from Cyclical, Midnight Colour continues Ital Tek’s sonic exploration, yet it denotes quite a substantial change of tone. By assembling much smoother soundscapes together and placing them over gentler beats, Myson steps into a much more nuanced and refined universe. Continue Reading »

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ROTWANG: Awful (The Conspiracy Of Equals)

themilkman on Jun 23rd 2010 01:12 am

Rotwang: Awful

The Conspiracy Of Equals 2010
12 Tracks. 34mins48secs

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

Putting people’s back up before you’ve even made an impression is perhaps not the best way to get noticed for all the right reasons, but it seems like it is the angle Mark Rahman, a musician from Princeton, New Jersey, chose when he dropped a little bit of white powder in the envelops accompanying the demos he sent to record labels. While it is likely that this closed him many doors, it unexpectedly opened one when one of these demos landed on the desk of Jeremiah Trudeaux and he decided to set up The Conspiracy Of Equals in order to release Rotwang’s debut album. So, it seems almost logical that, pushing the anti-promotion a step further, Rahman decided to mark the occasion by promising titling the record Awful. If this all smells a bit too much like a schoolboy prank too far, and actually feels a tad tired, the resulting record actually proves to be a more interesting slice of electronic music than one could expect coming on the back of all this. Continue Reading »

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PAN SONIC: Gravitoni (Blast First Petite)

themilkman on Jun 22nd 2010 01:03 am

Pan Sonic: Gravitoni (Blast First Petite)

Blast First Petite 2010
11 Tracks. 52mins19secs

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

If going out with a bang was the intention of Pan Sonic’s Mika Vainio and Ilpo Väisänen, then Gravitoni is a resounding success. One of the most singular experimental acts to have emerged in the last twenty years, Pan Sonic have constantly operated on the verge of industrial music by processing harsh, abrasive soundscapes and dense beats structures into often pretty extreme electronic pieces. Not contempt with working as a sefl-contained unit, they have also, over the years worked with a considerable number of contributors, especially on the Rude Mechanic project, a collaborative effort with visual artists David Crawford and Hayley Newman, which took place over five weeks in a gallery space in Beaconsfield, north of London, with contributions from Jimi Tenor, Scanner, David Cunningham, Robert Ellis or Kaffe Matthews to name but a few. It is with their legendary live performances that they have commanded the most respect though, and it is perhaps no surprise that the booklet accompanying this record features pictures of places from all over the world where the band have performed. Those lucky enough to have witnessed the pair live talk of mind-blowing experiences, while those who haven’t can only regret missed opportunities. Continue Reading »

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PUMA: Half Nelson Courtship (Rune Grammofon)

Colin Buttimer on Jun 21st 2010 12:40 am

Puma: Half-Nelson Courtship

Half Nelson Courtship
Rune Grammofon 2010
09 Tracks. 42mins29secs

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

Half Nelson Courtship is a strange beast, an uneasy creature that seems happiest cleaving to the shadows. Some of the time it’s half there, half not – like a trick of the light spied only by looking obliquely away from the subject. Puma is Øystein Moen (synthesizers and electronics), Stian Westerhus (guitar and electronics) and Gard Nilssen (drums). Half Nelson Courtship is their third album and first for Rune Grammofon.

Opening track Bison Woven is tremendously febrile, Westerhus’ guitar tracing out a wavering threnody against Moen’s subdued murmur and Nilssen’s distant cymbal plash. Continue Reading »

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ARANDEL: In D (InFiné)

themilkman on Jun 18th 2010 01:19 am

Arandel: In D

In D
InFiné 2010
09 Tracks. 51mins26secs

Amazon UK: CD iTunes: DLD

Who, or what, is Arandel is something of a mystery, and every effort is made to blur the track as much as possible, all, we are informed on the entity’s myspace page, to ‘let the music take centre stage’. All the press release lets out is that Arandel is a ‘he’, and reading between the lines also leads to think that this could be the more extreme project of an already established artist, a singer-songwriter perhaps. Anonymity is nothing new on the electronic music scene of course, although it is not quite as much of a common occurrence as it once was. One can argue that putting the music before the person is really what making music is all about, although anonymity can often be an act of vanity in itself as it cultivates interest way beyond the music. Fundamentally, who, or what, is Arandel doesn’t matter much. That Arandel’s debut is quite simply a blindingly brilliant affair very much does though. Continue Reading »

