El Murki’s Breakeadito hurdles along at a ludicrous speed. From the very first locomotive kicks of “Kagemusha S.A.” to the slippery juke stutter of “160 Tranqui,” a tilting inertia propels each fragmentary transmission that composes this album from the Argentinian producer otherwise known as Leandro Ramirez. At this streaking velocity, the sounds—ranging from synth squeaks to vocal shards—atomize into discrete blips, components of the stuttering pastiche formulated by El Murki’s goofball poetics. In this state of overdrive, the quantized particles of Breakeadito highlight “Kahn” smear into a chromatic spectrality textured by sputters and pings. And it’s a sumptuous, though overwhelming, texture. But what sticks here isn’t necessarily the full weight of the variegated onslaught but the twinkling moments, always-already receding from the Buenos Aires-based producer’s fecund momentum. As an exercise in truncation and reassembly, Breakeadito seems to grasp at an ecstatic futurity—a resplendent vision of a joyous Latin American reality.
Breakeadito is out May 5 on Orange Milk.
EZ Minzoku, the latest LP from Foodman (a.k.a. Shokuhin Maturi), is a diverse and courageous record that expands upon the artist's unique approach to juke with minimalism, retro midi-sounds, and a bevy of unrecognizable, uncategorizable samples. “Waterfall,” a standout on the album, is held up by a single piano note, which pulses throughout the song. Building on this persistent note using a wide range of percussive samples and the occasional hit of a brooding synth chord, Maturi wonderfully warps any established thoughts of what juke and footwork are “supposed” to sound like. The response is a feeling of anticipation that comes not from restlessness, but from excitement of where these songs will lead us next.
EZ Minzoku is out May 13 on Orange Milk Records.
If musicians are like scientists, then Seth Graham must be a nuclear physicist. He's constantly trying to break the structure of music and human speech into the smallest particle possible, as if trying to show us the abstract nucleus of auditory communication. And the titular track from the upcoming Orange Milk cassette No.00 in Clean Life represents the same insatiable need to disintegrate and create new, exciting collages with microscopic samples. This time the basis of the track are pieces of speech and choral singing, or at least the digital facsimiles. Nevertheless, Graham manages to evoke a strange, barren land of angelic glossolalia and sparse harp and ambient interludes. It's an intensely minimalist piece, which bursts with clouds of information after long seconds of silence, which is challenging and rewarding at times—especially when the nucleus reveals all the sense before the listener.
No.00 in Clean Life comes out soon via Orange Milk Records.
Brooklyn-via-Omaha musician Darren Keen (The Show is the Rainbow, Touch People) is a relatively new convert to dance music. Still, while his recent music breaks from his more pop-oriented projects, a throughline of irreducible, vibrant oddness runs through all of his work. Keen is upfront about his supplicatory position with regards to footwork’s founders, yet the genre’s frantic, colorful energy echoes Keen’s own in many ways. “The Way I Look”-- the first single from his forthcoming debut full-length under his own name, He’s Not Real-- is a strange animal. Its constituent vocal samples and rhythms separate and fuse in myriad subtle and kaleidoscopic ways, creating a deceptively sparse sound world that continually reconfigures itself. It's the type of thing footwork does so well, but it also serves as a metaphor for Keen's musical identity, a sly rejection of pinning himself down.
He's Not Real is out August 28 on Orange Milk Records.
If all labels had in-house bands like Cream Juice, I'm certain the music industry would be in better shape. The duo of Keith Rankin (Giant Claw) and Seth Graham (Henry Dawson) not only collaborate on all aspects of one of the best and most consistent labels, Orange Milk, they manage to find time to crank out some of the strangest tunes around under the Cream Juice moniker. Their latest effort, Man Feelings, is one of the year's most zonked. One of the most impressive aspects of the racket Rank and Graham make is the strange dichotomy of total chaos paired with precise, intricate compositional aspects. Elements of free jazz, noise, and chiptune might be most obvious, but dig deeper and hip-hop, dub, and musique concrete factions are revealed. Man Feelings is an album with incredible depth.
Rank and Graham took time to answer a handful of questions about their creative process in Cream Juice and the inner operations of Orange Milk.
Ad Hoc: I've professed my love for both your solo projects (Giant Claw and Henry Dawson, respectively) on many platforms before and when I listen to your solo work, there are obvious aural connections between the two in my mind even though they're very, very different. There's a sort of ADHD-quality (for lack of a better phrase) to both of them - it's hard to sit still when listening to any of your albums, if I'm honest. So first let's get into how Cream Juice started and the decision behind deciding to start a collaborative project. When did it start? You all had been running Orange Milk together for a while before CJ was an entity, right? Or at least, the label had released quite a bit of stuff before your first album came out. I'm getting long-winded here, but basically I just want to know about the origins of the project.
Seth Graham: Keith and I talked about playing together since 2008 or '09? It was long before Orange Milk came to be. I ran a tiny tape label called QUILT and released a tape for Keith, called Darkness Light Darkness, which is a great tape by the way. After that, playing together came up often. But it wasn’t until we started Orange Milk that we began working on specific ideas. I think the first time we recorded was summer of 2010 or so. It took us a while to finish the first record due to other solo obligations and Orange Milk.
Keith Rankin: I should also mention that me and Seth met and started thinking about Cream Juice and Orange Milk while we were living in Dayton, Ohio, which has a pretty small and insular music scene. We first crossed paths at a community college political science class. Seth would try to rile up our teacher by claiming to be a hardcore, no-exceptions Libertarian, which is really funny in hindsight. At the time, though, I thought he was a bit of a dick, and was probably afraid of his massive beard. But the teacher was really bad, and I stopped going to the class without getting a chance to talk. We met up later when both of our bands randomly played a show together, and bonded over the music from Twin Peaks and Katamari Damacy. Seth was really nice and easy to talk to. It was great to meet someone in Dayton who shared an open view on music and didn't really hold any ideas too sacred. So that initial distaste for musical sacred cows is definitely a defining element in Cream Juice.
SG: I remember thinking in that class, I know that gangly awkward guy, hes in bands, turns out Keith is a badass.