Archive for January, 2012

Tom Arthurs/Simon Vincent, Tom Arthurs/Ollie Bown/Isambard Khroustaliov/Lothar Ohlmeier, Kings Place, London, 30/1/2012

themilkman on Jan 31st 2012 01:05 am

Tom Arthurs/Simon Vincent, Tom Arthurs/Ollie Bown/Isambard Khroustaliov/Lothar Ohlmeier, Kings Place, London, 30/1/2012

If the vast possibilities offered by the meeting of acoustic instrumentation and electronic processing have been explored at length throughout the second half of the twentieth century, and even more so in the first decade of the twenty-first, there seem to be an almost infinite capacity for the two to continue to coexist and develop in ever more complex and rich ways. This is precisely what British experimental trumpeter Tom Arthurs set out to demonstrate as he presented two different works this Monday evening at Kings Place, in front of a disappointingly scarce audience, each piece investigating a different approach, and relationship, between the two.

The first set involved Arthurs improvising over extremely bare electronic textures created on the spot by Simon Vincent. Continue Reading »

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TATSURO KOJIMA: 16g (Audiobulb Records)

themilkman on Jan 27th 2012 01:21 am

Tatsuro Kojima: 16g

Audiobulb Records 2012
11 Tracks. 60mins45secs

Boomkat: DLD

As digital music is steadily gaining ground, CD sales have been increasingly declining in the past few years in the same way as sales of vinyls and cassettes slumped when CDs were first introduced, but some record labels are still willing to commit to the format and dare investing into special projects. One such project is the new album from Japanese sound artist, graphic and web designer and mobile app developer Tatsuro Kojima, whose album 16g is being released by the excellent Audiobulb in an extremely limited run (50 copies), each CD housed in a unique, hand-made packaging, which counts an individual cover photo, a duplicate of which can be found inside, with at its back, a personal handwritten message, in Japanese, from Kojima. The picture is also numbered and signed.

The music is equally as delicate and artisanal. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Jan 26th 2012 12:34 am

Santiago Latorre: Eclíptica

Accretions Records 2012
08 Tracks. 39mins13secs

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

Two years on from his solo debut, Órbita (Accretions), Barcelona-based experimental saxophonist Santiago Latorre delivers a second slice of sparse atmospheric avant jazz for the Californian imprint. If jazz is undeniably part of the man’s lexicon, his extensive use of electronic textures and atmospheric soundscapes hint at much wider terrains. While this was already fairly developed on Órbita, Latorre takes this to a very different level with Eclíptica.

Infused with his fascination for outer space, Latorre creates here a wonderfully light and peaceful soundtrack, where acoustic and electronic sounds combine to form a whole. Continue Reading »

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1982: Pintura (Hubro Music)

themilkman on Jan 24th 2012 01:27 am

1982: Pintura

Hubro Music 2011
08 Tracks. 34mins32secs

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

If all three members of 1982 come from somewhat diverse backgrounds, their common interest in improvised music and, in the case of Nils Økland and Sigbjørn Apeland especially, taste for traditional Nordic folk music makes it a very intriguing formation. Together with drummer Øyvind Skarbø, Økland and Apeland have, with 1982, formed one of the most unconventional improv groups around. Using traditional Hardanger fiddle (Økland), harmonium and Wurlitzer (Apeland) and drums (Skarbø), 1982 work from openly folk-inspired basic structures, but they rapidly expand beyond these to create music which is truly unique and original.

Following a first album released under their three names and entitled 1982, published on NORCD almost four years ago, Pintura (the Spanish word for ‘Painting’, a name inspired by a visit that Skarbø made to the Foundation Miró in Barcelona), was entirely improvised and recorded over just one session at the end of 2010. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Jan 22nd 2012 08:28 pm

Legofeet: SKA001CD

Skam 2011
04 Tracks. 73mins49secs

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

Over a year before their first appearance on Warp with a couple of tracks for the original Artificial Intelligence compilation, Rob Brown and Sean Booth had materialised, the time of an album, as Lego Feet. Infused with Detroit-style techno and futuristic hip-hop, this pre-Autechre output was the first, extremely limited, transmission from Manchester-based Skam, and has since been out of print and changing hands for small fortunes.

Twenty years on, this legendary album is finally getting a full CD release, with a second pressing of the vinyl due imminently. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Jan 19th 2012 01:34 am

Tom Arthurs/Ollie Bown/Isambard Khroustaliov/Lothar Ohlmeier: Long Division

Long Division
Not Applicable 2012
07 Tracks. 50mins26secs

A year and a half ago, clarinetist Lothar Ohlmeier, trumpet player Tom Arthurs and Icarus’s Ollie Bown and Sam ‘Isambard Khroustaliov’ Britton were invited to perform at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Amsterdam, Netherlands, but neither Bown, who lives in Sydney, nor Britton, who was due to be on his honeymoon at the time, were able to attend. Still, the four did perform together, in some way, as planned. Arthurs and Ohlmeier did make it to the festival and played together on stage against a backdrop of sounds generated by software developed specifically for the performance by both Bown and Britton, the particularity of the software in question being that it would generate sounds and music on its own accord and interact with the two live performers as they improvised. This was further complicated by the equation between protagonists constantly shifting between the four, or in case of Icarus, their incarnations, performing either in pairs or trio. Continue Reading »

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BURNT FRIEDMAN: Bokoboko (Nonplace Records)

themilkman on Jan 18th 2012 01:39 am

Burnt Friedman: Bokoboko

Nonplace Records 2012
10 Tracks. 47mins11secs

Amazon UK: CD | LP US: CD | LP

It’s been ten years since Berlin-based musician Burnt Friedman first teamed up with Can percussionist and drummer Jaki Liebezeit on the opening release in their Secret Rhythms series, and this collaboration has generated three more albums, the more recent published last year, and four EPs, and has seen the pair tour together quite extensively. While Friedman continued to release solo records during that time, they remained, until now, quite different from his work with Liebezeit.

