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¥734 lusine icl. condensed. cd. september2k3 [deleted]
|chao (crunch rmx)|
since 1999, jeff mcilwain (a.k.a. lusine icl) has explored and combined a mixture of electronic music genres (and even some genres which do not exist yet). these explorations have ranged from experimental ambience to danceable rhythmic treatments. his fanbase has grown with each release, and lots of open minded listeners have enjoyed albums such as 'iron city'. each release has spotlighted mcilwains variety and virtuosity in merging several styles.
this cd includes various lusine works which were available only on vinyl or only on compilations -except for the unreleased track, 'cascade'. none of these tracks have been released before on hymen records. although 'condensed' is actually a compilation, it has the aural impression of a regular full length album.
cd addicts can find the entire 'chao ep' ,released just a few months ago, on mental industries. also included from mental ind. is the track 'mojave' (which was taken from the 'bored ep' compilation 12"). 'in flight' appeared for the first time on the debut delikatessen records 10", 'sustain'. 'rushhour' and 'vacate' are 7" vinyl tracks which were published on zeal records and awkward silence. 'risa', 'shin', 'lullaby' and 'neon', are cd tracks, but from compilation only releases - originally on !k7, tigerbeat6, eatthis and u-cover.
this is a fine collection of lusine’s work from the last 4 years. highly recommended.
das war ja wohl überfällig. lusine kompiliert sich durch sein werk und weil wir uns an absolut keinen schlechten track des meisters erinnern können, kann hier auch nichts schiefgehen. um die frische chaos e.p auf mental industries herum gibt es hier tracks, die es bislang nur auf vinyl gab oder auf compilations zu finden waren, konkret auf zeal, delikatessen, awkward silence, !k7, u-cover, tigerbeat 6 und einer früheren mental industries, aufgefüllt mit einem bislang unveröffentlichten stück. wir hatten das fast vergessen. dass lusine in seiner anfangsphase gar nicht nur so weich und tief sein konnte, sondern die beats viel mehr in den vordergrund mixte und alles irgendwie viel härter und vor allem schärfer war und erst im breakdown die fläche droppte. jedenfalls manchmal. tracks wie "vacate" erzählen da schon wieder eine ganz andere geschichte. one for the ipod. und für jede sekunde des musikhörens. riesengroß! (thaddi)
lusine icl is the project of jeff mcilwain and condensed is a collection of work which has appeared on vinyl over the last few years. since 1999, mcilwain has been exploring experimental electronic landscapes and, in those few short years, has pushed past a number of boundaries into spaces heretofore unexplored. from the suspended ambient landscape of "in flight" to the glitched dance beats of "risa," mcilwain seeks to create a sound which is answerable only to his whim. while "chao" clatters with complex beat patterns in a manner expected of an intelligent dance music track, mcilwain slathers crisp tones over the beat patterns, tones which are echoed again in the more minimal techno follow up, "rabblerouse." his constructions all have a marked coloration, a silvery tint to the notes (if i can be indulged in a synaesthetic moment) which puts everything in a cool and crisp light. polished, but still highly mobile and flexible. the programming takes on a veneer of effortlessness while still retaining an elegant complexity which draws in the curious listener. "dr. chinme" teeters on the brink of being a down-tempo track, a sultry vocalist caught in the opening phrase of her song, her rising notes looped and folded back upon themselves over a bed of clicks and resonant bass notes. "shin" plays out like a series of ripples on a pond, tones echoing across a wide lake while fuzzed beats scurry beneath the surface like startled crustaceans. "vacate" rises out of the noisy grooves of a vinyl record, a soft breath of a song harried by the looping static of the needle against the vinyl surface. my favorite ambient track on the record, "vacate" is from a split 7-inch on awkward silence in 2002 and is a completely self-contained universe of mcilwain sounds. the static from the needle morphs into a metallic pattern, a digital rendition of chaos which perambulates beneath the ambient soundscape which grows in its own strength to counter the burr and hiss of the beats. "cascade," the single new track on the record, contains this same ordered flight of glorious tones but the beats are stronger. caustic spikes poke and pry at the listener, an electrified field of energy which sizzles and snaps. the center of the song drops away, vanishing into a fine mist of digitized particles which gradually build