Archive for November, 2011

MIA ZABELKA: M (Monotype Records)

themilkman on Nov 30th 2011 01:35 am

Mia Zabelka: M

Monotype Records 2011
07 Tracks. 59mins46secs

It couldn’t be simpler: one letter, one performer, one instrument, and a battery of effects and electronics. Yet, M is anything but a simple and straightforward record.

Hailing from Vienna, and currently residing in the south eastern Austrian province of Styria where she founded the, a centre for sound and interdisciplinary arts in 2007, Mia Zabelka is an experimental violinist who has performed all over the world. A classically-trained musician and composer who has since developed a style all of her own for which she combines electric violin, voice and electronics. She has won the Prix Ars Electronica no less than three times, regularly performs as part of One.Night.Band, a loose collective she founded with experimental multi-instrumentist and composer Zahra Mani in 2002, and has released a number of solo and collaborative works on a variety of labels.

Published on the decidedly excellent Monotype Records, M was entirely composed and performed by Zabelka. Continue Reading »

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BYETONE: Symeta (Raster-Noton)

themilkman on Nov 29th 2011 01:30 am

Byetone: Symeta

Raster-Noton 2011
07 Tracks. 46mins24secs

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

A founding member of Raster-Noton with Frank Bretschneider and Carsten Nicolai, Olaf Bender first solo excursion as Byetone dates back to 1999, but in the twelve years that have passed since, the Byetone outings have remained fairly sporadic, with only two album released, one, Feld, on BineMusic in 2003, and the other, Death Of A Typographer, on Raster-Noton five years later.

Conceived out of live performances documented over the last two years, Symeta is built around repetitive minimalist technoid structures rocked by occasional intense dubbey convulsions. Continue Reading »

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SWIMMING: Ellipses (Audiobulb Records)

themilkman on Nov 25th 2011 01:28 am

Swimming: Ellipses

Audiobulb Records 2011
13 Tracks. 44mins50secs

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

Swimming is a musical endeavour centred around California-based musician Devon Ferrucci. Whilst he records mostly alone, friends are welcome to drop by and contribute on occasion, and two appear here, one, Anthony Taibi, adds steel guitar on Pretending To Have A Heart Attack, the other, Rebekah Dickens, adorns Hourglass With Snow with delicate harp touches. Ferrucci works from a variety of acoustic instruments (guitar, drums and an array of plastic and metal objects) which he then processes and assembles into coherent sonic vignettes.

The music on Ellipses, which was recorded during Ferrucci’s last two years at university, was for the most part improvised. Using a few notes on a guitar or a particular sound or texture as a starting point, these embryos of ideas were then fed into his computer, worked and reworked until more defined structures started to emerge. Continue Reading »

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KIERAN HEBDEN/STEVE REID/MATS GUSTAFSSON: Live At The South Bank (Smalltown Superjazzz)

themilkman on Nov 24th 2011 01:38 am

Kieran Hebden/Steve Reid/Mats Gustafsson: Live At The South Bank

Live At The South Bank
Smalltown Superjazza whz 2011
06 Tracks.82mins55secs

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

Recorded a year before his death, this record marks the apogee of Steve Reid’s five year collaboration with Kieran Hebden, which generated four albums published on Domino and a considerable number of live performances. The pair met by chance in 2005 and, following a successful first jam session in Paris, decided to record and tour together. A first album, The Exchange Session Vol. 1, was recorded in London and published in March 2006, followed by a second installment a few months later, with Tongues and NYC coming in 2007 and 2008 respectively. Continue Reading »

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MARK FELL: Periodic Orbit Of Dynamic System Related To A Knot (Editions Mego)

themilkman on Nov 23rd 2011 01:24 am

Mark Fell: Periodic Orbit Of Dynamic System Related To A Knot

Periodic Orbit Of Dynamic System Related To A Knot
Editions Mego 2011
02 Tracks. 46mins38secs

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

Precision is the key with Mark Fell’s work, and things couldn’t be any more precise than his latest album, Periodic Orbit Of Dynamic System Related To A Knot, which comprises two tracks, entitled This and That, each lasting precisely twenty-three minutes and sixteen seconds. Equally, the music presented here, whilst sourced from various projects, is, as ever, extremely dynamic and clean cut, and the result of extensive digital processing. In fact apart for the sound of a Mac Mini failing to load a DVD and a Pi Saw flute, the entire album was recorded, mixed and edited via MIDI.

Mark Fell first came to attention in the late nineties as one half of SND, a project he set up with Mat Steel, with three albums released in four years on Mille Plateaux, with a fourth album published two years ago on Raster-Noton. With his solo project, Fell has continued to explore the possibilities of digital processing, most prominently in the last couple of years on a series of releases for Editions Mego and Raster-Noton. Continue Reading »

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SWEET EXORCIST: RetroActivity (Warp Records)

themilkman on Nov 22nd 2011 01:41 am

Sweet Exorcist: RetroActivity

Warp Records 2011
23 Tracks. 151mins24secs

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

‘If everything is ready from the dark side of the moon, play the five tones’. This sample from Close Encounter Of The Third Kind is a very familiar attribute to any self-respecting early British techno fan for being one of the defining features of Sweet Exorcist’s debut EP, Testone, Warp’s third EP, released in January 1990.

