Anders Ilar is at it again with another sumptuous collection of deep electronic tracks. He’s set the bar consistently high over the course of his decade-long career, and Stories Of Old is no exception. The tracks straddle the line between dancefloor music and something more at-home, cerebral and atmospheric. It rarely dives fully into ambience, but it also avoids the outright DJ trackiness that has pervaded some of his albums and singles. There is a pulse to these tracks that propels them forward, even as they generally avoid the obviousness of a four-to-the-floor kick to provide momentum. Only on “Cries of The Wilderness” does Ilar ratchet it up a notch with a steady kick drum after a minute and a half of teasing, and it works in its spot midway through the release. Elsewhere, he drops out the beat completely, harking back to his Shitpatapult debut album and its dense layers of drones; “Heliopause” is all space and depth, shapeless and consuming. But the real standout here is “Unconditional Surrender,” a bobbing broken-beat number that has an urgency and momentum perhaps comparable to some of Apparat’s more dancefloor-compatible material. It’s included in 3 different mixes: Ilar’s original, a remix by Adam Johnson and a punchier dancefloor treatment by Yard. Each of the three versions is worthwhile, but the original outshines the rest ever so slightly. The dense, chunky groove that characterizes several of the tracks on Stories Of Old complements Ilar’s skills as a producer and sound artist, lending it a deep, seductive physicality without sacrificing its emotive qualities. It’s another handsome entry into Ilar’s stunning repertoire.
Watch/listen: Unconditional Surrender