Author Archive

SQUAREPUSHER: Ufabulum (Warp Records)

themilkman on May 9th 2012 01:43 am

Squarepusher: Ufabulum

SQUAREPUSHER
Ufabulum
WARP228
Warp Records 2012
10 Tracks. 51mins20secs

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

In the sixteen years that separate Squarepusher’s debut to his latest delivery, Tom Jenkinson’s music has mostly been fueled by strong fusion jazz currents and massive rave effusions, but whilst these two poles have cohabited, his albums have for the most part been under the dominance of one or the other, never quite the two in equal measures. With its heavy synths lines and playful keyboard washes, Ufabulum clearly belongs to the latter category. Following an excursion as lead-member of Shobaleader One, an enigmatic formation which delivered the somehow crowd-divisive d’Demonstrator two years ago, Jenkinson is back as Squarepusher, and it would appear that his little escapade has done him a world of good.

After the acoustic tendencies of Hello Everything (2006), which eventually led to the entirely beat-less Solo Electric Bass 1 in 2009, Ufabulum is Jenkinson’s most overtly electronic record to date. Continue Reading »

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PHON.O: Black Boulder (50 Weapons)

themilkman on May 8th 2012 01:32 am

Phon.o: Black Boulder

PHON.O
Black Boulder
50WEAPONS07
50 Weapons 2012
11 Tracks. 49mins00secs

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

Following stints on Kit Clayton’s Cytrax, T.Raumschmiere’s Shitkatapult, Normoton and Detroit Underground, Phon.o’s Carsten Aermes joined the ranks of Modeselektor’s 50 Weapons last year. His last solo full length release however goes back to 2005 when his second album, Bum Down The Town, was published on Shitkatapult, and whilst a few more EPs came out in the following couple of years, Aermes’s time was, for a while at least, taken mostly by his collaboration with former Funkstörung member Chris De Lucas, CLP, which resulted in two EPs and one album in 2008. Since, the East Germany-born producer and musician, now a Berlin resident, had been pretty quiet, until a handful of EPs appeared on 50 Weapons throughout last year, revealing a much more focused, dubstep-infused sound which he has expanded to full album format with Black Boulder. Continue Reading »

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THOMAS BEL: Innerly (Annexia Records)

themilkman on May 4th 2012 01:33 am

Thomas Bel: Innerly

THOMAS BEL
Innerly
ANNEXIACD09/ANNEXIALP02
Annexia Records 2012
12 Tracks. 55mins31secs

Thomas Bel was born, as he informs us on his website, in autumn. Could it be that it had such a strong influence on his whole persona that it would transpires through his work to this day? Whether this is indeed the case or pure coincidence, his music is at best dark, introspective and cinematic, in an oddly oppressive way. Musician, sound artist, poet and all-round dreamer, Thomas Bel hails from Toulouse, south of France, where he regularly plays live. Although essentially electronic-based, his music also incorporates acoustic elements (cello, guitar, piano), and field recordings, over which he occasionally adds vocals. Continue Reading »

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RUMPISTOL/RED BARON: Floating (Project: Mooncircle)

themilkman on May 2nd 2012 09:49 pm

Rumpistol/Red Baron: Floating

RUMPISTOL/RED BARON
Floating
PMC096/PMC097
Project: Mooncircle 2012
11 Tracks. 41mins36secs

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

After three albums of increasingly tight and incisive electronica for Rump Recordings, Danish artist Rumpistol, aka Jens Christiansen, has teamed up with LA-based Danish-born vocalist Red Baron for his latest offering and has migrated to Project: Mooncircle for the occasion.

