There’s an intensity and something really primal about Painted X-Ray. It is potent and dynamic with insistent guitar and violin interweaving around a pounding and constantly-evolving rhythm section of taiko and bass guitar.
Alun Woodward, curator of Mix the City Glasgow and co-founder of Chemikal Underground Records
Brand new ILK [our original name] with Georgie McGeown and Alison Roe – who combine taiko with guitar, bass and violin to create a powerful visceral wall of “noise” which strikes you inside where only Wadaiko [taiko] can strike.
Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers, Europe’s only professional touring taiko group
Your taiko trance was stunning cool
Hiroshi Motofuji, top Japanese taiko drummer (translation by his student Yumi Célia)
the incomparable and utterly unique Painted X-Ray (Formerly known as ILK)… Spellbinding, hypnotic and unmissable! Get some!
Angus Quinn, Sedition and Brain Anguish
Unmissable! Such musical and emotional intensity, such originality […] a beguiling fusion that astounded me first time I witnessed it (and it IS a kind of ‘witnessing’), and still hooks and beguiles me now I’ve heard you three times. […] Fiercely original, and hypnotic – a listening experience that reverberates right into your bones.
Carol McKay, author of Ordinary Domestic and Second Chances
I was lucky enough to catch a live performance by this epic collective in Edinburgh-& it was easily one of the best gigs I’ve seen for a long time! PXR summoned huge and uplifting energy waves of sound: mountainous guitars, incandescent violin patterns, spiralling dream-like vocals, folded and woven around the centrepiece of utterly transcendental drumming. If you haven’t heard this band yet, then you should experience it for yourself. Their performances have a transformative effect that seems to channel light and dark matter in equal amounts. The visceral melodic spirit-force feels like an uplifting embrace, as well as a call to action. After all, wasn’t the drum the first sound to emerge from the void?
Andy Green, Burnt Paw
I got to Painted X-Ray headlining at Henry’s Cellar bar in Edinburgh last Friday night, and left the gig the way I always do after seeing/feeling them play, viscerally altered, deep in my guts, and heart and through all my channels. This group of people come together and generate a totally incredible blend of beautiful, layered melodies, dense, fragile and percussive guitar and basslines woven through with ethereal and urgent fiddle that underscore and accent the complex beat forms and patterns of two astounding women drumming Taiko — in the mix on some tracks are also vocal litanies and repetitions, often times also tectonic depths of noise guitar. I have seen them play again and again and I always find the same words come to me, that it is a kind of medicine. The final piece of the set on Friday, Ellipsis, held me like trance, like an underwater realm, slow motion, emotional break point, all at the same time. I was left with the ocean of sound, and the drummers’ immensely focused, unison dance wielding the thick Taiko sticks high and letting them fall centre skin and drum rim, swimming in my dreams. The experience is sonic and visual. It keys to the soul, sometimes like a ritual lament, sometimes wild euphoria. A place where things can process in us, watching/listening/being sounded in our bodies. It’s not often I encounter this level of immersive, communal experience. It’s so deeply needed. I’m so grateful. If you get a chance to see/feel/be with them, go.
Lisa Fannen, author of Threads and Faultline