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AUTECHRE: Quaristice (Versions) (Warp Records)

David Abravanel on Apr 16th 2008 11:15 pm

Autechre: Quaristice (Versions)

Quaristice (Versions)
Warp Records 2008
11 Tracks. 67mins49secs

By now, listeners have had some time to digest Quaristice, the latest release from Autechre, and the new (yet also classic) approach they’ve taken this time around. In contrast to the longer, more spaced-out and fleshed-out ideas found on their previous three albums, Quaristice features twenty tracks, most clocking in at less than four minutes, featuring, alternately, spastic explosions of percussion and sampling, or lush ambient synthesizer arrangements. With Quaristice (Versions), a bonus disc released with the limited edition of Quaristice, Autechre offer a glimpse at a version of the album more in line with Untilted or Draft 7.30. There are eleven tracks here, many of which last longer than seven minutes, allowing the sequences and ideas from Quaristice more time to evolve. Continue Reading »

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Mark Flanagan on Mar 19th 2008 01:43 am

Interview: Autechre

After fifteen years, Autechre still manage to surprise and inspire. On Quaristice, Sean Booth and Rob Brown turn their back to the ultra precise soundscapes that have defined their work in recent years and focus instead on a much more spontaneous and direct sound, developed from their live sets. Mark Flanagan talks to Sean Booth about how the band’s live sound has infiltrated their studio work, how him and Rob work together, what they think of live bootlegs, and being Myspace’d.
Continue Reading »

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AUTECHRE: Quaristice (Warp Records)

themilkman on Feb 20th 2008 01:36 am

Autechre: Quaristice

Warp Records 2008
20 Tracks. 73mins16secs

Warm and soothing electronic waves crushing over textured beat-less soundscapes haven’t been the staple diet of Autechre for some time, but it is exactly the angle that Sean Booth and Rob Brown have chosen to open the festivities on Quaristice. Far from the infinitely detailed sonic displays of their last three albums, Booth and Brown, now well into their second decade of collaborative work, have deflected their trajectory just enough to shine a very different light on their past work and give their sound a surprisingly playful twist.

The result is a thoroughly eclectic and colourful palette of short tracks, most of which clocking between three and five minutes, which alternates between hectic rhythmic constructions (The Plc, Plyphon, fwzE, chenc9), elegant melodic pieces (Simmm, Theswere) and granular atmospheric, textural or isolationist formations (Altibzz, Notwo, Outh9X). Continue Reading »

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HARMONIC 313: EP1 (Warp Records)

themilkman on Jan 30th 2008 08:19 am

Harmonic 313: EP1

Warp Records 2008
06 Tracks. 22mins43secs
Format: 12″/Digital

Mark Pritchard certainly needs no introduction. From his time as one half of Global Communication, responsible for one of the finest ambient albums ever released, to various other projects, solo, with Tom Middleton or others (Jedi Knights, Reload, Link or Troubleman to name but a few), he has made an undeniable mark on electronic music. His latest project sees him remodel Harmonic 33 by adding a one between the threes and move away from the down tempo, library music-infused sound he has developed with Dave Brinkworth on the pair’s two albums to turn his attention to classic Detroit techno and eighties electro pop. Continue Reading »

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CLARK: Turning Dragon (Warp Records)

themilkman on Jan 18th 2008 12:19 am

Clark: Turning Dragon

Turning Dragon
Warp Records 2008
11 Tracks. 46mins35secs

Since he first appeared on the scene, in 2001, with his debut album, Clark has systematically upped the stakes with each new release, first by refocusing his sound essentially around electronics and gritty textures with Ceramics Is The Bomb and Empty The Bones Of You, then by refining his template and pushing into darker and dirtier territories with Body Riddle and its companion EPs, Throttle Furniture and Ted. With Turning Dragon, Clark steps up the pace, pushes up the experimentation levels and gets down and dirty on the dance floor.

Recorded in his apartment in Berlin, where Clark has recently moved, Turning Dragon is a much more immediate and incendiary collection, which builds on the momentum of the recent Throttle Promoter EP, yet those expecting a whole album of blasting Dirty Pixie or Kin Griff may be in for a shock. Continue Reading »

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CLARK: Throttle Promoter (Warp)

David Abravanel on Dec 11th 2007 01:26 am

CLARK: Throttle Promoter

Throttle Promoter
Warp Records 2007
04 Tracks. 14mins39secs
Format: Digital / 12″

The press for Throttle Promoter, Clark’s newest release, has described the EP as a “surprise”, intended to pique interest for another surprise – his upcoming full-length, Turning Dragon, due January 2008. So much for months of pre-release hype, then, but it would seem that Clark has had enough of that. 2003’s Empty The Bones Of You was promoted as a more mature, darker, and more industrial Clark (still using his full name Chris Clark at the time), a promise upon which it delivered. 2006’s Body Riddle saw another reinvention of the persona, with the now-truncated Clark focusing on intricately layered, obsessively DSP’d beats, and more delicate and emotional atmospheres. Continue Reading »

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GRIZZLY BEAR: Friend EP (Warp Records)

themilkman on Dec 5th 2007 01:35 am

Grizzly Bear: Friend

Friend EP
Warp Records 2007
10 Tracks. 43mins18mins
Format: CDS, 12″ and Digital

Originally the solo project of Daniel Rosen, whose lo-fi debut album, Horn Of Plenty, was recorded in his bedroom and released on Rumraket in 2005, Grizzly Bear are now a fully fledged formation counting four permanent members. Following its release, Horn Of Plenty got the remix treatment from a wide range of artists, including Efterklang, Dntel, Solex, Ariel Pink and Alpha to name but a few. Friend EP comes over a year after Grizzly Bear’s stellar second album, Yellow House (Warp Records), and collects alternative versions, demos, new songs and covers by Band Of Horses, Alias Sound and CSS.

