The recommended experience of listening to Reuben Winter’s album ‘Milk III’ will be tinged with sadness for many. A long time sufferer of the chronic pain-causing condition fibromyalgia, Winter died by suicide in September 2020.
In his short life, he produced a significant body of work, and this posthumous release is an excellent representation of what he was able to achieve. As Totems he produced electronic music, but ‘Milk III’ is a brooding guitar-based record sporting some giant riffs reminiscent of Weezer or Blur.
However, the album has real depth and refuses to be pigeon-holed: ’78 has an Unknown Mortal Orchestra inflexion, Maple is light and dreamy, Ram Raid is rough punk, and An Important Message is based around a phone message.
Winter recorded the album at Red Bull Studios with many overdubs recorded in his Titirangi home, (probably bedroom,) continuing the Kiwi tradition of DIY smarts and ingenuity. He died aged just 26, but ‘Milk III’ is a complex, mature work, from an artist clearly wise beyond his years.
All profits from ‘‘Milk III’ will be split between Fibromyalgia Aotearoa NZ and Reuben’s whānau and future fund.