petak, 26. rujna 2014.

Seth Graham - Goop (2014) + Cream Juice - Man Feelings (2013) + Giant Claw / Keith Rankin - Dark Web (2014) + Orange Milk Records

Seth Graham i Keith Rankin (Giant Claw), osnivači su Orange Milk Records i izvrsni elektronički eksperimentatori. Od davljenja korske muzike u vodama poplavljenog glitch-grada do kolaža radijskih sablasti izmoždenih znatiželjom. Muzika od koje postaješ pametniji.

By the very fact that something can exist, then it must already exist. The elements for anything and everything are continuously in place; it’s just a matter of figuring out the formula. Manufacturing, after all, is a process of realization. Seth Graham knows this. Noumenal Loom knows this. And now we know this. The trimmed fat and salty brine of time spent listening and un-listening are apparent on Graham’s Goop. Risible paint strokes mix with confident exultations, creating a profound, wry, and fascinating listen. Nothing is sacred; everything is for the taking. Choral cuts get cut up, as do pianos and synths, gulps and breaths, and faint field recordings. But the process isn’t really the important thing here; it’s the byproduct.

Seth Graham is a fixture in the independent music scene, known for his album artwork and his work as co-head of Orange Milk Records. Last year, along with his Orange Milk partner Keith Rankin (aka Giant Claw), the two made waves with Man Feelings, their collaborative cassette as Cream Juice. For those who track the experimental underground, the CS was an all star collab; for others, it became an unexpected cult classic. Seth has put out several solo efforts since then, and has a tape on the way for Birmingham, AL label Noumenal Loom.
The new CS, Goop, should be out in the next couple of months, but Seth has released the track "Piano Goop" on Soundcloud in advance of its release. The piece centers around a confidently stumbling piano that sounds as though it were both a student's practice routine and their private mental breakdown. The mildly unsettling accidentals in its progression grow eerier as bits of sampled schrapnel repeatedly ball up like crumpled scraps of paper rubbing themselves through a malfunctioning megaphone. Tension settles in the latter half, smoothing out the bumpy road with an "om"-inducing synthesized bath.- Matt Sullivan

Bizarre and captivating strangeness from Seth Graham with Goop on Noumenal Loom. Sticky, coughsyrupy tendrils of sound. Suffocated drowning choir music. Stop start stutter steps of things that feel slightly glitchy by still quite cohesive and coherent. This is noise, but noise done exceptionally well, where each sound teases, building curiosity for the next. A massive mix of elements all mixed seamlessly. Despite this being really off kilter sounding I couldn't help but grin and feel great listening to this. It's one of those types of tapes. Just a c18, short and sweet. -

Cream Juice Interview

Cream Juice


Man Feelings (2013)

So there’s weird and then there’s weird.  Cream Juice, the duo of Orange Milk Records heads Keith Rankin and Seth Graham, certainly fall into the latter category. Man Feelings is the duo’s second album and ups the ante on just about everything they did on the first. Spastic drums and electronic rhythms paired with schizophrenic synths skitter all over the place – and then some. This is music that is constantly in motion. ‘Man Made Womb’ bounces around like a pinpall stuck in a kaleidoscope. It’s all damaged neon. I hope that free jazz sounds like ‘Straight Edge’ or ‘Re-Nude’ 100 years from now whereas the title track is the most obnoxious video game you’ve never played (in the best possible way, of course). Man Feelings is probably my favorite tape so far this year. Rankin and Graham have managed to completely lose their marbles on here and end up sounding like nobody else. - Brad Rose