back to their former energized state. "lullaby" coos in your ear in a sprightly fashion, buoyed by a back-masked beat pattern, and it hovers around your head like a tiny hummingbird, first singing its 'la la la' in one ear and then the other. condensed covers most of mcilwain's work as lusine icl and demonstrates how fully formed he sprang into life. the tracks aren't ordered in any sequence, furthering the idea that condensed isn't just a gathered set of specimen jars. what you hear across this span of time, across this hour of electronic melodies and ambient journeys, is that mcilwain is a curious and experimentally-minded fellow. he's not caught by convention; he's not constrained by what he thinks he knows. he finds the electron to be flexible, and condensed is a great way to introduce yourself to what he's done. elegant, polished, and captivating to hear. recommended. (mark teppo)
september 2003 'condensed' is four years worth of electronic tampering from jeff mcilwain. combining a number of ep's and singles, since 1999, the album explores a combination of tentative electronica and experimental ambience, molded together by some deliciously engrossing loops and beats. in particular, both 'risa' and 'chao' provide absorbing lessons in how to combine experimental sonic elements with ambient atmosphere's. it's true that the album does tend to drift into the more abstract as it streams along, therefore losing some of its appeal. but this is probably due to the mixture of works involved. overall 'condensed' is an interesting body of work, with some very good moments, but not consistent enough to deeply imbed itself into the memory. a more fully realised studio album should say a lot more about mciiwain's true ability to impose his style more consistently throughout.
los angeles based sound artist, jeff mcilwain, has been on the music scene under the lusine-project since 1999. originally from austin the artist picked some musical inspirations from texas, before moving to l.a. to start at the california institute of the arts, calarts. thirteenth shot from lusine, titled "condensed", is not a new full-length album. it is a compilation of earlier works either released on vinyl only, on compilations only, or simply just unreleased materials. the sounds of the warm sunny california shines clearly through on "condensed". the rhythmic texture varies between tight electro-beats and catchy breakbeats familiar to the style of the british drum'n'bass-scene around ltj bukem. underneath the rhythm-section there is a warmly kind of melodic ambience adding a good atmosphere to the album. only a few passages on the album are intervened by more distorted noisy sound loops. elsewhere the music is open-minded in its form making it easily approachable for a wide range of electronic listeners. (nmp)
pregevole raccolta dei lavori di jeff mcilwain (aka luisine icl) in precedenza pubblicati solo su vinile o su compilation, ad eccezione dell'inedita 'cascade, ma 'condesati' aggrumando sostanza, quasi come in un nuovo album, a ribadire un eclettismo sonico fra sperimentazioni ambientali e ritmi, attingendo garbatamente a piu generi, operando melodie sghembe ed ipnotici trattamenti. quattro anni passati ad assemblare suoni, per differenti etichette, ritroviamo infatti, tutto il chao ep, edito da mental industries e altre uscite per delikatessen, zeal, !k7, tigerbeat6, eatthis e u-cover. scansioni a volte dilatate, in altri casi piu ruvide, come nel crunch mix, ma sempre intrise di poesia ed evocativa qualita, a rendere evidente la vocazione anche descrittiva di molta musica elettronica oggigiorno. tredici le tracce tra click, distorsioni e sintetiche atmosfere, tutto il campionario di luisine e esibito con cura. essenziale. (aurelio cianciotta)
'usine' (the moniker jeff mcilwain adopted for his eponymous 1999 isophlux cd) is french for 'the factory,' an appropriate name choice given the machine-like qualities of his electronic music. it possesses a clean and glossy sheen and, while teeming with intricate textural detailing, still manages to sound tastefully restrained. condensed collects thirteen pieces released over the past four years on labels like mental industries, tigerbeat6, zeal, delikatessen, and awkward silence and, even though many tracks were formerly released on vinyl and compilations, the judicious sequencing makes condensed sound like a natural full-length. the man is certainly prolific, as condensed marks his fifth album in four years, in addition to numerous 12" and 7" releases. there's an overriding dance-based dimension to the music, and traces of funk and hip-hop emerge throughout. but mcilwain never surrenders entirely to simple-minded forays into dance genres, but instead navigates a midway point