DescriptionIts been a year or three since we last heard from West London producer Ils, After long toil days in the studio over the past 18 months though we are pleased to announce Ils is back with his new album (his 5th no less) on Distinctive. The masterstroke album "33 rpm" manages to combine melody and song, astute dancefloor savvy and the biggest of beats into one head crunch of a package.
Ils was born Ilian Walker (his mum making up the name while she was pregnant with him and reading Homer's epic book The Iliad), "I've always been called Ils from school days," note Ils. His music journey is no less epic from the 90s to present day with breaks, drum and bass and electro mixes on a raft of impressive labels such as LTJ Bukems, Good Looking, Botchit and Scarper, Fuel, Marine Parade and Mo Wax. Not to forget the best selling "Bohemia" album with us back in 2005.
And so the music. '33rpm', carries on his tradition of exploring assorted flavors in breakbeat science. Spiritual, rocky, decadent and overall momentum. The byword throughout though is quality. Ils grew up in a hippy commune, and the first music he was exposed to was Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side Of The Moon' - an album left to him as a present by a departing squatter. Add to those vibe years of drum and bass, samplers, Ataris then mix in the songs and a subversive, subculture sheen and you can get a sense of the melting pot ingredients for the album.
Things open up with the tour de force track "Changes" crunching breakbeats, moving walls of bass and sultry vocal from Jewels Lindt driving the song. "Come Together" mixes in a dub-reggae-flavored groove, tempo and drums and wanging effects & bleeps and a moody female vocal to maximum effect. Touchstone track for the album is the revolution inducing "Occupy" Drawing on strands of subversion, the biggest beats and waves of audio aggression Ils has woven the zeitgeist feelings of Occupy movement into sonic form.
Recent single "Still Crazy" is next which mixes up some unashamedly proud and loud old school breakbeats with some planet crushing stabs. "Dark Skies" is another slice of breakbeat heaven this time with driving basses more skank beat flavor. "Up and Down" sees the albums most commercially accessible moment. Bouncing beats and basses and a snappy vocal.
"Burn It Down" lingers with the aggressive streak whislt the walking bass and organ stabs of "Firefly" adds darting synth melodies and jazz inflections. "Invisible War" is the dub peak of the album Jewels Lindt providing a rally cry of a vocal over a sidestep bass and layered strings. Its chase scene time next with "Kingdom By The Scene". Classic cinematic big beat Ils in the house. Whilst on a cinematic tip we skip next to the big screen wide beats of "No Regrets". Widescreen strings. forlorn love lyrics over epic beats. The album closes with "Tick Tock" which starts off with Massive Attack style creeping menace and builds to a crescendo of trademark rhythm.
Overall an album we here at Distinctive are proud to have our name on. Stay tuned for more in the single department from our man in the West shortly.