The first impression filtering out of this record is the somewhat rawer and heavier nature of the music. While Horn Of Plenty appeared fragile and almost amateurish, and Yellow House was carried by beautifully light and airy melodies and arrangements, Friend at times reveals a moodier Bear, more prone to dig its sharp claws in. Continue Reading »

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FLYING LOTUS: Reset EP (Warp Records)

themilkman on Oct 11th 2007 11:36 pm

Flying Lotus: Reset EP

WAP228 / WAP228CD
Warp Records 2007

06 Tracks. 17mins32secs
Format: 12″ / CDS

Flying Lotus is the project of Los Angeles resident Steven Ellison, a young musician with an impressive pedigree, counting Alice Coltrane as his great aunt no less, yet he owes his burgeoning music career to Snoop Doggy Dog, whose Doggystyle album made a strong impression on a thirteen years old Ellison.

Ellison’s debut album, 1983, was released last year on Plug Research and received critical acclaim for its impressive scope. A tight exercise which freely borrowed from hip-hop, jazz, tropicalia and electronica, the album called on comparison with the likes of Daedelus and Dntel, but Ellison’s sonic dexterity made it a remarkable personal effort. Now signed to Warp, Flying Lotus has just delivered a dense six track EP, ahead of his second album, scheduled for next year. Continue Reading »

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PREFUSE 73: Preparations / Interregnums (Warp Records)

themilkman on Oct 10th 2007 12:48 pm

Prefuse 73: Preparations

Warp Records 2007
14 Tracks. 46mins12secs

Of his many incarnations, Prefuse 73 is perhaps the one Guillermo Scott Herren remains best known for. It is most definitely the one project that has allowed him to push the boundaries of his work the most, with seminal albums Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives and One Word Extinguisher and even more so, their companion mini albums, serving as benchmark for the more experimental side of contemporary hip-hop. In 2005, Herren followed his logical development path by teaming up with a wide range of hip-hop and rap artists for the utterly brilliant Surrounded By Silence. Since, his deliveries have lacked some of the luster of earlier releases. Continue Reading »

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BATTLES: Mirrored (Warp Records)

themilkman on May 3rd 2007 11:03 am

Battles: Mirrored

Warp Records 2007
11 Tracks. 51mins52secs

The problem with such a stellar live act as Battles is that, whether they try to capture the energy of their performances or polish their music in such a way that it becomes a completely different entity, they are likely to ultimately disappoint. Battles are certainly in such predicament. Hailed as one of the best contemporary live acts around, the band’s fist three EPs, released between 2004 and 2006, never really sought to showcase their stage performances, yet they clearly informed the relationship between the four musicians, and consequently cemented the music. But Battles were still to demonstrate their ability to carry this onto a full length, which is now done with this debut album. Continue Reading »

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MIRA CALIX: Eyes Set Against The Sun (Warp Records)

themilkman on Jan 15th 2007 04:29 pm

Mira Calix: Eyes Set Against The Sun

Eyes Set Against The Sun
Warp Records 2007
10 Tracks. 62mins37secs

Hot on the heels of her collaboration with pianist Sarah Nicolls and arranger David Sheppard as Alexander’s Annexe and over three years after the stunning Skimskitta, Mira Calix returns with her most ambitious record yet. Building on her orchestral work with the London Sinfonietta and with Alexander’s Annex, she presents here a rather diverse and expensive collection of complex electronica. Continue Reading »

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SQUAREPUSHER: Hello Everything (Warp Records)

themilkman on Sep 26th 2006 08:52 pm

Squarepusher: Hello Everything

Hello Everything
Warp Records 2006
12 Tracks. 63mins41secs

Four years ago, Tom Jenkinson was asking ‘Do You Know Squarepusher?‘ If the album that hid behind this title lured you to think that you did, think again. With his eighth album in eleven years, Tom Jenkinson shakes off his compulsive beats and driving grooves in favour of a much more chilled and eclectic sound.

Tom Jenkinson burst out on the electronic scene in the mid nineties with a series of EPs for Spymania, Rephlex and Worm Interface, and a debut album published on Richard D James’s Rephlex. A seasoned self-taught bass player and drummer, Jenkinson’s particular blend of experimental drum’n’bass dipped in a bubbling bath of digital jazz and acid house and his seminal live performances rapidly brought him a huge following, Since, he has cleverly set the pace for his contemporaries with each new release by cleverly dodging expectations. Continue Reading »

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