"It's really easy to throw in the kitchen sink," says Seattle producer Jeff McIlwain, who's made music under the moniker Lusine (or permutations thereof) since 1999. "It's a lot more difficult to take away."
We're talking about the role self-editing, or subtraction, plays in McIlwain's creative process. While Lusine's catalog is too varied and too open to genre wanderlust to allow for sweeping description, there is a through-line of crystalline restraint across the breadth of his discography.
The foundation of "Slow Motion," one of the highlights from Lusine's upcoming LP Sensorimotor, is the syncopation and drowsy emotional weight of its melancholic synth line. The quasi-melody sets the groundwork for an unpredictable kick drum and hustling hi-hat. Below the fray lies earthen groans; above, sighs and squeals of computational pleasure.
"It's not like I have an image in my head of what I want the track to be exactly before I make it," he says. McIlwain's primary concern is to mess with the construct of genre. On "Slow Motion," this amounts to a fusion of synth-pop that he describes as "spacey, wonky," and is emblematic of the narcotized, jazzy vibe popular among Los Angeles's avant beatmakers these days. The result is a sleek, somnambulant trip.
Lusine's Sensorimotor is out March 3 on Ghostly International.