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A Warm Wooden Hollow [Expanded Reissue]

by Milieu

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    Packaged in a brown 100% recycled cardboard dual-digipak jacket, with a 3x3" matte photo sticker printed by David Tagg, two hand-cut photographic inserts featuring the original album art, custom text sticker work and two in-house duplicated/printed white discs.

    Includes unlimited streaming of A Warm Wooden Hollow [Expanded Reissue] via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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about

A Warm Wooden Hollow was originally released on a limited edition run at Infraction Records in 2008, and like nothing else I had released at that time, it went out of print within a month's time. I was satisfied to let AWWH rest after that, so that the people who supported the release could relish it like a piece of special jewelry that you only wear on formal occasions.

These days, AWWH has become a sort of mythical beast, rarely appearing in the wild, and prized by collectors in a way that few other Milieu records have been. I don't listen to it very often, and when I do, it makes me very sad, but I am content with that as it was designed from its very skeleton to be a sad album.

Expanding on that a little: the previous album I released with Infraction - Beyond The Sea Lies The Stars - was a longform ambient affair built solely out of juxtaposed and heavily processed orchestral tape loops. Following that aesthetic and atmosphere, I began the recording phase for Wooden Hollow with a distinct goal - to once again carefully pluck small melodic phrases, strums and swells from orchestral vinyl I loved, but this time I would use these sounds as a seafloor to build an ocean on top of. They would simultaneously shape the composition that grew around the loops like a vine, and color it in ways non-looped instruments never really could.

And so Wooden Hollow is an ambient album built with the bones of my favorite composers - Smetana, Delius, Satie, Stravinsky, Mussorgsky, Debussy - and presented as a personal walk through the psychedelic gardens of Milieu's estate eight years ago. The visual aesthetic of AWWH is unlike any other, thanks to Luke Hazard's iconic and powerful processed photography, and those images have been preserved and carried over here, for this reissue.

Rounding out the double-disc set of AWWH is the incredibly rare EP Smokebuilder's Woodshop, itself only made available on 50 3" CD-Rs sent out with the first fifty orders of the CD from Infraction. Woodshop is a three-track, 24 minute microcosm of dusty sunbeams lazily coloring an old Russian man's quiet apartment in Brighton Beach - steeped in that special kind of disconnected sadness you can only experience when you lose someone you love.

In addition to this EP, the second disc of this reissue also contains a forty minute Coppice Halifax mix of the closing track on AWWH, Inside The Sun. When AWWH was originally being conceived and created in 2006, Coppice Halifax was blooming to life as a new project, and the 1983 sessions were concurrent with the AWWH recordings. Thus, it felt appropriate to revisit Inside The Sun, itself a lengthy ambient piece whose chords echo the deep CH epics of the time, such as Bronze or Soil, and provide a very "classic Halifaxian" treatment to the master tape. What you hear is a sound sculpture that has one foot in 2006 and one foot in 2015, and enough delay to make that trip several times over. An appropriate and immersive counterpoint to Wooden Hollow's Impressionistic ambience.

So I relinquish this surreal pile of tape, compression and sadness to you, the curious listeners. Long may you mine it for the jewels it is rumored to contain...

credits

released May 29, 2015

W/P by Brian Grainger. Recorded at 114RKD, 2006-2007 and Botany Bay, Summer 2015. Mastered by The Analog Botanist. Photography by Luke Hazard. This is Milieu Music number AD4, and fourth in the Arboreal Digest reissue catalog.

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Milieu Dayton, Ohio

Psychedelic electronic music, sun-warmed analog ambient and sci-fi braindance, for cats, aliens and epicureans alike.

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