Exposé Online banner

Ilitch — Lena's Life and Other Stories
(Fractal Records Fractal185, 2007, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-01-01

Lena's Life and Other Stories Cover art

This is the second disc of all new material in Ilitch’s recent batch of activity beginning with Hors Temps in 2004 (last years’ Rainy House was mixed with older unreleased material), and it offers fifteen song-length pieces of dark, industrial pop, rife with dense walls of textured sound, screaming guitar loops, odd rhythms and layered brooding electronics. Track depending, main man Thierry Müller is joined by numerous guests on additional guitars, bass, drums, Mellotron, percussion, and vocals. Only a handful of the tracks feature lyrics, yet those pieces break up the overall program nicely and keep it interesting throughout. As songs go, what we have here is a collection of Ilitch’s best work to date; pensive, artful, melodic and brilliantly rhythmic, yet never pretty, and thus remaining true to its industrial roots and core experimental origins. As albums go, everything seems to be held together by a unifying concept, but there is enough variety and mystery to make every twist and turn in the plot a unique adventure. In that sense, this release has much more in common with his earlier 10 Suicides from the 80s than any releases of more recent vintage. Those not yet acquainted with Ilitch might do well to start right here with Lena’s Life. Recommended.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 35, 2007 releases

Related artist(s): Thierry Müller / Ilitch / Ruth

Latest news

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Asia - Phoenix – When Asia’s debut hit turntables in 1982 it quickly became clear that this was not the next coming of progressive rock many had hoped for. The names were familiar: John Wetton, Geoff Downes,...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues