Archive for September, 2011

COPPE’ vs. BIT-PHALANX: Yogurt (Bit Phalanx/Mango & Sweet Rice)

themilkman on Sep 30th 2011 01:12 am

Coppe' vs. Bit-Phalanx: Yogurt

Bit-Phalanx/Mango & Sweet Rice 2011
17 Tracks. 80mins25secs

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According to the proverb, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. In the case of this project, curated by Japanese songstress Coppe’ and London-based collective Bit-Phalanx, there are no less than seventeen different ways to present just one song. The idea of this remix venture began some months ago when members of the collective met Coppe’. Rapidly, the thought of a remix project grew and the idea of involving a wide range of artists, some who have previously worked with Coppe’ (Terminal 11, Kettel), some who haven’t (Minotaur Shock, Mrs Jynx, Kelli Ali) as well as individual Bit-Phalanx members, and the cause served by this was all too obvious. Continue Reading »

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ERIC GLICK RIEMAN: In My Mind, Her Image Was Reversed (Accretions Records)

themilkman on Sep 29th 2011 01:26 am

Eric Glick Rieman: In My Mind, Her Image Was Reversed

In My Mind, Her Image Was Reversed
Accretions Records 2011
06 Tracks. 56mins15secs

Berkley, CA-based experimental musician Eric Glick Rieman works with a specially adapted Rhodes electric piano, which has had its cover removed to expose the tines and transistors which are key to the instrument’s sound so he can operate them directly with his hands, mallets or anything else he can think off. Additionally, the instrument is fitted with extended sound boards upon which are placed zinc rods, which can be bowed or hit. A keen improviser, Glick Rieman released his first album of prepared electric piano, Ten To The Googolplex, on Accretions ten years ago, and went on to form the DalabaFrithGlickRiemanKihlstedt quartet two years later. His second solo effort, Lung Tree, was published on ReR in 2005. In My Mind, Her Image Was Reversed follows Eric Glick Rieman’s Trilogy From The Outside set of releases, published on Water Goes Into Air last year and sees him return to Accretions. Continue Reading »

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MONSTERS & PUPPETS: Monsters & Puppets (Gigafon)

themilkman on Sep 28th 2011 01:24 am

Monsters & Puppets: Monsters & Puppets

Monsters  & Puppets
Gigafon 2011
09 Tracks. 38mins23secs

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Norwegian jazz pianist Maria Kannegaard and drummer Thomas Strønen formed Monsters And Puppets after they were invited to perform at the Molde Jazz Festival together, yet while this is an entirely new project for them, the pair have worked together from some years as part the Maria Kannegaard Trio, with bass player Ole Morten Vågan, and have a number of albums under their belt. With their self-titled debut album, the pair go beyond the confines of jazz to incorporate elements of improv, noise and rock.

Far from the airy landscapes of the Kannegaard Trio or the delicate formations of Iain Ballamy’s Food, with whom Strønen has been involved for over twelve years, Monsters And Puppets is an often dark and complex affair which continuously shifts from relatively minimal set ups to much denser, and often harsher, moments. Continue Reading »

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SCANNER + DAVID ROTHENBERG: You Can’t Get There From Here (Monotype Records)

themilkman on Sep 27th 2011 01:27 am

Scanner + David Rothenberg: You Can't Get There From Here

You Can’t Get There From Here
Monotype Records 2011
11 Tracks. 58mins57secs

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It is not the first time that Scanner’s Robin Rimbaud has confronted his elegant electronica with jazz. Only last year, his encounter with the Post Modern Jazz Quartet was received very favourably, while his extensive work has over the year lead him to collaborate with a wide spectrum of sound artists and musicians coming for extremely diverse horizons, from David Shea, Kim Cascone or David Toop to DJ Spooky, Si-Cut.db or Alva Noto. He has also performed live and produced sound and art installations all over the world.

You Can’t Get There From Here sees him collaborate for the first time with philosopher and clarinetist David Rothenberg. A professor of philosophy and music at the New Jersey Institute Of Technology in Newark, NJ, Rothenberg has published a number of books and studies on communication between species through music. Continue Reading »

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VARIOUS ARTISTS: Physic Or Surgery (Highpoint Lowlife)

themilkman on Sep 21st 2011 01:31 am

V/A: Physic Or Surgery

Physic Or Surgery
Highpoint Lowlife 2011
28 Tracks. 138mins42secs

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The statement is brutal: HPLL058 Physic Or Surgery – The Final Release. In these days where music has become a commodity with often very little value, the demise of a record label, especially one with such an excellent track record as that of Highpoint Lowlife, is a severe blow. Over a period of ten years, the label spearheaded by Thorsten Sideb0ard has consistently found itself at the forefront of contemporary underground electronic music in its many forms, and occasionally beyond, and provided a steady home or temporary shelter for artists as diverse as Fisk Industries, Erstlaub, Si-Cut.db, Bovaflux, , Marshall Watson, 10-20, Dalglish, Like A Stuntman and the Marcia Blaine School For Girls umbrella of projects, including The Village Orchestra and Production Unit. Continue Reading »

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NILS FRAHM: Felt (Erased Tapes)

themilkman on Sep 20th 2011 01:24 am

Nils Frahm: Felt

Erased Tapes 2011
09 Tracks. 43mins14secs

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How close does one need to be to an instrument to appreciate it fully? With his latest album, Berlin-based pianist and composer Nils Frahm uncovers a world of miniature sounds and noises which remain usually unheard, and places them at the core of this compositions, working with, and purposely seeking imperfections and defects to give his music a deeply organic feel.

