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.

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themilkman on Jul 15th 2008 11:14 pm


Over ten years after their last studio was released, fourteen since the seminal Dummy, Portishead have produced one of the most spellbinding records of decade with the soberly entitled Third. Sobriety is very much the line with this new album, as the spacious and haunting soundtracks of the past have been replaced with much darker and arid soundscapes infused with elements of krautrock, psychedelic rock and hypnotic electronics, all combined to back up Beth Gibbons’s pure voice and harrowing lyrics. Having just put the finishing touch to a full European tour, Geoff Barrow and Adrian Utley talked to themilkman about the long process, doubts and countless steps back leading to the release of the album, the joy of touring, how leaking roofs and illegal downloads are intimately linked, and much more. Continue Reading »

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PORTISHEAD: Third (Island Records)

themilkman on Apr 25th 2008 12:47 am

Portishead: Third

Island Records 2008
11 Tracks. 50mins06secs

In the mid nineties, Britain was still struggling to deal with a recent past which had left some pretty deep social scares. The strikes, high unemployment and economic meltdown of the early eighties had been topped up with the hangover that followed the mighty party of the late eighties and early nighties, and it would be a while yet for things to ‘get better’. The depression that followed and the state of mind of the nation at that particular point was documented by a bunch of misfits from Bristol. Alongside Massive Attack and Tricky, Portishead, a trio hailing from the grim seaside town of the same name, a few miles outside Bristol, were establishing the foundations of a sound that would mark a generation.

While Massive Attack and Tricky relied heavily on soul and hip-hop, Portishead projected a much more cinematic sound, infused with sixties and seventies soundtrack music, heavily processed to take away their natural sheen and rendered instead in charcoal overtones and gritty textures, a process that marked the band’s debut, Dummy, and even more so their eponymous follow up, released almost four years later. Continue Reading »

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