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DISKJOKKE: En Fin Tid (Smalltown Supersound)

themilkman on Jun 17th 2010 01:39 am

DiskJokke: En Fin Tid

En Fin Tid
Smalltown Supersound 2010
08 Tracks. 60mins11secs

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

Time for another round of Norwegian space disco! This year has already seen major releases from Lindstrøm & Christabelle (Real Life Is No Cool, Smalltown Supersound) and Prins Thomas (Prins Thomas, Full Pupp), and it is now the turn of Joachim ‘DiskJokke’ Dyrdahl to deliver another fine slice of stellar electronic prog disco grooves. Follow up to his superb 2007 debut Staying In, also published on Smalltown Supersound, En Fin Tid feeds on the same cosmic electro bleepy sounds, but while the tracks on Staying In followed very definite paths and often adopted a traditional verse/bridge/chorus structure, the templates are here much looser and fluid, and the melodies much more subtle.

Unlike its predecessor, which collected tracks recorded during a long period of time, En Fin Tid was written and recorded as a complete piece, and this is undeniably very much reflected in the overall consistency of the record. Continue Reading »

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PHILIPPE PETIT & FRIENDS: Silk-Screened (Trace Recordings) / A Scent Of Garmambrosia (Aagoo Records) / K-11/PIETRO RIPARBELLI & PHILIPPE PETIT: The Haunting Triptych (Boring Machines)

themilkman on Jun 16th 2010 01:13 am

Philippe Petit & Friends: Silk-screened K-11/Pietro Riparbelli & Philippe Petit: The Haunting Triptych Philippe Petit & Friends: A Scent Of Garambrosia

Trace Recordings 2010
07 Tracks. 44mins09secs

The Haunting Triptych
Boring Machines 2010
03 Tracks. 45mins41secs

A Scent Of Garmambrosia
Aagoo Records 2010
07 Tracks. 46mins40secs

Silk-Screened: Amazon UK: CD | DLD US: CD | DLD Boomkat: CD Norman Records: CD iTunes: DLD
A Scent Of Garmambrosia: Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD Norman Records: CD iTunes: DLD

If spreading oneself thin should be a very real risk for most artists, it doesn’t seem to be in the least a concern for self-professed music activist Philippe Petit, who, in recent years, has swapped his role as head of French imprint Bip-Hop for a much more active mandate as a musician, and has since collaborated with a great number of people on extremely diverse projects. He’s headed the wonderful Strings Of Consciousness collective, an ensemble counting up to fourteen musicians, with whom he has released two albums, including a collaboration with Angel released last year on Important Records, and a third one counting a handful of original pieces and remixes by the likes of Mira Calix, Rothko, Scanner, Kammerflimmer Kollektief or Leafcutter John, and has been involved in projects with Lydia Lunch or James Johnston. Three albums have materialised on various labels in recent months, two published as Philippe Petit & Friends, and featuring such collaborators as Graham Massey, playing bass clarinet, Bela Emerson, Jérome Paressant, Alexander Bruce or Raphaelle Raniaudo, while the third is a collaboration with Italian multi-media artist and composer Pietro Riparbelli, here operating under his K11 guise. Continue Reading »

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OVAL: Oh (Thrill Jockey)

themilkman on Jun 14th 2010 12:39 am

Oval: Oh

Thrill Jockey 2010
15 Tracks. 25mins03secs
Format: 12”

Amazon UK: 12″ US: 12″ Boomkat: 12″

It has been ten years since Markus Popp propped up as Oval, a project with which he had been fiercely busy since the early nineties, releasing six albums and countless EPs. The project was started in 1991 in Darmstadt, Germany by Popp, Sebastian Oschatz and Frank Metzger. Five years later, Popp found himself sole in charge following the departure of both Oschatz and Metzger, and continued to experiment with glitches and clicks until his last release to date, in 2001.

