Archive for October, 2010

RAFAEL ANTON IRISARRI: The North Bend (Room40)

themilkman on Oct 29th 2010 01:25 am

Rafael Anton Irisarri: The North Bend

The North Bend
Room40 2010
05 Tracks. 40mins37secs

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

The year is proving one of the strongest yet for Australian imprint Room40, which, not content of celebrating ten years at the forefront of experimental music, culminating with a series of concerts during their annual OpenFrame events in Brisbane earlier this month and London at the end of next week, and a stunning retrospective CD given away free to subscribers of The Wire recently, have also seen some of their strongest releases to date come out this years.

One such release is Rafael Anton Irisarri’s latest opus, The North Bend, the follow up to his Reverie mini album, published on Chicago-based Immune earlier in the year. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Oct 27th 2010 01:28 am

Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin: Llyrìa

ECM Records 2010
07 Tracks. 56mins08secs

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

Swiss composer and pianist Nik Bärtsch returns to ECM for the third time with his ensemble, Ronin, which he has led for nearly ten years now. Originally a quartet formed of long term collaborator Kaspar Rast on drums, Björn Meyer on bass, Andi Pupato on percussion, the formation expanded to a quintet with the addition of Sha on bass clarinet and alto saxophone in 2006.

Taking its title from a newly discovered luminescent creature of the deep which is currently defying classification, Llyrìa, Ronin’s sixth album, expands on the band’s ‘Zen funk’ template, a blend of minimalism and incendiary grooves, which has defined much of their recordings until now. Continue Reading »

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SQUAREPUSHER: Squarepusher Presents Shobaleader One – d’Demonstrator (Warp Records)

themilkman on Oct 26th 2010 10:13 pm

Squarepusher: Squarepusher Presents Shobaleader One - d'Demonstrator

Squarepusher Presents Shobaleader One: d’Demonstrator
Warp Records 2010
09 Tracks. 44mins40secs

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

Do you know Squarepusher? This is what Tom Jenkinson was cheekily asking almost ten years ago, and he’s since regularly deflected preconceptions on his work, which resulted most spectacularly last year with the release of the superb Solo Electric Bass 1 album, which, as its title indicated, stripped his music back down to its most basic component, Jenkinson’s electric bass. With this new album, he moves the goal post once again away from the concussed drill’n’bass playground that he has made his over the years.

This latest affair started when a bunch of kids got in touch with Jenkinson with the prospect of bringing the fictitious band he had dreamt about, which subsequently led to Just A Souvenir two years ago, to life. Continue Reading »

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KYLE BOBBY DUNN: Rural Route No. 2 (Standard Form)

themilkman on Oct 24th 2010 11:02 pm

Kyle Bobby Dunn: Rural Route No. 2

Rural Route No. 2
Standard Form 2010
02 Tracks. 20mins40secs

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

Earlier this year, Brooklyn-based sound artist Kyle Bobby Dunn released the rather sumptuous A Young Person’s Guide To Kyle Bobby Dunn, a double album which collected a series of atmospheric drone-based pieces, some of which had previous been released as a download-only album, Fervency, others which had until then never been released. Out on the artisanal imprint and print house Standard Form, based in Toronto, Rural Route No. 2 is part of a series of limited 3” CDRs which has seen inputs from Damian Valles, Martin Clarke, Alex Durlak, The Gentleman Losers and Machinefabriek.

Following a similar path to A Young Person’s Guide…, Rural Route No. 2 contains two tracks, each lasting around ten minutes, built from guitar, strings, organ and radio mutations, all processed beyond recognition. Continue Reading »

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SUPERSILENT: 11 (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Oct 21st 2010 12:39 am

Supersilent: 11

Rune Grammofon 2010
06 Tracks. 37mins28secs

Amazon UK: LP US: LP Norman Records: LP

Recorded in 2005, when drummer Jarle Vespestad was still part of the band’s line up, and culled from the sessions that spawned 8, 11, the third Supersilent installment in twelve months, is quite a different affair from the formation’s more recent atmospheric explorations.

When the four members of Supersilent reconvened to work on a follow up to 6 and 7, over the course of five days in August 2005, they collected over five hours of recordings which were, for a time, considered for a second mastodon three-CD set. 8 was eventually reined in to a single CD, leaving a wealth of unreleased material, part of which is now surfacing on this vinyl-only release. Continue Reading »

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ERIK K. SKODVIN: Flare (Sonic Pieces)

themilkman on Oct 20th 2010 01:23 am

Erik K. Skodvin: Flare

Sonic Pieces 2010
10 Tracks. 36mims02secs

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

Graphic designer, head of the highly respected Miasmah Records, sound artist and musician with many projects under his belt; Erik Skodvin’s days must surely be pretty busy. Momentarily stepping away from his Svarte Greiner alter-ego, his latest album, Flare, is published on the excellent Berlin-based imprint Sonic Pieces in a run of just 450 handmade copies.

Very much like with his work as Svarte Greiner or as one half of Deaf Center, the Norwegian artists creates here a particularly striking soundtrack, each sonic vignette the catalyst for infinitely nuanced and detailed soundscapes, but here, the dark and dense electronic textures that have been key to his work until now have gone entirely. Instead, Skodvin works with acoustic guitars, pianos, violins and bass, using each sound in its raw, naked form. Continue Reading »

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VARIOUS ARTISTS: Twenty Centuries Of Stony Sleep (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Oct 19th 2010 12:57 am

Various Artists: Twenty Centuries Of Stony Sleep

Twenty Centuries Of Stony Sleep
Rune Grammofon 2010
13 Tracks. 75mins24secs

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

Twelve years on from Supersilent’s monumental triple CD debut release, Rune Grammofon have reached a new milestone with this, their hundredth release. Twenty Centuries Of Stony Sleep collects thirteen tracks, twelve of which exclusive to this album, from quite a wide cross-section of the label’s roster, ranging from long-serving acts (Alog, Scorch Trio, Supersilent, Ultralyd, In The Country, Deathprod or Maja Ratjke) to more recent joiners (Espen Eriksen Trio, Puma, Bushman’s Revenge or new signing Jenny Hval).

