Ben Miller music  
       
Third Border

Broken Mirrors

Blackout in the City

Intercom

Unearthing

One Full Turn

 

Benjamin Rush Miller: Discography

The Sensorium Saxophone Orchestra

In C (CD)

2012 Living Records, June 2012

Kevin Gosa; soprano. Bryan Beninghove; soprano. Terrell Reese; soprano. David Schnug; alto. Adam Ramsay; alto. Benjamin Miller; alto, C-tenor. Jonathan Moritz; tenor. Gabriel Yonkler; baritone. Stefan Zenuik; baritone. Brian Landrus; bass. Hiroyuki Matsu; snare.

The Sensorium Saxophone Orchestra's unique single-timbre version of Terry Riley's minimalist classic is available through this website, distributed by Cuneiform Records, and as digital download on BandCamp (TBA).

"...I'm sure this will be a first for saxophone orchestra."
- Ann Riley / 2009

M2

At Lands Edge (CD)

2012 Feeding Tube Records June 2012

Ben Miller: multiphonic guitar, treatment. Roger Miller: prepared grand piano.

In fact each song, for me, conjured up a very specific visual scene, musical storytelling at its best. Without the guidance of vocals and lyrics, the listener is encouraged to muse on what each song means emotionally and visually.
Kat Burke, ARTFUSE 2012

Ben Miller / Degeneration

Eyelands Under Eyelid (CD)

2010 Gulcher Records, distributed through Living Records

multiphonic guitar, sk1, radio

"The best way to describe this album would probably be Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music-lite. While it's nowhere near the aural assault of MMM--quite the opposite, in fact--it seems to be a kindred spirit, a quiet cousin of sorts. ...weaves sonic tapestries of unsettling thoughts, sparse, eerie soundscapes that draw the listener into a world of sound, darkness, and pure energy. There's also a symphonic element, almost Glenn Branca, amid the churning static. This is what noise should be: well thought-out constructions with a clear direction in mind, not aimless distortion and chaos."
- Jack Rabbid, The Big Takeover / 2011

Live Performances and Radio Broadcasts (CDR)

2010 Tigerasylum Records, distributed through Living Records

multiphonic guitar, mg1, sk1, analog tape, radio.

"...Miller leaves no stone unturned in his investigations into what sounds his instrument can be coaxed, seduced or pummelled into making...a snowstorm of sound...like an airliner coming in for a landing...a tree being dismembered by a gang of chainsaws...think robot Gort's eye opening menacingly in The Day the Earth Stood Still...Unlike most free improvisers, Miller's ryhthmic vocabulary isn't restricted to combinations of fewer than five attacks; he can extend passages with no apparent repetition of grouping and no underlying, constant pulse...This is challenging, rewarding work.
- Glenn Hall, Exclaim Magazine

Polar Shifts (Cassette)

2010 Obsolete Units, distributed through Living Records

multiphonic guitar, mg1, vocal.

On Sale HERE

"Five distinct pieces of prepared guitar from this veteran erupt impulsively on POLAR SHIFTS, each digging out its own medium in ranges from subliminally minimal silence and sustainment to off-kilter "songs" comparable to the more entracingly sparse and industrial ventures of This Heat. Miller, who's appeared in projects ranging from the infamous Destroy All Monsters to M3 to GKW to Dirty Old Man River, initiates a stark boldness pertaining to his meticulously modified instrument, forgoing easy novelty for a demanding and rousing execution of pleasantly cryptic resonance. An exceptionally obscure venture into immaculate and subtle clamor."
Paul Haney 2010 / Obsolete Units - Edition of 60.

Sirens of Phobos (CDR)

2007 Living Records

radio, multiphonic guitar, alto sax.

"This warped, questing music is sometimes like a game of blind man's bluff in a rotting warehouse: you feel that Miller has set things up so that he too doesn't quite know what's going on...Miller's guitar is heavily detuned and intonations are random...Miller doesn't use guitar technique as such, he stays firmly in touch with the instrument's sound, so if spokes are being forced through strings, that's what you hear...Motoko Shimizu contirubtes clear-voiced singing, while Ed Chang tosses in skittish sampled loops. These two are members of New York pranksters SPIN 17, and offer a playful foil to Miller's somber preoccupations..."
Clive Bell / WIRE Magazine 2008

Layer (CDR)

2005 Living Records

multiphonic guitar, sk1. Picture Music designed for Roger Miller's frottage drawings. Miniature copies of said "drawings" included.