This album was recorded at Durton Studio, the facility he runs in Berlin, for the most part late into the night. Careful to preserve the peaceful nocturnal atmosphere, and more pragmatically, avoid disturbing his neighbours, he muted the sound of his piano by placing felt between the hammers and the strings, and resolved to be as light-fingered as the music allowed. Continue Reading »

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DANIEL THOMAS FREEMAN: The Beauty Of Doubting Yourself (Home Normal)

themilkman on Sep 19th 2011 11:11 pm

Daniel Thomas Freeman: The Beauty Of Doubting Yourself

The Beauty Of Doubting Yourself
Home Normal 2011
07 Tracks. 72mins29secs

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Daniel Thomas Freeman is one third of experimental ambient folk outfit Rameses III, which have been operating since the early 2000s. The trio, hailing from London, have published a number of releases on Firefly, Digitalis, Important Records or Type, and played alongside such ambient acts as Stars Of The Lid, Murcof or Rothko. He now steps up for his first solo record, The Beauty Of Doubting Yourself, a very personal document of his battle with depression and subsequent recovery.

Recorded over a six year period, during which Freeman found himself in the grip of serious depression, the album is split into three distinct sections, the first focusing on the lowest darkest points in his life, the second documenting his journey back from the abyss, while the third sees him returning to a more peaceful and stable state of mind. Continue Reading »

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ROLL THE DICE: In Dust (The Leaf Label)

themilkman on Sep 16th 2011 01:43 am

Roll The Dice: In Dust

In Dust
The Leaf Label 2011
11 Tracks. 65mins41secs

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In recent years, there has been a surge of electronic artists, for the most part new comers, who have rejected the digital approach which had dominated since the nineties in favour of the more organic analogue textures pioneered during the late sixties and well into the seventies by German experimental musicians, from the most exploratory, with the likes of Emeralds or Oneohtrix Point Never, to the bulk of the Scandinavian disco scene, spearheaded by Lindstrøm, Prins Thomas and DiskJokke.

Although hailing from Sweden’s capital city, Stockholm, Roll The Dice have very little to do with the latter, and very much operate within their own realm. Continue Reading »

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SONNAMBLE: Blindlight (Forwind)

themilkman on Sep 13th 2011 11:23 pm

Sonnamble: Blindlight

Forwind 2011
04 Tracks. 30mins55secs

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Although originally the project of London-based sound artist Conor Curran, Sonnamble is in fact a collaborative effort between him and double bass and lap steel guitar player Peter Marsh, which aims at confronting live performance and processing. Following a first album together, Seven Months In E Minor, released last year, the pair return with a rather short collection of beautiful textural pieces.

Building on sound sources provided by Marsh, Curran creates intricate soundscapes in which he pulls the original sound components apart, distorts or distresses them, then places them into incredibly complex and dense miniature structures. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Sep 9th 2011 01:40 am

Hauschka & Hildur Guðnadóttir: Pan Tone

Pan Tone
Sonic Pieces 2011
06 Tracks. 42mins15secs

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In early 2010, German pianist Hauschka and Icelandic experimental cellist Hildur Guðnadóttir were invited to perform together as part of Arctic Circle’s Bubbly Blue And Green festival, themed around water, which took place at King’s Place, London over the course of four days. For the occasion, the pair had concocted a series of pieces inspired by various Pantone shades of blue, from near-black to aquamarine, each evoking a particular colour of the ocean.

So truly individual are their respective work that the inspired pairing of Volker Bertelmann, a man with a penchant for purposely tempering with his piano with all manners of props to alter its sound, and Hildur Guðnadóttir, whose exploratory work takes the cello out of its usual remit to experiment with textures and loops, was always likely to deliver something totally unique. Continue Reading »

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TALVIHORROS: Descent Into Delta (Hibernate Recordings)

themilkman on Sep 6th 2011 01:42 am

Talvihorros: Descent Into Delta

Descent Into Delta
Hibernate Recordings 2011
05 Tracks. 38mins20secs

London-based experimental guitarist Ben Chatwin first appeared two years ago when his debut album as Talvihorros, Some Ambulance, was one of the very last releases from Scottish imprint Benbecula. But, as the label folded, Chatwin soon found a new home with Hibernate Recordings, who published the excellent Music In Four Movements last year. Just over a year on, Chatwin is back with his latest offering, Descent Into Delta. Unlike previous records, which were essentially the fruit of studio-based experimentations, the five tracks from this new record began life as live improvisations. The original recordings have since been submitted to intense editing, processing and recomposing to eventually form the core of this opus. Continue Reading »

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OSTRACON: Unauthorized Modifications (Unearthed Music)

themilkman on Sep 1st 2011 01:33 am

Ostracon: Unauthorized Modifications

Unauthorized Modifications
Unearthed Music 2011
06 Tracks. 46mins08secs

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Hailing from Minneapolis, Ostracon is the latest electronics and drums duo to have surfaced. Following on in the footsteps of Burnt Friedman & Jaki Leibezeit or Kieran Hebden & Steve Reid, to name but two, electronic musician John Keston, best known as one half of Keston & Westdal, and drummer Graham O’Brien have teamed up for a rather curious, and excellent, first record.

While O’Brien sticks to traditional drums, Keston’s approach is somewhat quirkier. Instead of relying on keyboards, he uses custom-made programs and hand manipulated light controllers to transform video signals into sound structures. Continue Reading »

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