ISAN :: Glass Bird Movement (Morr Music)

ISAN steadily remain in a category and in a league of their own when speaking about soft and melodic IDM and delicate emotions, and Glass Bird Movement proves this theory once again and still manages to be an ultra-pleasing listening experience. Without any doubts, another little and sweet masterpiece.

ISAN :: Glass Bird Movement (Morr Music)

The analog tone poems on the aural autobahn between Denmark and Southend, are back under the form of a brand new collection of lovely tunes, for our ears’ (and not only) pleasure. Glass Bird Movement is Antony Ryan and Robin Saville’s eighth studio album as ISAN, since they have started the project two decades ago, and the first in the last six years, (apart from having Beautronics repressed in 2013) released, as always in the latest years, on the label they consider their spiritual home, the ever-amazing Morr Music imprint. As we read from the press release, recently ISAN dropped an exclusive mix with ten lost tracks, taken from sold-out compilations and 7 inches which was a mix of pure bliss, and we were so lucky that from that idea we can now put our impatient hands on their new full length, which shows the duo as subtle as ever, while constantly moving forwards without leaving their respective studios, and once more weaving together electronic soundscapes, gentle childlike melodies, delicate rhythms and the occasional odd sound into a pulsating, ever-morphing whole to create a unique tapestry full of rare beauty.

Several of the eleven songs on the album start with tape loops, and the opener “Cuckoo Down” is one of them: the warm and organic hiss of the tape is enriched with a dreamy melody, before circular rhythms come in to craft a magical atmosphere, while the following “Lace Murex” is more of a melancholic affair, build upon a simple chord sequence that starts sweetly but ends a bit uncomfortably, and buried under a lot of noises and field recordings. Then “Parley Glove” arrives, the first track to be streamed from the album, and probably the oldest one according to ISAN’s own words: background noises, a muffled kick drum, a memorable melody progression over a barely audible bassline. The title track follows, with this kind of feel of mechanical, moving toys, while “Leonardo’s formula” recalls some spring days out in the country. “Every Since And Then” instead, recovers the reflective and sad mood, with its melancholic pad over the chord sequence and the usual amount of noise, while the following “Napier Deltic” is really joyful and playful, with its friendly bouncing grooves. “Rattling Downhill” starts gently, then grows up with good energy, “Slow Rings” shows the skills of the duo in writing catchy childlike and dreamy melodies that never go away from your mind, then the washed out harmony of “Risefallsleep” comes in, where the noise gives complexity to the placid atmosphere. On the closure, “Linnaeus,” we are immersed in a long quiet intro, very atmospheric, with the feeling of being safe inside, before the track develops in a serene and comfortable zone, and then fading out in the same way it started.

Overall the rhythms are, as always, gentle and the melodies soothing, twinkling out like stars from distant galaxies. Feelings and emotions serenely alternate while listening, sometimes the hazy electronics recall a lazy summertime riverboat ride, other ones a brisk breeze on a cool day. The dreamy effect is always guaranteed, and it’s still achingly delicate. Even nowadays ISAN steadily remain in a category and in a league of their own when speaking about soft and melodic IDM and delicate emotions, and Glass Bird Movement proves this theory once again and still manages to be an ultra-pleasing listening experience. Without any doubts, another little and sweet masterpiece.

Glass Bird Movement is available on Morr Music.

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