Thursday, June 26, 2008

Milieu - Beyond The Stars - Reissued

Over 2 years since it was obscurely released as a bonus disc for the Beyond The Sea Lies The Stars album, Milieu's companion album Beyond The Stars Lies The Sea has been reissued, remastered and redecorated for SSR! An initial run of 150 copies went quickly out of print before the preorder for them was even finished in 2006, and until now the music was left completely unavailable outside of expensive collectors' circles and file sharing networks. This reissue of the album has been completely remastered from Brian's original session tapes, and two songs originally removed from the lineup appear here as well. The sequence is a bit different, and the CD sports all new photography by Brian himself. Altogether it feels more like its own album now rather than an extension of Beyond The Sea. The music has that same dusky nautical feel, however here things get a bit darker. Black monolithic space overtakes salt water and sails until all we're left with are pure colorful memories. The album begins with a ship leaving port and ends somewhere beyond the infinite, after space itself.

Available directly from Brian here:

Shop Redesign & New Releases

As you may have been able to tell, I recently redesigned the entire Milieu Music shop page, so now it functions alot better as a more "label looking" site complete with a catalog and pictures of my pets! And, as you might have expected, it's chock-full of new releases too, all affordably priced at $5-$8.

A warm hour of tonal feedback drones, completely improvised and lovingly laid to tape. Packaged in yellow paper sleeves with yellow stamped inserts and limited to 50 copies.


Four unearthed gems from 2005, and a proper introduction to the long unidentified collaboration between Milieu and Ten And Tracer: Waterstrider. Comprised of a single track the boys recorded three years ago and filed away, and three long sought-after Milieu remixes of the Ten And Tracer track "A Distant Monarch". All material has never before been released and appears here in the form of a 3" CD-R with a blue cardstock insert. Limited edition of 100 copies, in three shades of blue.

Hot on the heels of the bouncy Lush Q Trax split with Foamek, Coppice Halifax returns once again for a split 3" CD-R with fellow ambient technologist Casio Commander. Two original tracks and two remixes paint a picture of a drugged out night in neon danceclubs and a slow comedown as the sun rises, maybe in Miami, maybe in the Summer. Probably in the 80's. Packaged with hot-pink inks on royal purple cardstock with a shiny ribbon insert, and a special first edition of 12 copies with steel-blue cardstock. Limited to 50.

The second part of the ongoing Dustybox Tracks series of 3" CD-Rs. This time around the dust in question has been cleaned off of five remixes of Milieu tracks, some done years ago and never released. Beautiful remixing work graciously done by Galerie Stratique, Pizgah, Scup Bucket, Fieldtriqp and Am-Boy.

Recorded in 2006 and built using only drums as the sound source, this Vhom EP fills half an hour with the sounds of alien machinery in a damp dark room, sputtering in and out of operation, while dry gusts of sickly-sweet air form a droning purple fog. Very spooky dense music for nighttime headphone listening. Packaged in standard paper shop sleeves with a stamped clock insert, and limited to 50 copies.

An "expanded single" of three tracks from the vaults! "Albatrosses" and "Counting Lights" were originally written to be included on Aurora Borealis and Night Currents, respectively, and then they were meant to be included on several other releases since then, but never quite made it. Still kicking today and frustrated at not being picked so many times, these tracks have grown together in a way, and now they appear together here complemented by an almost-70 minute (!!!) mixset of Milieu songs, seamlessly and masterfully woven together by Mr. Kernel32 in the UK. Packaged in a clear plastic sleeve with a colorful inkstamped rainbow card, limited to 50 copies.

The third installment of the ongoing Dustybox Tracks series. This time with three psychedelic mixes by Foamek, Am-Boy and Eric Poplin Spies. Very much in the vein of long hazy summer music, and definitely appealing to folks who liked this series so far. Packaged in the same layout as the first two in the series.

Milieu & The Dandelion Council - Awkward 27

The super-awesome UK split-label Awkward Silence recently asked me to contribute 10 minutes of music to a split EP with The Dandelion Council. I turned out two very beachy pieces called "Coastline" and "Night Winds Detuned", both of which really remind me of walking on the shores back in Myrtle Beach and Pawley's Island where I grew up. The tunes by The Dandelion Council are more folky with guitars and such, so there's something here for everyone! This split is limited to 300 copies and is available directly from Awkward Silence for not even 5 pounds, and that's if you live outside of Europe! It's even cheaper if you live on that side of the pond...anyway, go check it out!



