Song of the day – 218: Ill Ease (free downloads!)
Ill Ease. Great name. Great band. Total groove domination, as Artrocker Magazine puts it. Like the best motorik mash-up you still ain’t never heard. She does the whole looping thing live, but she has rhythm not awkward silence. Damn, she has rhythm. And she has a love for live instrumentation that shades Chicks On Speed. Machines whir, and minds whir, and underneath it all are near-brutal sampled fragments and live percussion, repeated and repeated over and over, until it’s the damndest you can do to stop yourself carving a hole into the floor. Damn, but I don’t understand why Elizabeth Sharp (the sole member of Ill Ease) isn’t massive with whatever massive scene is making the noise right now. She has such breadth of imagination, and speed, and cheekiness round an off-limits sample (have a listen to some of the FREE downloads below) and rhythm, yes well rhythm.
Did I mention the rhythm yet?
A while back Plan B Magazine wrote, “Ill Ease hates DRUUHM MACHEENS she hates DRUUHM MACHEENS! She smacks her snare like its Peaches’ arse and makes summat joyous out of a (tongue-in-cheek?) indie girl Ludditism. You think: has she never heard Stephen Morris’ kickdrum rise up, flare its nostrils and whinny in ‘Blue Monday’? Has she never had even the beats of The Blow punch little holes in her heart? Yeah, probably, but Elizabeth Sharp looks and sounds amazing, deliriously slapping about a noisy drumkit over bass and guitar that she’d looped on the fly, minutes earlier. I think I hate drum machines too, and I love drum machines.
It totally sabotages all the usual being-in-a-band image bullshit. There’s nothing but her, some noise-making things, and a machine that lets her layer the noises like a little kid who swapped friends for tape-recorders, and made up new, better mates by multitracking herself into a gang. There’s no posing, it’s all clatter. I wish everyone would do this — just make up A Thing and get up onstage and have a bit of a shout and stuff. I bet it feels ace.”
Damn, but Ill Ease has totally dominated the groove on her new EP Bits & Pieces. Here, have a quick gander. Oh wait, that’s from the previous one. And the new EP isn’t even the new EP: instead there’s something called Double Edged Sword Reversed, which is cheekiness and RHYTHM and solid great samples and RHYTHM all over. Wait, have a quick gander first. I wouldn’t want you to miss out on anything.
Like it? Yeah. Nice. So this is where you go, if you’re seeking more – and we’re talking PLENTY more. NINE – that’s n-i-n-e – free songs, motherfuckers; and about as many again videos, and you don’t have to sign up to no dumb-ass mailing list to get them either. If you like yr motorik, or miss the solid groove of ys early Peaches, or want a bit of smart, off-balance Riot Grrrl, or just want to get on down then… what the fuck you reading these words for? Get over to the Ill Ease site. Now. And…
No wait. I don’t fucking believe it. We’re not talking nine. We’re not even talking 12. WE’RE TALKING FIFTEEN FUCKING FREE SONGS, including some ace deconstructions and reconstructions of Ray Charles, Nancy & Frank Sinatra, Mary Ford & Les Paul, Roy Orbison, Chuck Berry, Tina Turner and Willie Dixon. Here, here, here!!
Ah fucking wait a second. Not fifteen at all. NINETEEN free songs. (That’ll make about TWENTY-FIVE freebies, along with all the videos.) Oh f’r fuck’s sake. I sure hope I’m not linking you through to a bit of the site that only I should have access to. Guess we’ll find out….
(from IllEase.com): After being introduced to harDCore at the tender young age of 13, Elizabeth Sharp started playing drums. By the time she was in college, she was a full-fledged multi-instrumentalist, playing drums, bass, guitar, piano, xylophone, keyboard, shaker, tambourine, and sometimes car horn. Ill Ease was initially a recording project, born sometime around 1998, when an old 8-track, a haunted piano and a guitar amp with no off-switch for the vibrato were left in an abandoned auto shop in Brooklyn. For several years after that, e sharp continued recording pop songs with fiendish instrumentation and recorded several albums in unusual locales — such as 2001’s Live At The Holiday Sin, which was recorded at a hotel room in Atlantic City.
If she was male, Pitchfork would have hailed her the future of music by now. Guess they’re too busy promoting Lil Wayne, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan (the three lead stories on the website when I accessed the page just now) to bother.
Pikelet‘s gotta be loving her, surely?