Nedifinebla Esenco CD October 2013Antifrost |afro2061|

TOUCHINGEXTREMES(IT) ILIOS: composition, all sounds except cello (Nikos Veliotis) and voice (Alice Hui-Sheng Chang)I’m not going to repudiate my use of Google Translator to discover that the record’s title is the Esperanto rendering of “Indefinable Essence”. Which, oddly enough, contrasts with the impression of stark nakedness expressed by the three tracks, anticipated by a cover portraying the utter desolation of a dump in a sunny day, pigs seeking nourishment from the rubbish as crows are observing the scene.The music is outstanding, pointing to different routes while maintaining a fundamental coherence linking the intrinsic worth of each of the sounds utilized. In that sense, Nedifinebla Esenco connects Ilios’ visions with certain aspects of Jim O’Rourke’s work supported by field recordings and studio tampering (pun intended). “Spirito Sen Nomo” starts with a long stretch of static mechanical noise – think a closely miked vacuum fan, but it’s a mere guess – leaving room to a magnificent section of faraway vagueness terminated by Hui-Sheng Chang’s nightmarish wailing, in turn born from shrilling pitches of uncertain descent. “La Ponto Kiu Transiras La Abismo” is a classic study on the pulsating phenomena deriving from subsonic frequencies – both pseudo-linear and arching/sweeping – which will cause the encephalon to swell if listened via headphone. For this writer’s usual necessities (namely, forgetting the loud voices expressing unremarkable people’s second-rate delusions from the quotidian) a veritable medical aid. “La Farja Nubo Kiu Flugas En La Krepusko”, the last and longest piece, is perhaps the most intense on an emotional level. At the outset, one barely distinguishes what happens in a general semblance of far-flung murmurs and – again – quivering lows. Careful not to raise the volume for a better decoding, though: after 3 minutes or so, an earsplitting aggregate of stratified distorted signals – like hundreds of amplified radio waves complemented by a dozen buzz saws – might justify a heart attack to the weaker percipients. As the clamor subsides we’re left with a shivering vocal cluster, Chang crying unaccompanied for a few seconds to introduce a helping of impressive subterranean droning enhanced by the sound of heavy rain. Veliotis’ cello leads the ceremony from this point on to the very end, a spirit’s call to awareness brought forth by a cold stare halfway through metropolitan sorrow and sempiternal reiteration.Survival of the fittest, they used to say, and we’re still alive. Chalk up a chef-d’oeuvre for Mr. Dimitris Kariofilis..

VITAL WEEKLY(NL) As far as I could see things have been quiet for Greek label Antifrost. Perhaps due to the fact that the proprietor of Antifrost, Ilios, is someone who travels a lot to play concerts, build up installations or to do workshops. Much of his current activity is with a trio called Muhammad, which are Ilios, Nikos Veliotis and Coti. All three have a solo release here. I bumped into one of Ilios' concerts a couple of years ago, which was so loud in this small room that I fell asleep. Now, I don't want to make any Cageian remarks, but I thought the experience was very interesting. Fatigue and noise make a fine combination perhaps - and not one that is easy to do at home. There is not a lot of information on either the cover, or the website, which is a pity. There's a mention for Alice Hui-Sheng (vocals) and Nikos Veliotis (cello) and the fact it was recorded in Korea, Australia and Greece. The opening piece, 'Spiriti Sen Nomo', seems to be using field recordings from trains - ever the man on the move, I was thinking. The CD opens with what could be the sound of a door opening. Set your volume to that and you'll be all right for the duration of this CD. Things won't get any louder and when it goes 'soft' you are still able to hear things. Much of the second piece, 'La Ponto Kiu Transiras La Abismo' is very much in the low end of the sound spectrum, maybe 40 Hertz - I don't know, I am no expert, but it's something I can still hear. The third piece, 'La Farja Nubo Kiu Flugas En La Krepusko' starts out with near silence, but also moves into something more drone like and much louder before going down in volume again. I thought this was a great release. Very powerful; in all its minimalism. Ilios uses his sine wave generators, electronics and field recordings to great effect here. I couldn't help thinking that all three of these pieces were linked together into one majestic composition. I listened to it as one work, rather than three separate pieces of music. Very strong, mind blowing stuff.

Kenrimono LP July 2009 Pan |pan 4|

THE WIRE (UK) Greek sound artist ILIOS has created some of the most extreme Noiseworks of recent times -his 2003 album Old Testament set new standards in sonic savagery with its sadistic jumpcuts between silence and bursts of screaming feedback- but his works always carries with it a sense of authority and structural elegance.
If one single theme cuts across his diverse output, it is absence - a flight from identity that involves purging his work of any trace of his own or anyone else's imprint. Any ILIOS albums would provide the perfect soundtrack to the bleakest post-apocalypse movie. If that sounds forbidding, it is. But there's a dark compelling beauty to the depopulated landscapes he evokes.
Oddly, ILIOS has chosen to source Kenrimono from field recordings of just about the busiest hives of humanity that is possible to imagine - Japanese pachinko parlors, the arcades of gambling machines fed a diet of metal chips by never-ending supply of hopeful patrons, Through heavy processing the essence of the recordings is distilled; the din of a multitude of machines in a reverberant space is transformed into a single resonant sonic atmosphere. The sense of place remains, but the sense of that place being occupied has gone.
Though more of a user-friendly listen than usual, the album still grounds itself in the same concerns, in much the same way as the work of his close contemporary Francisco Lopez. There's a similar sense here of activity and momentum frozen in time. But while Lopez tends to favor protracted fades in and out when shaping his material, ILIOS abstracts things further by applying sudden shifts of volume and density in the second half of the piece. It's a fascinating album, desolate, but impressively focused. Keith Moline

BOOMKAT Another fascinating early catalogue number from Pan Records, this one from sound artist, Ilios. 'Kenrimono' is an extremely dense collage of field recordings made in Japanese pachinko parlours (you know, the endless arcade game with little metals balls?) in the Kansai area in 2007. Only this is 'Kenrimono' a variant of the game for advanced players which gives certain privileges during the course of a high-risk game. The effect of Ilios' layered recordings is intense to say the least, yet equally meditative and even psychedelic if that's your thing. I've personally never heard anything quite like this. It has the unrelenting density of the fiercest white noise, but there are also stray melodies and tones obfuscated by the melé of a million miniature metal orbs cascading and cycling through machinery, and that's just the A-side! Flip it over and we're comparatively shocked by near silence and glacially dissolving drones, as though we've been plunged into an isolation tank after the our blood pressure rose too much from the pachinko. Incredible sounds, highly recommended!

THE SMERALDINA RIMA At the end of Alfred Hitchcocks 'Strangers on a Train' comes a disturbing and compellingly beautiful scene where in the two leading characters wrestle aboard a carousel, wich due to a technical malfunction, goes berserk and starts spinning faster and faster out of control. Meanwhile the typical merry-go-round music is accelerated and becomes a rather frightening piece, especially since now the shrieks and cries of bystanders and riders are piercing right through it. When I started spinning the A side of ILIOS 'Kenrimono' LP, this image almost instantly sprung to mind. But instead of this being a climactic end of a spun out story, here the carousel seems to be stuck in time, turning away in a loop that doesn't seem to have neither beginning nor end, depriving us of an ending to tie up all loose ends thus becoming something more eternal. While in that whirlpool of noise, the organ keeps being scooped up to the surface. Definitely one of the better releases of last year, this one comes in a great looking silkscreened pvc sleeve, like all of PAN's releases. Check it out!

Iyleilops CD May 2007 Antifrost |afro2039|

TOUCHINGEXTREMES (IT) This record contains fourteen tracks constituting the soundtrack for six pieces by the Yelp Dance Company, with whom Ilios has been collaborating since 2001 according to a logic of continuous disagreement regarding many aspects of the involved processes. In their search for a connection within a common structure, Ilios and Yelp try to elaborate a series of impressions whose aspect - both in terms of visuals and frequencies - can influence the audience until their "emotional perception of the space" is altered. Compared to Ilios' most recent work, born from unnerving visions that made for gradual developments of tensions and intensities, this music sounds obviously more fractured and fragmented, ranging from subsonic surges that, even at low volume, put my room in full rumbling mode to the ear-cleansing high frequencies of the final and longest track "In silence", for which one wonders what kind of choreographic solution is applied in the live performance without putting the dancers in the condition of being perforated by emissions that are still hissing in my brain three hours after I finished listening to the CD. Halfway through these extremes, ILIOS refuses to merely highlight the potential of a body in motion, but furnishes us with the coordinates of a sonic concept alimented by disc-skipping, sampling and white noise-ing. A sort of disjointed electro-beat that seems to describe the simultaneous, often contrasting behavioural tendencies that characterize humanity at large.

