Darren Keen – It’s Never Too Late To Say You’re Welcome

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[ Orange Milk, 2017 ]

On his second full-length for Orange Milk Records, Darren Keen achieves the escape velocity that plunge him beyond the clichés of footwork, setting him free of endlessly repeating spoken-word samples that, let’s face it, can get quite annoying after a longer while. The drum patterns are as tight, fast and complex as ever. But here, Keen manages to slow down sometimes, providing a much-needed rest from the sensory overload of the genre, while proving that he’s able to break the mold and look further without locking himself into the safe zone. The album is full of politeness, which is also a welcome thing in the world of ubiquitous trolling and constant middle fingers toward everybody. Keep being polite, Mr. Keen. It works very well. Highly recommended!

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Loto Retina – Fiction

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[ Orange Milk Records, 2017 ]

More crystalline internet musique concrete from the always boundary-bending label Orange Milk. Fiction is an ADHD infested mirror hall was constructed by the French glitch conoisseur Loto Retina. The album is yet another pristine labirynth of MIDI deconstructions, momentary microgenre outbursts and snippets of wordless vocals mixed with self governing rhythm patterns. With generative titles like “Canal Xylo Sat1” and “Tension Chrono” it reminds one of the cheerful randomness of Autechre, but Fiction is far more abstract than that: it’s more like a music making software using deep learning via neural networks to create electronic music. The effect is eerie, yet aesthetically pleasant. Sounds from the other side. Recommended!

Nico Niquo – In a Silent Way

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[ Orange Milk Records, 2017 ]

Hey there! You know what? The second full-length by Nico Callaghan a.k.a. Nico Niquo is out and it’s just as lovely as the debut one, except better. How? Probably because it fuses together the two schools of ambient music: one is the more rigid, sequencer-driven one, relying upon clear time signatures and mathematical precision, the other being ethereal, rhythmless tracks that rely purely upon atmosphere. In a Silent Way sounds like R Plus Seven that got its ADHD medication and manages to become slower and more coherent while retaining the relaxed, calming atmosphere. Recommended!

Euglossine – Canopy Stories

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[ Orange Milk Records, 2016 ]

Tristan Whitehill a.k.a. Euglossine is the kind of Florida Man that doesn’t punch holes in fences while on PCP or strips naked in the middle of an interstate, but breaks the stereotypes by making music that is both awesome and confusing – in a good way. While last year’s Complex Playground was an outsider smooth IDM jazz masterpiece masquerading as easy listening muzak, the newest release is much more dancier, approaching club aesthetics at times. Whitehill’s balearic guitar blossoms in the distance while hard-hitting synths push forward ever-shifting rhythms and drum patterns. Music for sensory overload. Recommeded!

Drose – Boy Man Machine

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[ Orange Milk Records, 2016 ]

Black fumes exploded in my face when I launched this album on an Orange Milk Bandcamp page. Among the colorful, glitchy psych output of this label Boy Man Machine, an album by the Columbus, OH based Drose (led by Dustin Rose) stood out like an enormous, rusted anomaly. Channeling the tortured chords of early Swans, sinister electronics of Throbbing Gristle and the legacy of sludge and doom metal Boy Man Machine is a sparse, unsettling soundscape of dark, underlit industrial buildings and rusted machinery. A blackened look at modern technology usually offered by the Orange Milk Industries. Recommended!

Foodman – Ez Minzoku

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[ Orange Milk Records, 2016 ]

The new era of hyperactive musique concrete is upon us, with Japan’s Foodman (sounds like a silly superhero’s name, doesn’t it?) using footwork as a blueprint for craaaazy sonic cut-ups that feel like being generated by a mad scientist’s computer which has gone mad itself. On Takahide Higuchi’s newest album the “footwork” aspect appears to be stripped to its raw basics, sometimes even abandoned completely, reduced only to its most skeletal structures and rhythms, mostly becoming a strange maze of warped samples, odd time signatures, spoken word snippets (both sped up and slowed down) and colorful splashes of synth wizardry. Ez Minzoku is utterly weird – like a garden gnome making dance music, as someone on Bandcamp pointed out.

Darren Keen – He’s Not Real

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[ Orange Milk Records, 2015 ]

Is Darren Keen real? He probably isn’t. Sure, we might see some long-haired, big-framed dude when we type “Darren Keen” into Google search, but that guy is just a simulacrum. The real Darren Keen is a musical algorithm, designed to collect cool samples and put them into tight patchworks of the footwork genre so well it almost puts the genre’s Chicago godfathers to shame. Incredibly melodic and precise at the same time, it feels like Brooklyn’s laser guided answer to the Teklife crew, although with a bit of that Orange Milk flair left intact. Darren Keen might not be real, but this album definitely is real.