Review by Mike O’Cull, independent music journalist. www.mikeocull.com
illrecur (all lower case) is the name of the long-running studio project helmed by composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Allen Pursell. Pursell is an amazingly prolific musician and has released 39 albums worth of music since 1997. Working from Columbus, Ohio, he creates experimental instrumental music across many styles.
The latest illrecur record, one of five new albums Pursell gave us all in February of 2019, is called Evolu and it’s a striking set of ambient/electronic/film music with deep emotional underpinnings to each track. illrecur compositions are typically inspired by the connections between music, mood, psychology, and behavior but these come from a slightly different space. These pieces draw life from varying styles of 70s, 80s, and 90s radio sounds, video games, and the soundtracks of popular and cult movies. Each one takes listeners on its own sonic journey but still connects to the larger themes of obscurity, confusion, perception, discovery, and strange adventures that drive Evolu and the other four records.
“Can’t Sleep” opens the set with an anthemic-yet-melancholy vibe that commands attention but remains unpredictable. Pursell displays considerable compositional chops here and throughout the album, never taking the low road of calling random synth drones a soundtrack. “Addendum” is orchestral and brooding in tone and continually evolves its themes and motives. “Struggle for Meaning” continues the slowly-building tension that defines Evolu and makes this 19-track record an engrossing listen from front to back.
Pursell drops a lot of music with illrecur but getting through his tracks is never an overwhelming chore. His music is intellectually and emotionally seductive and you’ll find yourself listening to Evolu in one sitting with even realizing it. Compelling and clean, illrecur should be a big hit with anyone who has been enjoying the electronic soundtrack Renaissance of the last several years. Jeremy Allen Pursell belongs in the ranks of those composers and is in possession of the sounds and sensibilities required to work at the industry’s highest levels. Listen to this today!
LISTEN ON BANDCAMP: https://illrecur.bandcamp.com/album/evolu
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: http://www.illrecur.com