VITAL WEEKLY (NL) For some years now, or maybe even longer than we can remember there is ILIOS, the Greek man in Barcelona, who has produced a nice body of work, mainly released on his own Antifrost label. He also plays live concerts, so he's not a total obscure composer. Part of his sound work is made for a dance company called YELP, which started out as a disagreement upon the collaborative process in 2001. They still disagree for seven years, which now is closed with the full agreement on the release of this CD, compiling works from nine different dances. It's a mighty varied and strange collection of music (of course one would love to see the dance moves). First of all tracks are quite short, up until the last piece 'In Silence' which lasts about nineteen minutes. Some of these pieces have the microsound approach of deep sonic rumbling such as 'Carbon Copy' (leading to highly processed muzak in the final part thereof), but there is also the CD skipping of 'The Stitch' (most of these pieces have actually more parts) and some sort of musique concrete like work with contact microphones. As said a strange CD, this one. The highly varied whole, backed with a length of over seventy minutes, doesn't make this an easy to digest release. It lacks a certain homogeneity that was present in his recent releases and it is best enjoyed when taken in a few tracks (or rather one piece/a few tracks) per time. The total absence of seeing the dance certainly doesn't help. Here a DVD release would have been much welcomed.(FdW)

Love Is My Motor CD March 2007 Antifrost |afro2038|

PARISTRANSATLANTIC (FR) The eight track titles for this album have been swiped from the second verse of "Can't Take My Eyes Off You", immortalised by Frankie Valli in 1967, but if that's a photo of Frankie on the cover I can only say he isn't looking all that good these days. There's no other connection with Frankie Valli as far as I know. Why, what were you expecting, samples? Ilios, aka Dimitris Kariofilis, currently residing in Santander, Spain, I believe, is about as far as you could hope to get from fun lovin' plunderphonics and smash'n'grab dancefloor-friendly DSP (hey, whatever happened to Kid 606?); Ilios albums aren't just serious, they're goddamn scary. Ever heard Old Testament? Perfect soundtrack for apocalyptic floods and folks slaughtering each other with asses' jawbones. Love Is My Motor is equally austere, but more varied. In fact, it's my favourite Ilios album to date (though talking about a "favourite" Ilios album is like choosing a "favourite" poisonous plant or "favourite" serial killer). From the eerie whistling glissandi of the opening (maybe it's just because he's Greek but I'm sure I felt the chilly breath of the ghost of Xenakis as it passed through the wall) to the woofer-fucking thrills of "But if you feel like I feel", via "The sight of you leaves me weak", which apparently features the cello of my pal Nikos Veliotis, though I'd never have guessed, this is gripping stuff. It finally explodes with some terrifying blasts of white noise halfway through "Please let me know that it's real" (if track five buggered your woofers, this should put paid to the tweeters), after which "You're just too good to be true" sounds like a field recording from a railway station in the outer circles of Hell, and the final track is 18'47" of sheer desolation. Terrific stuff.–DW

TOUCHINGEXTREMES (IT) The 2007 of ILIOS starts with one of his most impenetrable ever releases, its sonic wastelands touching so deep that their uniquely gloomy atmospheres constitute the key that open doors leading to seriously affecting auricular awareness. The music is set in motion by superimpositions of unhurried parabolas and glissandos made of muted timbral exhalations, instantly throwing the listener into an unescapable state of apprehension; it sounds like a choir of shooting stars highlighting our fear of being unqualified for sustaining hard times. The third movement features an undetectable Nikos Veliotis on cello amidst intrusions and interferences that break the initial continuity, a thousand shortwave pulses lyophilized into meaningless dust. Ilios then recurs to alternating short silences and digital warp, gradually focusing his attention on the discrepancy between frequencies until a potent surge from the low region nailed me to the couch, making the whole room buzz with sympathetic resonance in one of the most impressive moments of the disc. It cuts to an apparently calmer hiss, but a deadly stinging discharge has "protect yourselves at all times" stamped all over it: it's the noisy zenith of the album, whose final part features heavily processed adulterations of urban pandemonium, then forces us to further raise our aerials to detect the last radiations from this world of forebodings that nevertheless allures. Try to figure out the components of the last ten minutes and you're likely to come up with a dozen answers, or plain none. This is not an easily digestible work, yet one absorbs its glacial beauty with each new listen, as ILIOS creates mysteries that are better left unsolved. .massimo ricci

BAGATELLEN (US) You search in vain for aural references to Frankie Valli. Not the regular procedure for most new music releases I daresay, but what with the eight tracks herein titled with one line each from “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You”, you could be excused. But no, this strong recording consists of processed field recordings (captured in various sites on South America and Europe), with a dab of Nikos Veliotis’ cello on one track, that whir and seep, mass and disperse in patterns that often, indeed, have a string-like quality to them. “Pardon the way that I stare” insinuates itself with a high hum and a sound like distant remote-controlled toy airplanes or a chainsaw across the valley before more dulcet tones eddy into view, gently swirling, wafting toward the ground. It bleeds into the next piece (I’ll let you sing the titles yourself), the tones increasing in intensity, approximating the eerie howl of night predators, still with the downward drift they had originally before shifting to a raspier, more disturbed area. It’s all been very quiet so far, even if the initial serenity is beginning to give way, but suddenly there’s a loud, low thrum that lingers in mutating guises for several minutes (my favorite portion of the disc, actually) presaging an ear-splitting blast of static (listeners with less than sympathetic spouses to this sort of thing might wish to lower the volume in advance; you can thank me for saving your marriages later) that, erm, certainly lets you “know that it’s real”. Having successfully scoured our auricular canals, Ilios allows his sound to open up a bit, moving into large interior spaces echoing with indecipherable chatter and engine noise. The first seven tracks, comprising about two thirds of the disc, thus form a powerful, bracing suite of sorts, giving one a real sense of having traveled from the chilly mountaintop, through the acidic haze to “civilization”. I might have preferred things ended here, the final piece not amassing quite the same head of steam, though not at all bad in and of itself, an extremely quiet meditation that at times submerges out of the range of non-hyper-attentive hearing. Better than anything I’ve ever heard by The Four Seasons, well worth checking out. Brian Olenwick

BIXOBAL (US) With a cover featuring a bloody skull with Elvis hair (looks right off a B-movie poster) and titles "The Sight of You Leaves me Weak" and "Can't take my eyes off you", one would really expect something like psychobilly love songs. Quite the opposite is what you hear. This is the most refined and subtle ILIOS release to date. Working with a minimal form, ILIOS slowly and skillfully blends together rather pure tones and field recordings into gently evolving compostitions. Though each of the nine song titles does identifies with a distinct aural combination, the tracks weave into each other with the result of the whole album being one 50 minute piece. Often exploring small sounds, the album can lull you into a false sense of security, as there are dynamic changes through, such as the switch to white noise half way through the piece "Please Let Me Know That is Real" . Unlike other recordings which can be totally jarring and seem random, this recording does this with a feel of overall composition.

VITAL WEEKLY (NL) Throughout the many years that ILIOS is active, the man is a little mystery for me. Having never met him is not it (he isn't the only one I never met), but his work is a bigger mystery. For his new work, with the strange title 'Love Is My Motor', he uses field recordings from Lima, London, Santander, Santiago and Asuncion, although it's hard to tell what those field recordings consist of. Wind recordings? Rain? It's all highly and heavily processed through the computer. Nikos Veliotis plays a bit of cello on 'The Sight Of You Leaves Me Weak' (all of the track titles show us a man deeply in love). Divided in eight pieces this is yet another strong piece, but hermetically closed (what is the relation between the music and the titles for instance?). Dark, moody, but very much along the lines of especially Francisco Lopez, but also M. Behrens and Roel Meelkop, Ilios leaves me once again puzzled behind. Perhaps I should just undergo this music, not look at the cover and play this at a
somewhat louder volume and let the whole thing come through. Perhaps there is just nothing to understand and it's all about beauty. (FdW)

SANDS ZINE (IT) ILIOS è un artista greco che vive in Spagna noto, oltre che per la sua musica, per essere l’ideatore dell’ormai storico marchio Antifrost. Si tratta di uno di quei personaggi che hanno contribuito a ridare smalto ad alcuni paesi – Grecia, Spagna, Portogallo… - che erano caduti un po’ in prescrizione dopo aver tanto contribuito allo sviluppo della cultura planetaria in tempi più o meno remoti. Abbiamo già scritto di lui in alcune recensioni e torniamo ad occuparcene in occasione di questo nuovissimo ed ottimo CD che, tra l’altro, si fregia di una caratteristica piuttosto singolare: le registrazioni e la produzione sono avvenute con uno studio mobile - credo che tale sia l’afromobile studio citato nelle note - nell’arco di un semestre ed a latitudini e longitudini piuttosto disparate (Londra, Lima, Santander, Santiago del Cile e Asunción). Ilios, musicalmente, può essere avvicinato all’estetica di Francisco López e Sachiko M o della Trente Oiseaux in generale. Gli otto brani, in linea di massima, sono fatti da sottili e fragili lamine di suono, ma non mancano brevi tempeste lópeziane (Please Let Me Know That It’s Real) od esplosioni di folla (You’re Just Too Good To Be True). Nei 2 minuti scarsi di The Sigh Of You Leaves Me Weak c’è una parte da comparsa per il violoncellista Nikos Veliotis, suggestiva ma non decisiva, mentre Can’t Take My Eyes Off You si dipana per oltre 18 minuti mostrando un’architettura più complessa e meno minimale rispetto a quella degli altri titoli. “Love Is My Motor” è un disco affascinate, ed è un paradigma di concetti altrettanto affascinanti quali la diversità, il viaggio e l’idea stessa di suono e silenzio. D’altra parte il nome che il musicista s’è scelto pare piuttosto rappresentativo di quello che poi è il suo modello sonoro… Ilios è infatti il termine greco che indica la terra di Troia: amore, intrighi, battaglie, eroismo, leggende, bugie, inganni e spose trafugate… ma soprattutto la voglia di vedere, conoscere, capire e raccontare il mondo, con tutti i suoi suoni e tutti i suoi colori.