Fast-forward to 2010, and Oval is back with a new EP, prelude to a full length double album due out later on this summer. Continue Reading »

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THE SIGHT BELOW: It All Falls Apart (Ghostly International) / RAFAEL ANTON IRISARRI: Reverie (Immune Recordings)

themilkman on Jun 11th 2010 12:32 am

The Sight Below: It All Falls Apart Rafael Anton Irisarri: Reverie

It All Falls Apart
Ghostly International 2010
07 Tracks. 49mins56secs

Immune Recordings 2010
03 Tracks. 23mins19secs

The Sight Below: Amazon UK: CD | DLD US: CD | DLD Boomkat: CD | DLD iTunes: DLD
Rafael Anton Irisarri: Amazon UK: LP US: LP Boomkat: LP

There is fundamentally not much of a gap between the work Rafael Anton Irisarri releases under his own name and that he publishes as The Sight Below. The angle he approaches these two projects places them in very different spheres. With one, he deploys deeply atmospheric soundscapes into almost gothic compositions, while, with the other, it is towards an ethereal form of instrumental pop music and electronic shoegaze that he turns his attention to. It may be pure coincidence that two releases, one for each project, have materialised almost simultaneously, but this contributes to expose Irisarri’s range in interesting fashion. First in line is it All Falls Apart, Irisarri’s second full length release under the Sight Below brand, published on Ann Arbor, MI’s Ghostly International, a record which partly builds on the vast sonic landscapes of its predecessor. The second release, Reverie, coming under Irisarri’s own name, available as a limited edition LP and download set from Chicago, IL’s Immune Recordings, focuses on much more introverted music forms.    Continue Reading »

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ÓLAFUR ARNALDS: … And They Have Escaped The Weight Of Darkness (Erased Tapes)

themilkman on Jun 9th 2010 11:27 pm

Ólafur Arnalds: ... And They Have Escaped The Weight Of Darkness

… And They Have Escaped The Weight Of Darkness
Erased Tapes 2010
09 Tracks. 43mins28secs

Amazon UK: CD | LP | DLD US: CD | LP | DLD Norman Records: CD | LP iTunes: DLD

Financial collapse and clouds of volcanic ash have replaced quirky experimental pop music as Iceland’s main exports in recent months, so it is good to see that, beside all this, life carries on as normal and this island, caught between the European and North American tectonic plates in the middle of the North Atlantic ocean, still delivers more than its fair share of progressive music.

One of the country’s most recent envoys is twenty-three year old composer and pianist Ólafur Arnalds who, in the space of one album and three mini-albums has started to make more than a splash on the international music scene. His last couple of projects have taken him in entirely different directions. On one hand, he set himself the challenge to compose, record and publish a track per day for a whole week, using Twitter as main vehicle to promote the work, and inviting listeners to post their own photos on a Flickr account as illustration to the music. Continue Reading »

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TALVIHORROS: Music In Four Movements (Hibernate Recordings)

themilkman on Jun 8th 2010 10:22 pm

Talvihorros: Music In Four Movements

Music In Four Movements
Hibernate Recordings 2010
04 Tracks. 42mins28secs

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

Behind the rather enigmatic Talvihorros moniker is Ben Chatwin, a London-based experimental guitarist and musician whose debut album, Some Ambulance, was released on Benbecula last year. Chatwin uses a vast array of acoustic and electric guitars, vintage electronic equipment and percussions to develop extremely effective atmospheric soundscapes. Chatwin’s debut album presented relatively short pieces which acted as impressionist textural snapshots. With his latest opus, Chatwin takes a very different approach as he focuses on much longer and more complex pieces, expanding on the work he did for the extremely limited cassette-only mini-album Let Us Be Thankful We Have Commerce, which he published on My Dance The Skull earlier in the year. Continue Reading »

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