Rich, delicate electronics from Jeff McIlwain.
In September, Jeff McIlwain, who is better known as Lusine, will put out his latest record, Long Light—and the album will mark two decades since the Seattle-based producer first released on Ghostly International. Between those two points, McIlwain has put out four full-length albums of visceral, kinetically-curious music that broadly fuses techno, pop, and experimental composition on the Brooklyn, New York label. (He’s released several others elsewhere.) The journey began with Serial Hodgepodge, a release of stuttering beats and fluttering melodies, but over more recent years, beginning with 2009’s A Certain Distance, and continuing through 2013’s The Waiting Room and 2017’s Sensorimotor, McIlwain has moved to collaborative, song-forward work and Long Light is the culmination of this process. Yes, you can expect 11 tracks of McIlwain’s signature and dynamic signature looping patterns and textures, but it’s also rich in human vocals and pop structures, hooks, and melodies. Ahead of the release, McIlwain has crafted a similarly rich and delicate XLR8R podcast, which he has filled with tracks from some of our favorite artists: Shlohmo, Ital Tek, Teebs, Weval, and more.
01. What have you been up to recently?
Just prepping for the release of the album, and preparing a couple live sets to take on the road.
02. What have you been listening to?
I’ve really been liking the new Clark album, Weval‘s new album, anything by Teebs and Dorian Concept, and I really like Hana Vu’s stuff on Ghostly. I’m also digging a few tracks from Elsa Hewitt. Interested to see what she does next.
03. Tell me about your new album. What can we expect?
I was kind of a little more into the idea of slightly more minimal songwriting and focusing on repetition and sound design on a few of my tracks, although it might come across as tiny tweaks to the listener. Maybe a bit less overtly synth-heavy, trying to get back into sample-based stuff. I worked a bit with some live drum material from my friend Trent Moorman. I love working with vocalists, it’s just where my head is at, but I also really like to marry an ambient and experimental style with a more song-based structure. I like stuff that’s hooky, but unique, and I’m hoping that comes across on this one.
04. Where and when did you record this mix?
Just at home, in my family room, over the past few weeks.
05. What setup did you use?
I use Traktor and a cheap controller. Nothing special. Someday I will upgrade my setup.
06. How did you choose the tracks that you’ve included?
It’s just a deep dive into artists, labels, and similar artists etc.. Some of them are artists I fall back on, and tracks I was already into, and some are tracks that I discover in the process of digging.
07. Where do you imagine it being listened to?
In the car or at home. Not party music!
08. What’s next on your horizon?
Right now I’m anticipating and gearing up for live shows, so working a lot on my live material. But I want to jump right back into making music because it takes me a long time to write, and I want to get right back into it. Writing in the studio is the thing I enjoy the most.
XLR8R Subscribers can download the podcast below. If you’re not an XLR8R subscriber, you can read more about it and subscribe here.
01. Elsa Hewitt “Massive Charade” (ERH)
02. Ital Tek “Staggered” (Planet Mu)
03. Lusine “Tropopause (Loscil remix)” (Ghostly International)
04. Lukid “End Melody” (Glum)
05. Populous “Azul Oro feat. Ela Minus” (Wonderwheel Recordings)
06. Lusine “Zero to Sixty” feat. Sarah Jaffe (Ghostly International)
07. Luke Abbott “Brazil” (Border Community)
08. Shlohmo “Wen UUU” (Friends of Friends)
09. Teebs “NES” (Brainfeeder)
10. Weval “Should be Fine” (Technicolour)
11. Letherette “Green” (Wulf Records)
12. Baril “Take Your Time” (Intercept)
13. Ford. “The Pace” (Foreign Family Collective)
14. Clark “Dolgoch Tape” (Throttle Records)
15. Lusine “Transonic” (Ghostly International)
16. Louf “Eulers Disc” (Cross Country)
17. Brokenchord “Door Shutter” (Black Acre Records)
18. Tor “Inkeri (Aparde remix)” (Eleuthra Music)
19. Moderat “COPY COPY (Logic1000 & Big Ever remix)” (Monkeytown Records)
20. Koreless “Shellshock” (Young)