Lusine at Beauty Bar | Concert preview
Ghostly International eclectic keeps us wondering.
Over the past ten years, Jeff McIlwain has issued a steady stream of fine long-players for Ghostly International under the Lusine nameplate. A Certain Distance, from 2009, and a singles and remix collection, Lucky Numbers, released the following year, have only locked in a rep for incredibly inventive music that functions well in a myriad of contexts. That flexibility and broad range has brought the Texas-born, Seattle-based musician to both top-flight nightclubs such as London’s Fabric and to the big screen with scores for films such as David Gordon Green’s Snow Angels. Yet one wonders if McIlwain might be king of the heap if he stuck to a more identifiable genre.
His newest for Ghostly, The Waiting Room, keeps us wondering. Chock-full of vocal tracks (McIlwain’s wife Sarah sings lead on half the tracks), the album’s simmering electronic pop ranges from a deft synth-pop cover of Electronic’s “Get the Message” to the more disco-leaning “Lucky.” The instrumental jams draw on sounds and textures from the minimal and electro-Italo scenes, offset by contemporary rhythms on “Panoramic,” which recalls the anxious mood of later Tangerine Dream. Overall, the mood is restrained if occasionally tense, but emotionally effective.
At the Beauty Bar, we expect Lusine to let loose a bit more to favor the dance floor. He’s a maestro with the live performance software Ableton Live, so expect a customized set.