ILITCH – La Danse des Neurones

Like other 1970s European electronic rock artists from Heldon to Conrad Schnitzer, Ilitch owes more to the avant-garde experiments of Stockhausen and Xenakis than to the rock and roll of Chuck Berry or even the Beatles… Ilitch came out of France, was the work of mostly one person, Thierry Müller, using unconventional guitars as well as keyboards and other electronics to create strange textures and sounds. Müller was a photographer and graphic artist from Paris who started making recordings in the early 1970s using prepared guitars, harmonium, and even using the tape recorder as another instrument. Initially he worked completely solo but by late 1975 he was being helped by Ruth Ellyeri. In 1976 his brother Patrick Müller on EMS synthisizer and treated guitar joined Ilitch, for a live performance at the Café La Manille, in Paris, and the duo also played there the following two years as well. In October and November of that year, Ilitch recorded the material for the LP « Periodikmindtrouble », but by the time the LP was released, in 1978, the original second side was scrapped for other more recent material. This album featured abstract music that was completely instrumental and with a heavy use of electronics. Though this is considered the first Ilitch LP, in fact a year earlier Müller released « Portraits » in an extremely limited edition of one with hand painted cover. By 1980 Ellyeri, on guitars, vocals and electronics, became more integral to the Ilitch sound, and Müller occasionally added in synth player Philippe Doray (Associaux Associés) and saxophonist Patrick Dubot (Associaux Associés) into Ilitch as well. They released a second LP, « 10 Suicides » that year, a more varied album that included some heavily processed vocals as well as a sixteen page booklet with many of Müller’s photo-collages. The same year under the Ilitch name was released the cassette « PTM Works » (Patrick and Thierry Müller’s works) on Eurock label, as well as the one-sided EP « Culture », which was credited to him and the graphic designer Edouard Nono. After this Müller took a break from music for a couple years, but in 1982 he began work on a new project. The project eventually became the group Ruth (though Ruth Ellyeri wasn’t a part of it), as Müller began collaborating with many more musicians for recordings done in 1984 and 1985. Ruth’s music was far more polished and accessible, adding a quirky new wave twist to Müller’s textured guitar and synth treatments. The Ruth LP « Polaroid/Romans/Photos » came out in 1985 with a 12-page booklet. That same year, thierry Müller and Philippe Doray worked on the « Crash » project (some concerts in France and Europe) and released an EP called « Pile ou Face ».

Müller stopped making records and devote more time to graphic arts after the Ruth album (labels and distributors were not at the « rendez-vous ! »), though he did release three more extremely limited recordings, « D. Prune Tributes » Volumes 1 through 3 (a « hommage » to painters and musiciens), under his own name between 1989 and 1991. Though his records had limited releases and have long been out of print. In 2000-2001, much of his music has been made available on CD by the Fractal records label with Bonus tracks… [+]

From the LP “ILITCH – WHITE LIGHT” Bisou records (BIS-008-U)
Release date: December 2, 2021

Artist: ilitch
Album: White Light
Label: Bisou
Video: Sylvain Bermudes
Track composed by Thierry Müller and Jac Berrocal
THIERRY MÜLLER: guitar, synths, piano / JAC BERROCAL: trumpet
Mixed & mastered by Patrick Müller at Studio Pierre Schaeffer. Produced by Patrick & Thierry Müller.

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