KATHODIK (IT) “Pardon the way that I stare, there's nothing else to compare. The sight of you leaves me weak, there are no words left to speak. But if you feel like I feel, please let me know that it's real. You are just too good to be true, can't take my eyes off you”. No, non mi sto concedendo un'improbabile licenza poetica, ma ho solo ricostruito la “poesia” che si ottiene mettendo assieme i titoli dei brani che compongono questo cd, che cita la parola amore anche nella propria intestazione. Tuttavia non penso proprio che si tratti di materiale utile a conquistare la persona amata, anzi, e se realmente c'è qualche riferimento a questioni sentimentali, viene realizzato in maniera poco ovvia. Ilios è il moniker dietro il quale agisce Dimitri Kariofilis, tra l'altro responsabile della label Antifrost, artista quantomai enigmatico ed imperscrutabile, come questo disco, forte di un suo linguaggio e di una sua estetica non facilmente inquadrabili, non manca di evidenziare. C'è un po' di Francisco Lopez, con cui, guarda caso, Ilios spesso collabora, per via dell'utilizzo di sonorità che si muovono con facilità tra gli estremi del range dinamico, dal silenzio al rumore, e che appaiono sempre sfuggenti, inafferrabili; tra stasi, calma apparente, movimenti sotterranei e squarci repentini. Le note parlano anche dell'utilizzo di field recordings, carpiti in varie località, quali Lima, Londra e Santiago del Cile, ma, oddio, potrebbe trattarsi di tutto e di più, difficile trovare tracce evidenti di suoni ambientali, tranne verso la fine del cd. La parte iniziale, diciamo i primi tre brani (in realtà il lavoro sembra un tutt'uno, anche se gli scenari sono mutevoli), in cui appare anche il violoncello di Nikos Veliotis, toglie facilmente il fiato: movenze illusorie, impercettibili scivolamenti sensoriali (gli istanti in cui si materializzano quelle note quasi pianistiche...), sonorità sottili che sembrano tagliare in due l'orizzonte dei nostri pensieri, interstizi scuri che sembrano non avere mai fine. Magistrale. Dopo questa prima parte così eterea, a mio avviso la migliore, seguono alcuni momenti più noisy, in cui si alternano movimenti di particelle glitch, frequenze bassissime ai limiti della riproducibilità audio, e veri e propri abbagli di rumore bianco. Menzione particolare in tal senso per la terza traccia: un mare mosso, ma tutto sommato rassicurante, risucchiato da improvvise e dolorose scariche di rumore che svaniscono nel nulla. Parte finale, come già accennato, quella in cui appaiono più visibili gli echi dei field recordings; echi trasfigurati del mondo, dispersi e lasciati fluttuare nell'aria ad accompagnare progressioni di sinewaves che ricordano certo Jason Kahn. Sembra un disco popolato di spettri questo “Love Is My Motor”, presenze fantasmatiche appena percepibili, che volano alto, sopra le cose, animate e non, osservano da lontano, da distanze in cui tutto appare sfumato e sfocato. Di tanto in tanto, scendono in picchiata, prendono di mira un dettaglio, lo ingrandiscono ed esplorano in profondità, scavano nella materia, e poi si allontanano di nuovo. Indefinibile, malinconico, inquietante, irrazionale. Molto affascinante.

TRANZISTOR (GR http://www.tranzistor.gr/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1923&Itemid=143

Hysechasterion CD November 2006 Antifrost |afro2037| with Francisco Lopez

VITAL WEEKLY (NL) Some two months I was in Greece to visit a baptizing party and part of the trip went to the a Greek Orthodox Church up in some mountain. It was sunny and crowdy, but today, in grey The Netherlands I play this new work by Francisco Lopez and Ilios, which deals with field recordings they made together at various monasteries in Greece and at Mount Athos and the rocky hills of Katounakia. I wonder if we needed to know this (for me it's ok, because I remember that lovely sunny day in September), because what do we actually know in relation to what we hear? Much of Lopez' work deals with absolute sound, and there is no information to be found on many of his releases, so that the listener is free to make up his own mind. But even now we know, I strongly wonder what it helps. Both artists went home with these sound sources and started creating each a piece of music out of it. With highly processed large chunks of wind there is something austere and stale about these recordings. I have no clue at all how these people work with what they do, but in both pieces it all sounds highly fascinating. Ilios is the man of some subtle and some abrupt changes, in which get turned around and are put upside down, whereas Lopez makes a straight forward, slowly building to a mighty crescendo piece (perhaps that should be called 'the classic Lopez composition technique') until it collapses and remains silent for some time. Both are masters of their trade, and this is no different (in various aspects really) and shouldn't missed in any collection of a diehard. (FdW)

PARIS TRANSATLANTIC (FR) ILIOS and López recorded the sounds of a monastery in the Greek mountains, and then created a fantastic album consisting of two separate versions of the same basic material. Ilios starts with the tranquillity of the monastery garden, followed by an overpowering rainstorm, the lonely sound of manual work and the ever-present sea (it could also be the wind, or both). Footsteps. A hiss. A hammering. More footsteps. Chirping birds and, finally, a compelling subsonic embrace lifts the whole piece up until it becomes a debilitating skull massage. I imagine I can hear a mourning chant from the sea, but no, it's just another aural illusion. Sizzling distortion is added to this intimidating wall of sound – there's no shelter in sight – and it morphs into jet-propelled sensory deprivation, until all that remains is the numbing drone of a motor. Frequencies beat, slow down, someone coughs, everything stops.
López begins with a short segment of looping ghostly harmonics, then immediately puts his assembling skills to work, catching repetition where it's not normally found, juxtaposing birds, insects and environmental forces in alluring traps for our brain to fall into, a peculiar beauty revealing itself to be a hideous yet fascinating being feeding on synthetic oscillations and bad instincts. Peace is restored for a few interminable moments, until another terrifying blast of metallic frequencies comes back to hunt out those who managed to escape the first time. It's the most potent section of the piece, an imposing spatial geometry in constant flux throwing us right back into the strong arms of Nature with a spectacular studio / field recording crossfade. A final murmur; the sea is beckoning me in. If this is "silence", you have no ears. (mr)

BAGATELLEN (US) Derived from field recordings made by both musicians at various monasteries in the area around Mount Athos in Greece, each returned to his studio to craft a lengthy piece. Ilios' seems to reflect large interior spaces, roomy but with sound echoing back off of walls, birds chirping amongst the general thrum. There are several rapid changes in character that occur with the abruptness of a door slamming shut but generally it just exists in space, not too much different an experience, I imagine, than if you'd been in the same areas, your ears well-attuned and that's a good thing. There are birds aplenty at the start of Lopez' work, also bees. It subsides into nothingness about a third of the way through, for several minutes in fact, before emerging more electronicized, in more familiar Lopez territory. This gives way to a windswept storm not unlike the AS11 disc which builds to a climax for another third of the track before shutting off completely. Unless something's occurring below the decibel level I'm able to hear, pure silence occupies the last 12 or so minutes of the 36-minute piece.Brian Olenwick

 

Steloj (online release) June 2006 Con-V |conv-31| with Jason kahn as "Astra"

 

PARIS TRANSATLANTIC (FR) This encounter between Barcelona-based Greek electronician Ilios and Zürich's Jason Kahn was recorded in Ilios's adopted home town on, it says here, June 30th and 31st 2004. It's news to me that June now has 31 days, but then again Ilios and Kahn are good at doing funny things with time, and many of these sixteen brief tracks give the illusion of being longer than they actually are. The tight hard-edged editing – this is music that starts and stops instead of beginning and ending – is a Kahn speciality (cf. his Songs For Nicolas Ross on Rossbin, Sihl on Sirr and Drumming on Creative Sources), and the sonic Polaroid technique works especially well here, showing that Ilios's music can be just as powerful and effective in small chunks as it is in monumental slabs like Old Testament. The words "Astra" and "Steloj" both translate as "stars", by the way (the latter in Esperanto, as if you didn't know that already from your collection of ESP Disk' albums), and it's fitting for another stellar album on the magnificent Conv label.–DW