a pile driver from the macho man randy, and this is the last thing you’ll need. but after gulping secret vitamins that make our earth smile like a blanket of perky sweet meets — curing things like copyright among newborns and marmalade telepathy with a skyscraper delirium — it feels like the real deal. studebaker. man feelings is the fresh sound of cream juice, and it’s tangy enough to get any sizzling beast of burden bleeding with flowery delight — a dinner party with no guest speakers, only acquaintances, all casual in the throes of spectacle, all dali and proust. but that’s just what came to brain after a few dirty flings through this trip distortion, after those shakedown chords halfway through. they took me unexpectedly salt ridden like a crack gathering at easter — “who does that?” i wondered as the sea of doubt froze over for torvill and dean. new slags.
the boys have been baking these risky delights for a couple of years already. on the the switches of orange milk, our brooklyn boil refuses stagnation through its cretaceous formation of raptors and vipers and aphids that scuttle about in the chocolate underbelly. there was an item on the internet by another writer, whose glands i should not glaze; he is a monster, he writes on virtual walls with shiny graffiti pointing at cream juice, with seismic lights so sensible and poetic, also with dino-nectarines and the way we think about prehistorical scenarios in unknowable aftershave on the banks of morning pastures — the stream of unconsciousness dressed in a dishcloth with coelacanths at the side.
pressing play on this plastic puts the tackle back on track and the alter ego through a breakdance of triathlon half pipes. because there are polyethylene bags of non-genres, a festoon of sonic delivery peaches across half an hour of indispensable dispense, but without any pine limits or slender tentacles. we listened to each beat (gender) as if tomorrow were a stilton trifle, a hamster in a cage of frightening guillotines that crush and pinch and bite-slash-pester you into passive dating a cautious force that secretes tidy neon creatures.
such deeds inspire in their thinking blackout. there are no formulas to abide by and no sprinkled dilettantes to take shelter from — the results are so fertilized, a staggered babbling of conquered field trips to the salad bar. an esteem touching stumble through the bumbled magnifying glass of time, or the uncle sam of yesteryear’s agoraphobia. these butterfly kilt testers mean no more than a gillian anderson portrait at fort knox, but there is no room for sentimentality with such blister beats on the cuff — the rundown is moderne-cool and dudgeon-mellow, with samplers, with triggers and with live drums, but the tapes are still as hot as your face and they are looking for the hungry reels. - Birkut

And the weirdest release of the year goes to… Cream Juice! [cue canned applause, fireworks, slime waterfalls, and dancing pokemon mascots] With Man Feelings, these guys pulled a total Bad as I Wanna Be-era Denis Rodman on the cassette game. Keith Rankin and Seth Graham founders of Orange Milk records have invented an aesthetic that squeezes chip tune, free jazz, sampled kitsch, and aggro synth fuckery in the blender, and turns it into, well, a creamy juice amalgam. If you’re like me, you’ll want to pick it apart and decipher its puzzling hidden architecture. Apparently, the album is the condensed product of six hours worth of live sessions, which was boiled down, layered, and overdubbed into its final incarnation. The effect of the induces a joyful form of sensory overload characteristic of the age of information, like a hyperactive youtube worm hole. It is a labyrinth of exuberant and inventive sounds, a Gordian Knot of fun; pick it up here.

Cream Juice Interview

Giant Claw

Dark Web (2014)

Giant Claw is the musical alias of Keith Rankin, co-founder of the really excellent underground label Orange Milk. 'DARK WEB' is Giant Claw's debut album, a record composed through intricate MIDI notation and sampling that mashes up original music with found samples and chops the resultant sounds to pieces to create one big, bizarre collage, where it's impossible to know where authenticity starts and appropriation ends.
The influence of Oneohtrix Point Never's sublime 'R Plus Seven' can definitely be felt on DARK WEB 005 - it's a rapidfire barrage of chopped-up sounds and styles, presented in the linear 'this happens, and then this happens...' style that OPN exhibited on that album. This is how we imagine Toontown from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? might sound. -

Somewhere between Bach and The Lawnmower Man lies Giant Claw. While Keith Rankin spent the majority of the past few years committing all shades of deranged prog wizardry with synthesizers, the recent past has seen him focus his antics on the language of mainstream pop and hip hop. As such, the single from Dark Web feels even farther out than his recent work on Max Mutant and Impossible Chew, as "Deep Web 002" manipulates radio tropes that have become familiar to EDM and trap listenership both willing and unwilling. The tricks that Rankin pulls on "Dark Web 002" are not all that different than the ones employed by folks on Numbers or PC Music, but Rankin boasts the same tongue-in-cheeck ir/reverence that guided his Cream Juice bandmate and Orange Milk co-head Seth Graham on the recent Goop. If you're looking for radical forms of Late Information Age virtuousity, "Dark Web 002" is Exhibit A. - Mike Sugarman

Confession: I don't know if I actually enjoy "DARK WEB 005" by Giant Claw, and if I'm being super honest, I don't know if you will either. It moves too quickly, features too many dissonant noises working in conjunction with each other, and is such a deeply strange track that your brain will be unable to process it in one listen. Yeah, there's that one part where the drones and the harpsichords kinda get together and some drums kick in and suddenly it's a coherent dance track, but that only lasts a minute and then everything breaks down yet again and you're like "who the fuck invited the oboe player to this song premiere?" Also the statue on the cover of the single has balls but no dick it looks like? Anyways, these are why this song is difficult, but this song is also great. It's not like some crazy sonic puzzle or anything, but it's definitely one of those songs you have to listen to a few times intently and think about it for a few minutes before you "get" it. So if you like music that makes you smarter, you should listen to this. If you for some reason decided to click this link and read this entire paragraph without listening to this, I don't know what to tell you. - Drew Millard

“The brands that built their empires around accessibility and ubiquity (hazy shopping) succeeded through distribution, not the enigmatic force of their branding (thoughtful purchasing). They forgot that saying who you aren’t is just as important as saying who you are. Limits localize you. They tie you to a certain place, and more importantly to a certain vantage point. When your products can be bought just as easily in New York as Shanghai (not to mention every Factory Brand Outlet in between) it’s pretty difficult to convince the consumer that you’re doing anything different from anyone else.”
Let’s consider DARK WEB as a sonic manifestation of NYC “trend forecasting group” K-HOLE’s FragMOREtation concept — a marketing strategy aimed at contextualizing a brand through negatively-positioning a product. FragMOREtation describes the process of designing a less-than-obvious advertisement scheme in order to attract a potential consumer into brand loyalty. This can range from Brisk™ tea’s hilarious “Not Half-Bad” ad campaign to the simple act of not disclosing the address to a warehouse event. The goal is to get people hooked and interested in the hidden, unknown benefits and qualities of the product for sale. As such, DARK WEB fragMOREtates the whole of Soundcloud drivel — those dominant sounds swimming around in the website’s cascading wall of noise — and uses them to covertly shroud a serious emotional agenda in a cloak of technological mayhem.
The space the album creates is a little more “wacko” than your standard gloppy plunderphonics album; DARK WEB is an outlier because it’s not based on the premise of creating simulacra; rather, every track sketches out a view of organic mental architecture that is intertwined with a modern, emotional situation. There are secret feelings concealed within the tumult, feelings that might even be genuine, natural, longing. The longing is for MORE — more ideas, more sonic elasticity, more acrobatic music — all rooted in quicker composition. Our material condition — embodied, but virtually extended — demands technologically-aided rapidity and ease. Yet, there is still the need for biotic release through a visceral melody, a straight-up rhythm, or a cultural frame. Giant Claw is using common-denominator images and sounds: romanesque statue, 808 kick-and-snare, stock-MIDI hoopla, R&B voice samples, etc. to compartmentalize the aesthetic eclecticism of 2014 into digestible, cellular tracks soaked in empathy. Yet, the question remains: is DARK WEB an indictment or celebration of these tropes? Or, is the confusion of intention here — the veiled emotionalism, the biological strangeness — meant as a universal catharsis, a return to feeling for those assaulted with the coldness of infinite information?
Rather amazingly, people are still saying things like “this sounds like the Internet.” “DARK WEB 002” and “005” both suffered this qualification in the album’s initial, generative blog-buzz. It’s a shame, because I have no idea what that means, other than maybe “This is music being made right now.” TMTer Adam Delvin put it more succinctly: “It sounds like therapy for a generation who grew up with the internet, where the density and modularity of music has flourished at such a rate that we never get time alone with just one song or idea anymore.” Our accelerated condition has forced compositional strategies of cultural pastiche, irony, etc. to differentiate between and push sounds into unheard realms, to give us new spaces for our intellect or emotions to react within. Similar to the saturated market, where there is the need for a fragMOREtated advertising strategy to distinguish the brand and create interest, DARK WEB plays with the psychology of demand by nearly weaponizing cultural content; it uses fashion as a means to situate a nervous sentimentality. Out of necessity, the record utilizes a sugar-coated sonic palette; it’s loaded with those infernal “Internet sounds” and is steeped with tinges of footwork, trap, vaporwave, sound collage — all that stuff you likely see quite a bit over in Chocolate Grinder (<3). "DARK WEB 001" begins by unloading the repetitive hit of the all-knowing 808 sub kick, quickly exploding into piano rolls and sultry, chopped soul samples. The materials are well known, but more interestingly, there is a near-virtuosic control of arrangement and progression — I’m never bored, because I’m constantly being fed sonic candy AND (somehow) feeling an odd tingle… it’s all making me feel… inspired, even emotional?
Similarly, the crescendo in the latter half of “003” is a slow-burning, whirlwind of an adagio; I swear I haven’t felt that sort of orchestral ascension since my high school Neon Bible-banging days. Considering all that’s happened since those days (you know, all the music: 2009, 2010, 11, 12, etc.), it makes sense that it’s a MIDI choir and chipmunk-y-pitched vocal sample that are creating the emotional turbulence. Much appreciated are tracks like “004” or “008,” where careful attention is paid to negative-space; the sounds are given a small bit of room to breath and flourish as melodies are stacked and deconstructed in beautiful, floral clusters — fragmented rhythms meander, minor fourths are raised and diminished freely, masterfully. Yet, even given these moments, some will likely complain about how fucking jam-packed the album is with freewheeling, wild moments — things nearly fall apart in “005” due to just the sheer amount of ideas flying by. I hate to say it, but any exhaustion felt at the end of this record is most likely due to not enough virtual exercise — the soreness you may feel in your head, your ears, is lactic acid built up from years of not paying enough attention.
If DARK WEB were any longer, one might begin to suffer. But the album’s nipped off with a beautiful, billowy conclusion — MIDI trumpets chorus a group of digital angels who sweetly bring the whole storm to a tensely gorgeous end. Especially here, it’s difficult to avoid a comparison to the recent work of Daniel Lopatin; however, whereas OPN’s R Plus 7 was a formal deconstruction, Giant Claw’s approach is perhaps more confrontational in its pace, its insanity, its sheer relentlessness in giving in to far-out impulses and emotional indulgence. But that’s what’s most endearing about the album: although its cover art has the stock (at this point hilarious) inclusion of the romanesque statue, it is not a 3D-rendered high-definition object. Instead, it’s an oil painting — penis-less, with an orb spewing strange nucleic liquid. It’s the organic representation of an image loaded with weird digital significance, a return to our biological embodiment with mastery of the digital form — using it freely, even naturally. - SCVSCV

