themilkman on Jan 22nd 2012 08:28 pm

Legofeet: SKA001CD

Skam 2011
04 Tracks. 73mins49secs

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

Over a year before their first appearance on Warp with a couple of tracks for the original Artificial Intelligence compilation, Rob Brown and Sean Booth had materialised, the time of an album, as Lego Feet. Infused with Detroit-style techno and futuristic hip-hop, this pre-Autechre output was the first, extremely limited, transmission from Manchester-based Skam, and has since been out of print and changing hands for small fortunes.

Twenty years on, this legendary album is finally getting a full CD release, with a second pressing of the vinyl due imminently. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Dec 22nd 2011 12:59 pm

The 2011 Review

As another year folds out, it is time once again to look back and take stock or the highs and lows, before a fresh year rolls in. 2011 has had its moments and has overall been a rather good year, and trying to extract a list of twenty albums from the hundreds, thousands possibly, that I have listened to, loved, hated, reviewed or not, tried to make sense of or misunderstood seems a pretty restrictive effort at best. Still, it is always good to look back and realise that some records have made more of a mark than others, some almost imperceptibly. So, here is, in twenty records, what 2011 was made of…

Jenny Hval: Viscera1.

Rune Grammofon


There is such urgency throughout this record that it is quite astonishing how Hval manages to retain any lightness in her music, but she does, and [Helge] Sten picks up on just enough to bring it all to life in sprightly bright colours and tones. Continue Reading »

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AUTECHRE & THE HAFLER TRIO: ah3e0 & a3oe (ae3o3) (Die Stadt/Simply Superior)

themilkman on Oct 4th 2011 01:41 am

Autechre & The Hafler Trio: ah3e0 & a3oe (ae3o3)

ah3e0 & a3oe (ae3o3)
Die Stadt/Simply Superior 2011
02 Tracks. 240mins00secs

Amazon UK: DVD Boomkat: DVD

The collaboration between Autechre’s Sean Booth and Rob Brown and The Hafler Trio’s Andrew McKenzie started back in 2003 with an enigmatic first release, æ3o & h3æ, published on Phonometrography, which was followed two years later by a much more extensive ambient experiment, æo3 & 3hæ (Die Stadt). Since, nothing else had filtered out from the trio’s laboratory until this third release, limited to 1000 copies worldwide was announced at the end of August.

Released as a double DVD (5.1 Audio Version), ah3eo & a3oe (æ3o3) features three tracks, the first one clocking at an impressive two hours, the second and third stretching over forty-seven and fifty eight minutes respectively, all available both in Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 formats. Continue Reading »

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AUTECHRE: EPS 1992-2002 (Warp Records)

themilkman on Mar 18th 2011 01:22 am

Autechre: EPs 1992-2002

EPS 1991-2002
Warp Records 2011
47 Tracks. 339mins59secs

Amazon UK: CD US: CD iTunes: DLD

For years, Autechre alternated albums and EPs with extreme regularity, the latter often acting as experimental playgrounds for Sean Booth and Rob Brown to try out new ideas. This release documents the first ten years of the band, from their very first, pre-Warp, outting to Gantz Graf. While Autechre have continued to release occasional EPs after that, they have been less prolific with that format in recent years, only two, Quaristice.Quadrange and Move Of Ten, having materialised, the former solely made available as a digital release, both counting too many tracks to be considered proper EPs. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Dec 19th 2010 08:49 pm

The 2010 Review

As 2010 bows out, it is time to look back on a year that has been rich in new music, some from very well established artists, and some from entirely new comers. Here are themilkfactory’s twenty favourite records of the year, and this year for the first time, this list is augmented with thirty other records that have marked the year.

With no less than four albums in the top 20, the year belonged to Rune Grammofon, and more particularly to Supersilent, who occupy two places, including the top spot. Room40 also place two albums in the twenty best records on 2010, while new imprints Desire Path, Hibernate and Textura also feature with some strong releases.
Continue Reading »

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AUTECHRE: Move Of Ten (Warp Records)

themilkman on Jun 29th 2010 01:19 am

Autechre: Move Of Ten

Move Of Ten
Warp Records 2010
10 Tracks. 47mins48mins
Format: CD/2×12″/Digital

Amazon UK: CD | LP1 | LP2 | DLD US: CD | LP1 | LP2 | DLD Boomkat: CD | DLD iTunes: DLD

It’s been barely a matter of a few months since Autechre released Oversteps, an album on which Sean Booth and Rob Brown greatly expended on the melodic aspect of their work, a move that was started with Quaristice two years earlier. Move Of Ten is a different beast altogether. Darker, grittier, nastier, more angular, this EP drags Oversteps down into the gutter and purposely tarnishes its sheen. Although an EP, at least in Warp’s catalogue referencing, Move Of Ten clocks in at close to forty eight minutes, and ten tracks. Not quite as extensive as EP7, but a pretty densely packed release all the same

After a few years when releases were increasingly few and far between, it seems as if Autechre have entered a more prolific era in recent years. First, there was Quaristice, in all its versions, then a fairly extensive tour, and two year on, came Oversteps, quickly followed by this sister EP. Continue Reading »

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Autechre/Russell Haswell, Bocking Street Warehouse, Hackney, London, 10/04/2010

themilkman on Apr 11th 2010 11:04 pm

Autechre/Russell Haswell, Bocking Street Warehouse, Hackney, London, 10/04/2010

For the last date in their European tour, coinciding with the release of their tenth album, Oversteps, Autechre took over the Bocking Street Warehouse in Hackney, north London, and threw a party, inviting Russell Haswell to perform live and Rob Hall and Didgit to DJ for the event. After an opening DJ set for Didgit, Russell Haswell took the stage just after 12.30, and submitted the audience to an intense digital assault. Layers of distortions and interferences built up a particularly abrasive set of textures, pushing the sound system to the limit of the bearable, but ten minutes in, the intensity went up a few notches as the complexity of Haswell’s sonic fragments increased greatly. Barely twenty minutes in, it was all over.