TOUCHINGEXTREMES (IT) The duo of Jason Kahn and ILIOS, Astra create a tissue of compound materials which mostly insist on ear-piercing high frequencies that are differently perceived according to the position in the listening environment. Sixteen untitled tracks, pretty short in terms of duration, aggregate and transform energetic flows and icy winds into apparata for the generation of educated noise in finely tuned feedback processes; these interactions constitute a presence both heard and felt, as testimonied by my ears' ringing during the track pauses. Any further description would be useless: this is a classic case in which individual features play a fundamental role in the intention of appreciating something that could be puzzling - if not annoying - for someone whose will is not so powerful, but that instead is a concrete stimulation for the ones whose inquisitive sense doesn't stop in front of an apparently impenetrable façade. The hypnotic/looping quality of most of these aural footsteps is a useful booster for more powerful consequences; the immersion in a sonic idiom whose peculiarities reveal an advanced architectural intelligence is greatly enhanced by some dramatic spirals, characterized by incessant transmissions of unknown codes. Everything sounds organized, yet utterly unfamiliar. Surgical beauty of the highest rank.massimo ricci

FURTHERNOISE.org It takes some time to find a pleasant listening volume and space for this release. Sixteen short tracks all packed with very very high frequencies make headphone and 'loud' loudspeaker listening tiring and occasionally unpleasant. Tiny computer speakers suit this kind of sound allowing the music to crackle and pulse as if emanating from a very sick hard drive. Don't let the harsh pitch discourage, once a suitable listening space is found the listener is rewarded with an interesting soundworld that is rarely explored by other musicians. The tones resemble noises created from speeding up recordings, turning machines into bubbling liquids. Even the air, the atmosphere becomes transformed into tones. Some of the sources sound like electrocoil microphones which record what is called 'hertzian space': the space and presence of radio waves, infra-red frequencies which penetrate and surround us all the time, but which are imperceptible without the use of such devices.The brevity of each track means that they are not quite immersive enough to be thought of as soundscapes and yet they are not dynamic compositions either. The music simply begins, continues and ends with little change in the initial elements. Something like electronic cicadas, chirping away against the sky.

 

Balls (2CD) January 2005 private edition

TOUCHINGEXTREMES (IT) Described as a soundtrack for sexual stimulation - the title should tell you something - and also being an installation concept by artist Poka-Yio, "Balls" comes on two CDs - 25 minutes of sound in total - lodged on a bare cardboard sheet in an ultra-limited 50-copy edition. The first part, "For a quick stimulation" is a slightly distorted drone in an electrostatic context; beautiful, if a bit short at little more than 4 minutes...The remaining 20+ minutes of the second disc, "For a prolonged stimulation", bring us back to the exciting subterranean vibrations of "Vento elektra": a continuous pumping of black blood, sometimes accompanied by a stinging, tinnitus-like high frequency, is sufficient to get your equilibrium lost in the deep waters of useless detail's confrontational void.. massimo ricci

Vento Elektra (CD) October 2004 Antifrost |afro2027|

TOUCHINGEXTREMES (IT) Broken only by a few minor interferences, the sound of "electric wind" by Ilios is one intense physical experience. A fixed frequency - effectively similar to a distant desert air propulsion - voids the brain of any meaningful thought, creating a hollow space for the body to crouch into. Small noises coming from the external life become mere glimpses of regular monotony, luckily washed out of our aural reach within a few seconds. In the last ten minutes the electric flow captured by the composer mounts slightly, forming slow-motion glissandos similar to the noise of faraway cars in the night silence or, when the volume finally increases, of motor airplanes - bombers, if you will - closing the stomach with riveting emotional droning parabolas. Antifrost must be thanked for releasing this record; Ilios gave birth to an electroacoustic climatological masterwork. massimo ricci


THE WIRE (UK) Last year's Old Testament album by Antifrost founder Ilios terrified me with its sudden bursts of hideous, twisted noise cleaving through passages of near silence. As the first ten minutes of this new piece progressed in minimally hushed fashion, I found myself hiding behind the sofa, waiting with buttocks clenched for the inevitable onslaught. However, the "electric wind" here is a soft spray of radio static that radiates around either side of the few events that occur over the album's
45 minutes, muted slow motion explosions that melt into rumbling downward glissandi reminiscent of Stockhausen's Hymen. The bulk of the listening time is taken up with the fallout from these foregrounded episodes, an unsettling, disorientating experience.. Keith Moline

PHOSPHOR (NL) Although Ilios has released ten albums thusfar, one does not come across his name or material that often. Another reason this is rather strange is the fact that Ilios played with the likes of Francesco Lopez, Jason Khan as well as Coti K, during his no less than 60 concerts. Ilios’ work is just as mysterious. Using electric signals and electricity, Ilios’ "electric wind" reaches heardly the treshold of hearability during the first part of the album, except for a loud crack now and than.
Well, that changes when loud static noise threatens the ears, slowly fading out and disappearing like an aeroplane in the distance. Some of the music reminds of Michael Gendreau, though in general references can hardly be made. A great conceptual album by this Barcelona-based musician. He created music that becomes art, leaving an astonishing impact behind.

VITAL(NL)Obviously I didn't recognize Vento Elektra to be esperanto for Electric Wind, but then that one afternoon of lessons was enough to learn fluent esperanto. Illios is man whose biggest ambition is to have some sort of anti-career. It may therefore be no surprise that Ilios is not a man that tells us much about what he does, and that leaves, unfortunally, a great deal of guessing. So here's my ample guess: Ilios uses field recordings or maybe long wave radio recordings and stretches these around, attacking them with a truckload of plug ins and then smears it out over the course of forty-minutes. The way it's described here may sound like I think this is a dull release, but mind you: it's not. It takes a course that is slightly similar to that of a Francisco Lopez work: building a slow crescendo that keeps on building until maybe ten minutes before the end and then a recording of plane comes in at a rapid speed (rapid by these standards) but flies over until it is disappeared. CD finished. Microsound at it's very best going on here.

JADE (FR) Ilios est un des acteurs les plus prolifiques du label Antifrost et généralement de la scène musicale électro acoustique expérimentale. Après un récent album où un cortège de musicien remixait son premier album sorti sur Antifrost, le musicien-activiste, au détour d'un titre en Espéranto, signifiant vents électriques s'attache à façonner au long de 40 minutes, une symphonie expérimentale avec comme simple matière première des signaux électriques et l'électricité. Sur le principe, ça n'est pas sans rappeler les travaux environnementalistes d'Alan Lamb sur Dorobo (prises de sonsdirects des vibrations de lignes à haute tension dans le désert australien). Cet album est une pure référence de micro tonalité comme seul Bernhard Günter où Thomas Koner, voire Ryoji Ikeda savent en produire. Une étude blanche et limpide sur le thème de l'électricité, qui donne l'impression d'être gardien au c¦ur d'une base polaire retranchée. Ilios aime se mettre en difficulté, provoquer la gêne. Ainsi, en répertoriant l'ensemble des ces productions (une dizaine au total), il est difficile de cerner le personnage, chaque album recelant une thématique propre.

OCTOPUS (FR) Musicien grec installé en Catalogne, Ilios explore au sein de son label Antifrost ou avec certains de ses camarades comme Francisco Lopez les limites de l’ultra-minimalisme électronique. Pour son dixième album, Vento Elektra, Ilios rajoute au dépouillement sonore extrême de sa musique une intéressante distanciation de l’écoute. Au loin, un signal électrique sifflant comme un vent glacial sur la banquise s’installe et se laisse observer avec un mutisme de coin du feu. Une approche expectative s’installe, à peine contrariée par quelques rares mouvements aussi impromptus qu’inattendus, quelques craquements ou surcharges électriques qui viennent pointer l’audition de leur salissure insidieuse. Car, à l’image des dernières minutes de cette pièce musicale unique que contient l’album, une expression dramatique étrange se dégage de cet univers sonore dont l’immobilité se fend finalement, non pas pour exploser dans une décharge bruitiste qui viendrait prendre à contre-pied un autisme de circonstance, mais pour se transposer dans une nouvelle forme d’immobilisme, évolutive celle-là mais dans laquelle notre oreille habituée retrouve les mêmes volutes statiques. L’intérêt ne se situe pas dès lors dans un contraste d’apparat entre le silencieux et le sonore mais dans l’évolution d’une perception minimale où le point central n’est pas le son écouté mais celui qui l’écoute. Un désert figé des sens qui place en quelque sorte l’auditeur face à sa propre écoute et à ses propres attentes. Laurent Catala

CHAIN DLK(IT)Recorded "using electricity + electric signals", which is a both blunt and cryptic statement, "Vento elektra" ("electric wind" in esperanto) is a black hole of subdued frequencies and low drones, occasionally short-circuiting in brief bursts of white noise or high-end cracklings. As minimal as a sonata for distant shortwave signals, it is also pretty menacing and engaging, if listened to in nearly absolute silence and concentration. Nothing that hasn't been explored before over the last decade (by López, Günther, Duncan, Colley, etc.), but the composition is strong and severe enough to make this a very worthwhile listen. Review by: Eugenio Maggi

FUNPROX(NL)Vento Elektra was entirely created using electricity and electric signals as a sound source. This resulted in a static and slowly developing soundscape
of very bleak drones and some occasional rumbling. This might sound a bit over-simplified, and perhaps it is, but the work is really minimal. This minimalism is nevertheless very effective. The CD might not be very impressive like the huge noise-scapes of Daniel Menche, but it offers a very distanced and cold soundtrack that reminds me of standing beneath some high-voltage powerlines, or walking around in a powerplant. This is certainly not music for people who do not have a lot of patience, and I doubt that a lot of people will call this music at all. Nevertheless it is certainly very interesting material for people who like Œsound¹ and are interested in sonic experiments, strange atmospheres and the aesthetics of sound design.

