JHEREK BISCHOFF: Composed (The Leaf Label)

themilkman on Jun 1st 2012 01:41 am

Jherek Bischoff: Composed

The Leaf Label 2012
09 Tracks. 36mins30secs

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

DIY can be perilous when it comes to music, and while it is a fairly common approach nowadays, it is not always one that works extremely well, especially in pop music. But when a DIY record sounds as lush, polished and accomplished as Jherek Bischoff’s Leaf debut, it beggars belief how just one person can be responsible for such a complex and exquisite record. But this is pretty much what Composed is all about. Originally composed on a ukulele, then painstakingly recorded one instrument at a time, Bischoff visiting each of the musicians who form his virtual orchestra to record them in their living rooms, at times layering a number of performances from one player, all this captured on a single microphone, and all on a laptop, to achieve a convincing orchestral sound for the fraction of the price of a real ensemble. Continue Reading »

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MATTHEW BOURNE: Montauk Variations (The Leaf Label)

themilkman on Mar 2nd 2012 01:20 am

Matthew Bourne: Montauk Variations

Montauk Variations
The Leaf Label 2012
17 Tracks. 56mins32secs

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

Matthew Bourne has spent the last ten years working on many different projects and touching on quite a wide array of genres, but he has, until now, never released any solo record. Inaugurating what is announced as an on-going collaboration with The Leaf Label, with additional projects announced for the next eighteen months, this is exactly what he is doing with Montauk Variations, an album which began its gestation during a short visit to Montauk, NY a couple of years ago, and a subsequent realisation that all he needed to do was strip his music back down to its bare essential: him and a piano.

The album was recorded during three two-day sessions between May and June of last year in Dartington in Devon, Manchester and Wharfedale in North Yorkshire, and features sixteen piano improvisations, for the most part fragile romantic pieces, sometimes so scarce that they at times seem like in suspension. Continue Reading »

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ROLL THE DICE: In Dust (The Leaf Label)

themilkman on Sep 16th 2011 01:43 am

Roll The Dice: In Dust

In Dust
The Leaf Label 2011
11 Tracks. 65mins41secs

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

In recent years, there has been a surge of electronic artists, for the most part new comers, who have rejected the digital approach which had dominated since the nineties in favour of the more organic analogue textures pioneered during the late sixties and well into the seventies by German experimental musicians, from the most exploratory, with the likes of Emeralds or Oneohtrix Point Never, to the bulk of the Scandinavian disco scene, spearheaded by Lindstrøm, Prins Thomas and DiskJokke.

Although hailing from Sweden’s capital city, Stockholm, Roll The Dice have very little to do with the latter, and very much operate within their own realm. Continue Reading »

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Murcof & Francesco Tristano, Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank Centre, London, 16/11/2010

themilkman on Nov 17th 2010 12:44 am

Murcof & Francesco Tristano, Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank Centre, London, 16/11/2010

The London Jazz Festival programme is known to regularly extend well beyond the realm of jazz, a genre itself subject to wide open interpretation. For its 2010 edition, the festival organisers have invited Mexican electronic artist Murcof to perform at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, on the South Bank, two years on from his LJF debut in the Purcell Room next door, where he performed with Spanish ensemble BCN216.

For this evening’s performance, Murcof rekindled his long-running partnership with Francesco Tristano, began a few years ago when Fernando Corona produced Tristano’s debut solo record, Not For Piano, released in 2007, and which consequently developed into a full live collaboration. Continue Reading »

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WILDBIRDS & PEACEDRUMS: Rivers (The Leaf Label)

themilkman on Sep 1st 2010 01:18 am

Wildbirds & Peacedrums: Rivers

The Leaf Label 2010
10 Tracks. 44mins15secs

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

Earlier this year, Swedish duo Wildbirds & Peacedrums released two somewhat different EPs which have now been collected into one full length album. If the drummer/vocalist format has been a tad overdone in recent years, husband and wife Andreas Werliin (drums and percussions) and Mariam Wallentin (vocals and percussions) have developed quite a unique take on experimental pop music in the two years since their debut, Heatcore, was released. At once tribal and visceral on one side, and deeply emotional and oddly cinematic on the other, the duo’s songs have widened in scope ever since. Recorded in Reykjavik in just a few days last January, Retina and Iris, the two EPs making this album, gather some of the band’s most ambitious and impressive songs to date. Continue Reading »

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POLAR BEAR: Peepers (The Leaf Label)

themilkman on Feb 16th 2010 12:59 am

Polar Bear: Peepers

The Leaf Label 2010
12 Tracks. 48mins14secs

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

Led by drummer Sebastian Rochford, Polar Bear offer a vision of jazz which, while never extending anywhere near the far-reaching experimental scope of Scandinavian jazz, is still pretty wide. Started as a quartet in the first half of the decade, the band, then formed of Rochford (drums), Pete Wareham (Tenor saxophone), Mark Lockheart (Tenor saxophone) and Tom Herbert (Double Bass), were joined by electro-acoustic experimental music Leafcutter John for their second album, Held On The Tips Of Fingers (2005), and were consequently nominated both for the UK Mercury Music Prize in 2005 and a BBC Jazz Award the following year. Since, the band have continuously expanded their sound and flirted with various forms of jazz, funk and electronica, often to critical acclaim.

