Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Warm Wooden Hollow

After much waiting, second thoughts and more waiting, A Warm Wooden Hollow is finally here. Pressed up at Infraction Records on 300 digipaks proudly wearing Luke Hazard's warped psychedelic photography, this is the official-canon-follow up to my first Infraction release (Beyond The Sea Lies The Stars). On Beyond The Sea, I used loops I harvested from orchestral vinyl I own to build massive, eroded drone-suites with, but on Hollow, I have taken that process a step further. The loops are still there, as is the degradation of sounds, but this time I've used them as a basic "skeleton" to write my own melodies around.

The sound palate is also much different this time around...instead of strings and horns, Hollow uses pianos, harps and organs. There are also a number of pieces done with respect to earlier ambient Milieu releases such as Brother, Gunkajima, A Dusty Box Of Old Memories and Giants In The Desert, including synths and basses and field recordings. Finally to complete the whole equation, a couple select songs on Hollow are very much in the vein of guitar-based ambient work I've done, such as Sun White Sun, Milieu or Of The Apple. Basically there is something here for everyone who has ever liked any of my beatless excursions.

To add to the celebration, I was extremely flattered and excited to find out that Norman Records in the UK picked A Warm Wooden Hollow as their album of the week! They also had this to say about it:

We've had a lot of records in by Milieu this year. Some we've reviewed and the majority we've not reviewed. Mainly cos there's been so many we'd have to employ someone especially to do that and that, put simply, would be nuts. So here we are with another Milieu album and this time it's a proper release album on the Infraction label rather than one of the many CDR's which have arrived. The packaging is all lovely and pastoral which gives you a clue of what you're getting on the inside. The 12 tracks of 'A Warm Wooden Hollow' are quite a change in direction for Milieu as there's much more piano being used. Yes it's still pretty much ambience but the piano adds a different feeling to the music. It's much more spooky and eerie sounding than the usual lush warmth you get from his ambient albums. Float off and tune in for the duration of the album and you'll be sucked into a world of total beauty though. This guy makes some of the best ambient music money can buy and here's another fine example of his work. I'm totally loving the piano on this. I guess it's somewhere between Yellow 6 and William Basinski if you must know (or like a decaying Harold Budd - Ant x) Worra fantastic album!! Ltd to 300 copies in digipack... be quick!!
Also, there is (or was) a bonus 3" CD-R included with the first 50 copies of Hollow titled Smokebuilder's Woodshop. This 3" has sadly sold out long before I even heard it was up for preorder at Infraction. If it makes it any better, David and I have been throwing around plans to reissue this EP on an undetermined format at SSR sometime in the future. I'm very fond of this EP and I assure you, you'll see it come out again.

So, to those of you who are keen to hear A Warm Wooden Hollow, over half the pressing of 300 is already gone however you should be able to buy it not only from Infraction themselves, but also Norman Records, Forced Exposure, Soleilmoon, Ear/Rational and probably several others soon enough. Here are some links:

Hollow @ Infraction Records USA

Hollow @ Norman Records UK
Hollow @ Ear/Rational USA
Hollow @ Soleilmoon USA (Soon)
Hollow @ Forced Exposure USA (Soon)

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