Archive for September, 2010

SUPERSILENT: 10 (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Sep 30th 2010 12:17 am

Supersilent: 10

Rune Grammofon 2010
12 Tracks. 41mins46secs

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

For the last couple of years, Supersilent have been operating as a trio following the departure of drummer Jale Vespestad, but, far from hindering their progress, this seems to have opened an entirely new field of experimentation for Arve Henriksen, Ståle Storløkken and Helge Sten. Following the beautifully introspective 9, released just over a year ago in Scandinavia, 10 denotes another foray into deeply atmospheric grounds, but unlike its predecessor, for which the trio used only sounds sourced from Hammond organs, this latest offering is surprisingly acoustic and delicate. Storløkken on piano for the first time in Supersilent, and Henriksen on trumpet dominate this album, with Sten weaving discreet electronic textures in the backdrop. Most of the tracks were recorded early last year shortly after Vespestad announced he was leaving the formation, with additional recordings sourced from the fructuous 2005 sessions for 8, the remainder of which are due to be released on vinyl as 11 imminently.

This move toward predominantly acoustic instrumentation shows Supersilent under radically different lights to anything they have served up until now. Continue Reading »

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The Whale Watching Tour, Sam Amidon, Ben Frost, Nico Muhly & Valgeir Sigurđsson, Barbican Centre, London, 27/09/2010

themilkman on Sep 28th 2010 11:14 pm

The Whale Watching Tour, Sam Amidon, Ben Frost, Nico Muhly & Valgeir Sigurđsson, Barbican Centre, London, 27/09/2010

Bedroom Community, the label founded by Valgeir SigurÄ‘sson, has, for over four years, been a hub of intense collaborative work between the various members of the collective. They regularly work on each others’ records, in various capacities, and often join effort on stage. In the last year, the four embarked on an ambitious tour which has seen them perform across Europe. Originally scheduled for last April, the Barbican performance of Bedroom Community’s Whale Watching Tour was postponed after that Icelandic volcano started erupting, causing chaos in European air traffic. On a prematurely autumnal late September evening, the Bedroom Community caravan finally stopped at London’s Barbican Centre for one of the very last dates with all four members of the collective, Nico Muhly, Sam Amidon, Ben Frost and Valgeir SigurÄ‘sson, accompanied by four additional musicians, Una Sveinbjarardóttir (violin), Nadia Sirota (viola), Brogar Magnason (contrabass) and Helgi Jonson (trombone and vocals) playing in this particular format. Continue Reading »

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COPPE': Artificial Insemination (Mango & Sweet Rice)

themilkman on Sep 24th 2010 01:11 am

Coppé: Artificial Insemination

Artificial Insemination
Mango & Sweet Rice 2010
15 Tracks. 72mins18secs

Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD iTunes: DLD

Despite what the album title may suggest, the work of Japanese songstress Coppe’ is never anything else than truly organic. A serial collaborative artist, she enjoys nothing more than confronting her own sonic universe with that of the cream of the electronic world and up and coming talents. She has done so on every single of her eleven albums to date, and her latest, Artificial Insemination, published on her own Mango & Sweet Rice imprint, is no different. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Sep 23rd 2010 10:52 pm


Formed by former members of Plone and Broadcast, Seeland first appeared in 2005 with a seven inch single released on Stereolab’s Duophonic, followed the year later by an EP. Both releases showcased the band’s beautiful electronic pop which would be developed further on Seeland’s debut album, Tomorrow Today, released last year. With a second album under their belt, themilkman caught up with ex-Broadcast Tim Felton to talk about starting from scratch and finding a label, writing songs, the retro-futuristic sound of Birmingham, the revival of Krautrock and taking the band to the next step. Continue Reading »

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VARIOUS ARTISTS: Ninja Tune XX – 20 Years Of Beats & Pieces (Ninja Tune)

themilkman on Sep 22nd 2010 01:08 am

Various Artists: Ninja Tune XX - 20 Years Of Beats & Pieces

Ninja Tune XX: 20 Years Of Beats And Pieces
Ninja Tune 2010
101 Tracks. 486mins00secs

It is probably not a coincidence that two of the major UK labels to have emerged from the rave era, Warp and Ninja Tune, are celebrating their twentieth anniversary within less than a year, testament that, if for many only a fleeting movement, it proved, for the most dedicated and visionary artists and labels, the most perfect of launchpads. Following last year’s Warp celebrations, it is now the turn of Ninja Tune to reach this milestone and look back upon its defining years.

