Archive for April, 2011

KODE9 & THE SPACEAPE: Black Sun (Hyperdub Records)

themilkman on Apr 26th 2011 12:30 am

Kode 9 & The Spaceape: Black Sun

Black Sun
Hyperdub Records 2011
12 Tracks. 46mins33secs

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

In the five years or so that separate Kode9 and The Spaceape’s two albums, dubstep has grown from a fringe underground movement to just the latest bandwagon for the mainstream record industry to jump on. If the role played by Kode9 in this democratisation has been somewhat pivotal, from strings of EPs and a seminal debut recorded with the Spaceape to spreading the word via his regular DJ sets and channeling a host of talents, from Burial and Ikonika to Terror Danjah and King Midas Sound through the Hyperdub creative hub, his approach has remained totally uncompromising, something confirmed at length on his latest collaborative work with The Spaceape, Black Sun, which follows the pair’s 2009 EP of the same title.

The pair have cranked the pace up a few notches and sharpened the angles of their beats and grooves, but the essence of Memories Of The Future is still essentially driving this set. Continue Reading »

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JENNY HVAL: Viscera (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Apr 20th 2011 01:01 am

Jenny Hval: Viscera

Rune Grammofon 2011
10 Tracks. 54mins26secs

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

The body, this holiest of temples, is the subject of Jenny Hval’s new album, but it is its most visceral functions and primal organs that are the focus of her attention. Blood, piss, spit, sweat, erections, clitoris, eye sockets, tongues, finger nails, pores and skin, senses are all exposed in the cold light of day, used and abused in every song. Yet, if nothing is too crude or taboo for the Norwegian songstress, Viscera is actually a poetic journey like no other, carried by Hval’s deeply moving voice, part Liz Fraser, part Björk, part Mari Boine, yet totally and utterly unique.

Hval made a name for herself as Rockettothesky, under which banner she released two albums, To Sing You Apple Trees (2006) and Medusa (2008). Viscera is quite a different offering. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Apr 17th 2011 11:48 pm


With his latest album, British sound artist Monty Adkins has been finding inspiration in the painting of Pip Dickens and art collective Brass Art, an approach that already partly infused his previous record. Over the years, he has work on various installations, scored dance projects and curated projects for the legendary GRM in Paris. Here, we talk with him about working on a project celebrating the work of Pierre Schaeffer, looking for electronic music in the orchestral works of Ligeti and Saariaho and understanding the process used by Rothko and adapting it to his own work. Continue Reading »

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DALGLISH: Benacah Drann Deachd (Highpoint Lowlife)

themilkman on Apr 15th 2011 01:18 am

Dalglish: Benacah Drann Deachd

Benacah Drann Deachd
Highpoint Lowlife 2011
11 Tracks. 44mins14secs

Chris Douglas has been making music under one moniker or another for the best part of twenty years, but amidst his numerous projects, Dalglish strikes by its resolutely dystopian outlook, served by highly processed oppressive electronic soundscapes, each denser than the previous one. What was already rather intense electronic music on OtHohr (Highpoint Lowlife, 2004) had become even more desolate and complex by the time he published Ideom (Record Label Records), four years on, and Benacah Drann Deachd is undoubtedly cast from a similar mould.

This is not an easy album to get into, its resolutely abstract rendering, lack of conventional musical structure and uncomfortably intense minimalism often leave tracks feeling so seemingly unsubstantial than they at times appear as nothing more than vague sketches. Continue Reading »

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RENE HELL: The Terminal Symphony (Type Recordings)

themilkman on Apr 13th 2011 01:36 am

Rene Hell: The Terminal Symphony

The Terminal Symphony
Type Recordings 2011
10 Tracks. 38mins22secs

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

If there was any doubt to the electronic nature of James Witscher’s latest project, the title of his second album as Rene Hell spells it out loud and clear: this is music made for computer. The Terminal Symphony is however a much more ambitious project, which, while retaining much of its predecessor’s refinement, aims at reaching an entirely different level of creativity.

2010 was a busy year for Witscher, who, since the release of his debut album barely a year ago, has delivered a number of tapes, singles and split releases on Arbor, Kraak or Agents Of Chaos. But, as this latest offering prove, this was clearly not enough for the inspiration stream to dry up. Witscher embarked on a much more ambitious project when he set out to record The Terminal Symphony. Continue Reading »

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A HAWK AND A HACKSAW: Cervantine (LM Dupli-cation)

themilkman on Apr 12th 2011 01:20 am

A Hawk And A Hacksaw: Cervantine

LM Dupli-cation 2011
08 Tracks. 40mins19secs

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

A Hawk And A Hacksaw was originally the solo enterprise of former Neutral Milk Hotel drummer Jeremy Barnes, a project started shortly after leaving the band in the early 2000s. In recent years, he has been joined by violinist Heather Trost, who began as a simple regular contributor before becoming a fully fledged member in 2006. The pair spent many months in total immersion in Central and Eastern Europe, sucking up local folklore and getting involved with local musicians and formations. Over the years, the sources of inspiration have expanded quite considerably in pretty much all directions to cover most of Eastern Europe, from the Baltic to the Adriatic and Mediterranean.