Two years ago, Warp celebrated its twentieth anniversary in fanfare with a rather splendid box set, a set of compilations and a string of events across the world. Although Sweet Exorcist were noticeably absent of these celebratory publications, Warp have put a double album together to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the release of Clonks Coming, the label’s very first album, originally published in early 1991. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Nov 21st 2011 09:31 pm


Richard H. Kirk was already a legendary figure on the electronic scene when he teamed up with DJ  Parrot, then one of the main DJs at Sheffield’s club Jive Turkey, to form Sweet Exorcist, and recorded a series of minimalist techno records which were released on a fledgling label called Warp. The following album, Clonks Coming, was to be the first album released by the label. Twenty years on, to celebrate this momentous event, Warp have collected the album and EPs into a double album. Here, we catch up with Richard H. Kirk and look back at the whole Sweet Exorcist story, from how the pair got acquainted to working with Warp and becoming part of the label’s legend. Continue Reading »

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The Necks, Bishopsgate Institute, London, 18/11/2011

themilkman on Nov 21st 2011 12:12 am

The Necks, Bishopsgate Institute, London, 18/11/2011

There wasn’t going to be any typical Necks hypnotic groove of such on this first of two evenings at the Bishopsgate Institute. Instead, the Australian trio went for much more intricate and fluid formations.

It all started with Chris Abrahams weaving a delicate melody upon which Tony Buck added shimmering bells and steel drum, with only sprinkles of bass from Lloyd Swanton, and for a while, this constituted the core of the performance, but the tone got darker with bowed double bass, and what was initially an airy solo motif on the piano turned into a more monolithic sequence as Abrahams switched to a hypnotic theme, with contrasting clusters of notes in the higher and lower registers, his finger repeatedly rippling on the same parts of the keyboard. Meanwhile, Buck was layering a pretty complex sonic mesh from his vast panoply of percussions. Continue Reading »

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IN THE COUNTRY: Sounds & Sights (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Nov 18th 2011 01:27 am

In The Country: Sounds & Sights

Sounds & Sights
Rune Grammofon 2011
08 Tracks. 65mins05secs / 07 Tracks. 70mins19secs

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

With three albums published within five years, Norwegian jazz trio In The Country have positioned themselves on the more melodic side of the Rune Grammofon roster. Formed of pianist vocalist Morten Qvenild, who is regularly found operating alongside Susanna Wallumrød as her orchestra or as a member of Shining, bass player Roger Arntzen, also one half of Ballrogg and a member of Damp, and drummer and percussionist Pål Hausken, In The Country started while the three musicians were studying at the Norwegian Academy of Music, in Oslo, back in 2003. A year later, they had signed with Rune Grammofon and released their debut album, This Was The Pace Of My Heartbeat.

Originally intended as a live DVD, Sounds & Sights soon became a much more ambitious project. Continue Reading »

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HOPSCOTCH: Hotscotch (Ilk Music)

themilkman on Nov 17th 2011 01:38 am

Hopscotch: Hopscotch

Ilk Music 2011
10 Tracks. 44mins13secs

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

Hopscotch is the meeting of three jazz musicians with very different backgrounds, united by the fact that they all currently reside in Copenhagen, Denmark. Italian saxophonist Francesco Bigoni, Argentinian/Danish guitarist Mark Solborg and Canadian drummer Kevin Brow have between them released a considerable amount of music via their many respective projects, but this first common project sees them lay the foundation of a new partnership and explore the ground that connects them. The album was recorded in live conditions with all three musicians performing together in one room toward the end of last year, and is now being released on Danish jazz imprint Ilk Music. Continue Reading »

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THE NECKS: Mindset (ReR Megacorp)

themilkman on Nov 16th 2011 01:33 am

The Necks: Mindset

ReR Megacorp 2011
02 Tracks. 43mins24secs

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

For well over twenty years, Australian trio The Necks have carved a truly individual groove for themselves, refining it year after year on record, this is their sixteenth, and through their live performances. Formed in Sydney by Chris Abrahams (piano, Hammond organ), Lloyd Swanton (bass guitar, double bass) and Tony Buck (drums, percussions, electric guitar) toward the end of the eighties, the trio are renowned for their lengthy exploratory improvisations on stage, which can last for up to an hour at a time, and have used improvisation extensively on record too, often applying a similar dynamic to their studio work as they do to their live shows. Their first album, Sex, released in 1989, established the template for pretty much every single Necks album since; comprising just one improvised track clocking at just under an hour, it showcased the work of a then already very tight unit where all three members contributed equally to the performance. This has been the strength of the band ever since, and has guaranteed that, like their music, their audience has grown slowly but steadily over the years. Continue Reading »

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HÃ…KON KORNSTAD: Symphonies In My Head (Jazzland Recordings)

themilkman on Nov 15th 2011 01:38 am

HÃ¥kon Kornstad: Symphonies In My Head

Symphonies In My Head
Jazzland Recordings 2011
08 Tracks. 46mins36secs

Gube Music: DLD iTunes: DLD

Håkon Kornstad’s Symphonies In My Head is a rather ambitious attempt at capturing the music that the Norwegian saxophonist had in mind during this album’s gestation period. A founding member of Wibutee, a band with whom he has released four album between 1998 and 2006 and which, although never disbanded, has been dormant since, the Oslo-born musician has been busy with various other projects, including the trio he formed with Mats Eilertsen and Paal Nilssen-Love, and collaborative work with Nilssen-Love and Håvard Wiik amongst others.

In 2007, Kornstad published his first solo effort, Single Engine (Jazzland). Entirely improvised, and recorded in Bugge Wesseltoft’s studio over the course of six months, the album collected a series of extremely delicate acoustic pieces centred around tenor and bass sax, flutes and melodica. Continue Reading »

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