Ill Winds – S/T CS


Lean times trio Ill Winds play a starved, sunken, and stained vein of bleached grey rock, as much post-life as post-punk. Formed in Berlin in 2011 by Australian ex-pats Jack Dibben (guitars, voice) and JFW (bass), they soon added scrying Dutchman Marijn Degenaar (synth), infusing their chemistry with a damp, psychotropic paranoia. When decision was finally made last year to track a full-length, the Winds set up camp at a historic squat-turned-project-housing space in Berlin and enlisted old ally Olle Holmberg (aka Moon Wheel) to produce. It proved to be a wise move – the resultant recordings are impressively drained and otherworldly, almost like an early Martin Hannett production: airless, alien, that distinct lilt of echo to the drums. Dibben’s strange speak-singing exudes more of a seer’s dread in these mixes (“The room had no air / the air had no room / to breathe”), fenced in by blank-mind basslines, stark guitar scrape and squall, and austerely hypnotic synthesizer designs. Eight beggars’ skeletons of looming psychic malaise, cold-blood concrete-wave, and detached realities. Mope springs eternal: “Love is trust / Trust no one.”