Keith Rankin’s project, Giant Claw, has consistently made some of the best, weirdest electronic music out there over the last few years.  I said recently that I wished he’d make all the video game music in the world, ever, and I’m not joking.  There’s something about the rapid-fire neon spew (w/ just enough austere coldness to keep it from becoming kitschy or anything resembling it) that works in that context in my brain.  With that in mind to see Rankin releasing something called Music For Film, on the excellent Constellation Tatsu, caught me off-guard.  Initially I thought it would be similar to his usual releases, music for dystopian sci-fi chase scenes, stuff like that.  Ah but Giant Claw is far from a one-trick pony.  Music For Film is an impressive collection, varied and cohesive, bubbling with texture like somber ghosts waiting for their ranks to grow as the world dies out.  Chiming bells infest one of the standouts, “Fear of the Dark,” while muted, manipulated voices are butchered into a beautiful, morose choir.
The pair of “Piano Synthesize Etude I & II” are are close as this set gets to the video game chicanery I mentioned previously, but it’s a totally different side of that coin.  This is soundtracks for the cut scenes in The Legend of Zelda, short and sweet and corralled by fantasy horizons, points of light in a staunchly opaque affair.  One of the other stunners, “Last Empress in Dread,” plays in this dominion as well, but with a decidedly darker flavor.   “Orange Milk (Excerpt)” ventures into territories shared by Rankin’s Orange Milk label co-host, Henry Dawson, like there’s a glitch in the system trying to bring him down (and obviously fitting that the track would have said title) whereas “Century of Shame I & II” are discordant, the score to automated torture.
It’s a mystery to me why Keith Rankin isn’t a household name in the world of electronic music.  It’s a fucking shame, but if Music For Film tells us anything it’s that he’s still got a million tricks up his sleeve.  Years from now the world at large will know. -  

Keith Rankin's Giant Claw makes a vinyl debut with his quirksome and spirited synth musique for Wool Recordings after a healthy handful of tapes for his Orange Milk label and other labels including Digitalis Limited. Currently operating out of Brooklyn, NYC, he possesses a uniquely synthesized accent and real talent for theatrical narration that's already had the likes of XXJFG and Avant Garde blogging his virtues. The spirit of Krautrock is core to his oeuvre, but it;s the way he bends it to his own will which makes 'Haunted Planet' so endearing. The titular two-part A-side plays through a queerly improvised symphony of Autobahn arpeggios and chaotically dissonant breakdowns with the plodding charm of a vintage computer game theme. The other side crystallises three shorter pieces, fromt he slow-mo chug-a-long 'Spirit Heal Me' to the sly, Skweee-like fonk of 'Dream Love' and the shrill tones of 'Hobo Cop', which sounds something like Frak on depleted batteries. - boomkat

Orange Milk Records

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