WL//WH Review: MILLIKEN CHAMBER “Abscence” LP

Album Review Milliken Chamber

photo by Miranda Sharp

The two members of MILLIKEN CHAMBER are not rookies in the synth/darkwave pitch. Both of them are experienced and cultivated musicians, two artists who have already put their hallmark in the genre since they were both involved in the cult minimal-darkwave trio of PRUDENCE, remember the glorious songs‘Your Funeral’, ‘Her Desire’, or ‘Casualty’?. After former bandmate Miles Murphy moved to Ireland they changed the name to Milliken Chamber in 2017 when they released the first striking specimen for their intentions, the Lily of the Valley’ EP. A few more things about our friends before we head on toward their new glory; Anna Schmidt, on the microphone, is a classically trained first soprano, immersive theater, and musical theater performer. Kevin Czarnik on the synthesizers is behind the cold synth project Belladonna Grave, and the well-loved post-punk duo Forever Grey. Both of them have already proved their talents and their skills, no question about it.

On January 28, MILLIKEN CHAMBER published their debut Absence’ LP and there is where I meant that we were heading to. An utterly fantastic and glorious album of 10 darkened enough synthetic chapters which may easily stand alone as maxis while all together consist a pretty edgy and excellently produced album with a clear purpose; to totally refresh the genre and to offer plenty of sonic events. ‘Bodies’, is the leading track of the album and its official video was published just a few days ahead of the lp. Here you may witness MILLIKEN CHAMBER‘s motion and their sense of perfection; a very beautiful video, that according to the music and its lyrics doesn’t leave anything undone.

The whole record sounds like a coin with two similar faces. On one side, you may stare into its dark eye. Romantic and foggy darkwave confessions akin hide in the opener of the record, ‘Cruel Excess’, and in ‘Reflections of the Statue’ where the music appears as something to slowly fade bleeding, a stunning musical conception. In the same stream, you may sink in ‘Disorder’ and ‘Death Will Come’ too. ‘Last Embrace’ sounds like the chasm under its own sonic scarp, a bit ethereal, a bit cinematic, and a lot imposing too!

Now turn the coin and let that same face stare at you with its amazing glance. In the rest of the tracks, MILLIKEN CHAMBER reveal a more synthpop/ synthwave face, with the same sound and production of course but in a less “fatal” approach. ‘Cadence’ and ‘Lowly’ both flirt with futurepop, and ‘Faceless’ came like a weird and funny dragon from across the riverside. Last, I kept for you that-fabulous-track, ‘Fallen Heart’, because besides its own musical brilliance it includes and unveils all of the band’s essence tout-a-fait. Summing up, our duo from L.A. just published a striking record which they and we hope that will find its place in the music libraries. A glory for MILLIKEN CHAMBER, a delight for our ears. Turn it loud, please!!!

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Written by Loud Cities Mike

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