Archive for the 'Albums' Category

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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MORITZ VON OSWALD TRIO: Fetch (Honest Jon’s Record)

themilkman on Jul 13th 2012 01:27 am

Moritz Von Oswald Trio: Fetch

Honest Jon’s Records 2012
04 Tracks. 50mins43secs

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

Moritz Von Oswald, Max Loderbauer and Sasu Ripatti reconvene for a third time, and once again, the mood is subdued and quietly hypnotic, carried by elegant stripped down grooves and vast and airy sonic landscapes. Like its predecessors, Fetch is split into four tracks clocking at anything from seven to seventeen and a half minutes. The basis for this album was recorded at the end of the summer last year during a four hour improv session which saw the core trio joined by Mark Muellbauer (bass) and Tobias Freund ((live electronics and effects). The recordings were later processed by Von Oswald who added contributions from Jonas Shoen (flute, clarinet and saxophone) and Sebastian Studnitzky (trumpet).

More so than its predecessors, Fetch is an intriguing record, which appear to draw on darker tones as it progresses. Continue Reading »

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ESPEN ERIKSEN TRIO: What Took You So Long (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Jul 12th 2012 01:38 am

Espen Eriksen Trio: What Took You So Long

What Took You So Long
Rune Grammofon 2012
10 Tracks. 42mins21secs

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

Espen Eriksen Trio’s debut, You Had Me At Goodbye, published two years ago on Rune Grammofon, was a thing of great beauty, its lush piano-led jazz, fluid and melodic, developed over the course of the whole record in a variety of delicate hues. On their second opus, What Took You So Long, the Scandinavian trio pick up where they left off two years ago with eight new compositions and two somewhat unexpected cover versions. Continue Reading »

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OBERMAN KNOCKS: Beatcroff Slabs (Aperture Records)

themilkman on Jul 11th 2012 01:40 am

Oberman Knocks: Beatcroff Slabs

Beatcroff Slabs
Aperture Records 2012
16 Tracks. 68mins40secs

Amazon UK: CD US: CD Boomkat: CD

Oberman Knocks is the project of London-based musician Nigel Truswell. Although he relocated to London in the late eighties, Truswell’s work as Oberman Knocks owes much to the rich musical heritage of his birthplace, Sheffield, home of Cabaret Voltaire, Human League, Heaven 17, ABC to Pulp, Warp or The Black Dog, who still operate from there today, to name but a few. Following a chance encounter with Andrea Parker via Mira Calix’s Chantal Passamonte, Truswell released his debut album, 13th Smallest, on Parker’s burgeoning new imprint, Aperture, three years ago. Dark, intricate and post industrial, the album was an incredibly intense journey through dystopian landscapes.

Three years on, the intensity has increased drastically. Continue Reading »

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KONX-OM-PAX: Regional Surrealism (Planet Mu)

themilkman on Jul 10th 2012 01:21 am

Konx-Om-Pax: Regional Surrealism

Regional Surrealism
Planet Mu 2012
14 Tracks. 46mins30secs

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

Glaswegian Tom Scholefield is pretty well acquainted with the music industry, having, in recent years, directed videos for Martyn, Kuedo, Lone and fellow Scotts Hudson Mohawke, Rustie or Mogwai, and produced artwork for Oneothrix Point Never or King Midas Sound. A side of his creative mind that’s so far remained under wrap is his music production, but this is about to change with the release of his debut album on Planet Mu. Regional Surrealism follows a handful of EPs published on Scholefield’s own imprint, Display Copy, in the last couple of years.

Scholefield’s music is somewhat odd, wonderful and highly individual. Continue Reading »

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PJUSK: Tele (Glacial Movements)

themilkman on Jul 5th 2012 01:44 am

Pjusk: Tele

Glacial Movements 2012
09 Tracks. 50mins50secs

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

After two releases for 12K, Norwegian ambient duo Pjusk have moved to Italian isolationist imprint Glacial Movements for their latest sonic excursion. Steered by Rune Sagevik and Jostein Dahl Gjelsvik, both hailing from a small village on the West coast of Norway, Pjusk find the inspiration for their work in the long and harsh Nordic winters and in the nature that surrounds them. The pair are said to work in isolation, using a cabin high up in the mountains to record, a far cry from their earlier incarnation as techno artists. The pair met in the early nineties and have been involved with a number of projects since, together or separately, with releases on labels such as Beatservice or Origo Sound amongst others.

Pjusk’s fascination for the vast landscapes and wild nature of their native country often transpires through their work by the use of field recordings, although it never represents the bulk of their compositions by any means. Continue Reading »

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WIL BOLTON: Under A Name That Hides Her (Hibernate Recordings)

themilkman on Jul 4th 2012 01:40 am

Wil Bolton: Under A Name That Hides Her

A Name That Hides Her
Hibernate Recordings 2012
06 Tracks. 37mins23secs

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

Wil Bolton is one half of the team behind the excellent Boltfish Recordings, but he is perhaps best known as Cheju, his solo project, which has seen him release music on Percussion Lab, U-Cover, Smallfish, Static Caravan or Boltfish. He has also an ongoing music project with Murray Fisher, the other half of Boltfish, as Biotron Shelf, and has published an album with Mark Streatfield (Zainetica) under the name Anzio Green back in 2008 on now defunct Japanese imprint Symbolic Interaction. Moving away from the crisp electronics and beats of Cheju and venturing into more atmospheric and ethereal territories, Bolton has, in the last two years, published a number of records under his own name on Hibernate, Time Released Sound and Cathedral Transmission. Continue Reading »

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