Archive for June, 2012

MÚM: Early Birds (Morr Music)

themilkman on Jun 29th 2012 01:04 am

Múm: Early Birds

Early Birds: (A Compilation Of Early Recordings, Rare Music And Forgotten Songs From 1998-2000 Or Thereabouts)
Morr Music 2012
15 Tracks. 72mins39secs

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

Icelandic electronic folksters múm have been pretty quiet since the release of their last album, Sing Along To Songs You Don’t Know (2009) and the end of the tour that followed a year later. Despite the recent announcement that the band has been working on the score for Jack & Diane, a film due out later on in the year, which is said to feature a collaboration bwtween the Icelandic formation and Kylie Minogue, the appearance of a compilation, published on Morr Music, the band’s original label, to which they returned with Sing Along… can easily be taken as a stop gap between projects. This said, Early Birds collects a number of rare and previously unpublished material recorded between 1998 and 2001, at a time when the band consisted essentially of Gunnar Örn Tynes and Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason.

Over the years, múm have released music on Morr, TNT Entertainment and Fat-Cat, and have morphed from a primarily electronic duo in the early days to a quartet with the addition of twin sisters Gyða and Kristin Anna Valtýsdóttir and a collective of musicians and singers for Go Go Smear The Poison Ivy (2007)  and Sing Along… (2009), following the successive departures of the Valtýsdóttir sisters. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Jun 27th 2012 01:42 am

Lights Out Asia: Hy - Brasil

n5MD 2012
12 Tracks. 70mins59secs

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

Another Atlantis, located somewhere west of Ireland in the Atlantic Ocean, Hy-Brasil is a mythical island, which is said to appear, briefly, on the horizon every seven years, before being submerged again. It is thought that Brasil was named after this lost land, and the sliced blue circle at the centre of its flag is said to be a close representation of how the island was depicted on early maps.

Hy-Brasil is also the title of Lights Out Asia’s latest album, their fifth since 2003 and their fourth for Californian imprint n5MD. Continue Reading »

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FIRE! WITH OREN AMBARCHI: In The Mouth – A Hand (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Jun 26th 2012 09:21 pm

Fire! with Oren Ambarchi: In The Mouth - A Hand

In The Mouth – A Hand
Rune Grammofon 2012
04 Tracks. 68mins37secs

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

A few weeks after the release of their collaborative effort with Jim O’Rourke, Swedish power trio Fire! (Mats Gustafsson, Johan Berthling and Andreas Werlin) teamed up with Australian experimental guitarist Oren Ambarchi for a short run of UK dates. Recorded in London following two nights at the Vortex, In The Mouth – A Hand capitalises on the quartet’s live performances by attempting to capture the raw energy infusing their blend of free jazz, rock and kosmische.

Like O’Rourke before him, Ambarchi assumes full membership alongside the trio’s core players and drizzles guitar textures throughout this entire record Continue Reading »

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BOL/WESTERHUS/SNAH: Numb, Number (Gigafon)

themilkman on Jun 22nd 2012 01:47 am

BOL/Westerhus/Snah: Numb, Number

Numb, Number
Gigafon 2012
07 Tracks. 47mins36secs

Amazon: DLD US: DLD iTunes: DLD

The mercurial affair that is Numb, Number results directly of its many parts, bringing together BOL, an improv trio formed of vocalist Tone Ã…se, keyboardist StÃ¥le Storløkken, a regular with Supersilent, Elephant9 or Humcrush alongside Thomas Strønen, and drummer and percussionist Tor Haugerud, with guitarists Hans Magnus ‘Snah’ Ryan, known as one half of Motorpsycho, and Stian Westrhus, whose credentials include Puma, Bladed or Monolithic and a couple of solo releases for Rune Grammofon and its sister vinyl imprint The Last Record Company, and whose latest project, a collaboration with Norwegian vocalist extraordinaire Sidsel Endresen has just been issued by Rune Grammofon. Continue Reading »

