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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

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