between groove-based tracks and sophisticated compositional structures. emphasis is typically placed upon layered beat patterns with subtle traces of melody surfacing through them. songs that at first sound like mere grooves eventually reveal themselves to be meticulously constructed pieces enriched by numerous electronic layers. a perfect example is 'cascade' which incorporates passages of hip-hop and funk but interlays them with a ghostly, spectral interlude, such that the episodic piece ultimately coheres into a satisfying, full-fledged composition. even though mcilwain has cited amon tobin and luke vibert as influences, many pieces ('chao,' 'chao (crunch rmx),' 'mojave') suggest a stronger kinship with autechre; certainly the crunchy funk beat, grinding noises, and digital chatter on 'chao (crunch rmx) evoke signature traits of their classic style. mcilwain explores different moods and styles throughout, and alternates dance-based pieces with ambient sojourns like 'in flight,' a stately overture of chiming gaseous emissions and melancholy themes, and 'vacate,' whose vinyl crackles, hiss expirations, and distant voices punctuate its synth melodies and gentle bass lines. other tracks, by contrast, are full-out beat workouts, such as the euphoric and frothy 'isa,' the skittering 'rabblerouse,' and the jazz-tinged 'neon.' 'dr. chinme' and 'lullaby' are further exemplars of classic digital funk, with the former distinguished by its deep bass lines and atmospheric bell chiming, and the latter by the intricate layering of industrial sounds and interweaving synth patterns. the most robust piece, 'rushhour,' accentuates mcilwain's mechanical side with its repetitive machine patterns giving way to a pummeling drum'n'bass episode. admittedly, it's a long recording-arguably too long-at seventy-five minutes with most songs in the six-minute range. condensed initially registers as a collection of electronic tracks that are too fixated upon beats at the expense of melodic and compositional development. subsequent listens do alter that impression slightly for there are melodies (albeit ones that often seem to lurk behind the beats), and there certainly is compositional development as many of the pieces unfold episodically through differing moods. and yet one can't help but conclude that, had mcilwain pursued more fervently the melodic and compositional dimensions of his music, condensed would impress as deeper and more significant. (ron schepper)
jeff mcilwain has spread himself thin across many labels and releases. nevertheless, his brand of delicate rhythmo-electronica has made him a mainstay amongst the new breed of software/laptop electronic composers. the diversity of his outings on labels such as u-cover, delicatessen, hymen, isophlux, zeal, mental ind., ghostly intl., and others has contributed to a complex style of stylistic bending and mending that’s become quite impressive, if not outright addictive. hymen now compiled a few vinyl-only releases (the complete chao ep, tracks off the bored, sustain, zealtronic blue releases and the split 7" with buddy system) and compilation appearances on labels like !k7, tigerbeat6, eatthis, and u-cover, coupled it with one unreleased track into a collector’s dream come true. it is indeed a very customer-friendly move if there’s no more need to hunt for that one limited 7" or if one can avoid the annoying purchase of a compilation with otherwise unattractive line-up. completists do live a hard life. despite ranging from darkly tinged ambient tracks to jittery robo-trembles and upbeat electronica, the compilation flows in my eyes like an album. granted, an album of diverse moods and flavors, but thus especially entertaining. i especially dig his incorporation of organic sounding elements like manipulated guitar plucking or ambient sound washes reminiscent of distant world music echoes. on top of that a highly trained sense for melody and curious drive for experimental sound design (especially in beat patterns, just check the brilliant "cascade" and "neon"), voila, and another top-notch lusine icl release, hymen respectively, has graced our shores. (till)
l'usine. cd. isophlux. 1999
coded. 12", isophlux. 2000
a pseudo steady state. cd. u-cover. 2000
freak. 12". hymen records. 2000
zealectronic blue. 7". zeal. 2000
surface. 12". isophlux. 2001
slipthrough. 12". hymen records. 2001
coalition 2000. cd. u-cover. 2001
coalition 2000. 12". inc.us. 2001
sustain. 10". delikatessen records. 2002
iron city. cd / 2x12". hymen records. 2002
split (w/ the buddy system). 7". awkward silence recordings. 2002
chao ep. 12". mental ind records. 2003
push ep. 12". ghostly international. 2003
condensed. cd. hymen records. 2003
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