Having now joined the ranks of Leaf, Polar Bear return with Peepers, their fourth album. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Oct 20th 2009 12:52 am


Performing Parades
The Leaf Label 2009
11 Tracks. 56mins31secs

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When they released their second album, Parades, back in October 2007, Danish formation Efterklang probably had very little idea that they would literally live on it for two years. Right from the onset, Efterklang have truly come to life performing live, and this was undoubtedly key in their moving from the largely electronic textures of their early releases toward much more acoustic and instrument-based. Their 2007 mini album Under Giant Trees, recorded while the band were on tour, established the blueprint for Parades, released a few months later. A much more ambitious effort than its predecessor, Tripper, published in 2004, the album was recorded with a number of additional contributors, including Peter Broderick and Our Broken Garden’s Anna Brønsted, together with a variety of formations and choirs. Continue Reading »

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VLADISLAV DELAY: Tummaa (The Leaf Label)

themilkman on Aug 13th 2009 01:08 am

Vladislav Delay: Tummaa

The Leaf Label 2009
07 Tracks. 66mins03secs

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In over ten years, Finnish dub master Sasu Ripatti has, under the Vladislav Delay banner, created one of the most consistent body of work on the electronic scene, releasing music on labels such as Mille Plateaux, Chain Reaction, Staubgold or his own, Huume. In recent years, Ripatti’s increasing involvement with other projects has slowed down the flow of releases of his flagship project, the last Delay album, Whistleblower, dating back to 2007. Having joined the ranks of The Leaf Label, Ripatti is back with his most ambitious record to date.

With Tummaa, Ripatti has taken a rather different path, ditching the electronic overcoat of previous work and replacing it with acoustic instruments and has, for the first time, brought on board two additional musicians to bring his haunting soundscapes and beats to life. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Aug 9th 2009 10:20 pm


Finnish artist Sasu Ripatti returns with his latest album as Vladislav Delay, his most emblematic project, and this time, it is a primarily acoustic record. Recorded with British composer Craig Armstrong and Argentinean musician Lucio Capece, Tummaa is opening up a new chapter in Ripatti’s work. We take this opportunity to ask the man about the new direction with this project, his return to drumming and his other projects, including working with Jake Shears on his last Luomo album and his part in the Moritz Von Oswald Trio project. Continue Reading »

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Wildbirds & Peacedrums, Coronet Theatre, Elephant & Castle, London, 5/06/2009

themilkman on Jun 9th 2009 12:49 am

Wildbirds & Peacedrums, Coronet Theatre, Elephant & Castle, London, 5/06/2009

On Friday night, Swedish duo Wildbirds & Peacedrums took part in A Ritual For Elephant & Castle, an event held at the Coronet Theatre, in the heart of Elephant & Castle, which also featured sets by Septic Heart and Chrome Hoof. For the occasion, Mariam Wallentin and Andreas Werliin invited amateur percussionists and drummers to join them for a one-off performance.

In just two albums, the brilliant debut Heatcore and its follow up, The Snake, published in as many years, vocalist Mariam Wallentin and drummer and percussionist Andreas Werliin, who are also a couple, have established their particular blend of primeval avant-pop based on Wallentin’s wonderfully warm and colourful vocal tones and Werliin’s omnipresent drumming, occasionally reminiscent of The Creatures. Their live sets have long gathered praises all over Europe, not only on the traditional rock circuit, but also in jazz circles. Continue Reading »

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A HAWK AND A HACKSAW: Délivrance (The Leaf Label)

themilkman on May 7th 2009 12:52 am

A Hawk And A Hacksaw: Délivrance

The Leaf Label 2009
10 Tracks. 37mins39secs

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From the origin of his project, former Neutral Milk Hotel drummer Jeremy Barnes has taken A Hawk And A Hacksaw progressively further Eastward, settling for Romania with his third album, The Way The Wind Blows, three years ago, and the following mini album, recorded with the Hun Hangár Ensemble, a group of Hungarian folk musicians. A couple, and a duo since The Way The Wind Blows, when violinist Heather Trost officially joined, A Hawk And A Hacksaw made the jump from their native Albuquerque, New Mexico, to relocate to the Hungarian capital, Budapest, in 2007. The pair consequently toured extensively with the Hun Hangár Ensemble.

Recorded last year in Budapest, with contributions from the Hun Hangár Ensemble and many other local musicians, Délivrance is once again an engaging patchwork of swirling sounds and melodies. Continue Reading »

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WILDBIRDS & PEACEDRUMS: The Snake (The Leaf Label)

themilkman on Apr 9th 2009 12:02 am

Wildbirds & Peacedrums: The Snake

The Snake
The Leaf Label 2009
10 Tracks. 42mins59secs

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A year ago, the excellent Leaf Label delivered Heatcore, the debut album by Wildbirds & Peacedrums, a Swedish duo formed of husband and wife Andreas Werliin (drums/percussions) and Mariam Wallentin (voice). The album, originally released a year before in their homeland, had been gathering considerable praises in the whole of Scandinavia, resulting in the pair pocketing the prestigious Jazz In Sweden 2008 prize, a considerable honour for a band evolving outside of the jazz canon. In addition, the pair’s deeply organic and incendiary live shows helped established them as one of the hottest acts to have emerged from Sweden in a while.

The Snake, recorded in Gothenburg and originally released in Sweden a year ago, sees Wallentin and Werliin considerably developing the scope of their collaboration. Continue Reading »

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