Milieu - Slow Lid Close
exp011 | 50:38 | 2005
Milieu - a project of the South Carolina based musician Brian Grainger. Milieu’s Slow Lid Close LP is a 13 track masterpiece that was released by the Experimedia net-label in early 2005. Layered melodic downtempo breakbeat driven ambient idm.
The opener Lazer Ring provides a great introduction as it made me feel as if I was flying, floating further into beautiful harmonies, funky rhythms and gently echoing electronica. I really tuned in and enjoyed what I heard. It is rich, deep and atmospheric with clever little beats, and never feels repetitive. There is a nice balance of sound throughout, and each song lives and dies in perfect span length, a tricky art, but effortlessly achieved on each track.
This is a chilled album, quite dreamy with a real sense of innocence. Tracks like Blueskies wash over me like short sweet lullabies. At times I am reminded of Sigur Ros.
Track three Sunshine People steps it up with strong bass, synth, interestingly tasty beats, not to mention the angelic choirs, that make the hair on my arms quiver. Inspiring. Listen to this if you want to lie back and watch the world go by. Boards of Canada similarities.
I found many songs on the album to be visually inspiring (or inspired?) for instance Northern Lights resonates with me on many levels: just the pure bass vibes alone will get you. I imagined a landscape painted by sounds and no longer felt like I was in my bedroom anymore, instead transported to Nordic planes and lands of ice. Music like this raises the roof, while still being soooooooo chill. Extremely likeable rhythms, your brain can dance to while you remain, curled up and cosy, and wicked melodies to space out to. I don’t like to put music into any one category, and I certainly don’t want to box this album, but to try and describe it I would say it crosses over between trippy, happy, dancy and meditative music. I’m sure people from a broad variety of tastes could get into this album.
Check out the cool track names too! Magic Marker is a great listen with enough variations moving the music through, keeping my attention while the main melody rides a float. Sweet synth!!! If there were a type of music I’d like to make it would be similar to this. This is indeed magic. Revealing hidden colours and hues of a musical memory filled landscape. I love this stuff!
Orange Evening Windows sends organs breathing down my ears, in a manner so oceanic and vast. They’ve done it again with this sweet track. Its airyness is grounded with the ultra fat bass, so it is gentle without being chicken shit. I mean that as a compliment, these tracks are just the right length and so tasty you want more. Luckily the following track Floating Riverbed provides this with more of the same sounds and fat bass line combo.
Trip To is a beautiful, slow moving track, with such a simple two note melody, punctuated with easy, swaying beats. It’s interesting to listen to music carefully pared down to the basic core elements of music with feeling, and then also find really delicate, intricate passages of rhythm, which lift the whole track to another realm. If this music was food it would be classic gourmet (but without the elitism!)
Autumn Fog Lifts to reveal softly stuttering rhythms joined by a harps joyful lament. This is an early morning ‘I’ve been up all nite’ and ‘watching the dawn before I happily crash’ kinda tune.
Forest groovily conjures up the images suggested by the title. At seven minutes this is one of the longest on the album but as I said earlier, I cannot find fault with any of the track lengths, they are perfect to my ears. The tracks remain abstract impressions of feelings, emotions, naturesque environs, journeys or experiences and are so simple to relate to.
Carnival Rides Till Sunset brings up the mood a notch, with its carnivalesque melody and sound. My head is still dancing to that one! This is such a lie back and feel good album!
The last but not least track Trapezoid Sing, affirms once more how good this album is especially because I did not feel there were any weak tracks to be found. And even with their similarities in terms of that ambient/beatsy combo, they each feel different, evoke other images and emotions and yet, with the exception of a darker more pained Trainsong, feel hopeful, happy alive and chilled to the core.
I was certainly impressed by the emotive quality and also the great technical ability in the creation of this music.
Milieu. Slow Lid Close. You gotta listen; I know for me it’s a keeper.
Taken from this page.