M2 is two Miller brothers: Roger (Boston: Mission of Burma, Sproton Layer and Alloy Orchestra) and Benjamin (NYC: Ben Miller/degeneration, Sensorium Saxophone Orchestra, Sproton Layer and Glenn Branca Ensemble).
Their first album, AT LAND’S EDGE, is now out on Feeding Tube Records (LP-only with download card).
Snakes and Eagles, July 2013:
“The record sounds gorgeous, with the disguised instruments pushing their way effortlessly past the barrier of unfamiliarity and into a realm of breath-taking beauty, and at times the combined noise is like a 21st-century refit of Harry Partch.”
TinyMixTapes, Feb. 2013.
“Past triumphs of Roger and Benjamin + two lifetimes of staunch experimentation = improv gold purer than a million karats wrapped around a million rich ladies’ fingers.”
ARTSFUSE, June 2012.
“In fact each song, for me, conjured up a very specific visual scene, musical storytelling at it’s best. Without the guidance of vocals and lyrics, the listener is encouraged to muse on what each song means emotionally and visually.”
“(At Land’s Edge) is like movies for the blind.”
Mark Brahce, producer of WITH MAGNETIC FIELDS DISRUPTED.
Video: M2 live, June 23, 2012. Armory Cafe, Somerville, MA.
To order the LP w/download card:
To order just a download version, go to:
AT LAND’S EDGE Download
Benjamin plays his unique “Multiphonic Guitar” which involves multiple pickups, preparations, and electronic devices modifying sounds after the fact. Roger plays Prepared Piano, utilizing bronze bolts and alligator clips (and many other items) stuck on and between the piano’s strings to completely alter the sound of the instrument. Their unique sound palette is at times ambient, at times rhythmically pulsing, and at times aggressive. Between the two of them, the usual sounds of a piano/guitar duo are thoroughly avoided.
The music is entirely improvised, with bravura technique sublimated for ensemble sound. It is the gradual, occasionally sudden, shifting and interplay between the two brothers that defines their sound. They have been playing/improvising together off and on since 1969 (beginning with the psych-rock band Sproton Layer), so there is an effortless give and take in their interaction.
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AUDIO: M2: Looming Edit, from “M2: At Land’s Edge”.
AUDIO: M2: Pitch Lake Edit, from “M2: At Land’s Edge”.
AUDIO: M2: Tenuous Properties of Navigation Edit, from “M2: At Land’s Edge”.
AUDIO: M2: Epicenter and Aftermath Edit, from “M2: At Land’s Edge”.
Comments by recent M2 concert-goers:
“Your music reminds me of the middle section of Jimi Hendrix’s 1983, a Merman I shall Turn to Be.”
“I was surprised at how dreamy it was, surprisingly delicate and nuanced.”
“How do you guys always know what to do?”
Their show for the Table of the Elements COPERNICUM FESTIVAL (May, 2011) at the Issue Project Room (Brooklyn, NY) was very well received. It was only their third performance, but had the fluidity that defines the M2 sound.
M2 is currently plotting their next album.
RELATED TOPIC: MMW release.
The CD is a limited edition of 50 on Hikikomori Records, based in Denmark.
Roger is on bass guitar with looping and other devices – basically ELEMENTAL GUITAR for bass; his brother Ben is on “multiphonic” guitar (same as in M2) with looping and other devices, and Matt Weston is on drums and synthesizer (hence: MMW). This is what is called “Free Improvisation” – i.e., it is 100% improvised on the spot (in this case at The Outpost in Cambridge, MA, in October, 2008). Any direct reference to “traditional rhythms” or “traditional harmony” is rejected from the get-go (though there is much information that is obviously “music”, and that reflects various traditions/methods of musical order).
This music is far from “for everybody”, but if you have open ears, there is definitely a lot going on. Matt’s drumming involves blowing on his tympani drums, producing unearthly sonics; Ben’s innovative “multiphonic guitar” work is well-known to on the avant-scene, in many different settings; and Roger’s use of live loops turn his bass riffs inside out. Between the three of players, sounds are sculpted, built, deconstructed, and turned into “music”, without any “beats” or “chord progressions” in sight. Not bad for a classic “guitar/bass/drum” trio. See ya later, Cream…..
Review from VITAL WEEKLY:
MMW – POST-OUT (CDR by Hikikomori)
The letters MMW stands for Miller, Miller and Weston. Of the two Millers, Roger C. is perhaps best known as the man behind Mission Of Burma and here he plays bass guitar along with preparations and electronics. His brother Benjamin was a member the art band GKW and later of Dirty Old Man River. He plays modified guitar and preparations and electronics. Ten years ago he already played with Matt Weston (percussion and electronics) and in October 2008 they decided to play again, but then with Roger. The recording here was made in 2008 at The Outpost in Boston. This is however not some rock record, but a record of heavy improvisation music. I mean this both as heavy in terms of the sound output, but also overall as the way the music is played by this trio. They are quite loud at times, with electronics flying about, but they also know how to pull back and give the piece air and a certain lightness to it, all of this in a piece that lasts thirty minutes. A heavy but beautiful piece of work. (FdW)
“This music is extremely abstract, but it’s immediately obvious that the musicians are totally in tune and listening to each other.” – Mark Brahce, producer of Sproton Layer’s 1970 album: “With Magnetic Fields Disrupted”.
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