Under the alias of Illbe, Belgian composer Gauthier Gilissen emerged in the eclectic circles of Liège and Brussels, bringing a refreshing deviation to the alternative music realm. Gilissen, a musicology enthusiast with a penchant for unconventional soundtracks, has crafted a unique musical vernacular that transcends the conventional use of guitars. His compositions now draw heavily from cinematic influences, incorporating narratives and themes from the silver screen.
Illbe’s meticulous production skills, coupled with a flair for creating captivating ambiances, allow him to embody a musical sleuth, navigating through mist-enshrouded landscapes of mystery with his compositions. His latest work, Troops Are Coming, a standout instrumental track from Illbe’s downtempo rock EP Long Gone released at the tail end of 2022, serves as a poignant interlude. Eschewing percussion, the track melds ambient soundscapes with electronica, cloaked in an air of deceptive serenity. Engulfing sound waves, profound bass tones, and the haunting echoes of guitars and deep toms conjure the spectres that linger in our collective psyche. Yet, beneath its tranquil exterior, it evokes a sense of anxious nostalgia, harking back to the turmoil of a disturbed childhood. The arrangement, interlaced with string sections and synthetic bass lines, is designed to evoke an oppressive, almost suffocating atmosphere…a riveting fusion of ambience, and ‘doom jazz,’ reminiscent of the styles of Angelo Badalamenti and Forever Pavot.
In the accompanying music video, directed by Laurent Noël, this pervasive sense of tension is transformed into a visually arresting, claustrophobic nightmare. It serves as a metaphor for the exaggerated scale of unspoken emotions within familial environments, capturing the essence of the track’s underlying themes with visual acuity.
Watch the video for “Troops are Coming” below:
Illbe’s artistic expression spans EPs, conceptual visuals, and live performance, executed in collaboration with a fellow music aficionado. These arresting creations, steeped in these fixations, chart a course through contemporary melancholia.
Purchase Long Gone here: