JASON URICK: I Love You (Thrill Jockey)

themilkman on Jan 10th 2012 01:23 am

Jason Urick: I Love You

I Love You
Thrill Jockey 2012
05 Tracks. 37mins27secs

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

Portland-based Jason Urick first got noticed back in 2009 with his debut album, Husbands, a collection of spaced out drone-base compositions recorded over the course of a few years. This was followed a year later by an EP, Fussing & Fighting, on which he adopted a more rhythmic set up, based on hypnotic loops and pulses. Other outputs, mostly on cassette and 7” also materialised during that time on more artisanal imprints.

Whilst sonically closer to the latter, I Love You effectively bridges the gap between his two previous Thrill Jokey releases by bringing together the vast expanses of textural drone formations of Husbands and the much denser soundscapes he experimented with on Fussing & Fighting. Continue Reading »

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MOUNTAINS: Air Museum (Thrill Jockey)

themilkman on May 19th 2011 01:43 am

Mountains: Air Museum

Air Museum
Thrill Jockey 2011
07 Tracks. 43mins24secs

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

If Mountains, the duo formed of Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp, have constantly treaded the line between acoustic and electronic, they do so even more with their latest album, their second for Thrill Jockey. On the surface, Air Museum, actually sounds like a series of experiments with modular synthethis, and in a way, it is, but behind the stark electronic sounds and textures lie an array of acoustic and electric instrumentation, from guitars and bass to cello, piano, accordion and more. It is the very essence of the record which is changed. While the pair processed acoustic sounds through a computer in the past, they here use modular synths, pedals and analog tools to render their sound sources, and, instead of working from live improvisations, they recorded in a studio, allowing them to explore new ways of working. These processed were devised following the band’s last tour, when they decided to move away from computer reliance. They spent the next few months assembling new tools and working out ideas on how to apply this set up. The resulting compositions confound expectations of what a Mountains album sounds like, and blurs the boundaries between acoustic and electronic like never before. Continue Reading »

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OVAL: O (Thrill Jockey)

themilkman on Sep 15th 2010 01:36 am

Oval: O

Thrill Jockey 2010
70 Tracks. 112mins37secs

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

It has been ten years since Markus Popp was heard of last. Once a purveyor of fine complex electronic music, it appeared that the project, which he founded with Sebastian Oschatz and Frank Metzger in Darmstadt, Germany in the early nineties and had been solely leading since 1996, had dried up. Virtually nothing had been heard from the man since his 2001 album Ovalcommers. Furthermore, his other projects, Microstoria, a collaboration with Mouse On Mars’s Jan St. Werner, and So, the duo he formed with Japanese vocalist Eriko Toyoda, also remained inactive during that period.

Originally, Oval was overtly electronic and experimental, a terrain upon which raw abstract formations flourished. In their first few years, Popp, Oschatz and Metzger redefined what electronic music was about through a series of groundbreaking albums. Once sole on board, Popp continued his exploratory work, documented on a series of releases of which Ovalprocess (2000) and Ovalcommers (2001), both published on Thrill Jockey, are outstanding examples.

In 2010, Oval is a very different affair. Continue Reading »

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FENNESZ DANIELL BUCK: Knoxville (Thrill Jockey)

themilkman on Aug 4th 2010 01:41 am

Fennesz Daniell Buck: Knoxville

Thrill Jockey 2010
04 Tracks. 31mins07secs

Amazon UK: CD | LP US: CD | LP Norman Records: CD | LP

Improvisation is an art form which Christian Fennesz, David Daniell and Tony Buck have made theirs in their respective field. Recorded live at the Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, Tennessee at the beginning of last year, this album documents the trio’s first ever performance as an ensemble. Having never performed before was never going to be an issue for these three veterans of live improvisation. On one side is Australian drummer and percussionist extraordinaire Tony Buck, best known as one third of The Necks, with whom he has been performing and recording for twenty years. On the other are Atlanta-born David Daniell, who, beside his solo work, has collaborated with an impressive number of musicians over the years, from Thurston Moore and Douglas McCombs to Greg Davis or Sylvain Chauveau, and Austrian experimental guitarist and laptop artist Christian Fennesz, whose list of collaborators is equally as impressive, including people as diverse as Jim O’Rourke, Peter Rehberg, David Sylvian, Ryuichi Sakamoto or, recently, Sylvain Chauveau and Steven Hess.

Knoxville barely makes it to the half hour mark, but the trio pack in an incredible lot during that time Continue Reading »

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OVAL: Oh (Thrill Jockey)

themilkman on Jun 14th 2010 12:39 am

Oval: Oh

Thrill Jockey 2010
15 Tracks. 25mins03secs
Format: 12”

Amazon UK: 12″ US: 12″ Boomkat: 12″

It has been ten years since Markus Popp propped up as Oval, a project with which he had been fiercely busy since the early nineties, releasing six albums and countless EPs. The project was started in 1991 in Darmstadt, Germany by Popp, Sebastian Oschatz and Frank Metzger. Five years later, Popp found himself sole in charge following the departure of both Oschatz and Metzger, and continued to experiment with glitches and clicks until his last release to date, in 2001.