DARKLIFE(UK)Sharpen your ears, as this is what you need to be able to perceive thewaves of ŒElectric Wind¹ emanated by this latest Ilios production. Foronce, an experimental production does just about what is says on the tin(albeit in another language). Vento Elektra is essentially a long piece ofstatic, monotone noise which well resemble (or maybe is produced with) slowwind hitting a microphone. It conjures up a sense of deserted, vast spacewhere you find yourself at night. A desert, possibly. From time to time,the cathartic quiet is briefly broken by sudden cut-ups, but (and here I¹mgonna spoil your listening experience, sorry), you won¹t get the muchexpected blast that blows your speakers and ears away since you had turnedthe volume up to actually start to perceive what¹s going on. Instead,there¹s a slow, progressive increase of robustness in the signal, whichgradually becomes more audible, until it turns into a roar that grows andfades relatively rapidly leaving a sense of no man¹s land behind. That¹snot everyday stuff, even for the most passionate avant-gardist, and isindeed a rewarding listening experience solely in very specific
circumstances. This doesn¹t take away from the fact that Vento Elektra is astad-out chapter for Ilios who brand himself an anti-artist, therefore hasall his own right to produce what we can call anti-music by vocation.

GAFFA (DK)Det er begrænset, hvor meget information der er til rådighed om Ilios, men han er efter sigende græsk, hedder rigtigt Dimitris Kariofillis og står bag det eksklusive pladeselskab Antifrost, hvor han foruden sin egen musik også udgiver folk som Francisco Lopez og Lasse Marhaug. Vento Elektra er det tiende Ilios-album og spiller som ét track. Den 48 minutter lange lydflade er udelukkende skabt af optagelser af strøm og elektriske signaler, og det er der blevet et stilrent, beatløst og meget stemningsfuldt værk ud af. Stykket udgøres ofte blot af en lav susen, der gradvist undergår forandringer og stedvist spædes op med lavt hylende frekvenser. Momentvist høres der også knitren, knasen, harsk støj og mørk buldren, men aldrig i lang tid ad gangen. Vento Elektra er et typisk lyttealbum, der kræver koncentration, tålmodighed og komplet ro – eller gode høretelefoner. Udbyttet er en sært rensende oplevelse, hvor pladens langsomme og afventende el-ambient synes at sænke livets hastighed, mens den fylder højttalerne.

Encyclopedia-RW (CD) June 2004 Antifrost |afro2024|

LIABILITY (FR) Le troisième album d’Ilios et le premier pour le label Antifrost est un disque où les titres datant de 1993 ont été retravaillés par des gens proches ou des collaborateurs habituels. En fait de troisième album c’est bien le remodelage par les amis d’Ilios de ce « Encyclopedia » de 93 dont il est question. Un remodelage qui laisse libre cours aux dix-neufs intervenants dont Ilios fait parti. Parmi ces intervenants on compte quelques noms qui ont déjà eu le droit de cité à Liability comme Francisco Lopez, Alexei Borisov, Anton Nikkilä, Bernd Schurer, Daniel Menche ou Zbigniew Karkowski. La fine fleur des musiques électroniques expérimentales en somme. Quelques-uns tout du moins. Et le résultat est pour le moins étonnant. Entre des versions bruitistes et d’autres résolument minimales et planantes, on rencontre aussi des morceaux à la veine plus expérimentale mêlant sampling, électronique déstructurée, nappes polaires et vagues de bruits blancs. Un vaste fourre tout où il est parfois difficile de s’y retrouver.Ainsi la première écoute apparaît comme des plus difficile mais peu à peu, au fil des passages, on se rend compte que cette variété sonore a du sens et donne un corps, certes abstrait, mais aux multiples facettes. On pourra alors dire finalement que ce disque porte bien son nom qui serait un condensé des différentes formes que peuvent prendre les musiques électroniques. Evidemment il ne s’agit pas d’être exhaustif ni même homogène mais de fournir une approche plus ouverte aux musiques électroniques cérébrales. Ilios, aidé de ses amis, semble atteindre son but sans trop de difficultés apparentes. « Encyclopedia – RW » apparaît comme le complément à « Encyclopedia » comme si celui-ci avait eu un goût d’inachevé. Même si le côté brouillon du disque est un peu rebutant et même s’il n’est pas aussi extrémiste qu’on voudrait bien le croire on arrive à s’attacher à ce disque. Un public averti saura y déceler les qualités intrinsèques de cet album. Pour les autres la tâche sera plus rude. Fabien

VITAL(NL) More than ten years ago, 'Encyclopedia' by Ilios was released. It was his third solo release, and even though I am sure I heard it back then, I don't remember what it sounds like. It was also the first release on Antifrost, a Greek label that brought us many interesting works over the years by the likes of Francisco Lopez, Leif Elggren, Lasse Marhaug and other delights from the more serious underground electronic music. Time for a little celebration and why not with a rework/remix CD of that very first release? All of the usual Antifrost suspects are present here, plus some I never heard of like, Panos Ghikas, Xabier Erkiza or Nishide Takehiro. Even when I don't recall 'Encyclopedia' the original release, things are taken into extreme areas here. They are either very quiet, like the obvious Lopez track, Xabier ErkizIa or Ilios, or the full noise blast by such experts as Mattin or Jazzkammer. It's the tracks in between those extremes that I personally like, like the second Ilios track, Jason Kahn, Marc Behrens. They take the original sounds and create something that sounds very much like their own thing. Less extreme but more listenable. Overal a nice compilation - now I must go and look for the original. (FdW)

SANDS-ZINE(IT) ...Il nostro cammino incrocia adesso la ‘sola’ figura di Ilios. Evidenzio la solitudine dell’artista, perché “Encyclopedia-RW” è l’operazione di remixaggio effettuata su "Encyclopedia", la prima uscita della Antifrost che veniva firmata proprio dal sound designer mediterraneo. Se a venire presa in considerazione è la verve destrutturatrice e rigenerante cui attingono i salottini di avant music, il disco in questione è da ritenersi un lavoro a tutto tondo nuovo; un progetto che confronta l’elettronica radicale di marca Ilios con le menti e le mani di ‘sprovveduti’ del genere quali: Jazzkammer, Francisco López, Mattin, Coti K., Marc Behrens, Jason Kahn, Daniel Menche, Nishide Takehiro, Zbigniew Karkowski…
Dentro troviamo un calderone intriso da svariati canovacci, quali potrebbero essere il rumorismo sinfonico dei Jazzkammer - Ope-Ams (remamix), o quello più crudo offerto da Mattin - Khz Wl (partidos fuera), l'isolazionismo di López - R (untitled# 162), o i battiti 'houseggianti' di Alexei Borislov - Claro (rw), la destrutturazione electro-noise operata da Leif Elggren - Coly I (reviseted), o i collage concreti incollati con estro bizzarro da Anton Nikillä - Tanz III (Department Store At Metro Dobbryninskaya, Moscow August 84), per giungere al trait d'union fra lo stesso Ilios e AS11 - Sy I Part I (rw) e Sy I Part II (rw) - abilissimi nel dipingere affreschi con acquerelli dalle tinte surreali: profondi e remoti nel primo segmento, più corposi ed evidenti nel secondo. Scorrendo, scivolano sulla scia dell'interesse le frequenze elettroniche inscatolate dentro una struttura zen di Jason Kahn - West V (rw), l'ambient ancestrale di Marc Behrens - Coly II (For Dimitris), le distorsioni di Daniel Menche - Tanz I (rw), la spettralità di Anla Courtis - Fuk VI (rw), e la melodia glitch che vive in Joe Colley - West VI (rw)...
Questi i momenti più succosi dell'intera operazione, che non debbono, comunque, distogliere l'attenzione dagli altri contributi; “Encyclopedia-RW” è un lavoro di ottima fattura che, di pari passo con “DomizilvsAntifrostLive”, potrebbe diventare il vostro feticcio, la vostra ossessione sonora preferita, l’oggetto dei desideri adatto per spalancare le porte ad un caldo autunno carico di sperimentazione.

AVOLOPLIS (GR)(In greek): http://www.avopolis.gr/greviews/default.asp?ID=2249

DARKLIFE (UKL) Fast rewind to issue IX where we covered the Old Testament album, toremind you that this is highly experimental stuff. Even more intriguing isthe fact that this album includes contributions by no less than 19 artistsof the experimental/noise variety (including Ilios himself), providingtheir own individual imprint to the tracks that back in 1993 made up thethird Ilios release Encyclopedia. The result is frankly astonishing and, inmy personal opinion, this album has a wider reach potential that Ilios¹release themselves, due to the variety of sonic approaches that fusethemselves organically in this 50-minute worth of material. I would skip the routine of actually going through the relative merits of the differenttracks and those who take part in this work, suffice to say that there is enough sonic entertainment ranging from the quiet and sketchy to the rumbling and devastating, with unexpected sampling solutions to boot, to make any experimental-noise-industrial enthusiast happy, whirling in a vortex of unconventional creative directions. At least, we were!

