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.
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FOOD: Quiet Inlet (ECM Records)

themilkman on Apr 20th 2010 11:55 pm

Food: Quiet Inlet

Quiet Inlet
ECM Records 2010
07 Tracks. 46mins58secs

Amazon UK: CD iTunes: DLD

Formed around the nucleus of British saxophonist Iain Ballamy and Norwegian drummer and percussionist extraordinaire Thomas Strønen, Food once also counted trumpet player Arve Henriksen and bass player Mats Eilertsen as permanent members. The quartet debuted over twelve years ago when Ballamy joined the three Norwegian musicians for a one-off performance on stage. A self-titled album, then a second, Organic & GM Food, two years on, followed, both published on Ballamy’s short-lived Feral Records, before the quartet moved to Rune Grammofon, where they released two more albums, Veggie (2002) and Last Supper (2004), before both Henriksen and Eilertsen left, leaving Ballamy and Strønen sole in charge for the 2006 album Molecular Gastronomy. Continue Reading »

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Food/Vladislav Delay/Eyebrow, Union Chapel, Islington, London, 12/11/2009

themilkman on Nov 13th 2009 01:07 am

Food/Vladislav Delay/Eyebrow, Union Chapel, Islington, London, 12/11/2009

Pete Judge and Paul Wigens form Eyebrow, a trumpet and drums duo which is found somewhere on the cool headed side of jazz. With pretty impressive CVs under their respective belts, each having performed alongside the likes of Super Furry Animal, Cousteau or Natasha Atlas, the pair were first to take the stage at the Union Chapel this rainy November evening. In the twenty minutes or so of their set, Eyebrow created a rather impressive series of jazz-infused tracks. Judge, on trumpet, assisted by a delay pedal borrowed from Vladislav Delay, and a few effects, provided the melodic structure, often in light floating strips, over Wigens rather delicate drumming. Continue Reading »

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VARIOUS ARTISTS: Money Will Ruin Everything: Second Edition (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Apr 16th 2009 12:25 am

Various Artists: Money Will Ruin Everything: The Second Edition

Money Will Ruin Everything: The Second Edition
Rune Grammofon 2009
25 Tracks. 152mins42secs

Icon: arrow Buy: CD

‘It’s hard work to sell Rune CD outside of a small group of freaks’. To celebrate its first five years of activity, Norwegian label Rune Grammofon issued Money Will Ruin Everything, a beautiful limited collection documenting the label’s first few years spent charting the outer reaches of the music industry, spread over two CDs and presented with a book designed by Kim Hiorthøy. Fast forward five years and a few months, and it is time for label owner Rune Kristoffersen to look back once again and take stock of one of the most eclectic and forward-thinking catalogue around. And once again, Kim Hiorthøy, who is still single-handedly responsible for the visual identity of the label, including its occasional advertising, has designed a beautiful artefact, which collects not only the two CDs of this second edition of Money Will Ruin Everything, introduced by Geoff Travis and Robert Fricke, but also essays by Wire collaborator Rob Young and design consultant Adrian Shaughnessy, photographs and artwork reproductions. Continue Reading »

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FOOD: Molecular Gastronomy (Rune Grammofon)

Colin Buttimer on Feb 25th 2008 10:05 pm

Food: Molecular Gastronomy

Molecular Gastronomy
Rune Grammofon 2008
10 Tracks. 46min26secs

It’s been three years since Food’s previous release, the rather prematurely named Last Supper. In that interval, the one-time quartet has slimmed down to the duo of saxophonist Iain Ballamy and percussionist Thomas Strønen. I had the good fortune to catch them performing at a concert celebrating the founding of the state of Norway in 2006. Strønen sounded like the future as he explored virtual, hyper-speed sampling in mercurial fashion. Ballamy was, as always, highly melodic and more stately, a signifier of the human in otherwise distinctly William Gibson-esque soundscapes.

Molecular Gastronomy is a hugely welcome statement and, perhaps surprisingly, the group’s sound doesn’t suffer for the departure of trumpeter Arve Henriksen and bassist Mats Eilertsen. If anything, Food’s ambient/electronic/improvisational/folk focus has become less ephemeral and more focused. Continue Reading »

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