ERIK LEVANDER: Kondens (Rumraket)

themilkman on Apr 13th 2008 11:21 pm

Erik Levander: Kondens

Rumraket 2008
09 Tracks. 43mins46secs

Erik Levander’s first release, Tonad, of which only 500 copies were made, was published at the end of 2004 on Swedish imprint Neon Records. Since, Levander has been spotted guesting on a handful of Efterklang records, yet most of his time has been spent working on this follow up. Unfortunately for Levander, things went terribly wrong while he was at an advanced stage in the recording process, when his computer suffered a major crash and, as he had no backup, he lost two years’ worth of work. A further two years on, Kondens has finally seen the light of day through Efterklang’s Rumraket imprint.

A classically trained musician who plays amongst other things clarinet, guitar, piano, harmonica and percussions, Levander spent most of his formative years listening to bands such as My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth and Red House Painters. Continue Reading »

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CANON BLUE: Halcyon EP (Rumraket)

themilkman on Jan 4th 2008 01:19 am

Canon Blue: Halcyon EP

Halcyon EP
Rumraket 2007
04 Tracks. 17mins10secs
Format: Digital

Following the release of his debut album as Canon Blue, New Orleans-based Daniel James dropped a perfectly formed four-track EP in Rumraket’s stocking just before Christmas. The EP, which is available to download for free from the Canon Blue Myspace and Rumraket sites (see below), features four brand new tracks, recorded in November 2007 in his bedroom, with a handful of friends lending a hand. Halcyon is, according to James, a celebration of winter, a period during which he feels particularly creative.

Set in a similar style to James’s excellent Colonies album, the songs collected here denote however a gentle evolution in the way James assembles his pop songs and gives them a definite edge. The melodies appear more confident and refined, the soundscapes are increasingly cinematic and the vocal performances have gained in definition, yet the songs still have a subtle air of naivety about them.

As the opening title track rises from initial processed guitar stutter and progressively swells into an intricately layered orchestral noise cloud before dying all too suddenly on a single note, James clearly reassess the space within his music by bringing forward real instrumentation and taming down his more technological side so it works in perfect symbiosis. Ennui, (French for boredom), shows a similar approach as a piano cascades down on a catchy melody which appears in turn uplifting or melancholic, while the firmly paced beat which seats in the background works as a tempered counterpoint to James’s vocals. Avatar Furr is a much more upbeat and pressing affair, but the melody ebbs and flows as the beat retires for a moment, leaving for a moment the orchestral drapes and swirling piano lines to lead. The highlight of this EP comes with the cinematic closing piece, Kingfisher Sweet, as James the singer steps back to leave James the musician sole at the helm of this ambitious miniature pop epic.

With this excellent new EP, Daniel James refines his sound and steps up the pace from his debut album, revealing a much wider and evocative sound while retaining the very essence of Colonies. Not to be missed!


Icon: arrow Canon Blue (MySpace) | Rumraket

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Efterklang, Bush Hall, London 23/11/2007

themilkman on Nov 27th 2007 01:42 am

Efterklang live

The Efterklang caravan stopped in London’s Bush Hall on Friday, as part of their two-week-long tour of the UK. Taking their Parades album, released a couple of months ago, on an extensive international tour, the Danish quintet and their troops couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate venue. Formerly known as the Carlton Dance Hall, Bush Hall, in the heart of West London’s Sheppard’s Bush, was built at the beginning of the twentieth Century by William F. Hurndall, a publisher, as a gift for one of his daughters. It has since been a soup kitchen during the Second World War, and was, in the fifties and sixties, turned into a bingo hall and amusement arcade, before being turned into a concert venue at the turn of the millennium. The highly ornate ceilings and walls have been preserved, and grand chandeliers offer a testament to the place’s former grandeur. Continue Reading »

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EFTERKLANG: Parades (The Leaf Label)

themilkman on Oct 3rd 2007 12:32 am

Efterklang: Parades

Rumraket / The Leaf Label 2007
11 Tracks. 48mins59secs

Formed in Copenhagen, Denmark, at the end of 2000 by Mads Brauer (electronics), Casper Clausen (vocals, various instruments), Thomas Husner (drums, percussions and trumpet), Rune Mølgaard (piano) and Rasmus Stolberg (guitar and various instruments), Efterklang, which translates as reverberation, appeared on the international scene with debut album for Leaf, Tripper, in 2004, although they had previously released an EP the previous year on their own imprint, Rumraket. With Tripper, Efterklang painted intimate soundscapes from clicks, statics and environmental electronics upon which hung orchestral waves and occasional acoustic flourishes, with male and female vocals tightly intertwined with the instrumental parts and a Greenlandish choir adding a further emotional touch to the quintet’s ambitious boreal songs. Followed a digital-only EP, Swarming, in 2005 and a very limited one-sided LP in 2006. Earlier this year, the band returned with Under Giant Trees, a magnificent mini album recorded last year while on tour.

On Parades, Efterklang dress their ephemeral pop songs in much more precious and grand attires. Continue Reading »

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CANON BLUE: Colonies (Rumraket)

themilkman on Sep 27th 2007 11:32 pm

Canon Blue: Colonies

Rumraket 2007
11 Tracks. 43mins55secs

Signed to Efterklang’s Rumraket imprint, which originally spawned Grizzly Bear, Canon Blue is singer song writer Daniel James. Originally from Virginia, James moved to New Orleans in early 2005 where he found himself playing guitar in a band. However, things soon turned sour and he returned to Virginia, escaping the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina by a couple of weeks. He now lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

James shows a taste for catchy melodies which are then wrapped in distortions, treated guitars, electronics and acoustic instrumentation, which is not without recalling Echoboy or Khonnor. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Sep 25th 2007 12:19 am

Efterklang: interview

A little over three years ago, a formation answering to the mysterious name of Efterklang and hailing from Denmark appeared with their debut album, Tripper, and rapidly gathered critical acclaim and respect. The re-release of the band’s debut EP, Springer, originally released in 2003, a year before the album, and a limited edition one-sided LP, confirmed the band as one of the most interesting acts to have come out of Denmark. Following the release of the superb Under Giant Trees EP earlier this year, Efterklang return with their second album, Parades, on which they have developed an entirely new approach, more focused on acoustic instrumentation. In this interview, Casper Clausen and Rasmus Stolberg talk about what influences them, how their new album came to life, running their own record label and playing live is like playing football.

Header: line Continue Reading »

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EFTERKLANG: Under Giant Trees (The Leaf Label)

themilkman on Mar 28th 2007 01:27 pm

Efterklang: Under Giant Trees

Under Giant Trees
The Leaf Label 2007
05 Tracks. 29mins11secs

Copenhagen-based outfit Efterklang caused something of a stir as they deployed their elegant pastoral pop songs over the course of Tripper, their debut album, released in the autumn of 2004 on Leaf. In just under an hour, the quintet, formed of Mads Brauer (electronics), Rune Mølgaard (piano), Thomas Husmer (drums) and multi instrumentists Rasmus Solberg and Casper Clausen, the latter also assuming vocal duties, hung up beautiful crafted songs set in scintillating backdrops of pianos, strings and found sounds. The album followed a previous EP, Springer, originally published on the band’s own Rumraket imprint in 2003 before Leaf released it early again in 2005. Efterklang have since released a very limited one-sided vinyl EP at the end of 2006. Continue Reading »

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