Bokoboko, a Japanese word meaning ‘uneven’ or ‘hollow-sounding’, sees Friedman adopt a similar rhythm-led concept to that of the Secret Rhythms series. Continue Reading »

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ALOG: Unemployed (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Jan 17th 2012 01:38 am

Alog: Unemployed

Rune Grammofon 2012
14 Tracks. 76mins30secs

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

Even put against the monumental variety of the Rune Grammofon catalogue, Norwegian duo Alog have always stood out from the crowd. Formed by Espen Sommer Eide and Dag-Are Haugan in the late nineties while they both lived in Tromsø, northern Norway, they have, over the course of four albums for Rune Grammofon plus a handful of limited releases elsewhere, carved a very particular niche for themselves. Combining acoustic and electric instrumentation, part of which is custom-built, with electronic processing, the pair continue to invent a totally unique and often fascinating sound world away from pretty much anything else.

In its full version, presented as a quadruple LP, of which only 300 copies have been pressed, Unemployed contains over two hours of new music, of which approximately half has been squeezed into the more widely available CD version. Continue Reading »

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THE LIVING ROOM: Still Distant Still (Ilk Music)

themilkman on Jan 15th 2012 07:28 pm

The Living Room: Still Distant Still

Still Distant Still
Ilk Music 2011
08 Tracks. 45mins31secs

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

The meeting of three extremely talented and respected musicians in their own right, The Living Room is a breathtaking formation with a particularly developed taste for complex avant-gardist jazz. Formed of Danish saxophonist Torben Snekkestad, pianist Søren Kjærgaard, also from Denmark, and Norwegian drummer and percussionist Thomas Strønen, The Living Room have, for their debut, devised a series of intricate minimal improvised pieces where they explore the outer reaches of contemporary jazz.

Still Distant Still is not an easy record to ease oneself into. Right from the opening moments of Tremolo Hiving, the tone is set: sparse percussions over which a sax flutters hesitantly, never gathering any more than a few notes at any one time. Continue Reading »

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CHRIS WATSON: El Tren Fantasma (Touch)

themilkman on Jan 11th 2012 01:28 am

Chris Watson: El Tren Fantasma

El Tren Fantasma
Touch 2011
10 Tracks. 59mins38secs

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

Railways have often provided electronic-based musicians with a wealth of rhythmic and mechanical sounds, from Pierre Schaeffer’s early tape experiments to Krafwerk’s hypnotic journeys across Europe. A former member of Cabaret Voltaire and The Hafler Trio, Chris Watson may have at one time been keen to explore similar concepts, but his work as a sound recordist in the last thirty years has taken him on a very different path. Watson works primarily with wildlife, and his work has been featured on many natural history programmes for the BBC, most notably David Attenborough’s series, from The Life Of Birds to Life In Cold Blood, and Bill Oddie’s Springwatch and Autumnwatch series. Beside these, Watson has released three albums of field recordings on Touch and has collaborated with a number of experimental musicians on further recordings and installations. This album is his fourth solo record for Touch.

El Tren Fantasma is a slightly different project, as it documents a cross country train journey on board the Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México (FNM), from Los Mochis on the Pacific coast to the west to Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico to the east. Continue Reading »

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JASON URICK: I Love You (Thrill Jockey)

themilkman on Jan 10th 2012 01:23 am

Jason Urick: I Love You

I Love You
Thrill Jockey 2012
05 Tracks. 37mins27secs

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

Portland-based Jason Urick first got noticed back in 2009 with his debut album, Husbands, a collection of spaced out drone-base compositions recorded over the course of a few years. This was followed a year later by an EP, Fussing & Fighting, on which he adopted a more rhythmic set up, based on hypnotic loops and pulses. Other outputs, mostly on cassette and 7” also materialised during that time on more artisanal imprints.

Whilst sonically closer to the latter, I Love You effectively bridges the gap between his two previous Thrill Jokey releases by bringing together the vast expanses of textural drone formations of Husbands and the much denser soundscapes he experimented with on Fussing & Fighting. Continue Reading »

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HEROIN IN TAHITI: Death Surf (Boring Machines)

themilkman on Jan 7th 2012 01:38 pm

Heroin In Tahiti: Death Surf

Death Surf
Boring Machines 2012
08 Tracks. 41mins22secs

Death Surf is said to be inspired by ‘the classic Italian “spaghetti sound”’, but, rather than re-imagining Ennio Morricone, what Valerio Mattioli and Francesco Figuereido really investigate here is more akin to some sort of nuclear winter. Hailing from a poor suburb of Rome where they spent some time hanging around a local scene, the pair have each gone onto working on their own projects before joining forces as Heroin In Tahiti and recording their first opus together. Their compositions are served by ill guitars, dark hypnotic electronics and minimal rhythmic formations, which owe as much to the coldest strands of new wave as it does to Krautrock.

Death Surf is a sombre affair indeed. Continue Reading »

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