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KYLE BOBBY DUNN: Bring Me The Head Of Kyle Bobby Dunn (Low Point)

themilkman on Jun 21st 2012 01:17 am

Kyle Bobby Dunn: Bring Me The Head Of Kyle Bobby Dunn

Bring Me The Head Of Kyle Bobby Dunn
Low Point 2012
15 Tracks. 121mins45secs

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

Even to Kyle Bobby Dunn’s standards, Bring Me The Head Of… is a hugely austere introspective collection of soothing textural pieces. Recorded between his native Canada and Brooklyn over the course of several years, this double album follows A Young Person’s Guide To Kyle Bobby Dunn, also published on Low Point two years ago, which gathered rare and long unavailable material onto two discs, and last year’s excellent vinyl-only Ways Of Meaning (Desire Path).

A nudge over the two hour mark, Bring Me The Head is, like its predecessors, composed entirely of vast sprawling atmospheric compositions in between which slightly more concise pieces are inserted. Continue Reading »

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TALVIHORROS / DAMIAN VALLES: Monuments And Ruins (Textura)

themilkman on Jun 20th 2012 01:35 am

Talvihorros / Damian Valles: Monuments And Ruins

Monuments And Ruins
Textura 2012
03 Tracks. 48mins18secs

Amazon UK: CD US: CD

Delivering on average one album every couple of years has allowed Textura to be extremely selective in their choices. Following on from the excellent Kubla Khan collection (2008), which collected a handful of songs by The Retail Sector, Ryan Francesconi, Alexander Turnquist and orchestramaxfieldparrish, inspired by the nineteenth century poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge Kubla Khan, Or A Vision In A Dream. A Fragment, and the equally delightful, if somewhat sparse, album by Canadian duo Mains De Givre, Esther Marie (2010), Textura got in touch with London-based experimental guitarist Ben Chatwin, who records as Talvihorros, and Canadian ambient and drone artist Damian Valles, and asked them whether they would consider collaborating on a split release. The result is almost fifty minutes of atmospheric experimentation split almost equally between Chatwin’s two part piece From Within A Hollow Body and Valles’s Hollow Earth Theory.

Whist the two evolve in slightly different spheres, their respective sound worlds have much in common and complement each other rather splendidly here. Continue Reading »

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LORN: Ask The Dust (Ninja Tune)

themilkman on Jun 19th 2012 01:20 am

Lorn: Ask The Dust

Ask The Dust
Ninja Tune 2012
12 Tracks. 44mins01secs

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

Two years on from his second album, Nothing Else, published on Flying Lotus’s Brainfeeder, Lorn returns with a new slice of razor sharp dark and gritty electronica. The project of Milwaukee-based Marcos Ortega, Lorn first appeared in 2007 with a debut album, Grief Machine, published on French imprint VGR, to this day the label’s sole release, as a limited vinyl edition, but it is really with his Brainfeeder outputs, consisting of two EPs and an album, that Ortega really began to get noticed. Channeling dark strands of dubstep-infused electronica, Nothing Else sounded like a nightmarish ride on a ghost train with no possibility to get off at any point. Ask The Dust, which takes its title from a 1939 novel by John Fante, is cut from a similar wood, but the stage has moved from the fun fair to a much more toxic playground. Continue Reading »

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RETINA.IT: Descending Into Crevasse (Glacial Movements Records)

themilkman on Jun 15th 2012 01:50 am Descending Into Crevasse

Descending Into Crevasse
Glacial Movements 2012
06 Tracks. 52mins42secs

Amazon UK: CD | DLD US: CD | DLD Boomkat: CD | DLD iTunes: DLD, the Neapolitan duo formed of Nicola Buono and Lino Monaco, ordinarily assemble extremely intricate and gritty records which place them at the sharpest edge of electronic music, but, their latest sonic excursion is quite a different offering altogether. Published on Italian isolationist imprint Glacial Movements, purveyor of sub-zero desolate ambient since 2006, Descending Into Crevasse is an extremely contemplative collection, its components, almost entirely devoid of beats, crystallised into slowly looping patterns which occasionally disappear down incredibly vast reverbs. Described as a theoretical journey down ice crevasses, a metaphor for human introspection, Descending Into Crevasse is quite a departure for the duo whose releases on Hefty, Mousiklab or Flatemate have, until now, largely demonstrated a strong appetite for textured electronica.