Over and Out (CDR)

2004 Living Records

multiphonic guitar, mg1, vocal.

" Ben Miller does just about everything to his guitar, except to play it conventionally...he coaxes out a wide range of wavering, droning tones and textures...more actively inventive than many more revered players.
Dream Magazine 2006

Intercom (CDR)

2001 Living Records

prepared stereo arch top guitar, mg1, multiphonic guitar.

"If new expressionists closed their eyes and painted what they saw then Ben Miller must be taping shut his ears and playing what he hears…blood thrashing through arteries, nerves popping, synapses burning,..doors knocking, feet bounding up echoed stairways... Formerly a part of the 'anti-rock band' Destroy All Monsters, Miller takes the 'anti' idea a step further."
Detroit Metro Times 2001

"...a genre-defying album...no chord progressions or standard picking techniques are displayed here... a mesmerizing effort from one of the most progressive guitarists around."
Reckless Records, Chicago 2001

Third Border

Return Return (CD)

2010 DIY

Sun of Water, Sea of Light(CD)

2006 Radial Records

"Ben Miller played alto sax for Ann Arbor legends Destroy All Monsters during the group's second incarnation with Niagara and Ron Asheton at the helm. As the driving force behind Third Border, however, Miller's talent as a writer and performer becomes clear, and what leaps out is not without its own quirky charm. Rather than simply replay Miller's art punk past, Third Border mix Prog with 60s UK psychedelic pop. Their timely version of Syd Barrett's "Jugband Blues" is a fine example of the latter, an eccentrically orchestrated tribute which goes out in fine style with a mad marching band of saxophones and kazoos."
WIRE magazine Oct. 2006

NOTE: "Sun of Water, Sea of Light" has been chosen with only 47 other candidates for possible Grammy nomination in the 2006 'Alternative Album of the year' category.

Third Border (CDR)

2004 Living Records

M3

Unearthing (CD)

2001 Sublingual Rare Editions

"…operating in the realm where silence plays as much of a role as sound, M3 builds soundscapes based on abstract scratching guitars, ripples of electronic effects, and intermittent punchy drums....It's clear from early on that very few rules govern the situation...M3 aims to break stereotypes, and this the trio does with abandon."

Nils Jacobson, All About Jazz 2001

w/brothers Laurence and Roger

M-3 (CD/Cass)

1993 New Alliance 057

"the best guitar release to emerge this year" Guitar Player Magazine 1994

Twice Removed

One Full Turn (CDR)

2002 Farfetched Records

multiple instruments w/brother Laurence, akin to a combination between M3's 1st and 2nd release.

Dirty Old Man River

The Saddest Movie Screen (CD)

1998 Radial Records

Ageless (CD/LP)

2000 Radial

"…'Little Trigger Finger' and the throttling 'City of New Orleans' stand like obsidian columns in the mists of imposing emptiness. But it’s the fatigued, cantankerous ballads — 'Famous for Being Killed' and the Joy Division-worthy 'All Contact is Lost' — that really turn desolation into stylized exquisiteness…Miller‘s atypical six-string antics, which he primarily limits to scratches, whirrs and random blurts of noise that are almost 100-percent free of such niceties as melodies, riffs or notes…Its squeaks, croaks, frequency disruptions and energy fields assassinate DOMR‘s compositions, knocking them sideways and diluting their cabaret-ish flair with avant-garde terror. By comparison, the latest Weimar-lounge howlers by Nick Cave and Einsturzende Neubauten sound like cries from a nursing home for reformed junkies." — Jordan Mamone, New York Press

www.radialrecords.net

GKW

GKW formed in 1982 as a sort of garage-art band with two drummers, two bass guitarists and three guitarists (with vocal ramblings by Laurence Miller). In 1985 it became a duet between Ben Miller and Robert Currie with a more minimalist approach. In 1991, actor/director Linda Kendall joined, honing a performance-art sensibility until the group disbanded in 1994.

Side Effects (Cass)

1983 GKW Tapes

Live Perspire And Be Phosphorous (Cass)

1984 SBD

After Effects (Cass)

1985 GKW Tapes

Us & Them (Cass)

1988 GKW Tapes

EC0.04 (Cassingle)

1988 GKW Tapes (never released)

The Feeling (Cass)

1990 GKW Tapes (never released)

Color Inventory (Cass)

--- GKW Tapes (unmixed)

Nonfiction

Ann Arbor avant power trio led by twins Ben and Larry Miller with drummer Bill Frank. Nonfiction gained local popularity from 1982-1985 as well as performing in Detroit, Chicago and Boston. This band was a distillation of two other bands the Miller brothers had formed beforehand: The Same Band (1980, art-fusion quartet) and The Other Band (1981, manic art-pop trio).

