Archive for August, 2012

WAVES ON CANVAS: Into The Northsea (Psychonavigation Records)

themilkman on Aug 31st 2012 01:23 am

Waves On Canvas: Into The Northsea

Into The Northsea
Psychonaviation Records 2012
12 Tracks. 57mins21secs

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

Everything on this records, from the Vaughan Oliver-designed artwork to the music, atmosphere and contributors, is imbued with the spirit of mid-eighties 4AD, more specifically Ivo Watts-Russell’s seminal This Mortal Coil. The project of Sardinia-born and bred Stefano Guzzetti, Waves On Canvas presents an intriguing blend of ethereal art pop and electronica which, following a handful of self-released digital albums and EPs, has landed a spot on Dublin-based Psychonavigation for his full length debut.

Into The Northsea pays a reverent homage to the shaded cinematic atmospheres of This Mortal Coil, and to 4AD’s often enigmatic and beautifully crafted releases. Continue Reading »

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NATHAN FAKE: Steam Days (Border Community)

themilkman on Aug 29th 2012 01:30 am

Nathan Fake: Steam Days

Steam Days
Border Community 2012
11 Tracks. 48mins51secs

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

It has been almost ten years since a young Nathan Fake caught the attention of DJs with his debut EP, Outhouse, published on Border Community. Since, the Norfolk native has released countless more EPs and two albums, Drowning In A Sea Of Love in 2006 and Hard Islands in 2009. After the definite techno influences of his early releases, Fake’s first album showed a much more varied and pastoral approach, yet with Hard Islands, he was once again firmly focusing on the dance floor, this time in a much more concentrated and minimal form. With Steam Days, Fake is once again taking a more liberal and playful stance as he brings dreamy electronica, lo-fi techno and bucolic house together. Continue Reading »

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MIKA VAINIO: Fe304 – Magnetite (Touch)

themilkman on Aug 22nd 2012 09:35 pm

Mika Vainio: Fe304 - Magnetite

Fe304 – Magnetite
Touch 2012
07 Tracks. 55mins50secs

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

Mika Vainio was once one half of Finnish exploratory duo Pan Sonic until he and Ilpo Väisänen decided to part for good after fifteen years two years ago, but this ever only represented one facet of his work. As well as contributing to a good few other formations, he has released a number of records under a variety of monikers, perhaps the best known of which, beside the music published under his own name of course, is Ø, a project he pursues to these days. Fe304 – Magnetite is his tenth solo record as himself, his fifth for Touch.

Over the years, Vainio has extensively experimented with noise and silence in various forms and to various degrees. Continue Reading »

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SIDSEL ENDRESEN & STIAN WESTERHUS: Didymoi Dreams (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Aug 21st 2012 09:16 pm

Sisdel Endresen & Stian Westerhus: Didymoi Dreams

Didymoi Dreams
Rune Grammofon 2012
11 Tracks. 59mins12secs

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

There are few vocalists more fearless and thrilling than Norwegian singer Sidsel Endresen. From traditional vocal forms, she has developed a style all of her own, sung mostly in a made-up language which range from hums and repetitive fragments of semi-recognisable words to harshly syncopated noises, resembling a form of scat for the electronic age. What makes her performances real tours de force is that all vocals are always recorded live, never processed or sampled. From her time as a member of Jon Eberson Group, with whom she recorded five albums between 1981 and 1987, she went on release a number of solo albums for ECM, Jazzland and Sofa. Over the years, she has also built a particularly solid and fertile musical relationship with Bugge Wesseltoft; the duo have recorded three albums, and Wesseltoft is a regular contributor to some of her other projects. Continue Reading »

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MARK SOLBORG: Solborg 4+4+1 (Ilk Music)

themilkman on Aug 21st 2012 01:42 am

Mark Solborg: Solborg 4+4+1

Solborg 4+4+1
Ilk Music 2012
05 Tracks. 55mins06secs

Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD iTunes: DLD

For his latest album for Ilk Music, Danish jazz guitarist Mark Solborg has gathered a carefully selected horn quartet, formed of Norwegian musicians Gunnar Halle (trumpet) and Torben Snekkestad (tenor and soprano sax, clarinet) and fellow Danish artists Laura Toxværd (alto saxophone) and Jacob Munck (tuba, trombone), to which he has added a soloist, Chris Speed (US) on tenor saxophone and clarinet, all joining forces around  his regular quartet, which counts, beside himself, Anders Banke (tenor saxophone, clarinet and bass clarinet), Jeppe Skovbakke (bass) and Bjørn Heebøll (drums). The ensemble performed together only once, at the 2010 edition of Copenhagen’s Jazzfestival, during which this album was recorded.

