Archive for July, 2011

LIONEL MARCHETTI: Une Saison (Monotype Records)

themilkman on Jul 27th 2011 01:48 am

Lionel Marchetti: Une Saison

Une Saison
Monotype Records 2011
06 Tracks. 86mins33secs

Norman Records: CD

Une Saison collects four works from French musique concrète composer Lionel Marchetti composed between 1993 and 2000. While a relatively unknown musician and sound artist, Marchetti has been recording since the beginning of the 1990s, and has been working as part of the Groupe De Recherche Musicales in Paris since 1993. He also organises regular workshops centered on the recorded sound, electro-acoustic music, musique concrète and what he calls the art of the loudspeaker. Beside his work with sound, he also writes poetry and has published a number of essays on musique concrète. Continue Reading »

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THE THING WITH OTOMO YOSHIHIDE Shinjuku Crawl / THE THING WITH JIM O’ROURKE: Shinjuku Growl (Smalltown Superjazzz)

themilkman on Jul 26th 2011 01:26 am

The Thing with Otomo Yoshihide: Shinjuku Crawl The Thing with Jim O'Rourke: Shinjuku Growl

Shinjuku Crawl
Smalltown Superjazzz 2011
06 Tracks. 66mins33secs

Shinjuku Growl
Smalltown Superjazzz 2011
04 Tracks. 56mins27secs

Shinjuku Crawl
Amazon UK: CD US: CD | DLD Boomkat: CD iTunes: DLD
Shinjuku Growl
Amazon UK: CD US: CD Boomkat: CD

The trio of saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, bass player Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love are as impossible to pin down as their name suggests. Formed in 2000 when the trio met to play a string of live dates, The Thing have since grown into an incredibly complex operation. Propelled by the tight dynamics of the rhythm section formed by Håker Flaten and Nilssen-Love, and led by the visceral sax of Gustafsson, The Thing began by exploring the world of Don Cherry, their debut album’s title, itself a reference to Cherry, ending up as the trio’s nom de guerre. On following releases, the trio tackled radically different grounds by not only sourcing their material from the likes of Ornette Coleman or Joe McPhee but also from The White Stripes, PJ Harvey or the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, leading them to continuously expand into freer and more fluid forms.

Recorded in October 2007 and February 2008 respectively, from live sessions at Pit Inn in Tokyo, Shinjuku Crawl and Shinjuku Growl see The Thing joined by guitarists Otomo Yoshihide and Jim O’Rourke. Continue Reading »

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@C: Homem Fantasma (Crónica)

themilkman on Jul 25th 2011 12:50 am

@C: Homem Fantasma

Homen Fantasma
Crónica 2011
03 Tracks. 111mins02secs

Miguel Carvalhais and Pedro Tudela are @C, an experimental duo from Portugal who, in the ten years they have been working together, have released works on a variety of labels and created a number of pieces for audio-visual installations and videos. Their latest venture, Homem Fantasma, which translates as Human Ghost, consists of three pieces, each nearly forty minutes long, of extensive and complex soundscaping, incorporating field recordings, electronics and digital processing. The fruit of nearly two years of work, Homem Fantasma is an absorbing collection of sonic spaces which, despite their overall urban feel (road work noises, vehicle breaks, road traffic, trains…) feels somewhat spacious and extremely open. Continue Reading »

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KETIL BJØRNSTAD: Early Piano Music (Hubro Music)

themilkman on Jul 22nd 2011 01:38 am

Ketil Bjørnstad: Early Piano Music

Early Piano Music
Hubro Music 2011
27 Tracks. 113mins11secs

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

Born in the early 1950s in Oslo, Ketil Bjørnstad is a pianist, composer and author with an extensive body of work spanning over four decades. A classically trained musician, Bjørnstad is also a keen jazz enthusiast, and his work has often found a place somewhere between the two genres. He names influences from Bach, Ravel or Stravinsky to Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and Norwegian folk music. In the mid-eighties, while he had been working on a series of grand scale projects, he composed twenty four Preludes, which were recorded and released on two albums, published in 1984 and 1985, and a third album, entitled Pianology, in 1987. With these records, Bjørnstad was seeking to return to more stripped down and minimal musical forms. Recorded at a key moment in his career, a few years before he began a long-standing and fruitful collaboration with ECM, these albums were produced by Bjørnstad, and have long been unavailable. Continue Reading »

