OCHRE: Like Dust Of The Balance (Benbecula Records)

themilkman on Aug 12th 2009 12:43 am

Ochre: Like Dust Of The Balance

Like Dust Of The Balance
Benbecula Records 2009
10 Tracks. 47mins52secs

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Hailing from Newcastle, Chris Leary has been distilling his fine melodic electronica with parsimony over the years. While he first began making a name for himself after winning a remix competition held by Global Goon back in 2002, his first album, A Midsummer Nice Dream, was published two years later on London’s recently resurrected Toytronic. After the demise of the label that same year, Orchre reappeared on Scotland’s Benbecula in 2006 with his second album, Lemodie, on which Leary combined electronic and acoustic into a particularly ambitious soundtrack. Since, he has worked on an installation for the AV Festival in Newcastle, and has released two further EPs.

The fruit of three years of recordings, Like Dust Of The Balance represents a considerable progression from Lemodie. While Leary continues to explore the possibilities of bringing electronic and acoustic instrumentation together, there is on this album, even more so than on its predecessor, a great symbiosis of sound and ambience. Continue Reading »

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FRAET: For Another Day (Benbecula Records)

Max Schaefer on Mar 9th 2009 10:51 pm

Fraet: For Another Day

For Another Day
Benbecula Records 2009
07 Tracks. 38mins34secs

For Another Day sees Tokyo-based electronic artist Fraet – who now and again also operates as Fjordne – relax into a selection of enchantingly faint techno pads that ping outward like splash rings in a pool of fresh melodic color.  In turning simple electronic tones and elastic percussion into slippery grooves, Fraet is decidedly unfussy, allowing them to carry on insistently, become entangled with competing patterns, and finally be taken asunder by the rich and luminous lumpen melancholy of the underwater ambience, which, gaining as it does in opulence near the end of the effort – provide some intimacy and perspective on the proceedings as a whole. Continue Reading »

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CHRIS DOOKS: The Aesthetic Animals Album (Benbecula Records)

themilkman on May 2nd 2008 12:27 am

Chris Dooks: The Aesthetic Animals Album

The Aesthetic Animals Album
Benbecula Records 2008
10 Tracks. 39mins43secs

Strange and elusive animal, is Chris Dooks. His first incarnation was in the shape of Bovine Live, a fiercely experimental and eclectic project which saw him transmit from his bedroom, via the Internet, and collaborate with musicians from around the world. Not unusual these days, but back when Social Electrics was recorded, between 1997 and 1999, the process was still pretty new and, as broadband hadn’t yet become the norm, not perhaps the most obvious choice for this kind of endeavours. With this album, released on the ever-excellent Bip-Hop, Dooks worked from found sounds and electronics, which he threw bouncing around on the web and which, caught and treated by a myriad of other like-minded artists, where sent back and assembled into a coherent body of work. Followed a handful of contributions to one of Bip-Hop’s home brewed compilations and a collaboration with German artist Frank Bretschneider, AKA Komet, for the first in Bip-Hop’s short-lived Reciprocess series. Continue Reading »

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CALIKA: The Bright Spot (Benbecula Mineral Series)

themilkman on Jun 15th 2006 08:12 am

Calika: The Bright Spot

The Bright Spot
Benbecula Records 2006
09 Tracks. 47mins50secs

The excellent Benbecula imprint, home of Christ., Prhizzm and Reverbaphon to name but a few, has been putting out some rather interesting ultra-limited CDRs in its Mineral Series. Now in its second batch of releases, the Mineral Series came out of a desire from the label to get back to its roots and publish homemade records.

Joining the ranks is Calika’s Simon Kealoha, who was recently spotted on Audiobulb with his excellent debut album, Small Talk Kills Me, and alongside former Seefeel mastermind Mark Clifford on Running Taper (Polyfusia). The Bright Spot continues where Small Talk Kills Me left off, as Kealoha combines acoustic and electric instrumentation with sharp electronic treatment, yet this new offering also sees the man exploring a wider musical scope. Continue Reading »

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