Anders Ilar

Nightwidth

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The singles for Defrag, Fueradeserie!, Level, and Plong! would've amounted to a stellar 2006 for Anders Ilar, but the Swedish producer also turned in a concise set of crunching Siberian IDM for Merck, as well as a handful of other singles for Merck offshoot Narita. The Narita singles -- "Nightwidth," "Sand," "Downhill" -- are mined for this release, which also includes a couple previously unreleased tracks. What appears to be the onset of "Tejadaitis" (named after John Tejada, a disease triggering the impulse to let loose every stray idea as an unrelenting bombardment of decent if mostly unremarkable releases on countless labels) is nothing of the sort. Even with his extreme upswing in productivity, Ilar remains one of the most consistent techno producers, and as far as his full-lengths go, Nightwidth is as excellent as (and more varied than) the previous year's Enkel. Much like his peer Lawrence, Ilar has gradually beefed up his tracks while never stuffing them with too much, and he continues to stick with downcast melodies and flat-out chilling patterns of interlocking rhythmic textures. While a handful of moments, like those in "A Day Ago" and "Oceanism," might leave admirers of Ilar's early Shitkatapult and Audio.nl productions scratching their heads and wondering if Ilar has evolved at all, a couple others offer pleasant surprises. "Radius," despite its metallic coating, is more spongy and meaty than anything he's done to date; "Clouds Are Made in Factories" is borderline electro-house, tactile and lively enough to be spun by the likes of Michael Mayer and Lindstrøm. Those who simply long for more of the grayscale terrors will be served as well; "Downhill" and "Rourei" are particularly effective, the latter being up there with Konrad Black's "Busting Down the Door with a Shotgun" in terms of tensed-up suspense themes made as much for a film as a dancefloor.

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