Already, with last year’s Talk To You EP, Rumpistol was carving a surgical dubstep-infused electronica which he had previously only hinted at, most notably on 2008’s Dynamo, hijacking a section of Charlene’s I’ve Never Been To Me on the title track in the process. The reworked version of this track featured on this album does away with the vocal sample and sticks a sliced up Red Baron in its place. Continue Reading »

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EX CONFUSION: Embrace (n5MD)

themilkman on May 2nd 2012 01:21 am

Ex Confusion: Embrace

EX CONFUSION
Embrace
MD196
n5MD 2012
10 Tracks. 45mins24secs

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

Ex Confusion is the solo endeavour of Japanese musician Atsuhito Omori. Following a debut album published on U-Cover two years ago and handful of EPs released through Heat Death, Somehow, Rural Colours and Twisted Tree Line since, and a spot on For Nihon, a compilation curated by Goldmund’s Keith Kenniff in support of the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund last year, Omori has landed a place on California’s premier electronic imprint n5MD. Deeply atmospheric, warm and textural, Omori’s music is built from heavily processed guitar or piano sequences, stretched and shaped into wonderfully gentle dreamy pieces, and drenched in long slow reverbs. Continue Reading »

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HANNE HUKKELBERG: Featherbrain (Propeller Recordings)

themilkman on May 1st 2012 01:27 am

Hanne Hukkelberg: Featherbrain

HANNE HUKKELBERG
Featherbrain
PRR51
Propeller Recordings 2012
10 Tracks. 40mins38secs

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

Norwegian-born songstress Hanne Hukkelberg keeps the boundaries of her work purposely blurred, drawing inspiration from pop, jazz or scandinavian folk to create highly individual and intimate miniature songs upon which she casts her bitter-sweet voice. Her first album, Little Things, published on Norwegian imprint Propeller Recordings in 2004 and later on Leaf, revealed a wonderfully nuanced and poetic universe, which was further developed on its follow up, Rykestraße 68, published two years later. Although more ambitious and exploratory than Little Things, Rykestraße 68 retained much of its predecessor’s dreamy tone. Hukkelberg’s third album, Blood From A Stone, published in 2009, denoted a strong shift away from the polished ambiances and refined folk of her previous records to investigate more rugged sonic spaces and less straightforward song structures. On Featherbrain though, she takes a much more experimental approach, at times stripping her sound bare (Noah, The Bigger Me), at others drenching it in electricity (Featherbrain, My Devils) or resolutely keeping it lo-fi and rough (Too Good To Be Good, SMS). Continue Reading »

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MONTY ADKINS: Four Shibusa (Audiobulb Records)

themilkman on Apr 25th 2012 01:05 am

Monty Adkins: Four Shibusa

MONTY ADKINS
Four Shibusa
AB40
Audiobulb Records 2012
04 Tracks. 43mins22secs

Over the course of his career, which spans over nigh on twenty years, British composer and sound artist Monty Adkins has progressively stripped down his sonic spaces to now work with an extremely restricted palette from which he draws deeply atmospheric minimal compositions. His work has led him to create music for art installations and answer commissions from choreographer Wayne McGregor, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival or the prestigious INA-GRM in Paris. He has also collaborated with a vast number of artists, including AGF, Mira Calix, Vladislav Delay, Tim Hecker, Robin Rimbaud or Christian Fennesz, and has released five solo albums.

Four Shibusa is the result of a year-long collaboration with long-term friend and visual artist Pip Dickens, based on the Japanese principles of ‘shibusa’, which focuses on simple, beautiful aesthetic in everyday objects. Continue Reading »

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JASON LANOX: Burning Every Bridge That I Cross To Find Some Beautiful Place To Get Lost (Henk Recordings)

themilkman on Apr 23rd 2012 09:48 pm

Jason Lanox: Burning Every Bridge That I Cross To Find Some Beautiful Place To Get Lost

JASON LANOX
Burning Every Bridge That I Cross To Find Some Beautiful Place To Get Lost
HENK001
Henk Recordings 2012
08 Tracks. 43mins36secs

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

A tidy helping of urban noises, a short blast of orchestral synthesis, a moody ambient drone … It is quite hard to guess exactly where Jason Lanox is heading to from the first minute and a half of his debut album, but as soon as the sleek groove which fuels the second track kicks in, everything falls into place rather nicely. Deep, soulful and extremely smooth, Burning Every Bridge… is something of a grower, its lush cinematic techno and ambient hinting a much wider spaces than the confines of nightclubs.

