Archive for August, 2010

LUGANO FELL: Slice Repair (Baskaru)

themilkman on Aug 27th 2010 01:41 am

Lugano Fell: Slice Repair

Slice Repair
Baskaru 2010
10 Tracks. 47mins21secs

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

Lugano Fell is the side project of James Taylor, best known as one half of Swayzak, but this is when the connection ends. While the duo have been dispensing dance floor-friendly tunes for the most part of the last decade and a half, his concern here is entirely different. Three years in the making, Slice Repair, Taylor’s debut solo following a handful of CDR releases, is a record all in clair-obscure undertones and delicate touches where electronics and processed acoustics cross paths to form evocative little sonic ambient tales which, apart for the epic closing piece, often last barely long enough to flourish fully.

In just under fifty minutes, Taylor assembles a rather varied soundtrack here, from the sombre grainy soundscapes of album opener Bleaker, Slope or Hofnah and the contrasted expanses of Caniculaire, Vallory or 47 Easy 47 to the sliced up folk of Preform Naple or Two Hundred Clocks And A Metre. Continue Reading »

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NICKOLAS MOHANNA: Transmission Hue (Low Point)

themilkman on Aug 25th 2010 01:21 am

Nickolas Mohanna: Transmission Hue

Transmission Hue
Low Point 2010
05 Tracks. 38mins33secs

There has, in recent years, a strong revival of vintage electronic music as it was once used by pioneers of the Krautrock/Kosmische scene to explore totally unknown sound worlds. Following a string of low key releases as Vakhchav, Brooklyn-based musician Nickolas Mohanna has collected a handful of tracks built using guitars, vintage modular synthesizers and electronics, on his debut album, released on the rather excellent Low Point imprint. Clocking at just under forty minutes, split into five tracks, the album owes much to early Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schultze records. Transmission Hue doesn’t quite share the celestial concern of the former or the post orchestral immensity of the latter, yet, there are in these five tracks undeniable similarities in terms of textures and overall approach.

Working primarily with evolutive drone-like structures, Mohanna opts in most parts for expressive soundscapes by adding peripheral noises and electronics, and makes extensive use of modular synthesis to bring richer textures into the mix. Continue Reading »

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PROEM: Enough Conflict (n5MD)

themilkman on Aug 23rd 2010 01:08 am

Proem: Enough Conflict

Enough Conflict
n5MD 2010
14 Tracks. 50mins23secs

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

In the ten years or so since he first appeared on the music scene, Proem’s Richard Bailey has contributed releases to quite a few labels, from Hydrant and Monotonik to En:peg Digital and Nonresponse, but he has always returned to California-based n5MD, publishing four albums through them, one of which still only available as a MiniDisc, harking back to the original nature of the label.

One of the main qualities of Bailey’s work is the way he maintains a fine balance between melody and abstraction, yet, his last album, Till There’s No Breath, released last year on Nonresponse, investigated much dark terrains than usual. Continue Reading »

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PVT: Church With No Magic (Warp Records)

themilkman on Aug 20th 2010 01:13 am

PVT: Church With No Magic

Church With No Magic
Warp Records 2010
10 Tracks. 37mins58secs

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

A word of warning: Pivot (or PVT as they now call themselves) have gone a bit Animal Collective on us. Well, not quite, but the Australian threesome have made a leap from the textured sound of their previous output, the rather enchanting O Soundtrack My Heart, released over two years ago on Warp to something which may still bear occasional tints of the old, but has become an essentially much more song-based form, with multi-instrumentist Richard Pike assuming a new full time role as singer within the band. The sound has also evolved into a more electronically-fuelled affair, quite a radical departure, this despite often heavy live drums and occasional outburst of guitars spotted throughout. This is made very clear right from the short opener, Community, with its ethereal choral chords drowned in electronic arpeggios which could have been stolen from a sixties sci-fi soundtrack experiment. Continue Reading »

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THOMAS KONER: Nunatak/Teimo/Permafrost (Type Recordings)

themilkman on Aug 18th 2010 12:17 am

Thomas Köner: Nunatak/Teimo/Permafrost

Type Recordings 2010
25 Tracks. 125mins54secs

Amazon UK: CD US: CD Boomkat: CD | DLD
iTunes: Nunatak: DLD Teimo: DLD Permafrost: DLD

A few months ago, Type began releasing entirely remastered vinyl editions of Thomas Köner’s long unavailable seminal three first albums, Nunatak (1990), Teimo (1992) and Permafrost (1993), all originally published on the now defunct Dutch imprint Barooni. All three have now been collected on a rather sumptuous triple CD set. This faultless triptych firmly established German-born Köner as one of the masters of dark ambient. He went on to release a number of albums for Mille Plateaux, Die Stadt and more recently Fario, and has, over the years, been commissioned a number of installations in various venues around the world, each new project allowing to explore the vast scope of his chosen field.