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MIKA VAINIO: Life (… It Eats You Up) (Editions Mego)

themilkman on Jul 21st 2011 01:37 am

Mika Vainio: Life (... It Eats You Up)

Life (… It Eats You Up)
Editions Mego 2011
10 Tracks. 58mins25secs

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

There is, we are told, only a fine line between pain and pleasure. It is a line that Mika Vainio has crossed more than most through his extensive solo or collaborative work, pushing his heavy duty sound processing ever further into abstraction and distortion. And his latest offering is no different. Released on Editions Mego, the guitar-based Life (… It Eats You Up) explores some of the man’s recurring themes from a somewhat fresh angle. The resulting soundtrack is not ultimately that different from the majority of his output, although it throws up some interesting oddities. Guitar sounds, distortions and feedback are put through a comprehensive digital grinding process, but not to a point where they become totally unrecognizable. The settings though are fairly brutal. Continue Reading »

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WASTELL & MARHAUG: Kiss Of Acid (Monotype Records)

themilkman on Jul 20th 2011 01:25 am

Wastell & Marhaug: Kiss Of Acid

Kiss Of Acid
Monotype Records 2011
01 Track. 41mins45secs

Amazon US: CD Norman Records: CD

‘Some guy in Norway making noise’. So goes Lasse Marhaug’s Twitter profile and it is fair to say that it is a pretty accurate description of the man’s extensive body of work. Kiss Of Acid is quite a different proposition altogether. This album is the result of a collaboration in the looser meaning of the term. Wastell and Marhaug never actually recorded together, or even defined any part of the idea behind the record as a working pair. The project started almost ten years ago when Wastell hired a 32” tam tam to use for a performance in Paris which never actually happened. Left with the instrument for the weekend, Wastell used the opportunity to arrange a recording session. The resulting sound sources were later sent to Marhaug who modeled and processed them into a series of slow evolutive drone formations. Continue Reading »

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SPRING: Slides (Ilk)

themilkman on Jul 19th 2011 01:18 am

Spring: Slides

Ilk 2011
05 Tracks. 44mins30secs

Amazon UK: CD | DLD US: DLD

Danish jazz quartet Spring first appeared in early 2008 with a self-titled album released on Copenhagen-based imprint Ilk. Led by Anders Banke (alto sax, clarinet, bass clarinet) and Norwegian-born Torben Snekkestad (tenor and soprano sax, violimba), with a rhythmic section comprising double bass player Jonas Westergaard and drummer and percussionist Peter Bruun, the quartet’s debut release, carried by both an impressive front ensemble and a very effective rhythmic section, demonstrated a taste for refined angular compositions which, while remaining in a fairly conventional set up, proved to be extremely convincing.

Three years on, the quartet have moved into much more abstract territories with their second opus. Continue Reading »

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NILS ØKLAND / SIGBJØRN APELAND: Lysøen – Hommage A Ole Bull (ECM Records)

themilkman on Jul 18th 2011 01:39 am

Nils Økland/Sigbjørn Apeland: Lisøen – Hommage A Ole Bull

Lysøen – Hommage A Ole Bull
ECM Records 2011
16 Tracks. 61mins56secs

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

Violinist and Hardanger fiddle player Nils Økland and pianist and harmonium player Sigbjørn Apeland join forces to pay tribute to nineteenth century Norwegian violinist and composer Ole Bull, who, in his time, was one of the country’s most highly regarded musicians. While his work has led him to be accompanied by some of Europe’s greatests, including Franz Liszt who considered him a genius, Bull found most of his inspiration in his country’s folklore and borrowed a number of traditional themes to incorporate in his compositions. He was also a keen and talented improviser. In 1872, Bull acquired a small island off the west coast of Norway, Lysøen, where he had a house built on designed by architect Conrad Fredrik von der Lippe. Over a hundred years later, the house was donated to Norway by his granddaughter and has since been the scene for many concerts. Økland and Apeland were however the first musicians to record in the house, and both were given access to some of Bull’s instruments, Apeland using his harmonium and Økland his violin, dating back to 1734.  Continue Reading »

