Initially releasing on LTJ Bukem’s drum & bass label Good Looking in the mid-90s, ILs — aka beatsmith Ilian Walker — went on to release albums for Distinctive and Botchit & Scarper (‘Bohemia’, ‘Soul Trader’ etc) and produce some of the most memorable noughties breakbeat cuts such as ‘Next Level’ and his overhaul of ‘Baba O’Riley’ by rock legends The Who.
Now he’s back on Distinctive with the new ’33 R.P.M’ album, and ILs has morphed into a band. How come?
“It’s really to acknowledge that most gigs I have done over the years have featured scratch DJs and MCs,” ILs tells DJ Mag.
“On most of my other projects I’ve used a wide range of singers and performers on albums, and getting them together for live shows has been very difficult — to say the least! I really wanted to have more continuity between the album tracks, so I just worked with one singer — Jewels Lindt. I really wanted to work with Jewels because she has a fairly dark songwriting style which I thought would suit this album.”
A rich melting pot of cinematic breakbeat, Massive Attack-style trip-hop, big beat soundtrack-o-rama and progressive beatnik anthems, ’33 R.P.M’ shows that ILs has lost none of his production skillz. ILs has also recruited DJ Rich to the outfit, and admits that he initially resisted the new technology to play out live as he was such a vinyl lover, but is now firing on all digital cylinders. Look out for live shows and festival gigs from the newly-formed ILs band this summer.
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