Founded by Coldcut’s Matt Black and Jon More in 1990, the label rapidly established a solid roster around the likes of DJ Food, Kid Koala, The Herbaliser, DJ Vadim, The Cinematic Orchestra or Amon Tobin. While shaping the post rave electronic landscape, the paths followed by Warp and Ninja Tune rapidly diverged. The former remained close to the blend of acid house, Detroit techno and industrial ethic which had shaped its early years, Ninja Tune opted for a resolutely more eclectic sound, incorporating heavy doses of hip-hop and drum’n’bass into its expanding catalogue. Continue Reading »

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Seefeel, ICA, London, 16/09/2010

themilkman on Sep 20th 2010 11:05 pm

Seefeel, ICA, London, 16/09/2010

Despite having only released one album and a couple of singles for the label, Seefeel are one of Warp’s most emblematic acts. Over a year ago, the band was resurrected, the time, it seemed, of a celebratory set as part of the opening event for Warp’s twentieth anniversary bash in Paris. That was without counting on the persuasive powers of Warp co-founder and head, Steve Beckett, who got on the band’s case and convinced them to work together again and finally give a follow up to the stunning and seminal Quique, Succour and (Ch-Vox), the band’s three albums to date.

The reunion actually dates back to 2007, when Mark Clifford and Sarah Peacock found themselves answering questions about the freshly expanded Quique, reissued by Too Pure. Continue Reading »

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SISTOL: On The Bright Side / Sistol (Remasters & Remakes) (Halo Cyan Records)

themilkman on Sep 16th 2010 01:31 am

Sistol: On The Bright Side Sistol: Sistol (Remasters & Remakes)

On The Bright Side
Halo Cyan Records/Phthalo Records 2010
08 Tracks. 54mins37secs

Sistol (Remasters & Remakes)
Halo Cyan Records/Phthalo Records 2010
19 Tracks. 118mins24secs

On The Bright Side: Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD iTunes: DLD

Finnish musician and producer Sasu Ripatti is not one for lounging around and sleeping on his laurels. He juggles quite a wide range of consecutive projects, some his own (Vladislav Delay, Luomo, Uusitalo), others collaborative (Vladislav Delay Quartet, Moritz von Oswald Trio, The Dolls or AGF/Delay, the duo with his life partner Antye Greie-Fuchs), all focussing on different aspects of music. So, the addition of one more is in no way surprising, and neither is it surprising than Sistol has its own identity and language, away from his other projects.

Sistol is not actually a new addition to Ripatti’s ever expanding portfolio, but one that made a short apparition twelve years ago, when he released a very limited collection of ascetic minimal techno on Brooklyn-based Phthalo Records. Continue Reading »

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OVAL: O (Thrill Jockey)

themilkman on Sep 15th 2010 01:36 am

Oval: O

Thrill Jockey 2010
70 Tracks. 112mins37secs

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

It has been ten years since Markus Popp was heard of last. Once a purveyor of fine complex electronic music, it appeared that the project, which he founded with Sebastian Oschatz and Frank Metzger in Darmstadt, Germany in the early nineties and had been solely leading since 1996, had dried up. Virtually nothing had been heard from the man since his 2001 album Ovalcommers. Furthermore, his other projects, Microstoria, a collaboration with Mouse On Mars’s Jan St. Werner, and So, the duo he formed with Japanese vocalist Eriko Toyoda, also remained inactive during that period.

Originally, Oval was overtly electronic and experimental, a terrain upon which raw abstract formations flourished. In their first few years, Popp, Oschatz and Metzger redefined what electronic music was about through a series of groundbreaking albums. Once sole on board, Popp continued his exploratory work, documented on a series of releases of which Ovalprocess (2000) and Ovalcommers (2001), both published on Thrill Jockey, are outstanding examples.

