themilkman on Dec 22nd 2011 12:59 pm

The 2011 Review

As another year folds out, it is time once again to look back and take stock or the highs and lows, before a fresh year rolls in. 2011 has had its moments and has overall been a rather good year, and trying to extract a list of twenty albums from the hundreds, thousands possibly, that I have listened to, loved, hated, reviewed or not, tried to make sense of or misunderstood seems a pretty restrictive effort at best. Still, it is always good to look back and realise that some records have made more of a mark than others, some almost imperceptibly. So, here is, in twenty records, what 2011 was made of…

Jenny Hval: Viscera1.

Rune Grammofon


There is such urgency throughout this record that it is quite astonishing how Hval manages to retain any lightness in her music, but she does, and [Helge] Sten picks up on just enough to bring it all to life in sprightly bright colours and tones. Continue Reading »

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EMIKA: Emika (Ninja Tune)

themilkman on Oct 7th 2011 01:03 am

Emika: Emika

Ninja Tune 2011
12 Tracks. 47mins38secs

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

Forget the overhyped divas who spend more time parading in high heels wherever they can get their picture taken than they do creating records that are utterly unique and fresh, real innovative twenty-first century pop music is to be found with the likes of Ema ‘Emika’ Jolly, a British-born songstress of Czech extraction who currently lives in Berlin who, in the space of a handful of rather excellent singles released over the course of the last year, has made a strong mark on the underground electronic scene. Signed to Ninja Tune, she came to attention when her second single, the particularly haunting and stellar Double Edge was included on the label’s massive twentieth anniversary collection. Following on from two further singles this year, it is now time for Emika to step up and propose her debut album.

Tightly blending elements of electronica, dubstep and techno together, Emika creates here a particularly pertinent modern urban soundtrack, propelled by ground-shaking grooves and incisive electronics to serve bitter sweet melodies and lyrics. Continue Reading »

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VARIOUS ARTISTS: Ninja Tune XX – 20 Years Of Beats & Pieces (Ninja Tune)

themilkman on Sep 22nd 2010 01:08 am

Various Artists: Ninja Tune XX - 20 Years Of Beats & Pieces

Ninja Tune XX: 20 Years Of Beats And Pieces
Ninja Tune 2010
101 Tracks. 486mins00secs

It is probably not a coincidence that two of the major UK labels to have emerged from the rave era, Warp and Ninja Tune, are celebrating their twentieth anniversary within less than a year, testament that, if for many only a fleeting movement, it proved, for the most dedicated and visionary artists and labels, the most perfect of launchpads. Following last year’s Warp celebrations, it is now the turn of Ninja Tune to reach this milestone and look back upon its defining years.

Founded by Coldcut’s Matt Black and Jon More in 1990, the label rapidly established a solid roster around the likes of DJ Food, Kid Koala, The Herbaliser, DJ Vadim, The Cinematic Orchestra or Amon Tobin. While shaping the post rave electronic landscape, the paths followed by Warp and Ninja Tune rapidly diverged. The former remained close to the blend of acid house, Detroit techno and industrial ethic which had shaped its early years, Ninja Tune opted for a resolutely more eclectic sound, incorporating heavy doses of hip-hop and drum’n’bass into its expanding catalogue. Continue Reading »

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