Saturday, February 4, 2012


When I saw that day9 (yes, I play starcraft on occasion) posted an Isolee video on the f'book, he instantly got another 5 points. When I went to conspicks to see if I had put up an Isolée post anytime previously, I was severely disappointed. I'm confessing and the following is my repentance to Rajko Müller, Mr. Isolée himself.

If you're looking for lyrics, you won't find them here. We Are Monster is a collection of distilled, up-beat microhouse (think minimalist dance w/ 4x4 beats). I remember making up a dance with my friend Dan's then-girl Abby sticking my wrists out my sides and treating my phalanges as fins while bobbing like a buoy to 'Jelly Baby/Fish'. Probably one of my favorite samples ever is 4-3/4 min into 'Schrapnell' where he takes the sound made through a speaker when a cell phone about to ring near an amp/mixer/recording device. Brilliant.

Isolée - Jelly Baby/Fish

Last year he put out Well Spent Youth. He keeps to his truncated groovy roots and at the same time smoothes it out more to take a deep house turn. I can't say that I'm a big fan of the genre in general since I feel that there's a persistent discontinuity. 'Palorma Triste' and 'Trop Près De Toi' are closest to what I'm used to from him and consequentially the one I find most appealing... and not coincidentally they are the tracks that have the most number of samples creating that weave.

Isolée - Paloma Triste

Müller understands balance, and that's what gives his cuts longevity. Repetitive dissemblance with a memory is the key to good production and too often you hear artists with the loop button pressed a little too long. This is not a new concept. Probably the most famous example is Beethoven's 5th symphony; it's the same damn duh-duh-duh-duuuh thing over and over again... but not. The modern day version of this departs to the 4/8/16 bar loop, but Müller must, else it wouldn't have the house slant.

The other positive aspect in all of his work is the amount of detail that extends throughout. You can be minimalist but that doesn't mean you lack effort in the form of content. It takes a lot of leaves to make a tree and someone's got to put them there. It's great that the focus can be on the details of singular items, but I would prefer that that appreciation happen in a sub-layer of the overall design, otherwise there's less to recognize.

Good job, Rajko.

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