The sonic world created by Köner is one of glacial beauty, where deep undercurrents almost imperceptibly erode the dense sound formations which form the core of these records, relentlessly grinding down every particle of sound and noise until only the bare minimal is left. Continue Reading »

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CALIKA: Blood Embrace (Audiobulb Records)

themilkman on Aug 12th 2010 01:37 am

Calika: Blood Embrace

Blood Embrace
Audiobulb Records 2010
11 Tracks. 48mins48secs

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

Brighton-based Simon Kealoha is back on Audiobulb with his fourth full length slice of refined electro-acoustic in five year, his first album since Seedling Mother (Audiobulb, 2007), following the two EPs released last year, Crooked, once again on Audiobulb, and Slack Jaw on Highpoint Lowlife. Ever since he first appeared, in 2005, with his debut album, Small Talk Kills Me, Kealoha has been refining his sound, bringing together acoustic and electronic elements into complex and fragile formations. Beside working on his own project, Kealoha has also collaborated with Seefeel mastermind Mark Clifford on the excellent Running Taper, an album published on Clifford’s Polyfusia Records in 2005, and on a second opus which came close to be released two years later but appears to have been victim of the demise of the label.

Announced as a more stripped down and bare record, Blood Embrace remains a pretty intricate and organic collection, at times surprisingly light and airy, at others radical and dense. Continue Reading »

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MARCUS FJELLSTRÖM: Schattenspieler (Miasmah Recordings)

themilkman on Aug 10th 2010 01:34 am

Marcus Fjellström: Schattenspieler

Miasmah Recordings 2010
11 Tracks. 48mins13secs

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

Continuing on the trend that seems to be bringing Miasmah onto slightly less murky territories, Marcus Fjellström’s third album is a deeply cinematic collection which sees the Swedish-born composer and multimedia artist experiment with sumptuous orchestral textures, haunting electronics and a wide array of noises and found sounds. Beside two solo albums released on Lampse, the first, Exercises In Estrangement in 2005 and the second, Gebrauchsmusik, a year later, Fjellström has worked on a number of commissions for the Swedish Royal Ballet, The Nordic Chamber Orchestra, The Östersunds Orkesterförening, The Scottish Chamber Orchestra and various other formations, and he has also contributed the soundtrack to, amongst others, Crooked Rot, an animated short film by David Firth.

For his first release for Erik Skodvin’s Miasmah, Fjellström, who currently resides in Berlin, treads once again grounds somewhere between modern composition, musique concrète and ambient, bringing the three together in a series of stark and dense compositions, at times lush and pastoral, at others dark and claustrophobic. Continue Reading »

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FENNESZ DANIELL BUCK: Knoxville (Thrill Jockey)

themilkman on Aug 4th 2010 01:41 am

Fennesz Daniell Buck: Knoxville

Thrill Jockey 2010
04 Tracks. 31mins07secs

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

Improvisation is an art form which Christian Fennesz, David Daniell and Tony Buck have made theirs in their respective field. Recorded live at the Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, Tennessee at the beginning of last year, this album documents the trio’s first ever performance as an ensemble. Having never performed before was never going to be an issue for these three veterans of live improvisation. On one side is Australian drummer and percussionist extraordinaire Tony Buck, best known as one third of The Necks, with whom he has been performing and recording for twenty years. On the other are Atlanta-born David Daniell, who, beside his solo work, has collaborated with an impressive number of musicians over the years, from Thurston Moore and Douglas McCombs to Greg Davis or Sylvain Chauveau, and Austrian experimental guitarist and laptop artist Christian Fennesz, whose list of collaborators is equally as impressive, including people as diverse as Jim O’Rourke, Peter Rehberg, David Sylvian, Ryuichi Sakamoto or, recently, Sylvain Chauveau and Steven Hess.

Knoxville barely makes it to the half hour mark, but the trio pack in an incredible lot during that time Continue Reading »

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SABI: Glued On Thin Memories (Boltfish Recordings)

themilkman on Aug 3rd 2010 01:28 am

Sabi: Glued On Thin Memories

Glued On Thin Memories
Boltfish Records 2010
15 Tracks. 68mins52secs

Norman Records: CD

The excellent Boltfish continues to deliver the goods with their latest release, the debut album by British-Japanese electronic artist Sabi, who has previously been spotted on Cactus Island Recordings with a first EP, Nebulous Sights, four years ago, and more recently on Phaseworks with 71:36, a split LP recorded with Kiyo. Sabi is the solo project of Taro Peter Little, a graphic designer who is currently studying music at the Tokyo University Of Arts.

Weaving together various strands of electronica into one rather lush collection, Little creates here a particularly beautiful record. Continue Reading »

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