Although they partly subscribe to Glacial Movements’ isolationist theory, opt for a slightly more refined and open-ended approach for much of this album. Continue Reading »

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POLYSICK: Digital Native (Planet Mu)

themilkman on Jun 14th 2012 12:43 am

Polysick: Digital Native

Digital Native
Planet Mu 2012
15 Tracks. 59mins53secs

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

Like many of his contemporaries, Egisto Sopor operates under a number of aliases, but, despite a few CDr and cassette releases in recent years, Digital Native is his official debut full length, published through Planet Mu’s auspicious channel.

Hailing from Rome, Sopor, who also co-runs DVD and video imprint and production unit AAVV, who have been getting noticed in some electronic circles in recent months, claims that, when he works on a track, he usually has visuals in mind. It is therefore not surprising to find many cinematic moments scattered across this record, but the mood is never set for very long here. Dreamy soundscapes and laidback ambiences often collide with more upbeat or unsettling moments. Equally, Sopor’s abundance of influences range from early acid, techno or electro to ambient, dark electronica and disco, and are at times placed in sharp contrast from each other, as if he was purposely trying to confuse his audience as to exactly who or what is Polysick; and over the course of the fifteen tracks collated here, he has plenty of opportunities to do just that. Continue Reading »

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HAUSCHKA: Salon Des Amateurs Remix EP Vol. 1/Vol. 2 (Fat-Cat Records)

themilkman on Jun 12th 2012 01:33 am

Hauschka: Salon Des Amateurs Vol. 1 Hauschka: Salon Des Amateurs Vol. 2

Salon Des Amateurs Remix EP Vol. 1
Fat-Cat Records 2012
02 Tracks. 16mins26secs
Format: 12”/Digital

Salon Des Amateurs Remix EP Vol. 2
Fat-Cat Records 2012
02 Tracks. 15mins15secs
Format: 12″/Digital

Salon Des Amateurs Remix Vol. 1
Amazon UK: 12″ | DLD Boomkat: 12″ | DLD
Salon Des Amateurs Remix Vol. 2
Amazon UK: DLD Boomkat: DLD

The prospect of a techno album from Hauschka may have sounded incongruous a year ago, but it is what Volker Bertelman delivered, of sort, with Salon Des Amateurs last April. Moving away from the post classical tone of his previous releases and taking on the counterpoint of what he had put his prepared piano through until then, Bertelman opted to experiment with playful loops, miniature grooves and occasional orchestral flourishes. If the result was never intended to crash onto the dance floors of any Balearic superclubs, it showed just how imaginative Bertelman could be with his usual framework. The next logical step was to turn all this on its head again and have these compositions reworked by refined artists, and this is exactly what these two EPs, released a few weeks apart, offer.

There may only be four remixes in total for now, but these are tantalising teasers for a whole album’s worth of such treatments, with names such as Vladislav Delay, Alva Noto or Matthew Herbert announced as contributors, due later on this year. Continue Reading »

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JHEREK BISCHOFF: Composed (The Leaf Label)

themilkman on Jun 1st 2012 01:41 am

Jherek Bischoff: Composed

The Leaf Label 2012
09 Tracks. 36mins30secs

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

DIY can be perilous when it comes to music, and while it is a fairly common approach nowadays, it is not always one that works extremely well, especially in pop music. But when a DIY record sounds as lush, polished and accomplished as Jherek Bischoff’s Leaf debut, it beggars belief how just one person can be responsible for such a complex and exquisite record. But this is pretty much what Composed is all about. Originally composed on a ukulele, then painstakingly recorded one instrument at a time, Bischoff visiting each of the musicians who form his virtual orchestra to record them in their living rooms, at times layering a number of performances from one player, all this captured on a single microphone, and all on a laptop, to achieve a convincing orchestral sound for the fraction of the price of a real ensemble. Continue Reading »

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