For this latest release, the fifth AHAAH album and the first on their own imprint, LM Dupli-cation, the band has expanded again with the addition of long term friends Chris and sister Stephanie Hladowski, who contribute bouzouki and vocals respectively. Continue Reading »

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MONTY ADKINS: Fragile.Flicker.Fragment (Audiobulb Records)

themilkman on Apr 10th 2011 11:38 pm

Monty Adkins: Fragile.Flicker.Fragment

Audiobulb Records 2011
09 Tracks. 53mins49secs

Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD Boomkat: DLD

After reading music at Cambridge University, specializing in French medieval and Italian Renaissance music, Monty Adkins became interested in electronic and electro-acoustic music and went on to become a member of the Birmingham Electro-acoustic Sound Theatre, a formation attached to the music department at the University of Birmingham. This led him to work on very diverse projects, from sound installations and scoring for a contemporary dance piece to curating a project for INA-GRM to celebrate the work of Pierre Schaefer, the man widely regarded as the father of musique concrète.

Adkins’s last record, Five Panels, recorded with bass guitarist Pierre Alexandre Tremblay, was inspired by the paintings of Mark Rothko. Equally, his latest opus finds its source in the work of London-based painter Pip Dickens and that of Brass Art, a collective of artists based in Manchester (Chara Lewis), Huddersfield (Kristin Mojsiewicz) and Glasgow (Anneke Pettican). Continue Reading »

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TVO/THE VILLAGE ORCHESTRA: Amid The Blaze Of Noon (Highpoint Lowlife)

themilkman on Apr 7th 2011 10:00 pm

TVO/The Village  Orchestra: Amid The Blaze Of Noon

Amid The Blaze Of Noon
Highpoint Lowlife 2011
01 Track. 64mins04secs

Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD Boomkat: DLD

Ruaridh Law has, from his debut album, released on Highpoint Lowlife six years ago, created a truly unique and individual body of work. In recent months, Law has been busy establishing his new imprint, Broken20, just as one of the labels who have been so supportive of his work, Highpoint Lowlife, is in the process of folding out. It is therefore quite fitting that one of the label’s last releases should be the latest Village Orchestra opus.

Like some of Law’s more recent releases, Amid The Blaze Of Noon is essentially an hour-long piece, but this is more than just one lengthy experiment. Continue Reading »

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JOHN CHANTLER: The Luminous Ground (Room40)

themilkman on Apr 5th 2011 01:26 am

John Chantler: The Luminous Ground

The Luminous Ground
Room40 2011
06 Tracks. 39mins50secs

Can music be ‘created by machines’? This is often the starting point of one of the main arguments hailed by detractors of electronic music, who see electronic synthesis and computers as the cold and inhuman antithesis to music played on ‘proper instruments’, by human beings. Yet, machines can’t work on their own. They cannot power themselves, have no natural creative will and depend on human interactions to even exist. Machines have to be programmed in some way, and, like musical instruments, are only as good as their users.

This is what John Chantler investigates with his latest album, published on Room40. For the last three years, he has amassed a handful of electronic devices into a modular set up which now regularly serves as a platform for live experimentation, and is here put to extensive use to create a rather intriguing soundtrack where human interaction and accidental machine input both play equally important roles. Continue Reading »

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VARIOUS ARTISTS: 25 – Celebrating 25 Years Of Sonic Explorations (Accretions Records)

themilkman on Apr 1st 2011 12:40 am

Various Artists: 25

25 – Celebrating 25 Years Of Sonic Explorations
Accretions Records 2011
12 Tracks. 58mins39secs

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Summing up twenty five years in twelve tracks is totally inconceivable, and is in no way the aim of this compilation. What 25 does however is offer a fascinating overview of what the focus of California-based imprint Accretions continues to be, from contemporary jazz to outwardly exploratory work.

Launched in 1985 as an arts and culture magazine, and again a year later as a record label, Accretions has since found itself at the forefront of contemporary experimental music, with a particular affinity for jazz and improv. The label is home to a variety of artists and formations from the likes of musician and filmmaker Hans Fjellestad, percussionist and composer Nathan Hubbard, guitarist Bill Horist or multi-instrumentist Eric Glick Rieman to bands such as Burning Bridges, Donkey, the Trummerflora collective or, more recently Dawn Of Midi or Axis Trio. Continue Reading »

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