CDR EP, Thisco, 2005
“Milk Orchestra,” a small, rather inconsequential collaborative release from Ultra Milkmaids & Vance Orchestra, consists of four tracks varying from straightforward ambience to simple, abstract sounds.
“Milk Orchestra” opens with “Mystic Mood,” which builds a decent, though all too short (as in cut short abruptly, much to my dismay) intro, more appropriate to a full-length album than a release of this duration. Next, “Free Gift 1” stands out as the most textured track among the four, and includes a rhythmic, mellow and noise-oriented cyclic pulse that anchors other abstract layers moving behind it. I would say “Parrot Machine,” with its random avian squawks and whistles and vocoder-esque voice samples, is an absolutely useless filler track, except to be honest I’ve found it’s good for at least one thing – making your cat think there’s a tropical bird loose in the room.
Moving on, the stretched and extended, lofty cathedral tones of “Stereo System 1 (Remix)” are quite pleasing, making the final and longest track on “Milk Orchestra” by far the most interesting. Though it builds from a foundation of machine white noise, it unfortunately can’t escape being fairly standard ambient. However, it contains nicely accomplished sonic illumination, with smoothly flowing and sublime ambience well-suited for quiet solitary moments, hidden rainforest temples, mountain sunsets and other such concepts. You get the idea.
In summary, Ultra Milkmaids & Vance Orchestra possibly have potential working together, but overall “Milk Orchestra” is far too limited and disappointing to lend their collaboration much credibility in the end.
— Dutton Hauhart