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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DISKAHOLICS ANONYMOUS TRIO: Diskaholics Anonymous Trio (Smalltown Superjazzz)

themilkman on Nov 10th 2011 01:36 am

Diskaholics Anonymous Trio: Diskaholics Anonymous Trio

Diskaholics Anonymous Trio
Smalltown Superjazzz 2011
03 Tracks. 66mins26secs

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

Mats Gustafsson, Jim O’Rourke, Thurston Moore; three names that certainly need no introduction. Three musicians whose paths have crossed many times over the years. Three musicians with hugely impressive CVs. Three musicians who have probably clocked more recording time between them than most of their contemporaries, in all sorts of configurations and under all sorts of circumstances. Three musicians who, ten years ago, locked themselves in a room and did what they do best, improvise, Gustafsson on sax, O’Rourke on laptop and synth, Moore on guitar. The result, released as the Diskaholics Anonymous Trio, came out on Crazy Wisdom, the now defunct imprint once co-founded by Gustafsson. The trio went on to release a second album, Weapons Of Ass Destruction, five years later on Gustafsson’s semi-permanent home of Smalltown Superjazzz, but, following the demise of Crazy Wisdom, shortly after the release of the trio’s debut, this first opus , had, until its re-edition on Smalltown Superjazzz, been long out of print. Continue Reading »

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THE THING WITH OTOMO YOSHIHIDE Shinjuku Crawl / THE THING WITH JIM O’ROURKE: Shinjuku Growl (Smalltown Superjazzz)

themilkman on Jul 26th 2011 01:26 am

The Thing with Otomo Yoshihide: Shinjuku Crawl The Thing with Jim O'Rourke: Shinjuku Growl

Shinjuku Crawl
Smalltown Superjazzz 2011
06 Tracks. 66mins33secs

Shinjuku Growl
Smalltown Superjazzz 2011
04 Tracks. 56mins27secs

Shinjuku Crawl
Amazon UK: CD US: CD | DLD Boomkat: CD iTunes: DLD
Shinjuku Growl
Amazon UK: CD US: CD Boomkat: CD

The trio of saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, bass player Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love are as impossible to pin down as their name suggests. Formed in 2000 when the trio met to play a string of live dates, The Thing have since grown into an incredibly complex operation. Propelled by the tight dynamics of the rhythm section formed by Håker Flaten and Nilssen-Love, and led by the visceral sax of Gustafsson, The Thing began by exploring the world of Don Cherry, their debut album’s title, itself a reference to Cherry, ending up as the trio’s nom de guerre. On following releases, the trio tackled radically different grounds by not only sourcing their material from the likes of Ornette Coleman or Joe McPhee but also from The White Stripes, PJ Harvey or the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, leading them to continuously expand into freer and more fluid forms.

Recorded in October 2007 and February 2008 respectively, from live sessions at Pit Inn in Tokyo, Shinjuku Crawl and Shinjuku Growl see The Thing joined by guitarists Otomo Yoshihide and Jim O’Rourke. Continue Reading »

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FIRE! WITH JIM O’ROURKE: Unreleased? (Rune Grammofon)

themilkman on Jul 14th 2011 01:34 am

Fire! with Jim O'Rourke: Unreleased?

Rune Grammofon 2011
04 Tracks. 41mins24secs

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

When three became four, at least the time of a couple of sessions. Swedish super power trio Fire!, which personnel comprises saxophonist extraordinaire Mats Gustafsson, bassist Johan Berthling and drummer Andreas Werliin, became a quartet when they were joined by Jim O’Rourke, who contributes electric guitar, synthesizer and harmonica here.

Released two years ago, Fire!’s first opus, You Liked Me Five Minutes Ago, was as incendiary as the trio’s chosen name led to think. Combining elements of avant-garde jazz and experimental psychedelic rock into a series of progressive improvisations, they somehow managed to transcend their respective work to create an extremely vibrant and invigorating soundtrack. With O’Rourke on board to broaden the scope of the band, they are even more fired up and eager to blast their own boundaries, however loose, into oblivion. Continue Reading »

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