STILLBORN (IT) Encyclopedia è il terzo album di Ilios ed è stata la prima uscita per la Antifrost.. oggi a 12 anni di distanza da quel disco la label greca pubblica questa Encyclopedia - RW che non è altro che una rivisitazione (leggi stravolgimento) di quel lavoro del 1993. Ad operare su questo disco non vi è Ilios (o almeno non solo lui) ma ben 18 suoi amici e/o collaboratori che rielaborano a loro modo e nel loro stile quel disco festeggiando così la ventesima uscita della Antifrost.
Jazzkammer, Mattin, Francisco López, Alexei Borisov, Leif Elggren, Xabier Erkizia, Anton Nikilläa, AS11, Coti K., Jason Kahn, M. Behrens, Bernd Schurer, Daniel Menche, Takehiro Nishide, Anla Courtis, Joe Colley, Panos Ghikas, Zbigniew Karkowski.. questi sono i nomi degli amici che hanno collaborato su questo disco.. un pezzo a testa.. e ognuno ha firmato con il proprio stile.. ovviamente per me che nel "genere" ci bazzico poco i nomi che volevo maggiormente ascoltare erano quelli che più conosco come Jazzkammer che apre in modo meraviglioso questo disco.. Francisco López nel suo vortice isolazionista di R (Untitled #162).. il russo Alexei
Borisov che non rinuncia mai al ritmo.. le vesti psudo-concrete-noise-ambientali di Anton Nikillä.. le glitchosità di Coti K. in West VII (RW).. le super-frenquenze di Jason Kahn.. gli incubi nerissimi di Bernd Schurer.. le increspature alterate di Daniel Menche.. poi grande onore anche agli altri che meno conosco (e/o misconosco) nelle loro elaborazioni infamanti, noise, glitch o chicchessia.. Insomma, un bel modo per festeggiare il comple-release (..e sono 20!)..Auguri!

RIF RAF(BE)Het derde album van noisemaestro ilios "Encyclopedia" verscheen in 1993 en viert zijn tiende verjaardag met dit remixalbum. we horen interpretaties van Bernd Schurer, Francisco Lopez, Jazzkammer, Daniel Menche en Jason Kahn, maar het venijn van ilios blijft door het bloed van de herwerkingen stromen. Met bijzonder veel migraine tot gevolg. svs

BLACK (D) Wir schreiben das Jahr 1997, mit "Encyclopedia" erscheint das erste Release des Avandgarde- Elektronik- Labels Antifrost. Von Labelgründer ILIOS bereits 1993 aufgenommen, war die CD damit der Beginn einer Releaseliste, in der unter anderem bekannte Namen wie Francisco Lopez, Daniel Menche oder Lasse Marhaug auftauchen. Das quasi-runde Jubiläum, sprich das zwanzigste Release, führt nun wieder zurück zu den Anfängen, denn "Encyclopedia-RW" ist nichts weiter als eine Remix-CD der Veröffentlichung, mit der das Label das Licht der Muisikwelt entdeckte. Als Remixer betätigten sich natürlich ebenfalls wieder sehr namhafte Künstler der AvantGarde - und Noiseszene, neben den schon erwähnten Francisco Lopez, und Daniel Menche findet man weiterhin noch Neubearbeitungen von Jazzkammer, Marc Behrens, Coti K., Zbigniew Karkowski, und einigen anderen mehr. So lärmt und grummelt es sehr viefältig über die Spieldauer von 70 minuten hinweg, mal mit sehr zurückgeschraubten, kaum wahrnehmbaren Klangansätzen, dann wieder als sehr noisige Passagen, später wiederum als Klancollage aus Fielrecordings. So taucht dann auch mal sehr unerwartet ein Schnipsel aus MODERN TALKNINGs "You're my heart you're my soul" auf, um dann kurz darauf von BAhnhofsdurchsagen abgelöst zu werden. Encyclopedia-Rw ist nicht nur ein gelungener Rückblick aud die frühen Tage des Labels, sondern auch ein guter Überblick über die Viefalt, die man von den Releases aktueller Tage erwarten kann.

 

Old Testament (CD) June 2003 Antifrost |afro2017|

THE WIRE (UK) The most enervating record imaginable, this latest act of cruelty perpetrated by Antifrost label founder Ilios is like an interrogation in the most brutal of police states. First the good cop of distant, muggy drones and protacted silence draws you in. You peer throught he murk, craning your neck to try to make something out and then..well , you really should have known better. Because the bad cop leaps in the most searing, sickening jolts of noise, real electrodes to the genitals stuff. None of these attacks sustain themselves for long enough to allow the recipient to become inured by them. There's noway any kind of strength can be drawn from them. The process simply repeats - the shock, the lull, the shoch. Don't be fool. Just tell them what they want to hear. Keith Moline

BAGATELLEN (US) Old Testament is neither dud nor masterpiece, but it's well worth a listen, and certainly to get acquainted with the bold work of Ilios. The Greek-born experimentalist is best known for captivating live performances that incorporate dance, visual arts and computer-generated multimedia, and often leaves audiences scratching heads in disbelief – one such occasion featured laptop music with the artist performing from inside a 2-man camping tent. Old Testament is his fourth release for Antifrost, not including appearances on compilations, and the music is downright unsettling: driven from cross-connects of samples, drone patterns are intermittently intruded upon by percussive, soul-shocking sound bites, creating a worrisome system of sounds hell-bent on alarming the unwary listener. It’s broken music, really, and Ilios puts steady faith in the idea that schizophrenic post-production can be as vital to the experience as comprehensibility and finesse. Where there’s beauty, it lies in the utter tangibility of the sounds and the manners in which the segments are spliced and patchworked together. Ilios doesn’t want you to get comfortable, he wants your attention, and the initiated are bound to have their curiosity raised. This disc is evidently the first in a series of “Testament” volumes, and it’ll be interesting to see what becomes of music that already appears resurrected. AL

DEEP LISTENINGS (I) Suoni viscerali che fanno tremare le ossa, frequenze bassissime, quasi inudibili, aliti di rumorismo infernale e distorsioni lancinanti, sono il contenuto del disco di Ilios. Impossibile non pensare al Lustmord di "Heresy", quando l' ispirazione si bagnava nelle legende sulla Terra Cava, sul Regno de Agharti, sul Popolo del Vril. L'esperienza sonora e estrema: in cuffia si sottopone il timpano ad escursioni massime, con i diffusori, se non si abita in un luogo tranquilo, non si sente quasi nulla, solo gli occasionali e brevi inserti di suoni acuti che raramente salgono dall'abisso o gli epilettici organismi che prendono vita nel terzo e quarto bravo. Disco notturno che evoca nella nostra mente immagini dai contorni sbiaditi - forse pensieri che hanno preso un aforma visible ? - e che funziona come momento di autopsicanalisi. Se avete paura del buio lasciate perdere. (Gianluigi Gasparetti)

ABSURD (GR) ilios is ack w/ a new cd titled “old testament”, well guess that the “new testament” must be on the way for release sometime sooner or later. though not much info is given on this project (well usually this is also a characteristic of them) I gotta admit that must be one of ilios’s finest moments. I am given the feeling that old material is being melted to recreate something totally “new” out of it, but cannot promise ‘bout that thought. Either way this is not the point, ilios shows the greater development in his sound, as started from the “ba” 3”cd & on. in some cases I believe that “old testament” works as the link between ilios’s amazing “encyclopedia” cd of the mid 90’s to the present. There a host of styles were melted into what sounded to be a development of the project’s language (however 2 attempts of deconstructed “pop” projects were made since that cd, a kind of technique that was used in their first 2 releases as well (eurovision/otravision & pharmacodynamics)) here I believe that is ilios’s new language development at its bloodiest best or if you wish at a crossover. Till recently I was used to the project’s approach to more “pop” attitude/culture and the various ways they were melting/playing w/ this image. “old testament” remarks a new technique, the play w/ the mistake. A “game” that obsesses this release I believe. Starting from the obscure ambient drone of the first piece (where you get a superb backgound sound as if you’re listening to a cdr that has a “burning” problem) to more laptop based electroacoustic treatments. Turning to some more deconstructed “noise” structures but all around this intelligent playing w/ “mistakes”, not “glitches” or so but mistakes that work truly unique in this amazing recording. perhaps that’s why the title was chosen to show or remark a new era in the project’s work. so far stands for me as ilios’s finest moment, which comes highly recommended!

JADE (FR) C’est sans doute dans cette absence fataliste de médiatisation des structures telles qu’Antifrost, ici représentée par Ilios développe une forme habile "d’esthétique de la disparition". Il n’est pas ici question de vitesse mais de transparence. Ilios assume depuis 10 ans ce statut d’apatride médiatique, entrevoit à cette carence par un glissement progressif vers l’anonymat. Par écho, la musique d’Ilios s’est teintée de cette saveur, de cette patine nitessente où les drones, les vibrations font disparaître la composition.
Old Testament , dans une logique biblique précède une séquelle à venir, "new testament" qu’on devine déjà comme un prolongement et une antithèse de cet album.
Un parcours sombre, chaotique, constitué de sons spectraux, de triturages électro-acoustiques, comme au premier jour du monde où les infrabasses grondent comme des tonnerres lointains, mouvements telluriques, et où les grésillements laissent entrevoir les premiers soubresauts d’une vie terrestre à venir.
5 traités de géoclimatologie vive, reflets involontaires d’un monde à jamais disparu.