With such an extensive set of performers under his headship, each with their own individual approach and characteristics, Solborg had set himself quite a challenge, but the five improvisations here are a testament of the viability of his vision and of the musicianship involved. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Aug 19th 2012 11:49 pm


After recording one album and a handful of EPs for Manchester-based imprint Melodic ten years ago, David Edwards got the chance to move his Minotaur Shock project to 4AD, a label that had partly inspired him over the years. Reality however rarely matches expectations, and things didn’t quite work out as idealistically as he had hoped. Four years on from his last release for the label, he has picked himself up, recorded his fourth studio album, Orchard, and Melodic have welcomed him back with open arms. Here, he talks about his 4AD experience, working with Melodic again, the freedom he had recording the new album, and how British music has inspired him a great deal this time round.
Continue Reading »

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BEAK>: >> (Invada Records)

themilkman on Aug 16th 2012 01:38 am

Beak>: >>

Invada Records 2012
10 Tracks. 48mins19secs

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

Assembled by Geoff Barrow, he of Portishead, Billy Fuller and Matt Wiliams, Beak> got together sometime in 2009 and spent some time improvising in the studio. Within a few days, they had enough material for an album, and their self-titled debut was released a few weeks later on Barrow’s Invada Records. The trio consequently toured quite substantially, but things proved more difficult when it came to record a follow-up, leaving the band in limbo for a while. Eventually though, Beak> found their feet again, and were once again able to let their creative juice flow freely.

Very much like its predecessor, >> was recorded live, with very little overdubs, and once again, it is infused with classic strands of Krautrock, evoking in turn Can, Cluster, Silver Apples or to a lesser extend Neu!, as they line up motorik grooves, bleak synths, feverish guitars and fogged vocal. Continue Reading »

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NORKEN & DEER: Micro Donjuan (Hydrogen Dukebox)

themilkman on Aug 14th 2012 01:38 am

Norken & Deer: Micro Don Juan

Micro Don Juan
Hydrogen Dukebox 2012
10 Tracks. 52mins29secs

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

Lee Norris and Martin Hirsch know each other pretty well, the former being the founder of Neo Ouija, a label run by the latter, but they have until now kept their respective musical projects separate. If Norris has been releasing music until a variety of monikers (Metamatics, Natch Plank, Tone Language, Norken), from ambient to techno, since the mid nineties, Hirsch’s output is more restricted, with only a handful of EPs published. The pair collaborated on a first EP, Shoot The Sun, released earlier this year before landing their first collaborative full length on Hydrogen Dukebox.

Micro Don Juan started as a solo effort from Norris toward the end of 2010, but he was later joined by Hirsch. With Norris located in south England and Hirsch based in Germany, the pair exchanged music over the internet, slowly assembling the album. Continue Reading »

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FENNESZ: Aun (Ash International)

themilkman on Aug 9th 2012 01:51 am

Fennesz: AUN

Ash International 2012
15 Tracks. 52mins29secs

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

Christian Fennesz is well known for creating dense textured pieces from processed electric guitars, and his live sets are often extremely intense experiences, the music so loud that it is primarily felt racing deep down through the body. But the Austrian-born experimental guitarist has for some time been exploring a much more ethereal and gentle side to his work, most notably recently with Ryuichi Sakamoto. It is exactly this side that Fennesz chose for his soundtrack to Austrian director Edgar Honetschläger’s feature film Aun: The Beginning And The End Of All Things, a tale of how mankind is at once fascinated by, and fearful of, the future.

Fennesz provides a particularly striking atmospheric soundtrack here, composed in majority of short sonic vignettes, some merely developing into drone sequences, others left to grow and incorporate fragments of melodies or, at least, tonal variations. Continue Reading »

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PIANO MAGIC: Life Has Not Finished With Me Yet (Second Language Music)

themilkman on Aug 3rd 2012 01:49 am

Piano Magic: Life Has Not Finished With Me Yet

Life Has Not Finished With Me Yet
Second Language Music 2012
13 Tracks. 51mins02secs

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

Keeping up with Piano Magic is akin to finding one’s way in a giant maze. Inspired in part by the fluidity of form of This Mortal Coil, Piano Magic was formed in 1996 by Glen Johnson, Dominic Chennell and Dick Rance, the collective has since developed around an ever changing line-up, which has seen an impressive number of musicians and vocalists, including Vashti Bunyan on a couple of occasions. The collective released a couple of albums on Rocket Girl before joining for a time the ranks of 4AD with their soundtrack to Bigas Lunas’s Son De Mar (2001) and their follow up album, Writers Without Homes a year later. Since, the ensemble’s output has been extremely diverse and scattered on a wide range of labels, from Green UFOs, En/Of, Monospone to Important Records, Make Mine Music and more recently Second Language.

Following a string of increasingly guitar-heavy records, Life Has Not Finished With Me Yet, Piano Magic’s eleventh studio album, returns to the sombre introspection of Writers Without Homes Continue Reading »

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2KILOS &MORE: Kurz Vor5 (Audiophobe)

themilkman on Aug 2nd 2012 01:45 am

2Kilo &More: Kurz Vor5

Kurz Vor5
Audiophobe 2012
09 Tracks. 59mins11secs

Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD iTunes: DLD

French duo 2Kilos &More was formed in 2003 by Séverine Krouch and Hughes Villette, but their first release, a mini album entitled 9,21, wasn’t published until three years later on artisanal Paris-based imprint Taâlem. This was followed a year later by a full length album, 8Floors Lower, on Jeans Records, with a second album, Entre3villes, on Optical Sound issued two years later. Krouch and Villette also joined the ranks of French performance art collective Von Magnet, famed for mixing electronic music with flamenco and oriental music, in 2008, and with whom they have performed regularly ever since. Returning to their project, the pair have teamed up with German imprint Audiophobe for their third opus.

Brash, caustic and unsettling, Kurz Vor5 is a particularly intense, complex and somewhat psychotic dystopian affair which encompasses in its course ill ambient moments, dark post industrial sections, noise, hypnotic grooves and twisted poetry. Continue Reading »

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