SINGLE REVIEW: Graffiti Hen Ewrop by ilu
In a gorgeous, immaculately appointed interpretation of the West German sound that came to define avant-garde music a quarter century ago, ilu deliver nothing less than total sonic exhibitionism in their hot new single “Graffiti Hen Ewrop,” out this coming August 3rd via Libertino Records. Not only does ilu use a full color palate to make some textured, authentically different noise music that is easy to get completely swept up in, but their sound isn’t one that leaves listeners feeling a little manipulated after a few listens. This is organic, thoughtful music that wasn’t derived from some outside source and reworked into something that would sell well with a specific audience. Put simply, in a world full of posers, ilu stand out as the real article.
In a lot of ways, you could make a strong argument that “Graffiti Hen Ewrop” is kind of a stab at making new wave music in the 21st century, albeit a very composite, obtuse version of the sound that came to shape early to mid-80s punk rock. There’s the same set of ethics that encourage a stripping of indulgent themes from music, but much like shoegaze artists and other audiological experimenters, ilu doesn’t feel like stripping down your resources should me that you have to turn the volume down. Their appreciation for the DIY school of thought is nevertheless a big part of the foundation that makes their sound so infectiously memorable and captivating to listen to. Although, even with all that said, I hate chocking up all the success a band or an artist is having to a particular scene or influence that they might have. Listening to “Graffiti Hen Ewrop” was indeed a very evocative experience, and although it might be that I’ve never been the type to do a lot of research about a band or their influences before listening to and reviewing them, but I didn’t really get the impression that ilu was trying to make something to impress any particular crowd or speak on behalf of a scene. Instead, these cats just want to make ethereal jams that explode through the stereo speakers like a slow motion volcanic eruption.
If this is what the Krautrock of the future is going to sound like, I think it’s fairly safe to say that the genre is going to be very appealing to fans of all tastes, especially people into the experimental hip-hop., trip-hop, house and neo-ambient sounds that have been making big statement on the pop charts as of late. But whether they’re aim is to dominate the clubs with their sophisticated and slick beats or take over the radio and the contemporary fan base that comes with it, you really can’t go wrong with what ilu are producing these days in the studio and beyond. I can’t wait to see where they go and what they come up with next; if “Graffiti Hen Ewrop” is any sort of indication of the kind of talent and capacity for charisma that this unit has got, they’re in for a very long and successful career ahead of them.
by Blaine Calhoun
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