ANIMAL COLLECTIVE: Centipede Hz (Domino Recording Co.)

themilkman on Sep 11th 2012 12:54 am

Animal Collective: Centipede Hz

Centipede Hz
Domino Recording Co. 2012
11 Tracks. 53mins36secs

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

Once upon a time, Animal Collective were little more than a bunch of American indie kids with a particularly pronounced taste for unruly lo-fi leftfield pop music which they recorded wherever they could or fancied, and that could include recording a whole album under a porch, protected from the street by a plastic cover, using only a handful of minidisc players. Nowadays, Animal Collective is arguably the biggest underground experimental outfit around, capable of selling out big venues from the West Coast of the US to London, Paris and beyond. They haven’t actually been ‘underground’ for quite some time of course, but the term still probably qualifies them best.

Whilst their first records were self-released or appeared on labels such as Catsup Plate or Paw Tracks, an imprint set up by Animal Collective as an offshoot of Carpark Records, landing a deal with Fat-Cat in 2004 seemingly coincided with their profile rapidly rising, not only with college radio networks but also with the European public. Continue Reading »

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TO ROCOCO ROT: Speculation (Domino Recording Co.)

themilkman on Mar 10th 2010 01:17 am

To Rococo Rot: Speculation

Domino Recording Co. 2010
10 Tracks. 44mins55secs

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

To Rococo Rot was formed over fifteen years ago by brothers Robert and Ronald Lippok and friend Stefan Schneider. Building on the rich heritage of the German experimental scene of the seventies and confronting it with contemporary electronica, the trio have, over the course of six studio albums and countless EPs and singles, created a very consistent body of work. Even more so than with Kreidler (Schneider was once a member), or Tarwater, another of Ronald’s projects, one can easily trace TRR’s electronic instrumentals back to pioneering bands such as Cluster or Harmonia, yet the trio have always favoured a more down-to-earth sound and format. Continue Reading »

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FOUR TET: There Is Love In You (Domino Recording Co.)

themilkman on Jan 21st 2010 01:13 am

Four Tet: There Is Love In You

There Is Love In You
Domino Recording Co. 2010
09 Tracks. 47mins11secs

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

After the jazz-tinted Dialogue, released on Output while Kieran Hebden’s main role was still as part of Fridge, and the two stellar follow ups, Pause (2001) and Rounds (2003), which both  gathered considerable praises, his wonderfully shimmering sound appeared to lose a bit of its lustre with Everything Ecstatic (2005). Over the next few years, Hebden switched focus to a project with legendary percussionist Steve Reid, the time of a few slightly over-indulgent records and extensive tours.

Things started to look up slightly last year though as Four Tet returned, first with the Krautrock-infused Ringer EP, then with a split release with Burial, which seemed to denote a renewed interest from press and public alike. It suddenly seemed like Kieran was on course to revitalise Four Tet and kick it in a different corner. Continue Reading »

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ANIMAL COLLECTIVE: Merriweather Post Pavilion (Domino Recording Co.)

themilkman on Jan 16th 2009 09:45 pm

Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavilion

Merriweather Post Pavilion
Domino Recording Co. 2009
11 Tracks. 54mins42secs

It has been a long and tortuous journey that’s taken Animal Collective from their arid beginnings (Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished and Danse Manatee) to the hypnotic done-infused Here Comes The Indian and Campfire Songs. In 2004, they joined one of Britain’s finest imprints, Fat-Cat and adopted a more structured approach to their songs, culminating in the rather splendid Feels (2005) and Strawberry Jam, released in 2007 on Domino, a label conveniently strongly implanted on both sides of the Atlantic. But, as strong as these two records were, they were simple blueprints for the band’s latest effort, their ninth album in as many years. Continue Reading »

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Animal Collective, Koko, London, 12/01/2009

themilkman on Jan 15th 2009 01:06 am

Animal Collective, Koko, London, 12/01/2009

Animal Collective have got the knack for reinventing themselves continuously while somehow pretty much never bulging at all, having taken a sinuous path from Avey Tare and Panda Bear’s original lo-fi smudges of Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished to the more accessible and poppier Feels And Strawberry Jam. Their latest effort, Merriweather Post Pavilion, sees the Collective’s trademark hypnotic sound seriously electronically enhanced, as if Strawberry Jam had been dipped in Detroit grooves and properly disfigured by heavy doses of acid. Animal Collective, in a trio configuration in the absence of Deakin, gave the tracks off Merriweather a thorough airing at Koko, kick-starting the show with In The Flowers and Taste, then scanning through Bluish, Summertime Clothes or Daily Routine Continue Reading »

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JUANA MOLINA: Un Día (Domino Recording Co.)

themilkman on Oct 10th 2008 12:06 am

Juana Molina: Un Día

Un Día
Domino Recording Co. 2008
08 Tracks. 50mins25secs

Juana Molina’s musical career is light years away from Juana Y Su Hermanas, an early nineties hit TV series in Latin America and Spain in which she held the main part and which made of her a household name in her native land. Since, Molina has taken a very different path, turned her back on popular stardom to reach a much more selective audience with delicate atmospheric pop/folk songs, tainted with occasional electronics and experimental brushes. With each of her four albums, released within a period of ten years, three of which on the excellent Domino imprint, she has continued to carved an utterly individual and personal niche for herself, and her latest offering, Un Día, sits almost perfectly in line with its predecessors. Continue Reading »

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TRICKY: Knowle West Boy (Domino Recording Co.)

themilkman on Jul 17th 2008 12:53 am

Tricky: Knowle West Boy

Knowle West Boy
Domino Recording Co. 2008
13 Tracks. 46mins22secs

Trapped between the paranoid atmospheres and claustrophobic beats that have become his own doomed musical universe on one side and his need to escape toward more accessible grounds, Tricky has been looking for a fresh way to express himself for some time. Knowle West Boy is not quite the flamboyant renaissance that he deserves, as the recent rock-infused single Council Estate attests, but there is definitely a renewed fever running throughout and it contributes to this album feeling more focused than the lacklustre Juxtapose or Vulnerable for instance. Continue Reading »

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ANIMAL COLLECTIVE: Water Curses (Domino Recording Co.)

themilkman on May 16th 2008 12:50 am

Animal Collective: Water Curses

Water Curses
Domino Recording Co 2008
04 Tracks. 18mins05secs
Format: CDS/12″/Digital

The journey on which Animal Collective embarked some years ago has taken them from the thoroughly experimental to the surprisingly straightforward without ever going about it the easy way. In recent years, their records have become more melodic and song-based. Their last couple of inputs for Fat-Cat swapped the burning exuberance of early records for much more structured and elegant records. Last year’s Strawberry Jam album, the collective’s first full length release on Domino, showed that, although the band have polished their act, they remained as inventive with their music and have developed a truly unique sound.

Following the all-out pop effervescence of Strawberry Jam, Water Curses catches the band in a much reflective mood, their colourful songs stripped down, leaving vocals and melodies exposed. Continue Reading »

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FOUR TET: Ringer (Domino Recording Co.)

themilkman on Apr 29th 2008 12:30 am

Four Tet: Ringer

Domino Recording Co. 2008
04 Tracks. 31mins33secs
Format: CDS/12″/Digital

It has been a while, over two years in fact, since Kieran Hebden last paraded as Four Tet. During this time, his focus has been on his collaboration with jazz drummer and percussionist Steve Reid, with various degrees of success. Since 2005, the pair have relentlessly toured and released three records, two if the Exchange Session diptych is to be counted as one offering.

One of the pioneers of the ill-named folktronica movement, a tag he has constantly rejected ever since it was stamped all over his work, Hebden abandons here, perhaps not permanently, the future will tell, the voluptuous formations that have made him a near-household name and turns his attention to much more purely electronic soundscapes. Continue Reading »

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TO ROCOCO ROT: ABC123 (Domino Recording Co.)

themilkman on Nov 7th 2007 02:05 am

To Rococo Rot: ABC123

Domino Recording Co. 2007
08 Tracks. 19mins49secs

Helvetica. Unless you have lived under a stone of in a cave for the last fifty years, you have, knowingly or not, been exposed to the ubiquitous typeface created by Swiss font foundry Haas. Revered by most typographists and graphic designers, and used in the most common urban signage, from airport and road signs to public toilets, and from record covers to eye-catching ad campaigns, Helevetica has become the most ubiquitous modern font around, thanks to its clear lines and high readability at pretty much any size. 2007 is exactly fifty years since its creation, and the event was marked by a series of exhibitions around the world, and by a documentary investigating its impact. Continue Reading »

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ANIMAL COLLECTIVE: Strawberry Jam (Domino Recording Co.)

themilkman on Sep 20th 2007 01:10 pm

Animal Collective: Strawberry Jam

Strawberry Jam
Domino Recording Co. 2007
09 Tracks. 43mins31secs

Two years after the wonderful Feels, the quartet of Avey Tare, Panda Bear, Geologist and Deacon reconvene on Strawberry Jam, Animal Collective’s seventh album, their first for Domino, and it is very much business as usual. Except that Animal Collective don’t really ‘do’ usual. If they have undoubtedly developed a unique musical style, each one of their albums has seen them go in new directions, taking them from the molecular drones of Spirit They’ve Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished (2000) and the lo-fi of Campfire Songs (2003), to the luxuriance of Here Comes The Indian (2003), the psychedelic brushes of Sung Tongs (2004) and folk grain of Feels. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Jun 12th 2007 10:53 am

Kieran Hebden & Steve Reid: Tongues

Domino Recording Co. 2007
10 Tracks. 44mins45secs

Since he took some time off Fridge to concentrate on Four Tet, Kieran Hebden has become one of the most prominent artists of the British electronic scene of the last ten years. Three years ago, he met legendary percussionist Steve Reid, and the pair began working on live collaborations, resulting in the double-barreled Exchange Session (volume one and two). The records were the result of improvisations, which were presented in their raw form, with no overdubs. Although split into bite size sections of barely more than thirty to forty minutes, these recordings suffered from lack of general focus necessary for this kind of project, and failed to capture the true energy of the live shows the duo had been performing earlier. Continue Reading »

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