Album Review

Isomer – “Face Toward The Sun” – [Tesco Organisation]

Rat King   11/26/2014   A Library, CD

You wake with eyelashes full of snow.

This 2009 release, from Australia-based Isomer, is sometimes ambient, sometimes harsh, and always noisy and dark. Isomer works mainly (possibly exclusively) with electronics and samples, ranging from more soundscape-type tracks to power electronics (track 10 in particular) and vaguely martial sounds (tracks 3, 5, and 9). While electronics are at the forefront, there are occasional, disturbing glimpses of life in the form of unintelligible chanting crowds (track 2), distorted speech (tracks 3 and 5), and out-of-place cheerful music (tracks 4 (may be a distorted “Mack the Knife”), 6, 7, 11), and what sounds like jungle animals (track 5). The title track (8) really stands out for its much calmer, more traditional beauty. It sounds like it should be accompanying a slow panning shot over a desolate landscape, perhaps a battlefield or another planet. Track 11 has some of this as well, but all its gentle guitar strumming just makes it more uncomfortable.

Face Toward The Sunibrings to mind a shadow world, one where great hulking machine-monsters tower over decaying cities as they wander slowly on stilt legs, blocking out the sun and raining ash down into the empty courtyards and squares. In short: creepy, brooding, atmospheric, and industrial.

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