Cruizin' Ann Arbor (LP)

1982 AAMP Compilation

Walking Sideways Talking Backwards (Cass)

1984 Neoteric (included Ben's arrangement of Laurie Anderson's Oh, Superman)

Xanadu

an Art Punk recording-only project featuring x-Destroy All Monsters Cary Loren, Ben Miller, Larry Miller and Rob King.

Blackout In The City (7" EP)

1979 Black Hole

Destroy All Monsters

Ann Arbor-based Punk band in its 3rd incarnation featuring Niagara, Ron Asheton, Michael Davis, Ben Miller, Larry Miller and Rob King.

You're Gonna Die/Bored (7")

1977 Cherry Red / Revenge

November 22nd 1963/Meet The Creeper (7")

1978 IDBI / Cherry Red / Revenge

Day Of Diamonds (7" EP)

1979 Black Hole [also incl. Cary Loren]

Broken Mirrors, rehearsals & shows 1977-1978 (CD)

2003 Farfetched

"Broken Mirrors" features songs written by Ben and Larry Miller. Also includes versions of Little Doll and These Boots Are Made For Walking. Line-up: Niagara,Ron Ashton, Michael Davis, Larry Miller, Ben Miller, Rob King. Recorded on quarter-inch 2-track, 1977 - 1978.

"While not as well known as the Stooges or the MC5, Destroy All Monsters were another Ann Arbor band whose influence far outstretched its life as an active band. Combining art punk, free jazz, garge rock and lead singer Niagara's histrionics, Destroy All Monsters were the hidden link between the Velvet Underground and no-wave bands like Sonic Youth.
" Josh Steichmann ANN ARBOR CURRENT Sept. 2004

Ben's Destroy All Monsters interview Apr. 2004.

Sproton Layer

Ann Arbor, MI Space Rock w/brothers Laurence and Roger, and trumpeter Harold Kirchen; 1969-1971. After recording "With Magnetic Fields Disrupted" in fall of 1970, Sproton Layer disbanded. As of June 2010, there has been label interest in releasing several recordings of this period which have never been made public. In 1971, Sproton Layer reformed exploring instrumentals for a brief time. No recordings were made of this incarnation. Sproton Layer developed out of an earlier group called The Freak Trio (Miller brothers) 1968-69, which experimented heavily in free-rock improvisation as well as acoustic settings with piano, clarinet, saxophone, acoustic guitar, and found sound. Spontaneous Song seemed to be the focus.

Lost Behind Words (7")

1991 New Alliance 802
recorded 1969

With Magnetic Fields Disrupted (CD/LP/Cass)

1992 New Alliance 055
recorded 1970
"(Sproton Layer) sounds like Syd Barrett fronting Cream" Michael Azzerad, from the book Our Band Could Be Your Life. On Sale at Arf Arf Records

Other Recordings

Marianne Nowottny

What Is She Doing? (CD)

2007 The Abaton Book Company .
C-tenor saxophone track on "Burning Up For You Baby".

Lori Bortz / Elliot Sharpe

A Modicum of Passion (CD)

2005 The Abaton Book Company .
voice/vocal track. An opera based on the play by Lauri Bortz with music composed and conducted by Elliot Sharpe. Features Devorah Day, Ben Miller, Eric Mingus and Joan Wasser.

Orgy of Noise (Bill T. Miller)

Live Bent(CD)

2004
modified toy instrument.
...see Ben play with Bill T. Miller (no relation) at The Circuit Bending Festival 2004.

The Empty Set

This was an avant pop rock band led by brother Laurence.

Wandering In Wonder (7" EP)

1986 LALA
alto saxophone

Lost In A Ryptide (12" LP)

1986 LALA
alto saxophone

Roman Holiday (7")

1992 Bird Cage
alto saxophone

Thin, Slim, None, and Flunkie(CD)

1996 Bird Cage
alto saxophone, guitar, songwriter

Roger Miller

No Man Is Hurting Me (LP)

1986 Ace of Hearts
select guitar and alto saxophone tracks later manipulated by Roger Miller

 

 

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