Autechre are renowned for their hard-hitting sets, yet they kicked off this evening’s performance with a surprisingly smooth and straightforward beat, which for the first few minutes, eased an expectant crowd in gently. Continue Reading »

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AUTECHRE: Oversteps (Warp Records)

themilkman on Feb 24th 2010 01:18 am

Autechre: Oversteps

Warp Records 2010
14 Tracks. 71mins11secs

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

A new Autechre album is always a step into the unknown, so different have each of their records been. Evolving totally outside of any trend or fashion, Sean Booth and Rob Brown have, in the nineteen years since their first EP, Cavity Job, was published, followed a path all of their own and established a language which is tweaked and developed to suit their own evolution. Yet, far from being totally random, their sound is the fruit of a relatively linear evolution, from classic electronica textures to fractured soundscapes and arid rhythmic forms. In 2008, Quaristice denoted a clear step away from the beat-driven structures of the Confield-Draft 7.30-Untilted triptych, where melodies existed mostly in withered state, as once again vibrant musical forms and warm electronic sounds took prominence over rhythms. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Jan 4th 2010 12:17 am

10 years in 20 records

The noughties have seen probably the most radical changes in the music industries since the advent of the record. Consumption habits have dramatically moved from traditional to digital formats, music has been increasingly seen as something to steal rather than to buy, and listening habits means that nowadays, the album is becoming increasingly redundant. Or is it? Whereas it had, at least in some circles, become totally acceptable to fill records with substandard music, it is now essential for artists to create consistent pieces of work if they want to retain the attention of their audience. The last ten years have delivered their fair share of hits and misses, and this list doesn’t pretend to be in any way shape or form exhaustive. This is just, in no particular order, the definitive list of the 20 albums that have defined the noughties at themilkfactory.

Continue Reading »

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VARIOUS ARTISTS: Warp20 (Box Set) / Warp20 (Recreated) / Warp20 (Chosen) (Warp Records)

themilkman on Sep 17th 2009 07:20 pm

Various Artists: Warp20 (Box Set) Various Artists: Warp20 (Recreated) Various Artists: Warp20 (Chosen)

Warp20 (Box Set) / Warp20 (Recreated) / Warp20 (Chosen)
WARP20.0 / WARP201 / WARP 202
Warp Records 2009
– / 21 Tracks / 24 Tracks. – / 99mins13secs / 127mins18secs

Warp20 (Box Set)
Icon: arrow Boomkat: BX

Warp20 (Recreated)
Icon: arrow Amazon UK: CD Amazon US: CD Boomkat: CD iTunes: DLD

Warp20 (Chosen)
Icon: arrow Amazon UK: CD Amazon US: CD Boomkat: CD iTunes: DLD

LFO. Three metallic blue letters, straddled by a ghostly shape, set on a black background. Three letters that changed things forever. The year was 1991, I was browsing through the new arrivals in my local records store, and the Designers Republic artwork of LFO’s Frequencies was standing out from the blur, calling out for my attention. An hour or so later, I was left baffled by a record which I was struggling to understand. On one side, the lush flow and shattering bass of LFO or Simon From Sydney irresistibly titillated my appetite for crisp evocative electronics, on the other, I had never experienced anything quite as bare as Mentok 1 or We Are Back. This album bore its influences on its sleeve, literally, and it took a few listens to ‘get it’. But ‘get it’ I did. More than I could have ever wished for. I was hooked. Not only on LFO, but also on Warp.

The brainchild of Steve Beckett and the late Rob Mitchell, who founded the label twenty years ago in the former metallurgic city of Sheffield, Warp found itself at a crossroad between the dying acid scene and the nascent UK techno/electronica movements Continue Reading »

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AUTECHRE: Quaristice (Versions) (Warp Records)

David Abravanel on Apr 16th 2008 11:15 pm

Autechre: Quaristice (Versions)

Quaristice (Versions)
Warp Records 2008
11 Tracks. 67mins49secs

By now, listeners have had some time to digest Quaristice, the latest release from Autechre, and the new (yet also classic) approach they’ve taken this time around. In contrast to the longer, more spaced-out and fleshed-out ideas found on their previous three albums, Quaristice features twenty tracks, most clocking in at less than four minutes, featuring, alternately, spastic explosions of percussion and sampling, or lush ambient synthesizer arrangements. With Quaristice (Versions), a bonus disc released with the limited edition of Quaristice, Autechre offer a glimpse at a version of the album more in line with Untilted or Draft 7.30. There are eleven tracks here, many of which last longer than seven minutes, allowing the sequences and ideas from Quaristice more time to evolve. Continue Reading »

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Autechre / Massonix / Rob Hall, The Middle East, Cambridge, MA 14/04/2008

David Abravanel on Apr 16th 2008 10:51 pm

FEATURE: Autechre, Massonix, Rob Hall live

Rarely are abstract electronic acts as well known for their live sets as for their recorded output. Given such a heavy reliance on sequencing and studio edits, one could be forgiven for getting bored watching someone noodle around with pre-recorded tracks on a laptop. Autechre, on the other hand, have taken a very different approach, eschewing laptops for their live performance, and instead working with a mix and match of sequences, almost all of them unreleased, for a live show that is intense and unforgettable. Continue Reading »

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