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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PAN SONIC: Gravitoni (Blast First Petite)

themilkman on Jun 22nd 2010 01:03 am

Pan Sonic: Gravitoni (Blast First Petite)

Blast First Petite 2010
11 Tracks. 52mins19secs

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

If going out with a bang was the intention of Pan Sonic’s Mika Vainio and Ilpo Väisänen, then Gravitoni is a resounding success. One of the most singular experimental acts to have emerged in the last twenty years, Pan Sonic have constantly operated on the verge of industrial music by processing harsh, abrasive soundscapes and dense beats structures into often pretty extreme electronic pieces. Not contempt with working as a sefl-contained unit, they have also, over the years worked with a considerable number of contributors, especially on the Rude Mechanic project, a collaborative effort with visual artists David Crawford and Hayley Newman, which took place over five weeks in a gallery space in Beaconsfield, north of London, with contributions from Jimi Tenor, Scanner, David Cunningham, Robert Ellis or Kaffe Matthews to name but a few. It is with their legendary live performances that they have commanded the most respect though, and it is perhaps no surprise that the booklet accompanying this record features pictures of places from all over the world where the band have performed. Those lucky enough to have witnessed the pair live talk of mind-blowing experiences, while those who haven’t can only regret missed opportunities. Continue Reading »

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Haswell/Hecker + Pan Sonic live, Conway Hall, London 11/10/2007

Colin Buttimer on Nov 17th 2007 06:25 pm

Haswell/Hecker + Pan Sonic live, October 2007

Have you ever visited the seaside on a blustery, rain-swept day? Did you see seagulls hunkered down on the beach, their heads tucked into their bodies as they stoically weather the storm? As I looked at my fellow audience members that’s what I thought of as Haswell/Hecker brought their noise-storm down upon us. A few people made for the exit, many put their fingers in their ears and the rest, myself included, stood and endured.

We were surrounded, you see: speaker stacks on each side of the Conway Hall. A strobe light and a green laser strafed the black-clad, elaborately pierced crowd and reflected off two strategically placed mirror balls (whose presence seemed just a touch ironic). Continue Reading »

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VARIOUS ARTISTS: Touch 25 (Touch)

themilkman on Aug 9th 2006 07:29 pm

Various Artists: Touch 25

Touch 25
Touch 2006
25 Tracks. 79mins43secs

With a solid twenty-five years at the forefront of contemporary music, releasing music by artists as diverse as The Hafler Trio, Sweet Exorcist, Sandoz, Oren Ambarchi, Chris Watson, Scala, Philip Jeck, Mika Vainio, Biosphere, Christian Fennesz, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Ryoji Ikeda or BJ Nilsen to name but a fraction, Touch have collected one of the most impressive and inspired catalogues around, encompassing a wide array of genres, from noise to post-modern classical, ambient and electronic.

To celebrate this massive slab of work, the label, founded in 1982 by Jon Wozencroft Mike Harding, Nevelle Brody and Andrew McKenzie, of Hafler Trio fame, have put together a collection of twenty-five exclusive tracks from the likes of Biosphere, Fennesz, Pan Sonic, Chris Watson, Mark Van Hoen, Rafael Toral, Mother Tongue, BJ Nilsen, Philip Jeck and many more. Touch 25 doesn’t intend to document the label’s history, and only seems to give a vague and short insight into the various musical grounds covered by these artists, yet it is true to the label’s ethic in every way, from the instantly recognisable cover artwork, by Wozencroft to the depth and reach of each one of the tracks featured. Continue Reading »

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