Archive for February, 2012

10-20: Magent Marsh (Broken60)

themilkman on Feb 29th 2012 12:52 am

10-20: Magnet Marsh

Magnet Marsh
21 Tracks. 58mins08secs

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

While CD sales continue to dwindle ever further into insignificance as MP3s and other digital formats  become more and more dominant, there has been a steady resurgence of old-style analogue formats, first with vinyls then, more recently, with the cassette tape. Whilst remaining tied up to specialist markets, these formats are providing an increasingly potent counterpoint to the all-digital revolution, and their popularity is a testament to their longevity. By definition, the cassette was always the ultimate practical music format, due in no small part to its handy size and recordable capacity, making it the first essential portable medium with the advent of the Sony Walkman in the eighties, and the first music sharing tool via mixtapes and self-released cassettes. Continue Reading »

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NUOJUVA: Valot Kaukaa (Preservation)

themilkman on Feb 27th 2012 08:03 pm

Nuojuva: Valot Kaukaa

Valot Kaukaa
Preservation 2012
09 Tracks. 45mins40secs

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

The first time Finnish producer and musician Olli Aarni appeared on Australian imprint Preservation, in 2010, he did so under the name Ous Mal, with his debut album, Nuojuva Halava. Two years on, it is with a different project that Aarni returns. While undeniably carved from a very similar bloc, Valot Kaukaa (Lights From Far Away in English), focuses much more on the atmospheric nature of Aarni’s work and on developing a tight relationship between acoustic instruments, electronics and vocal textures. Indeed, while none of the tracks featured here can pretend to qualify as songs in the traditional meaning of the word, they are infused with vocal fragments which radiate through the whole record as they float amongst other components. These ghost-like layers are, for the most part, distorted and processed to the point of losing even their gender aspect, and incorporated as part of Aarni’s dense sonic constructions.

Existing somewhere between the dreamy effusions of fellow Fins Paavoharju or Icelandic collective Múm and the kitsch ambient electronica of The Gentle People, Nuojuva weaves a complex and quixotic web as Aarni slowly works up his layers into consistent ethereal pieces. Continue Reading »

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KINGBASTARD: Lost Property (Herb Recordings)

themilkman on Feb 22nd 2012 01:40 am

Kingbastard: Lost Property

Lost Property
Herb Recordings 2012
16 Tracks. 53mins15secs

Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD Boomkat: DLD

Choosing a name link Kingbastard as your nom-de-guerre could be seen as a flamboyant fit of arrogance, yet Chris Weeks, who has been using this as his stage name for the best part of ten years, offers a rather different image of himself through his music, an often rich and luxurious blend of ambient soundscapes and sleek electronica occasionally perked up with edgier electronic textures.

Stepping away from the infectious electro shockwaves he exposed on Bastardize, Lostatsea and Tied Up To Machines four years ago, Kingbastard’s Chris Weeks follows his last album, Beautiful Isolation (2010), with another smooth, chilled, electronic soundtrack which builds on its predecessor’s cinematic scope. Continue Reading »

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LEILA: U&I (Warp Records)

themilkman on Feb 21st 2012 01:32 am

Leila: U&I

Warp Records 2012
13 Tracks. 45mins54secs

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

Leila stands as quite a unique artist on the music scene today, and has done so for nearly fifteen years with uncompromising fervour and vision. Born in Iran in 1971, Leila Arab emigrated to the UK with her parents as the Islamic revolution swept across her native land in 1979. Some years later, she became part of Björk’s touring band in the early nineties and started recording and releasing music a couple of years later, but it is with her first album, Like Weather, published in 1998 on Rephlex that she really made an impression. The album combined stunning oblique electronic instrumentals and complex pop songs, sung by a host of vocal contributors, one of which, Lucas Santucci, has since become a regular feature on her records. Following a second album, Courtesy Of Choice (2000, XL), Leila appeared to put her solo career on hold as she joined Björk once again and contributed, notably, to the Icelandic’s soundtrack to Matthew Barney’s Drawing Restraint 9. She returned with a new album, Blood, Looms & Blooms, new vocalists (Specials founding member Terry Hall, former Tricky collaborator Martina Topley-Bird, Khemahl) alongside regulars, and a new home, Warp, in 2008.