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SPUNK: Light (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Jul 15th 2011 12:43 am

Spunk: Light

Rune Grammofon 2011
01 Track. 42mins29secs

Amazon UK: DVD Boomkat: DVD

For all intents and purposes, all-female Norwegian experimental noise improv ensemble Spunk are extremely difficult to pin down. Experimental, they are without a doubt, and noise is their primary field of expression, but reducing them to just this is most certainly missing the point entirely. All four members (Kristin Andersen – trumpet, Lene Grenager – cello, Maja Ratkje – voice and electronics, Hild Sofie Tajford – French horn and electronics) are highly regarded musicians and composers in their own rights, with respective careers to put to shame even the most fervent of serial collaborative individual on the Norwegian scene. They have performed together for over fifteen years, and recorded four albums, their most recent, Kantarell (2009), was released ten years after their debut.

This DVD captures the quartet in their most natural environment, improvising live in front of an audience. Continue Reading »

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FIRE! WITH JIM O’ROURKE: Unreleased? (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Jul 14th 2011 01:34 am

Fire! with Jim O'Rourke: Unreleased?

Rune Grammofon 2011
04 Tracks. 41mins24secs

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

When three became four, at least the time of a couple of sessions. Swedish super power trio Fire!, which personnel comprises saxophonist extraordinaire Mats Gustafsson, bassist Johan Berthling and drummer Andreas Werliin, became a quartet when they were joined by Jim O’Rourke, who contributes electric guitar, synthesizer and harmonica here.

Released two years ago, Fire!’s first opus, You Liked Me Five Minutes Ago, was as incendiary as the trio’s chosen name led to think. Combining elements of avant-garde jazz and experimental psychedelic rock into a series of progressive improvisations, they somehow managed to transcend their respective work to create an extremely vibrant and invigorating soundtrack. With O’Rourke on board to broaden the scope of the band, they are even more fired up and eager to blast their own boundaries, however loose, into oblivion. Continue Reading »

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THE ASTROBOY: The Chromium Fence (Pad-Online)

themilkman on Jul 13th 2011 01:22 am

The Astroboy: The Chromium Fence

The Chromium Fence
Pad-Online 2011
08 Tracks. 28mins35secs

Warm and lush analog synthesis on cassette. As far as retro is concerned, The Chromium Fence ticks a few boxes. The vision of Luis ‘The Astroboy’ Fernandes is inspired by futuristic tales, as many of the Phillip K. Dick-inspired titles on this release indicate, or at least futuristic as it was imagined twenty to thirty years ago, and interpreted with soundscapes and techniques that recall the early electronic music experiments of the likes of Tangerine Dream, Manuel Göttsching or Cluster.

Released on burgeoning artist collective imprint Pad Online, in a run of just 100 cassettes, The Chromium Fence is Fernandes’s third album, following A Derrota Da Engrenagem (Test Tube, 2007) and 090309 (Cobra, 2009), with which he experimented with drone formations built from analog sounds. Continue Reading »

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TUUSANUUSKAT: Nääksää Nää Mun Kyyneleet (Fonal Records)

themilkman on Jul 8th 2011 01:35 am

Tuusanuuskat: Nääksää Nää Mun Kyyneleet

Nääksää Nää Mun Kyyneleet
Fonal Records 2011
05 Tracks. 36mins22secs

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

From the vaults of the wonderland that is Fonal comes this collaborative effort between Es (Sami Sänpäkkilä, who is, amongst other things, head of the Finnish imprint) and Tomutonttu (Jan Anderzén, leader of polymorphic electro-folksters Kemialliset Ystävät), for which they embark on quite a remarkable journey during which their main aim seem to thoroughly destroy every last sound they come across, just, it seems, for the sake of seeing what happens. All this digital destruction is contained within five tracks and lasts only thirty six minutes, but in that time, they manage to create a brutally abrasive mix which also happens to be remarkably cinematic and pastoral.

On first impression, one would be forgiven for thinking they have inadvertently stepped in a newly found Pan Sonic noise experiment. Continue Reading »

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