"Astromill is the electro sci-fi creation of singer / keyboard player Sheryl McMillan. Think a Beatlesque mixture of Imogen Heap and Kate Bush on Cyber Pop."
"The futuristic audio palette covers the whole era of synthesizers & electronic percussion, from the early analogs, to the latest digital plug-ins by electro-pop virtuoso, Sheryl McMillan."
"Female vocals, cool dance beats, heavy Pet Shop Boys influence, spacey lyrics and imagery, yet twittering silence from the synthpop crowd. Was she too weird? Too spacey? Too dancey? Not enough." (http://dyingaslowdeath.blogspot.com/2007/11/astromill.html)
"Astormill creates music that seems to be either from the other side of the universe or straight out of the year 2100. I have both CD’s and they will be cherished!"
"Astromill is top notch synthpop"
guest guitar by George Hutton (track 05)
Masterd by Brian Hazard (http://resonancemastering.com/)
Producered and Engineered by Sheryl McMillan
01 Spaceblade 2001 (4:22)
02 No Stranger (5:26)
03 A Different Emotion (5:50)
04 Hello Heaven? (3:47)
05 Allison In TV Land (4:08)
06 Technosphere (3:35)
07 Do Without (3:19)
08 Not In Love With 'Love' (3:46)
09 Stranded In Manchester (5:07)
10 Isolation (5:10)
11 Keep Your Distance (5:01)
12 Yesterday's News (4:10)
13 Home (5:10)
14 It Isn't Pretty (from va-Rocket - A Tribute To Dead Or Alive 2005)
Link to download:
"this cd is very cool. she makes all the music herself, lists gary numan, thomas dolby, and pet shop boys as inspirations, so if she needs a boyfriend or something, i'm right here!
anyway, the intro is a great re-adjustment to the atmosphere created which is dense, cold, and emotional at once, like the names mentioned above. no stranger is a modern day synth-pop masterpiece, the end.
while other songs are as brilliant, that will probably be the one to jump out at you upon first listen. stranded in manchester has a great st. etienne/dubstar vibe, while intentional or not, is sheer brilliance. other songs are great as well, these 2 stand out for mention."
"This is the debut album for the UK-based project Astromill, which is made up of Sherry McMillian, with guest guitar assistance by George Hutton. Astromill debut to the world on the Electricity Volume II compilation, released in 2003, and her unique vocal sound captured interest immediately in the Electronic Underground. Her vocals have a pinched, very distinctive sound to them that's very hard describe.
On to the album: The album contains two instrumental tracks, the opening track and "Technosphere". Of the two, "Spaceblade 2001" is quite random and irritating. There's very little in the way of melody established in it, and it comes off seeming like unnecessary padding to the album. "Technosphere", however, is a much more focused instrumental, and more enjoyable for it.
Oddly enough, Sherry's vocals have a lot of processing and effects added to them in the first track with vocals, "No Stranger". The cumulative effect of the additional processing is to take some of the edge from her voice, which actually makes the track harder to get into. "A Different Emotion" settles into more familiar territory, with Sherry's vocals basically unaltered and a strong pop hook driving the song. "Hello Heaven?" brings back in the heavy vocal distortion, but contains the usage of it to the chorus. That discretion helps the song to be much more listener-friendly.
Lyrically, "Allison In TV Land" is probably the sharpest and most pointed of the songs here. It's a real wake up call to those of us who get caught up in TV shows and allow them to grow into being the only common interest we can share with other. It doesn't hurt at all that the song is extremely catchy and well-written musically. "Do Without" is a bit of a more basic and stripped down popsong compared with the previous tracks, but it really works well both in a contrasting sense and on it's own. "Not In Love With 'Love'" is another slower, not as immediately catchy song, but it's easily one of the best tracks on the album, both lyrically and for simple catchiness. A great song that, while not being the most danceable track on the album, is still one of the best.
"Stranded In Manchester" appears here basically in the same form as on Electricity II, perhaps with some more spit and polish on the production, but overall still the very same addictive song as you're heard before. "Isolation" is just another in a string of excellent pop songs Sherry has strung together on this disc. Both it and "Keep Your Distance" are just amazingly good songs, "Keep Your Distance" topping even "Stranded In Manchester" to become the best song on the album easily. The album closes on a bit of a down note, however, as both "Yesterday's News" and "Home" seem to fall somewhat flat. Overall, though, Astromill has crafted a very excellent album here, and one I can easily recommend!
METHOD TO MY MADNESS (2006)
Artwork By - Mirai (http://wisdomcore.com/)
Mastered By - Adam Smith , Rael Jones (www.myspace.com/raeljones )
Performer - Sheryl McMillan
Recorded By - Sheryl McMillan
01 No Promises (5:33)
02 All The Same (6:03)
03 Control-Alt-Delete (6:17)
04 Cold In The Middle (4:20)
05 Ice Station Zebra (6:04)
06 Method To My Madness (4:20)
07 Tea In China (6:07)
08 Spin Cycle (5:04)
09 Changed Man (5:01)
10 All Been Done Before (4:33)
Link to download:
"AstroMill featured on the recently reviewed 'World Wide Kind 2' CD and, though I did enjoy the track, it didn't really jump out at me. This CD was totally different however. From first listen I was hooked. If you are into melodic, infectious, synth-pop from the very top drawer then this is for you!
