JOHN CHANTLER: The Luminous Ground (Room40)

themilkman on Apr 5th 2011 01:26 am

John Chantler: The Luminous Ground

The Luminous Ground
Room40 2011
06 Tracks. 39mins50secs

Can music be ‘created by machines’? This is often the starting point of one of the main arguments hailed by detractors of electronic music, who see electronic synthesis and computers as the cold and inhuman antithesis to music played on ‘proper instruments’, by human beings. Yet, machines can’t work on their own. They cannot power themselves, have no natural creative will and depend on human interactions to even exist. Machines have to be programmed in some way, and, like musical instruments, are only as good as their users.

This is what John Chantler investigates with his latest album, published on Room40. For the last three years, he has amassed a handful of electronic devices into a modular set up which now regularly serves as a platform for live experimentation, and is here put to extensive use to create a rather intriguing soundtrack where human interaction and accidental machine input both play equally important roles. Continue Reading »

Filed in Albums | Comments (2)

MINAMO + LAWRENCE ENGLISH: A Path Less Travelled (Room40)

themilkman on Nov 4th 2010 01:18 am

Minamo + Lawrence English: A Path Less Travelled

A Path Less Travelled
Room40 2010

05 Tracks. 42mins02secs

Amazon UK: CD US: CD Boomkat: CD

The latest release to come out of the Room40 workshop is a collaboration between multi media artist and head of label Lawrence English and Japanese experimental quartet Minamo, which uses the latter’s extremely minimal template, built from electronic textures and processed and live guitars, as a platform to expand from, with Lawrence English adding electronic processing and field recordings as well as contributing bass and harmonium. In just over forty minutes of delicate grainy soundscapes, split into five tracks, Minamo and English create a very evocative soundtrack, set somewhere in between their respective sonic realms.

The album was recorded over a couple of years in both Brisbane and Tokyo, but there is nothing in its course that hints at such a time frame. Continue Reading »

Filed in Albums | Comments (1)

RAFAEL ANTON IRISARRI: The North Bend (Room40)

themilkman on Oct 29th 2010 01:25 am

Rafael Anton Irisarri: The North Bend

The North Bend
Room40 2010
05 Tracks. 40mins37secs

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

The year is proving one of the strongest yet for Australian imprint Room40, which, not content of celebrating ten years at the forefront of experimental music, culminating with a series of concerts during their annual OpenFrame events in Brisbane earlier this month and London at the end of next week, and a stunning retrospective CD given away free to subscribers of The Wire recently, have also seen some of their strongest releases to date come out this years.

One such release is Rafael Anton Irisarri’s latest opus, The North Bend, the follow up to his Reverie mini album, published on Chicago-based Immune earlier in the year. Continue Reading »

Filed in Albums | Comments Off

CHRIS ABRAHAMS: Play Scar (Room40)

themilkman on Jul 13th 2010 01:19 am

Chris Abrahams: Play Scar

Play Scar
Room40 2010
08 Tracks. 57secs41secs

Amazon UK: CD US: CD Boomkat: CD

Chris Abrahams is one third of acclaimed Australian improv outfit The Necks, with whom he has been recording and playing live for over two decades. As a solo performer, his work takes on a different path as he expands his sonic palette far beyond the piano and, in the space of four solo records and countless collaborations, has continuously pushed back the boundaries of his experimentations.

His latest album, Play Scar, his third appearance on Room40, is a mesmerising collection of granular electro-acoustic pieces caught in a haunting aural claire-obscure where nothing appears totally defined and sharp, instead leaving the mind to fill the gaps in between notes and establish the nature of the sounds used. Continue Reading »

Filed in Albums | Comments (5)


Max Schaefer on Nov 4th 2008 12:20 am

Tujiko Noriko, Lawrence English & John Chantler: U

Room40 2008
08 Tracks. 38mins57secs

Room 40 captain Lawrence English, musician John Chantler, and chanteuse Tujiko Noriko tumble together and tug apart over the course of U, inexhaustibly stitching the strong physicality of melodic lines to acoustic nuance, whilst crisp, agile, insistent digital tattoos envelop them and insinuate into every interstice.

Far from the jerky, skewed cut-ups of some of Noriko’s earlier work, U develops a judicious restraint to create a space for listening.  The album, though hardly esoteric, and sometimes lacking the edge of discovery honed by a confidently individualized voice, is thus easy to get lost in. Continue Reading »

Filed in Albums | Comments Off