Messrs. Alex May and Rudolf Kremers have taken part in an online competition to develop an original freeware video game, Dyson, and being fans of my work, asked me to contribute music and sound effects to their game. I'm a pretty avid gamer and I've never done anything like this before, so I gave it a shot! I think the result is pretty interesting, as the game looks very cleancut and futuristic, while still maintaining a nice organic feel. I remixed the track "Singsong Waters Of An Endless Sea" from the Beyond The Sea Lies The Stars album to work with this game, and also created a number of loops and sound events that are all in tune with the track, so as you play through the game, the music sort of "recomposes" itself as you trigger various notes and clips. Anyway, as I said before it's a free game so go check it out!


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Help Thisket!

I have just found out that my musicmaking pal Thisket returned to his Louisiana home to find it had been broken into and completely raided, and to add insult to injury, the thieves left his water running so his entire house was flooded as well. This sadly includes all of his music equipment - synths, drum machines, the whole bit - GONE. Thankfully, they had insurance on the house and that *should* cover a number of things that *should* bring Mr. Williams' life back to normal (hopefully), but unfortunately most of you probably understand how little insurance companies really care and how little he'll probably get back for his equipment.

So with that said, I urge any and all of you to go visit Daniel's shop page, where you can buy really cool hand-decorated and lossless-master-sourced CD-Rs and cassettes of his releases. He's made alot of really top-notch music in my opinion and most of it has gone criminally underappreciated. All of his shop items are very cheap ($5 plus shipping) and you'd not only be directly supporting an artist, but also REALLY helping him get back on his feet after this awful disaster. You can check out his super-easy and reasonable shop page here:

(I highly recommend "NMB")

And you can even download three of his albums for free here:

("The Golden Afternoon" and "Summer Revue" are simply two of the best webrelease albums ever made)

Anyway, please help Daniel out. He's a really awesome guy and a talented musician who really could better the world with more stunning bedroom techno!

This Might Be A Blog Post

And so it came to pass that Sophia, Angie and I all attended the They Might Be Giants appearance in Charlotte at the Visulite Theatre on June 14th. Having seen them 5 or 6 times previously, Soph has entertained me with promises of a great show and a varied selection of songs from their *extensive* catalog. I went in prepared to be indoctrinated into the school of happy TMBG fans who all jump around, sing and clap their hands like ecstatic kids who have just found a radio station playing their favorite song.

The venue was nice, air conditioned and not at all cramped. We had a very easy time grabbing a couple beers and just setting up camp right on stage right, directly below John Linnell's keyboard rig. They came on at quarter to 10 and played for over 2 hours, with 2 encores. I began the night expecting three things: good entertainment from a band that's been around since 1982, a good live mix on the instrumentation, and maybe to hear a few songs I knew well enough to sing along to. I was more than satisfied as these guys made quick work of any naysayers, immediately ripping the stage wide open with "Doctor Worm" and "Why Does The Sun Shine?" (the latter of which contained some hilarious bits about Decepticons, and more Decepticons). It's hard to believe how old these guys are, and even harder to think about a band that made it through the eighties AND the nineties completely intact - untarnished by record industry pressures, production sounds, lineup changes, drugs/alcohol, anything you can think of actually. TMBG have always existed happily inside their own little musical universe where not much sounds like them except the bands that grew up listening to their records. In fact it's pretty amazing how sincere and genuine the whole show was - right down to John and John going back and forth about how to proceed with songs, as it was clear they didn't really rehearse *everything* and were totally comfortable just goofing off - especially since this is a band that has basically made rocking shows and writing pop songs their job, and they do that job perfectly.

The mixing on the band was extremely good. Tight and loud, but not like, ear-shattering. It made a really big difference in songs like "Ana Ng" and "Particle Man" to have a really prominent bass and drum sound. Plus their lead guitarist was a very proficient guy on his own, playing both electric and acoustic guitars, keyboard, synth and even doing some vocals. The high quality of the Johns' compositional talents was completely enhanced through the lens of this super-tight band. I mean can you even imagine how many songs this band has to know how to play at ALL TIMES? Not to mention they have to be good at improvising too. Kudos to them.

It's also worth noting that TMBG's catalog of mostly shorter (under 3 minute) tracks worked to their advantage as they just rip through song after song, hook after hook. It's hard to imagine ANYONE going to a show like this and getting bored or not having even a little fun. The crowd were all very nice people, from the couple I bumped into and spoke with. They all seemed varied in age as well as social-circle - everyone from preppy khaki-pant parents to tattooed shirtless punks to nerdy bearded guys with long hair (yours truly included) was bouncing around, and singing along with almost every line of every song! I should hope I end up so lucky, to be in my forties and have a clear connection with FOUR generations of people without any artistic compromise. These guys are one of the best bands I've ever seen live without a doubt and even if you're not as familiar or not really a fan, you're missing out if you don't go see them when they come around!

Finally, below is the ONE photo of the show I took - Mr. Linnell playing his keyboard and singing. Pictured above my blog post is the very nifty sheet printed and taped to their mixer which reads "This Might Be An Input List".