The album opens with 'No Promises' which is based on a lilting electronic beat and quite whimsical lyrics which get (as with many of the vocals on the album) the vocoder-type treatment. As an opener it certainly gets the interest sparked, but it doesn't quite prepare you for the brilliance to come. I can't quite decide between tracks 2 or 3 as my favourites. Either way, they are both sensational, and in isolation would make this a "must buy". 'All the Same' has more completely superb treated vocals, the electronic rhythmics are great, but the hook is the infectious nature of every nook and cranny. It's such a finely crafted slab of synth-pop, I can't get it out of my head! There seems to be only antidote, play the next track! How to describe 'Control-Alt-Delete'? "WOW" seems the only way! A sensational electro-beat gets proceedings underway, then sumptuous synth lines pick out a killer riff. Then the vocals, which are totally magnificent, are added to the mix - heavily treated in so many different ways. So infectious that it should only be handled in sterilised conditions. About the only way to top it is you listen to it with the accompanying video (look on youtube) which paints a cutting-edge CG backdrop to this awesome track. Totally top drawer, if I hear two better back-to-back tracks this year I'll be very surprised.
But we're only at track 4 and next is 'Cold in the Middle' which opens a bit like a Beatles song! More great vocals, pleasing melody, a real grower. There are a couple of purely instrumental pieces on this album, and the next track 'Ice Station Zebra' is one of them. It builds purposely as insistent electro-patterns twist and turn, the percussive beat building in definition. Then it gets stripped down to ambience before being re-constructed. The approach is often "less is more" and the subtlety is impressive Next is the title track which is a real grower. Yes, there are more great vocals, yes there are more superb lilting electronic beats. Throw in a Numan-style synth riff, and this listener is in heaven. Brilliant.
The quality continues with 'Tea In China'. Downbeat, melodic, infectious (yes I know I keep using this word, but it really is!). A short piano riff plays with the different elements; lots of electronic effects keep you guessing. 'Spin Cycle' is the most "electronic" piece on offer, an instrumental which slowly develops on expert sequence lines. The beat is a killer, the quirky electronics very entertaining, but somehow the purely instrumental tracks don't quite match the quality of the vocal ones. 'Changed Man' lacks some of the infection of its siblings but is still a great slab of synth-pop, more "in yer face" vocals and grungy style rhythmics-with-attitude. The album signs off on another high both in terms of quality and fun-factor. It's 'All Been Done Before' it may very well have been, but when it's this good I really don't care! The vocal hook is great, the synth lines rasp and cajole, the rhythm picks you up. Superb.
I'm a big fan of synthpop, especially with vocoder/treated vocals. What transcends this album to greatness is the way many of the tracks burrow into the brain and take up residence. I've played this CD more than 90% of the stuff I heard in 2006. And 2007 is only a month old as I write! Yes, it's that good! Buy without hesitation." (GG)
"This album is absolutely amazing! You know, it\'s so well done, it puts me in a trance. Especially No Promises. That song is soooooooooooooooooooo lovely, it soothes my soul. Seriously, don\'t miss out on this excellent music."
Astromill is the electro sci-fi creation of singer / keyboard player Sheryl McMillan. Sheryl grew up in the USA and played keyboards in numerous rock and new wave bands in the early 1980's, eventually moving to Nashville and working as assistant engineer in a recording studio and touring the USA before moving to Los Angeles. In LA, the seeds of what would eventually become Astromill were sewn. Since then she has recorded as session keyboardist / programmer and/or singer on numerous demos and record projects as well as spending countless hours performing in live bands from spacey electronic to jazz to heavy metal.
Sheryl appears as Astromill on the Ninthwave compilation 'Electricity 2' alongside artists such as White Town and Heaven 17. She recently co-wrote and sang guest lead vocals on a CD by Synthetik FM and has done remixes for bands like Spray and Moulin Noir. In 2004 she contributed tracks to tribute CDs for The Fixx and Dead Or Alive and in 2003 scored the soundtrack of a documentary film shown on various cable channels in the UK and Europe. Sheryl currently resides in Kent, England where a dimly-lit room is often alive with the blinking lights and buzzing sounds of electronic machines built a long time ago in a land far away.
This is the unique electronic project of Sheryl McMillan, an electronic artist from the UK who is heavily influenced by
new wave an alternative artists as diverse as Kate Bush, Imogen Heap, and the Pet Shop Boys. Her voice has a very unique quality to it, and her musical styles are numerous. Her image is very much influenced by science fiction, especially British sci-fi such as Doctor Who. In addition to producing her own music, she has also been active in the underground electronic scene as a remixer. One of her remix projects was for the legendary British electro band Heaven 17, of their song "Hands Up To Heaven", which got her all the way to #6 on the US Billboard Dance charts. Sheryl is working away in her sci-fi lab, concocting more sounds. Stay tuned!
"Astromill at present consists solely of singer /songwriter/ keyboardist Sheryl McMillan. Like many of us, Sheryl recalls with fondness the years of the late 1970's and early '80's as a time of great change and experimentation in pop music and much of her work bears the lasting influence of artists like The Fixx, Thomas Dobly, Gary Numan etc. Astromill HQ is located in sunny Kent England where a dimly lit room is often aglow with the blinking lights and strange buzzings of musical machines built a long time ago in a land far away." (http://www.doatribute.com/artists.html)
Method To My Madness (2007)