Fast-forward to 2010, and Oval is back with a new EP, prelude to a full length double album due out later on this summer. Continue Reading »

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CHICAGO UNDERGROUND DUO: Boca Negra (Thrill Jockey)

themilkman on Feb 12th 2010 01:06 am

Chicago Underground Duo: Boca Negra

Boca Negra
Thrill Jockey 2010
10 Tracks. 55mins45secs

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

Started over twelve years ago by cornet player Rob Mazurek and drummer and percussionist Chad Taylor, Chicago Underground has over the years existed as a duo, trio, quartet and ‘orchestra’ (quintet), with members including Jeff Parker (guitars), of Tortoise/Isotop 217 fame, Noel Kupersmith (drums) and Sara P. Smith (trombone). The common thread between these various franchises is a particular blend of avant-garde jazz infused with electronic treatments, awkward time signatures, and sonic experimentations which all feed into both composed and improvised work. The collective have released over ten albums, comprising five albums for Mazurek and Taylor, in their Duo incarnation, alone. Continue Reading »

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ROBERT A.A. LOWE & ROSE LAZAR: Eclipses (Thrill Jockey)

themilkman on Jan 29th 2010 12:31 am

Robert A.A. Lowe & Rose Lazar: Eclipses

Thrill Jockey 2010
08 Tracks. 36mins41secs

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

A former bassist with experimental outfit 90 Day Men, Robert A. A. Lowe turned his attention to his solo project, Lichens in 2004 and consequently released two albums on Kranky. In 2008, Lowe teamed up with Chicago-based graphic artist Rose Lazar for Gyromancy, a limited edition book, collecting the art of both Lowe and Lazar, and CD of Lowe’s music. The pair reconvene on Eclipses, a limited LP which once again comprises their collective graphic work and Lowe’s music.

Created as a support for the visuals, the music has very little to do with the treated folk and vocal experiments which define Lowe’s work as Lichens. Continue Reading »

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MOUNTAINS: Etching (Thrill Jockey)

themilkman on Oct 21st 2009 01:04 am

Mountains: Etching

Thrill Jockey 2009
01 Tracks. 38mins14secs

Icon: arrow Amazon UK: LP Amazon US: LP Boomkat: LP

The project of New York-based Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp, Mountains have, in the four years since they first appeared, gained much critical acclaim for their impressionist sound formations. While their first two albums were published on their own imprint, Apestaartje, their third opus proper, Choral, materialised on Chicago’s Thrill Jockey. In early 2009, Mountains recorded a long improvisation in Anderegg’s studio, in live condition. The resulting piece, Etching, was then sold, as a CDR, during the tour coinciding with the release of Choral. This recording aiming to document the band in a similar setting to that of the tour, is now made available once again through Thrill Jockey as a very limited LP-only release. Continue Reading »

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LOKAI: Transition (Thrill Jockey)

themilkman on Jul 29th 2009 10:18 pm

Lokai: Transition

Thrill Jockey 2009
09 Tracks. 37mins45secs

Icon: arrow CD: Amazon UK | Amazon US LP: Amazon UK | Amazon US

Lokai materialised briefly in 2005, just long enough to record a collection of granular electro-acoustic pieces, 7 Million, released on Austrian imprint Mosz. Since, Vienna-based Florian Kmet and Stefan Németh have been busy with other projects, the latter having notably a solo album on Thrill Jockey last year, leaving Lokai dormant for all this time.

The pair reconvened last year, using Kmet’s old flat as rehearsal venue/recording studio, allowing them to take the necessary time to explore the wealth of acoustic instruments at their disposal and work ways to process them into fully-formed compositions. Continue Reading »

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MOUNTAINS: Choral (Thrill Jockey)

themilkman on Feb 11th 2009 01:53 am

Mountains: Choral

Thrill Jockey 2009
06 Tracks. 51mins08secs

Vast sonic plains and beautiful, rich textures have been the corner stones of New York’s Mountains ever since they released their self-titled debut album four years ago. In 2006, Sewn, their second offering, developed on its predecessor’s blueprint to give the more succinct compositions an accentuated relief  and a greater overall focus. Following a very limited vinyl-only release collecting live recordings and odds and sods last year, which is due to be re-released on CD later on in the year, the duo formed of Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp have, with their third opus, taken their sound to yet another level.

While the pair’s first two records were published on their own Apestaartje imprint, Choral surfaces on Chicago-based Thrill Jockey. Continue Reading »

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LITHOPS: Ye Viols! (Thrill Jockey)

David Abravanel on Feb 11th 2009 01:41 am

Lithops: Ye Viols!

Ye Viols!
Thrill Jockey 2009
11 Tracks. 45mins28secs

When done properly, live collaborations between visual and audio artists are something special, possessed of the irreplaceable energy of a multi-sensuous experience grabbing the participant. Divorced not only of its live setting, but further of its visual aid, it’s a gamble as to whether the music will be merit its own, isolated appreciation. Jan St. Werner, half of ever-evolving electronic duo Mouse On Mars, takes such a chance by releasing Ye Viols!, a collection of his solo works meant to soundtrack visual artworks, released under his Lithops moniker.

To begin with, Ye Viols! is more experimental than anything from Mouse On Mars. Think of Autechre’s drone-heavy collaborations with The Hafler Trio, then add some glitches and the occasional beat, and a bit more silence, and you’ll have a decent idea of what this record sounds like. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Feb 4th 2009 10:05 pm


Three years ago, the duo formed of Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp delivered their second album as Mountains, following a very promising debut published the year before. Since, the pair have focused on various solo endeavours and taken some time off. Now, following a very limited live LP released last year, Mountains are back with their third album, Choral, and will be spending part of the year on the road. We caught up with them a few weeks before the new album is out to discuss the new album and the process leading to it, how their respective musical projects inform their common work and Italian music of the seventies.

Continue Reading »

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