The Croatian production powerhouse and disco boogie impresario steps up to International Feel, and takes a left turn into deep space with a new six track LP Pulsar Diaries.
Ilija’s discography stretches back to 2003, and over those 20 years he’s packed it full with albums, versions, remixes and singles. His releases are often perfectly-penned love letters to ‘80s boogie, electro and disco, and like postcards from an old flame, they’ve landed in an array of record label catalogs, from Bear Funk, Rong, and Electric Minds, to Is It Balearic? as well as his own Red Music and Imogen Recordings. He’s long-been an active voice on the underground club scene, and if you’ve been out dancing in Zagreb, Berlin or even Tisno beach, chances are you’ve gotten down to one of his beautifully blended sets of cosmic-tinged electro funk and disco dubs.
On Pulsar Diaries, Ilija delivers a panoramic collection of spaced-out synths and drum machine grooves, dedicated to the planet and our place in the universe. The A side opens up with the blissful, weightless pads of the title track, before it breaks out into filtered stabs over a minimal b-boy bounce. Delphic Expanse ebbs and flows like a lunar eclipse, sounding like a futuristic version of Key-Matic’s Breaking In Space, all uprock rhythms and syrupy synth horns as it spins off beyond the asteroid belt. Side A closes out with Blackburn Tales, a suspenseful and spacious electro rhythm packed with strings and 303 squelch, which you might call anti-gravity acid, if you were so inclined.
Side B picks up the tempo with Fourth Amendment, perfect for the space station discotheque with its sweeping bass filters and ice-cold synth melodies hovering in orbit. Farewell Theme takes an introspective moment, slowing the pace to a cosmic 90 bpm and inviting a certain cinematic feel to proceedings. This feeling applies not just to the vivid landscapes we travel through, but also wider thoughts about humankind: as we pause for a breath and look around, we find ourselves in Ilija’s space, considering human motivations, like the pursuit of happiness, or the eternal struggle with the self.
Every journey begins with a goodbye, and so the last track of the album feels like the arrival at a new destination: Ursa Major is ablaze with cascading drum fills, bubble-wrapped bass riffs and bright synth chords that sparkle like city lights underneath a re-orbiting satellite.
With Pulsar Diaries, Ilija Rudman has created a rare artifact: an album that straddles several worlds at once. Part soundtrack to space travel, part meditation on the human condition, part deep-burning dancefloor dynamo – whether in the club surrounded by friends or at home by yourself, this is a record that expands the mind and lets the imagination soar.