Soul Trader

by: Ils

From Myutopia, the label that welcomed Dave Tipper to the full-length realm, comes a record from another breaks veteran, Ilian Walker's Ils. Only technically his full-length debut -- a first album, Idiots Behind the Wheel, barely made it to the stores -- Soul Trader displays Ils' clear fluency with the album form. "6 Space (Next Level)" eases listeners in with several minutes of restrained yet impressive programming, showing off Walker's flat beats, dotted basslines, and refusal to construct a track -- as many breaks producers do -- with little more than a streamlined breakbeat and a crowd-raising vocal sample for six minutes. Surprisingly, Ils never really cuts loose with Soul Trader either. Each track is a closely wrought miniature of clever breaks and competing effects, but with no burners and few downbeat tracks, most of them occupy a samey middle ground. Nearly all of the tracks here are ripe for the mix-album picking, but taken as a whole, Soul Trader is less than the sum of its parts. ~ John Bush

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