DARKLIFE (D) Sonic extremism from Greece (i assume) by ilios who touches the extremes of the sonic spectrum in a quite excessive way. He opens with about 15 minutes of drones that are inaudible at normal volume, kind of leaving a microphone picking up the noise of the wind hitting it. Some worrying signs of life start then to appear in the form of subtle noises, leaving soon way to more virtual silence, until things are given the time to adjust the volume, as in the midle region of the CD the abstract noise collages still remain of minimal, contamplative nature, definitely turning intimidating in the last two tracks, where they are also shortly granted some structure. fascinating in its extremism, obviously uneasy to digest (unless you are familiar with noise artists), butr seldom oppressing. Other would call this "un-listenable" Gianfri

BAD ALCHEMY (D) Im strengsten Schwarz - Weiss und mit der in der Electronica obligatorischen Informationssperre praesentiert ILIOS sein Old Testament. Der Einstieg in ihre Noisewelt ist entsprechend reduktionistich. Quasi wie im 1. Buch Genesis herrescht in der Wúste und Leere erstmal nur eine grummeldne
Vorahnung von Yahwes Nieser, mit dem er Galaxien, Griechen und Geraeusche ins Dasein rotzte. Das aendert sich. Vom Knirschen von Eselskiefern bis zur Ex- und Implosion von Wasauschimmer. Aber ilios anti-dogmatischer Anti-Krach ist natuerlich keine Nacherzaehlung von Prophetenlatein, sondern ein radikal brutistischer
Annaeherungsversuch an Urknall und unsortiertes Tohuwabohu. Nur, wer hat Anti-Ohren, robust genug, um diesem pra-und superhumanen Terror Stand zu halten? Allein das Nichts, der gaehnende Abgrund

VITAL (NL) This is the 'difficult' one. Lengthy pieces of obscured sounds, scratches and drones - this could be as much as newer computer work as an older piece of analog electronics (I assume the last but digitally remastered). Silence seems to be playing animportant role too, as sometimes things drop in volume a lot. So, I can't say wether this is really old, or updated (FdW)

GONZO CIRCUS (B) Het Oude Testament volgens geluidsonderzoeker Ilios is een stevige portie computergefilterde geluiden die ongeremd zweven tussen extremen als diep gedaver, pure stilte, borende harddiskblokkagen, ijl gesis, glitch, enkele warmere klanken (een analoge synthesizer?) en kille feedback. De digitale lezing duurt vijftig minuten en is ook voor de kwipelstaartende liefhebber van Bijbelse electro - akoesticsche muziek een grillige kluif. Antifrost lijkt een offensief gestart te hebben on ons er van te overtuigen dat Hellas de bakermat is van de heilige electro-akoestiek.(pv)

AUF ABWEGEN (GER) Das Old Testament hat sich hingegen ilios vorgenommen. Bei dem Thema muss man scheitern und tatsachlich hatte jeder Titel gepasst – ausser grollenden Schab – und Kullergerauschen ist auf der CD namlich nix drauf

18102002 (CD-R) Feb 2003 Absurd |absurd24|

 

VITAL (NL) Ilios is one of the more conceptual and experimental artists from Greece, despite diverting his time between Athens and Barcelona. Some months ago he played at the Small Music Theatre in Athens, and Absurd now offers the recordings. Things start out at a very high end of the sound spectrum for about the first ten minutes, then slowly contactmicrophones take over. From there the work evolves around deep end rumblings and processings of the contact microphones. I assume Ilios is a man with a laptop, based upon what I hear. Sturdy experimental music of the better nature. Sonic rumbling is all over the place. Even when laptop tactics are at stake here, Ilios plays a well-composed piece (meaning, I couldn't honestly say whether this is improvised or composed, but I assume the latter). Thick layers of sound move over eachother in an almost psychedelic vein. Quite noisy at times, but the piece never gets anywhere near being obnoxiously loud, but certainly moves along the more extreme lines of sound. Die-hards will seek their pleasure here. (FdW)

PARISTRANSATLANTIC (FR) Ilios reappear on Absurd #24, a 43 minute slowburner laptop outing that's as austere and elegant as the plain grey cover it comes in, and which will give your woofers and downstairs neighbours a thrill. Shame they couldn't have edited out the applause at the end - did we really need reminding that this was a live event? I suppose they think we did.

 

b.a (3"CD) May 2002 Antifrost |afro2011|

THE SOUND PROJECTOR (UK) ..essentially the ebb and flow of unidentifiable, unlocatable sound - patterns that constitutes b.a strikes me as a good old fashioned Romantic tone-poem not so very far removed from Schubert or Strauss: it emerge from silence crescending slowly to a climax in which dissonance is served and dying away whence it came. The difference is purely dialectic: the underlying myth endures - and why shouldn't it, since the vegetable cycles and the resurrecting sun-gods aren't going anywhere in a hurry, and human beings will always need to revisit these cosmic earth-mysteries (regrdless of what trainers we're wearing nowdays). So we begin with murmurous crackle, like the rustle of dead leaves or rain on the school roof during an eternity of double - physics... Notes emerge through the static, green and frail.. An ominous rattle rises to meet them, like something out of Afro-Cuban Santeria, or perhaps a mulfuctioning geiger counter..From here it builds up and up into declamatory Frankensteins of noise, a monster in every organ of my body, flailing and bashing down walls. The sound of death. Tormented by excessive flange, the beasts are reddened and rolled in salt before galloping off into a nightscape of random havoc, leaving us to clean up. Sure enough, it's a downhill slide into gentle clicking and humming to see us abed.bOTOX aPATHY? bRONZE aRTICHOKE? bLOCKED aNUS? You should decide for yourself. jonathan hellier

WIRE (UK) The second track on b.a by ilios makes such a racket, and emerges from such a quiet first rack, that when it initially began to play i thought there was something wrong with my stereo. Silly me. Perhaps i was just lulled by the almost carlo-loke nature of the genteel noise construction that start things off. Ilios is a Greek composer with a long history of creating and supporting international croakery. The first piece here has a kind of steel wool majesty, emanating metallic barbed wire whatsits that have their corners softened by use. and inside of that ball of wire there's a tiny choir. So it's nice. The second piece, as noted, is far more dastardly.

INCURSION MUSIC REVIEW (CAN).. two compelling tracks of electronic abstraction, static, subtle tones and atmospheres. The first track is the longest (about 15 minutes long), and also the most captivating of the two, with a slowly evolving palette of sounds. The second piece is much shorter (about 5 minutes long) but also more jarring, with loud, harsher loops of electronic sounds and laptop mulching. Both tracks are very nicely done, arranged with an astute attention to detail, structure and mood. [Richard di Santo]

GONZO CIRCUS (B) Wordt de hoeveelheid persinfo gerelateerdt aan de lengte van een cd? Het lijkt er wel op, gezien de zeer karige info bij de 3-inch "b.a" van ilios. Daaruit blijkt in ieder geval dat onderhavig cdtje van ilios de zesde release is in de serie "Exrteme sound Souvenirs Series" van het Griekse Antifrost label. In amper twintig minuten weet men echter een verpletterende indruk achter te laten. Het venijn zit in het staarje van 4.30. De eerste zestien minuten beginnen heel minimaal, bijna onhoorbaar. Het eerste waarneembaar geluid doet denken aan sambaballen, het lleggieten van een baal rijst of een teil met erwten. Het geluid wordt luider en zachter zonder dat er andere geluiden op het netvlies ontstaan. De tweede track daarentegen begint met een steeds luider wordend sterk knisperend of flikkerend geluid, alsof er wordt gepoogd via de speakers epileptische aanvallen op te wekken. De knisperende beats verwoorden door hun volume en ritme tot een soort uberkrekels, wat een unheimisch geluid oplevert - zeker als deze wall of sound nog een paar filters wordt gejaagd. Het nummer verwordt tot één grote kluwen van geluid in alle frequenties, van en naar alle kanten. Een geniale en zeer effectieve auditieve daisy-cutter.

SKUG (A) ILIOS wiederum steuert zwei Gerauschlinien ineinander und beide tragen elegische Melodien in sich. Und doch birst nach allmahlichem Rieseln der Speicher, was fur eine Wohltat! Erschienen als 3"-CD “b.a.", Vol. 5 der “Extreme Sound Souvenirs Series"

ABSURD (GR) ilios’s “ba”, including 2 pieces of crackling & hissing noise showing another aspect of their ever impressive work. turning this one to one of my most beloved ilios releases to date, since their devastating “otravision” (2nd side of their 1st lp and bonus tracks to their “pharmacodynamics” cd.

