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Electronic/Dance - Released March 3, 2017 | Ghostly International

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After a pair of albums that leaned more heavily on pop melodicism, Seattle-based electronic auteur Lusine edges gently back toward the cloudy fringe with Sensorimotor, his fourth full-length for Ghostly International. Jeff McIlwain's output as Lusine has been difficult to pigeonhole over the course of nearly two decades, veering from tuneful yet fractured electropop to shadowy textural experimentations and building his own little ecosystems along the way. Inspired in part by the title's literal meaning, Sensorimotor takes a binary approach, pairing the lushness of the senses with the functional actions of movement. In a sense, this has been a recurring theme for McIlwain's music over the years in the way that he toys with sensory aesthetics over an often minimalistic framework of rhythm. The album opens with "Canopy," a slow-building manipulation of chimes that dances celestially across the stereo field before devolving into a disorienting three-chord rhythmic pulse. Having introduced the tone, he switches gear to a more familiar style with "Ticking Hands," a pensive musing on apartness featuring vocals from his wife and frequent collaborator, Sarah McIlwain. This song, like the other guest-assisted vocal tracks, more resembles the fragmented EDM pop singles of latter-day Lusine releases like A Certain Distance and Waiting Room. While not McIlwain's most immediately accessible piece, the Benoît Pioulard-sung "Witness" deftly shape-shifts two-thirds of the way through, delivering a magnificently unnatural vocal arpeggiation whose artifice literally leaves you breathless. Of the instrumental tracks, the percolating synths of "The Level" are augmented by misty field recordings while the brief but entrancing "Chatter" feels like broken field recordings augmented by occasional synths. The growling ambient "Tropopause" feels like a sister track to the more gentle opener while the epic seven-minute closer, "The Lift," wields the most raw power and density of the bunch. With Sensorimotor, Lusine takes another evolutionary step forward, seeming strangely natural in his skin of manipulation. ~ Timothy Monger
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Electronic/Dance - Released July 12, 2019 | Ghostly International

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Electronic/Dance - Released February 18, 2013 | Ghostly International

After taking a break from recording as Lusine to score the film projects Snow Angels, Linewatch, and The Sitter, Jeff Mcilwain returned to creating electronic music for Ghostly, for 2013's The Waiting Room. Whereas the albums prior to 2009's A Certain Distance had an understated ambient vibe, he goes for a bigger production on this outing, enlisting guest vocalists on five of the songs. On some numbers, he incorporates a clever trick, and processes the vocals so heavily that it takes the human element out of the singer's voice. Such is the case on the squishy dance beat of "Another Tomorrow," where Caitlin Sherman sounds like a robot singing through a vacuum. This little trick helps to make the radio songs like "By This Sound" fit into Lusine's digital realm and match his futuristic aesthetic. However, when Sarah Mcilwain sings on the Air-styled "Get the Message," or when Janelle Kienow lends her delicate voice to "Without a Plan," they do so cleanly and change the sound dramatically, in the way a remix might. These songs have more crossover potential and are likely influenced by Jeff Mcilwain's time working in studios for Hollywood executives. The rest of the album is more suited to the typical Ghostly fan, highlighted by instrumental beats with thumping kick drums, acidic basslines, and sparkling keyboard loops. It's fun to see him dip into a wider array of pop influences, and even the instrumentals vary from the usual IDM, minimal house, and ambient techno. "Stratus" is a rave ramp-up that runs about twice as fast as the downtempo "On Telegraph." Those looking for something more consistent should first check out the exceptional Serial Hodgepodge, but fans of the poppier side of Lusine will find this to be a nice counterpart to A Certain Distance. ~ Jason Lymangrover
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Electronic/Dance - Released June 15, 2005 | Ghostly International

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Electronic/Dance - Released August 5, 2014 | Ghostly International

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Electronic/Dance - Released August 3, 2009 | Ghostly International

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Electronic/Dance - Released November 30, 2004 | Ghostly International

Jeff McIlwain's timing couldn't be better. After a few years of floating around on small labels with little recognition for his exceptionally protean productions, he has come up with his best album, and he now gains the benefit -- i.e., attention -- of being released on Ghostly International. Serial Hodgepodge, following a pair of low-key 12" releases on Ghostly, can be considered an improved take on 2003's Condensed, a compilation situated to play out as a listen-to-in-whole album that displayed the many paths the producer takes with his techno. While there might be other producers who are more accomplished at making idyllic downtempo, or placid IDM, or abstract hip-hop, or haunting ambient techno, or blipping/skipping minimal house, few -- if any -- are capable of covering all of that ground with such sharp consistency on one disc. What McIlwain lacks in innovation is gained in this ability to be so fluidly versatile. ~ Andy Kellman
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Electronic/Dance - Released March 16, 2010 | Ghostly International

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Electronic/Dance - Released March 20, 2007 | Ghostly International

Seattle's Jeff McIlwain (Lusine) is one of the shining lights of contemporary electronic music, and as such was able to attract some of the coolest producers to remix his work. The result is PODGELISM, a consistently danceable and intriguing techno sound collage. Remixers include Robag Wruhme, Matthew Dear, John Tejada, Apparat, and Lusine himself.
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Electronic/Dance - Released September 15, 2017 | Ghostly International

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Electronic/Dance - Released June 26, 2013 | Ghostly International

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Electronic/Dance - Released July 11, 2006 | Ghostly International

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Electronic/Dance - Released October 21, 2003 | Ghostly International

Ghostly International links with under-heard veteran producer Jeff McIlwain for this four-track 12." Anyone remotely familiar with McIlwain's body of work won't be taken aback by the range and consistency that's present. On each of these tracks, he's as likely to remind the listener of the best aspects of bygone mini-eras, as he's likely to come up with something that doesn't seem to fit in with anything else. There are moments when he seems to be serving up IDM that's as incisive as anything from the U.K.'s Ai label, and then, without warning, he switches to a blur between microhouse and minimal techno that's as vaporous and texturally rich as anything spun by Michael Mayer. This complements McIlwain's Condensed compilation -- released the same year on CD through Germany's Hymen -- rather well. ~ Andy Kellman
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Electronic/Dance - Released April 6, 2015 | Ghostly International

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Electronic/Dance - Released February 9, 2010 | Ghostly International

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Electronic/Dance - Released July 5, 2005 | Ghostly International

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Electronic/Dance - Released June 12, 2019 | Ghostly International

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Electronic/Dance - Released July 9, 2019 | Ghostly International

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Electronic/Dance - Released February 24, 2004 | Ghostly International

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Electronic/Dance - Released January 22, 2013 | Ghostly International