There are few record labels who have developed such a strong and consistent aesthetic as Rune Grammofon, not only visually, there is not one release which hasn’t had the Kim Hiorthøy treatment, but also through its catalogue, which, in the case of Rune Grammofon stretches from abstract jazz, traditional Scandinavian folk to ambient electronic music and from ethereal pop to avant-garde classical to heavy metal, always with a strong exploratory angle at its core. Continue Reading »

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TVO/THE VILLAGE ORCHESTRA: We Can Remember It For You Wholesale (Broken20)

themilkman on Oct 15th 2010 01:23 am

TVO/The Village Orchestra: We Can Remember It For You Wholesale

TVO/The Village Orchestra
We Can Remember It For You Wholesale
Broken20 2010
05 Tracks. 94mins01secs

Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD iTunes: DLD

Earlier this year, purveyor of fine electronic and experimental music Highpoint Lowlife announced that they were to cease operating at the end of the year. Around the same time, The Village Orchestra’s Ruaridh Law launched Broken20, a label set up with Production Unit’s Dave Donnelly and Erstlaub’s Dave Fyans. While he has released music on a number of labels, Law had become one of the most highly regarded members of the Highpoint Lowlife stable, first as part of the excellent Marcia Blaine School For Girls entity, then with his own project, The Village Orchestra, under which banner he released what remains to this day one of the finest electronic records of the last ten years, Et In Arcadia Ego, in 2004.

Broken20’s inaugural release comes in the shape of a two-fold release from Law bringing together two of his slightly different projects in one compelling record. Continue Reading »

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KEMIALLISET YSTÄVÄT: Ullakkopalo (Fonal Records)

themilkman on Oct 14th 2010 01:07 am

Kemialliset Ystävät: Ullakkopalo

Fonal Records 2010
14 Tracks. 42mins04secs

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

Between broken folk, awkwardly oblique electronica and distorted pop, the weird and wonderful world of Fonal Records has provided a safe haven for Finland’s misfits for nearly fifteen years, who have in return distilled some of the oddest and most fascinating music around. Already responsible for quite a considerable number of releases in all sorts of formats across a wide spectrum of record labels, one of these misfits, variable collective Kemialliset Ystävät, which translates roughly as Chemical Friends, return to Fonal with their fifth album for the label.

Led by Jan Anderzén, Ullakkopalo was recorded with a fifteen-strong formation of musicians, and often sounds like an orchestra on the loose. It is quite difficult to tell exactly what is happening at any one time, such is the intensity of the sonic assault confronting the listener. Continue Reading »

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ESKMO: Eskmo (Ninja Tune)

themilkman on Oct 13th 2010 01:27 am

Eskmo: Eskmo

Ninja Tune 2010
13 Tracks. 49mins22secs

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

Born Brendan Angelides somewhere in Connecticut some years ago, Eskmo first appeared with the album Machines On Task, released on his own Eskmo Recordings as a graduation project, over ten years ago, and has since gone on to publish breakbeat records on Downbeat Productions, Vertical Sound and Cyberfunk. Angelides relocated to San Francisco in 2006, and widened his musical scope greatly to incorporate elements of hip hop, ambient, funky groove, dubstep and electronica, with releases on Ancestor, Planet Mu Or Warp. Now signed to Ninja Tune, Eskmo drops his latest album right on queue for the label’s much celebrated twentieth anniversary.

Right from the opening loops of the rather magnificent recent lead single Cloudlight, the tone is set. Continue Reading »

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HAUSCHKA: Foreign Landscapes (130701/Fat-Cat Records)

themilkman on Oct 12th 2010 01:10 am

Hauschka: Foreign Landscapes

Foreign Landscapes
130701/Fat-Cat Records 2010
12 Tracks. 55mins41secs

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

Imagine for a moment going through border controls with a panoply of gaffa tape rolls, ping pong balls, kitchen foil, little hammers, guitar strings, pegs and other random objects, all with the purpose of playing music. This is a daily occurrence for German musician Hauschka, who has made the prepared piano his instrument of predilection. Hailing from Düsseldorf, Volker Bertelmann, a classically-trained pianist, released his first album, Substantial, on Karaoke Kalk in 2004, and followed it with the self-explanatory The Prepared Piano a year later. Signed to Fat-Cat’s modern classical sister label 130701 since 2007, Bertelmann has since considerably developed his composition style, and his latest offering, Foreign Landscapes, represents once again a massive step forward. Continue Reading »

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RJ VALEO: Atman (Io Records)

themilkman on Oct 8th 2010 01:07 am

RJ Valeo: Atman

Io Records 2010
10 Tracks. 65mins46secs

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

In the ten years since he released his debut album, under the Transelectronic Theory moniker, New York-born Richard John Valeo has published quite a considerable number of records, not only on his own Io imprint, but also on labels such as Moodgadget, Type or Sutemos, spanning quite a wide array of genres, from tech-house to microbeats, techno to ambient, all this under a variety of monikers. His latest offering, Atman, released early in the summer, is said to be inspired by a concept which can have a somewhat different meaning whether approached from a Hindu or Buddhist point of view. How this actually affects the music remains quite unclear, but Valeo creates here a very harmonious and hypnotic soundtrack, which relies on vast atmospheric soundscapes ridden with deep dub undercurrents and beautiful electronica strands. Continue Reading »

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