BAD ALCHEMY (D) In der "extreme sound souvenirs series" schmuckt sich dieser Winzling mit zwei Buchstaben, die fur manches stehen konnen: bEFORE aFTER, vielleicht auch bARCELONA aTHENS (die beiden Standbeine von Antifrost) oder bAD aLCHEMY? Hinter einem im Luftzug heftig klickernden Perlenvorhang wie auf- und abflauendes Regengeprassel erklingt eine weit entfernte, verrauscht-verkratzte, wehmutige Trauermelodie. Starke 16:19 Minuten. Track 2 ist ein morderischer Harsh-Noise-Zuschlag und echter Rau?schmei?er.

 

L' ENTREPOT (B) Ilios goes in his first piece for the contradiction between natural surrounding sounds and electronic noise drone. It all starts from pulsing electronic rustle where from the frequency is very high, but together with the amplitude from the pulse is continue in progress. In this way they create a noise wave with a strong natural character (locust swarm, or musquito's….). In this stream you discover a fogy melody with sampler rags (sound souvenirs).On the second one is the electronic colder, harddisk noise, almost industrial pulses and weird sounds kept a bigger gap between music and listener.

VITAL (NL) two pieces of cracking sound. Minimal, slowly moving sound. Maybe the cracks of a radio? Long wave humm? Hard to tell.

GROOVE (D) Langsam ruckt ein Cyborgheuscreckenschwarm naher den boenartige Luftturbulenzen uber einen riesigen Asphaltplatz blasen. Zu durchsiebten melancholischen Harmonien prasseln metallisch angereicherte Schreckenkorpermassen uber den Boden wie sanfte Auslaufler hagelkorniger flutwellen. Im zweiten trackfahrt ein Ozeandampfer aus Soundgranulat durch einen Sturm aus Synthesizernoise: Von einem auf Sparflamme rotierenden Kolben im ruhigen Maschinenraum geht es durch unwetterhorige Schiffsbauchgange ins wirre Tosen au Deck und wieder zuruck FG

DE BUG (D) Ganz langsam schalt sich ein Stuck heraus, das zunehmend an Konturen gewinnt und einen Zustand beschreibt, der an den hymnischsten der namenlosen Tracks auf Pita's Get Out erinnert, nur dass hier alles viel shemenhafter bleibt. Zeitlos wie ein Abend am Meer - und so langsam wie man sich von diesem abwendet, ziehen sich die schleppenden Gerausche des ersten Tracks nach einer Viertelstunde wieder in ihr Schneckenhaus zuruck. Die funf Minuten des zweiten Tracks ergehen sich in diversen Verwandlungen. Ausgehend von einem Ticken nahert man sich uer einen marschierenden Gleichschritt in Exkursionen zu noisigere Gefilden, um am Schluss wieder ganz man selbst zu sein PP

REMOTE INDUCTION (UK) b - low level crackles and insectile abrasions can be heard, mounting and following in particulate waves. An impression that remains consistent for a couple of minutes, low bass sigh rising with a hint of melodic intent, shot through with the mildness of this static overlay. Careful sighs that contrast the agitation of the ever-present detail. Bass emerges as an abrasive edge to accompany the drift, more of the crackle than the smooth.a.Turning back to dust sounds as it eases towards to the 10 minute mark, slowly dispersing sounds, crackling with resurgence towards 11 minutes, holding on to 16 minutes in one form or another, with only the barest mechanic whir being heard barely as a background addition. a - repeated digital brushes stroke in abrupt loops, each cycle stepping up a degree in volume, layering past the first minute into a sweep and pulse of sound, mounting to a harsh babble of tightly woven detail. Squalling with piercing tones, the chop of rhythm still doing its best to carry through. Thickening periodically with a sludgy contrast to the squealing tones. Then just short of the third minute it sweeps down, low and pulsing, with an undercurrent of the peaks still carrying in there as a suggestion. Building back to a reprise of its origin, the brushing loop of abrupt electric tones, not quite the same as the start but with more in common than the material which links these sections.PTR

GUTS OF DARKNESS (FR) Ilios n'en est pas à son premier coup d'essai, loin de là. Grand présent de la scène électronique underground, directeur du label Antifrost, ayant organisé et participé à de nombreux festivaux (Electrograph notamment), grand passioné de textures sonores, toujours prêt à remettre à plat son savoir pour mieux répondre au problème suivant. Le mini-cd b.a. (Before-After) possède une âme et une cohésion interne, ce qu'on ne peut que saluer dans un milieu trop souvent complaisant et auto-suffisant. Il se passe bel et bien quelque chose entre 'before' et 'after', quelque chose d'abstrait et de libre, entre cette longue pièce granuleuse et douloureuse, faussement musicale (on pense à Fennesz ou Pita) et réellement éreintante sur la fin ; et 'after', rythmé, violent et syncopé, perçu à la fois comme une libération et un bol d'air cathartique. Entre les deux, l'interprétation est libre : mort, sommeil, réveil, peu importe la transition qui finalement n'existe que par ce qui l'entoure.

 

Dance Classics (CD) 2000 Antifrost |afro2005|

 

FALLT 'Dance Classics' is apparently the fifth release by the mysterious Ilios... Seventeen tracks sh u dd e r tentat iv ely i n t o exist e n c e layering sparse yet uranium-heavy beats over simple melodies which pulsate like distorted electro-magnetic fields. Opening with the aptly titled 'Freight 2' which collapses 94 seconds of audio in on itself to create a densely folded mix that refuses to let go, it follows with the worryingly-titled 'Killhilary', 90 seconds of heavy machinery growling in the distance as if heard through a set of dysfunctional earmuffs before stuttering into the fantastically organised chaos of 'Jertew 55'. A pause of sorts occurs with 'Kiho' - five minutes of seemingly out-of-place restrained melody - before the twin axis of 'Ktuir' raw and distilled (original and Thurston Moore remix) suggest a wealth of future possibilities. Raw, pauses, versions, splices, cuts and edits, versions. Versions. Until all that is left is a low rumbling hiss which is the perfect point for Thurston Moore's distilled version. Allowed the luxury of time, Moore splices the original with a half-forgotten fairground melody CUT dance hall tunes for pensioners CUT radio fragments CUT... DISCO. D I S C O. D I S C O. CUT. CUT. CUT. CUT. END Christopher Murphy

INCURSION MUSIC REVIEW (CAN)Dance Classics: "a digital parade for conceptual dancefloors," or so the story goes. This is my first contact with Ilios, an electronics group from Greece formed in 1992. In 1997 they founded the Antifrost label, which has offices in Athens and in Barcelona. Dance Classics, their fifth full-length release, presents 17 abstract dance grooves and miniatures, more for an imaginary dancefloor than a real one. Digital dust flies in random patterns, often with a solid underlying rhythm (and that underlying structure is what provides this music with its more "danceable" quotient), but always with healthy doses of abstraction that infiltrate the mix. Dense sounds, an opaque bass rhythm, a perfect night fog. The tracks are sometimes complex and polyrhythmic; your body has the option of moving to one rhythm or its complement rhythm buried somewhere in the structure. The disc ends with a bizarre radio trip through various channels and dense layerings of random noise -- hiss, whirrs, cut-ups and clicks -- mixed by Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth. A fine release of minimal music that grows on you more and more with every new listening. Richard Di Santo

HXOS MAGAZINE (GR) Following an attempt to approach more pop sounds and in parallel a contact with the japanese market, Ilios, may be the most uneasy group with greek roots (they operate from Spain lately) today, they return to more adventurous electronic sounds of (their) past. Their album Dance Classics, despite the title and the toy like artistic concept that accompanies it, is a fierce attack to the senses, appropriate for dance classes of the X-Files veterans. In a field poorly credited in Greece, Dance Classics easily win the title of the best electronic album of 2000 and this is an achievement for the (mysterious) group too. In addition to that, there is an additional advantage to include a remix in the track "Ktuir" by Thurston Moore, something, of course, unusual for a domestic production (which is usually consumed in "cooperations" of the type Brano Mardi- Mahairitsas). It can not but be suggested unconditionally to explorers of the music adventure. T.Moutsopoulos

VITAL WEEKLY(NL) Ilios is unknown to me, but this CD seems to be a very nice introduction (although the press release states that it's Ilios' policy to come up with something new every CD, so who knows what is in store for the future). So this CD contains dance hits for the years to come, they say. Well, I'm not so sure about the future development of dance music, but I can probably state with a good amount of certainty, that these tracks will not become the hits Ilios is hoping for. And probably that's not exactly what Ilios intends with this title anyway. What I can say with a good amount of certainty, is that the distorted electronic cuts of Ilios are pretty interesting and definitely an addition to the growing microwave scene. Except for some weirder explorations, this disc contains mostly looped, distorted, edited and atmospheric sounds of varying origins. Some of the tracks are based on a clear rhythm section (either acoustic or electronic) with loops and samples layered on them, others seem to be based on rhythmic tracks, but distorted and edited and layered with additional sounds. There are some funny things going on here and there, which seems to take things to the light side. At some times it sounds as if the whole CD consists of several minor projects put together. And the last is actually by Thurston Moore, doing a remix of track 14 of the CD. And it definitely not the best one on the CD. Roel Meelkop

 

Encyclopedia (CD) 1997. Antifrost |afro 9601|

THE WIRE ...Demented electronic fanfares give way to a hybrid washing machine, polyrhythmic cleaning mechanisms play footsie with an incubator....

 

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