Leila’s fourth album, here second for Warp, marks a sharp turn into much drier and more corrosive mutant electro pop. Continue Reading »

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PHILIPPE PETIT: Extraordinary Tales Of A Lemon Girl Chapter 1: Oneiric Rings On Grey (Aagoo Records) / CINDYTALK/PHILIPPE PETIT: A Question Of Re-Entry (Lumberton Trading Company)

themilkman on Feb 17th 2012 01:31 am

Philippe Petit: Extraordinary Tales Of A Lemon Girl Chapter 1: Oneiric Rings On Grey   Cindytalk/Philippe Petit: A Question Of Re-Entry

Extraordinary Tales Of A Lemon Girl Chapter 1: Oneiric Rings On Grey
Aagoo Records 2012
08 Tracks. 44mins34secs

A Question Of Re-Entry
Lumberton Trading Co. 2011
02 Tracks. 23mins06secs

A Question Of Re-Entry
Amazon UK: LP Boomkat: LP

Philippe Petit’s work is expanding in forever increasingly circles as he widens his scope with each new project, feeding from his regular collaborations to embark on often ambitious pieces of work which have taken him from the angular noise experimentations of the Strings Of Consciousness collective or the oblique avant pop of his collaboration with Lydia Lunch to the dark cinematic ambiences of albums such as A Scent Of Garmambrosia or Friends With Faces and the orchestral rethinking of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1. For his most recent venture, the first chapter in a new trilogy of releases entitled Extraordinary Tales Of A Lemon Girl, it is a Petit without his Friends who depicts the forever shifting sands of slumberland and orchestrates the journey of the mysterious Lemon Girl, a character inspired by Italian Gialli and the work of Lewis Carroll and James Joyce.

Split into eight movements, Oneiric Rings On Grey Velvet is a pretty dense and murky soundtrack which incorporates elements of classical music, turntablism and electronic experimentations without ever settling on a particular theme. Continue Reading »

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MATT ELLIOTT: The Broken Man (Ici D’Ailleurs)

themilkman on Feb 16th 2012 01:37 am

Matt Elliott: The Broken Man

The Broken Man
Ici D’Ailleurs 2012
07 Tracks. 46mins33secs

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

Matt Elliott first rose to fame as The Third Eye Foundation, a project he started in the mid nineties. He published his first album, Semtex, in 1996 on his own imprint before joining Domino a year later. For the next five years, he continued to work under that moniker, releasing three more albums between 1997 and 2000, and a collection of remixes of tracks by artists as diverse as Yann Tiersen, Tarwater or Blonde Redhead, in 2001. In 2003, Elliott’s work shifted to a much more personal level with The Mess We Made, an album of bleak, feverish folk which was followed by an even darker album trilogy, starting with Drinking Songs (2005), and Failing Songs (2006) and which concluded with Howling Songs (2008).

Sonically more stripped down than its predecessors, and increasingly filled with echoes of eastern European folk music, to which he adds Hispanic flavours, especially on opening tracks Oh How We Fell, Please Please Please, or later The Pain That’s Yet To Come, The Broken Man marks the opening of a new chapter in Elliott’s work. Continue Reading »

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ICARUS: Fake Fish Distribution (An Album In 1000 Variations) (Not Applicable)

themilkman on Feb 15th 2012 01:01 am

Icarus: Fake Fish Distribution

Fake Fish Distribution
Not Applicable 2012
08 Tracks. 48mins24secs


Subtitled ‘An album in 1000 variations’, the new Icarus offering is, ambitiously, just that; a digital album with exactly 1000 copies available, all different, so whichever version you end up possessing will not be exactly quite as the one this, or any, reviewer has listened to and written about. This means that, whilst each owner of one copy of this record can have the satisfaction of owning something by definitely unique, as far as this particular copy is not duplicated in any way, and claim some of the rights should their particular version be licensed for commercial use, it also means that no one, including Ollie Bown and Sam Britton themselves possibly, will ever hear the project in its entirety.

