Wednesday, 30 December 2015


Band: ILL
Title: a.n.g.e.l.
Format: A professionally released CDr in DVD-size case by WinterWolf Records (Germany) in 2015, no catalogue reference.
Edition: 100 unnumbered copies

Track Listing:
01. Angel  7.46
02. Wings  6.30
03. Heart  5.47
04. Orb  14.51
05. Reality  4.44
06. Resurrection  10.00
07. Cloud  12.48

Well, it's still Christmas (just!) so something for the top of your tree at year end - yes, it's ILL's "A.n.g.e.l." for you...

Listed on Discogs under the categorisation of 'Rock/Electronic - Downtempo' by none other than Hugin himself (and also reviewed as a 5/5 rating by Hugin too, the cheeky scamp - Nazgul sees all!), this is another new ILL release and one that has a distinctly looser feel than some of the earlier output from the band.

According to the Discogs definition, "downtempo (or downbeat) music is associated with a variety of different genres including electronic, jazz, rock, and some world music. It is generally 50 to 90 BPM, and sometimes there is not even any overt percussion in the music. The Downtempo tag was originally intended to refer to 1990s–2000s chillout or lounge music that has a slow, rolling, hip-hop or dub-inspired groove with sampled beats, and which can be broadly categorized as primarily jazzy, primarily dubby, or both. However, as downtempo is loosely defined, it has become an umbrella term for a broad selection of music with moody tones, chilling to passionate vocals, crossover indie vibes, and mellow beats."

And it's fair to note that this is a chilled selection of tracks for the most part, whose single word titles somewhat mischievously puts Nazgul in mind of a word association test,  but that's by the by.  That said, there's still some crunchy guitar riff-ery going on here and the odd booming bit of percussion, so it's not all sweetness and light: opening track 'Angel' and closer 'Cloud' being two good representations of that side of life.

The rest of the album is a strange but enticing miscellany of styles, with 'Reality' in particular sounding for all the world like an demo outtake from Rush's 'Red Sector A', such is the similarity in guitar sound between the two songs.

With only 100 copies knocking around it's one of those releases that's almost certainly destined for obscurity, but you'd be missing out not to invest a little cash either via the WinterWolf website or through Hugin himself.  Perfect for noodling around the house to, and varied enough to offer something to (almost) everyone, it is ultimately a disposable collection of demos but - like many disposable items - great fun along the way!

Rock bands have used the word 'angel' in songs over the decades, with examples coming thick and fast from the likes of Aerosmith, Scorpions, Slaughter, Black Crowes, and Slayer but let's end today's post with a little off-piste tribute to the most recent (hells) angel to be taken up to the great rock star firmament in the sky - Lemmy.  God rest his soul.

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