So far, Lanox has released a couple of EPs on Dutch imprint Bangbang!, and is now finding himself with the daunting prospect of inaugurating the newly formed Henk Recordings. Continue Reading »

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NUDE ON SAND: Nude On Sand (SOFA Music)

themilkman on Apr 19th 2012 01:25 am

Nude On Sand: Nude On Sand

NUDE ON SAND
Nude On Sand
SOFA537
SOFAMUSIC 2012
07 Tracks. 31mins45secs

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

Jenny Hval’s songs are incredibly raw and visceral affairs in which she exposes her every emotion, as beautiful or disturbing as it is. On Viscera, the album she published last year on Rune Grammofon, she took this so far as to draw an extremely astute and crude picture of the human body and exhibit an incredibly vast array of bodily functions, hers and that of others, woven into wonderful miniature pop songs. One of her companions on that journey was guitarist Håvard Volden, with whom she has teamed up to form Nude On Sand. With two guitars and one voice, they present a less polished version of Hval’s work. Here more than on any of her previous projects, Hval is left utterly exposed and vulnerable as a vocalist, but, for anyone who has seen her perform live, it is a position she thrives on and thoroughly relishes.

Hval’s lyrics are as disconcertingly honest and surreal as on Viscera; her choice of words and the way she assembles them into penetrating stories, which at once make no sense yet are exceedingly meaningful, is exacerbated by the extreme minimalism of the instrumentation supporting them. Continue Reading »

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THE A: Z (Imaginary Nonexistent Records)

themilkman on Apr 18th 2012 01:31 am

The A: Z

THE A
Z
SMON5CDR
Imaginary Nonexistent Records 2012
11 Tracks. 35mins18secs

iTunes: DLD

Who, or what, is The A is a closely guarded secret. The very few clues provided on the Imaginary Nonexistent Records website, where the album is available to download for free, tell that The A is a HE, that he lives in Madrid, that he mixes ‘field recordings, graphic design and photography to create subconscious dream music’. Recording under one of the most un-Google friendly names around (try searching for The A: Z and see where this may take you) could be Joan Malé, who set up Imaginary Nonexistent Records to release the music he collects as Monoceros, or one of his regular pals, and listening to Z provides no further clues to the real identity of the musician who declares on the label’s site to want listeners to come to his music without preconceptions.

Whatever these preconceptions may have been, Z is in itself an intriguing record. Minimal, yet complex and intricate, it is a somewhat ambitious collection of broken electronica and dense sonic experimentations, built in part from a seemingly vast and varied pool of field recordings and processed into pieces which call upon fuzzy reference points. Continue Reading »

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STRINGS OF CONSCIOUSNESS: From Beyond Love (Staubgold)

themilkman on Apr 17th 2012 01:35 am

Strings Of Consciousness: From Beyond Love

STRINGS OF CONSCIOUSNESS
From Beyond Love

STAUBGOLDDIGITAL17/STAUBGOLDANALOG6
Staubgold 2012
05 Tracks. 42mins27secs

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

Strings Of Consciousness is a loose collective in more than one way. Formed around the nucleus of Philippe Petit and Hervé Vincenti, this free-flowing ensemble has seen a considerable number of contributors coming and going through their unstoppable revolving doors, which perhaps accounts for the vast scope covered by their music, which brings together avant-rock, jazz, experimentations, noise and pretty much anything worth any attention in between.

Although Strings Of Consciousness have released a collection of remixes and a collaboration with Angel, the project of former Pan Sonic Ilpo Vaisänen, Schneider TM’s Dirk Dresselhaus and Icelandic cellist Hildur Guðnadóttir, in between, From Beyond Love is the second in a trilogy of releases started with Our Moon Is Full five years ago. Continue Reading »

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INTERVIEW: NUOJUVA The Natural Sound Of Decay

themilkman on Apr 16th 2012 10:14 pm

INTERVIEW: NUOJUVA The Natural Sound Of Decay

Finnish musician Oli Aarni first appeared a couple of years ago as Ous Mal on Australian imprint Preservation, but after just one album, he decided to pull the plug on the project and start anew. His new album, once again published on Preservation, was released as Nuojuva, and while it shares a certain feel for ghostly aesthetics with some of his compatriots’ work, his music is undoubtedly personal. Here, he discusses the reasons behind his change of name, why he keeps vocals to rather enigmatic textures, and how he feels about the Finnish music scene.   Continue Reading »

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