The music was created using conventional electronic instrumentation and tools, and is distributed via equally conventional file transfer technology, but uses generative techniques, allowing for the various parts of a recording to be assembled in slightly different ways. Continue Reading »

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MARK VAN HOEN: The Revenant Diary (Editions Mego)

themilkman on Feb 10th 2012 01:32 am

Mark Van Hoen: The Revenant Diary

The Revenant Diary
Editions Mego 2012
11 Tracks. 54mins16secs

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

From his days in Seefeel, Croydon-born Mark Van Hoen has always operated between electronica and pop music. Having left the band before they recorded their debut EP to pursue his solo career, he signed to Belgian dance label R&S in 1993 and began to release music as Locust, a project which occupied most of his time for the next seven years and resulted in as many albums. It is during that time that he began integrating lyrics and vocals in his compositions, and it is a feature which has remained fairly consistent ever since, whether through his personal projects or as a member of Scala, formed with former Seefeel members Daren Seymour, Justin Fletcher and Sarah Peacock.

The Revenant Diary is Van Hoen’s fifth album published under his name and his first for Editions Mego. It is also the follow up to last year’s Where Is The Truth (City Centre Offices), which marked Van Hoen’s return after a six year hiatus. Continue Reading »

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ERLAND DAHLEN: Rolling Bomber (Hubro Music)

themilkman on Feb 8th 2012 01:42 am

Erland Dahlen: Rolling Bomber

Rolling Bomber
Hubro 2012
07 Tracks. 35mins44secs

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

Having worked with an impressive list of artists across a wide array of genres (from Arve Henriksen, Eivind Aarset or Nils Petter Molvær to Hanne Hukkelberg, Mike Patton or as part of rock band Madrugada), Norwegian drummer and percussionist Erland Dahlen steps out in the limelights with his first album as a solo artist. Released on the decidedly inspired Hubro Music, Rolling Bomber was recorded early last year in Oslo during three sessions with long term collaborators Jens Petter Nilsen and Hallvard Wennersberg Hagen, who both regularly officiate as Xploding Plastix, and was mastered by former Deathprod mastermind Helge Sten.

The album takes its name from Dahlen’s main instrument here, a vintage Slingerland Rolling Bomber drum kit dating back from World War II Continue Reading »

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INTERVIEW: ALOG From The Ground Up

themilkman on Feb 5th 2012 05:30 pm


In the fifteen years since they formed Alog, Norwegian musicians Espen Sommer Eide and Dag-Are Haugan have released some extremely original and fascinating records, made from a vast array of acoustic and electronic instruments, most of which they build themselves, With their new album, their fifth, they have worked with a number of other musicians and involved them in the creative process. In its complete version, the album stretches over four LPs and 2 and a half hours. Here, Alog talk about their formative years, how the new album came together, working with collaborators and how playing live has to be approached very differently.

Continue Reading »

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FENNESZ + SAKAMOTO: Flumina (Touch)

themilkman on Feb 3rd 2012 01:12 am

Fennesz + Sakamoto: Flumina

Touch 2011
24 Tracks. 124mins06secs

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

Flumina is the third collaboration between Ryuichi Sakamoto and Christian Fennesz, following Sala Santa Cecilia (2005) and Cendre (2007), and, with twenty-four tracks spread over two discs, it is also by far their most extensive. The project began when Sakamoto was touring in Japan some time ago; opening each one of the twenty-four shows of the tour with a different improvisation, each played in a different key to cover the complete steps of the western tonal system, and documenting them all, he then sent his recordings to Christian Fennesz in Vienna for him to add textures and ambiences before the pair reconvened in New York to mix the record. Continue Reading »

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RADERE: I’ll Make You Quiet (Futuresequence)

themilkman on Feb 2nd 2012 01:25 am

Radere: I'll Make You Quiet

I’ll Make You Quiet
Futuresequence 2012
05 Tracks. 46mins40secs

The solo project of Boulder, CO-based sound artist Carl Ritger, who has been experimenting with sounds and textures for the best part of ten years, Radere first materialised three years ago with a series of remixes, compilation appearances and collaborations, followed by releases on Full Spectrum, Install Sound or Moodgadget over the last couple of years. I’ll Make You Quiet, published in digital format, is the debut release from Futuresequence as it makes the transition, or rather expands, from blog to record label.

As Radere, Ritger creates sprawling organic soundscapes which develop over long periods of time. Continue Reading »

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