In 2010, Oval is a very different affair. Continue Reading »

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SYSTEM: B (Rump Recordings)

themilkman on Sep 14th 2010 01:32 am

System: B

Rump Recordings 2010
09 Tracks. 40mins20secs

Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD Boomkat: DLD

System is the third incarnation of the collaborative entity formed of Dub Tractor’s Andres Remmer, Opiate’s Thomas Knak and Acustic’s Jesper Skaaning. The Danish trio met over fifteen years ago and have since operated as D.A.W.N. the time of one compilation appearance, then Future 3 between 1995 and 2001, under which guise they released three albums and a handful of EPs and remixes, blending delicate strands of jazz, soul and drum’n’bass, and eventually, moving onto much more stripped down electronic forms, System. Their first self-titled album under this particular banner was published on Stefan Betke’s ~scape in 2002 and stuck close to the label’s dub and micro-beat ethic. The trio followed this with an EP, published on Danish imprint Rump Recordings three years ago, and now a second album. Continue Reading »

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SEEFEEL: Faults (Warp Records)

themilkman on Sep 10th 2010 01:27 am

Seefeel: Faults

Warp Records 2010
04 Tracks. 18mins59secs
Format: 10″/Digital

Amazon UK: 10″ | DLD US: DLD Boomkat: DLD

While Seefeel never officially split up, the project has been lying dormant for well over a decade. The band, was originally formed of Mark Clifford (guitar and programming), Sarah Peacock (guitar and vocals), Mark Van Hoen (bass) and Justin Fletcher (drums), until Van Hoen was replaced with Daren Seymour in 1992. Seefeel evolved on the fringe of shoegaze and were for a while closely associated with the Cocteau Twins, with whom they toured, yet their approach relied increasingly on heavily processed guitars and abstract ambient soundscapes which earned them considerable respect in electronica circles. In the space of three albums and a handful of EPs, released on Too Pure, Warp and Rephlex, they established a sound which remains to this day highly influential and totally unique. Following the release of their third album, (Ch-Vox) on Rephlex in 1996, Clifford concentrated on solo projects Disjecta and Wodenspoon, and collaborative efforts with Simon Kelaoha, better known as Calika, vocalist Sophie Hinkley as part of Sneakster, and more recently with Mira Calix, while Peacock, Seymour and Fletcher went on to form Scala. Clifford and Peacock were reunited three years ago as Too Pure issued an expanded version of the band’s 1993 debut album, Quique, and the idea of working together again slowly began to emerge. Continue Reading »

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K11: Metaphonic Portrait 1230 A.D. (Actual Noise Records)

themilkman on Sep 8th 2010 11:52 pm

K11: Metaphonic Portrait: 1230 A.D.

Metaphonic Portrait: 1230 A.D.
Actual Noise 2010
04 Tracks. 41mins00secs

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

Behind the rather enigmatic K11 moniker is Italian experimental musician Pietro Riparbelli, who has released a number of haunting works under various names, and also recently collaborated with French multi-instrumentist Philippe Petit on the superb The Haunting Triptych album which was published on Boring Machines earlier this year.

Two years ago, Riparbelli released Voices From Thelema, an album built from sonic components and atmospheric noises recorded on short-wave radio receivers in the ruins of Thelema Abbey, in Sicily. These signals were later processed into stark instrumental pieces. Metaphonic Portrait 1230 A.D. follows a similar idea. For this project, Riparbelli set up camp in the lower basilica of Assisi Cathedral, in the Italian province of Umbria, feet away from the relics of St Francis Of Assisi, recording a vast array of ambient noises and sounds, which were then processed into the dense soundscapes forming the basis of the four tracks collected here. Voices and organ  were added to accentuate the emotional scope of these pieces. Continue Reading »

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GARETH HARDWICK: Of The Sea And Shore (Low Point)

themilkman on Sep 2nd 2010 12:03 am

Gareth Hardwick: Of The Sea And Shore

Of The Sea And Shore
Low Point 2010
02 Tracks. 36mins46secs

“Solo ambient/drone guitar pieces, played and recorded by someone you’ve never heard of.” This succinct introduction lifted from Gareth Hardwick’s myspace page tells a lot and not much at once. The founder and head of Low Point, a small imprint based in Nottingham, England which has been distilling some mighty fine electro-acoustic ambient music for almost half a decade now, Hardwick is before all an accomplished musician who, as a solo artist, has been releasing music since 2006, including a handful of split releases with Machinefabriek, Matt Rösner or Taiga Remains.

Of The Sea And Shore, Hardwick’s third full length, is split into two tracks, each lasting just under twenty minutes. Each track is itself split into sections of various lengths and shapes, some spanning quite a substantial portion of the track, others acting as short sonic interludes. Continue Reading »

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