|1||From A Hundred||5:53|
Antony Ryan and Robin Saville – the inventors of electronica – are returning with their ninth studio album. Three years in the making, “The Lamenting Machine” will go down in history as the deepest and most satisfying chapter yet in the ongoing musical conversation between these brilliant musicians. Subtle yet mesmerizing melodies evoking long forgotten memories, calmly throbbing bass figurines pulsing gently along – all paying tribute to free-floating rhythms and their eternal noises. ISAN has always been an intimate and personal take on electronic music.
Produced both in Denmark and the UK in their respective studios, each of the eight tracks symbolises a sea of blossom carefully crafted and tended to, bringing color and hope to today’s fragile and volatile world. And while there is definitely a lot worth lamenting about, ISAN’s machine of the same name is an explorational celebration of their own musical past, once more bringing to the surface the project’s essence of aural delight.
Listening to ISAN requires time, but it is time well invested. While sounding exquisitely lighthearted from the outside, a closer inspection reveals a richly orchestrated and multi-layered musical riddle, mimicking a hedge maze of gargantuan scale and complexity, with each tone and each rhythmic pattern to be dissected, analysed and understood individually in order to find the way out. Getting lost in the moment while doing so never felt better. ISAN’s music has always had this quality, yet reflecting on their own past more consciously, the music on the new album redefines this approach in a more precise and gratifying way than ever before. While wholeheartedly shimmering and drenched in beauty, in order to fully appreciate the whole scale of ISAN, it is key to bravely engage with the underlying vagueness and fuzziness lingering in the tracks.
Human beings are not perfect. Neither are the means with which they produce music. This very realization has always played an integral role defining, carving and polishing the project’s musical identity. Letting each piece of gear be true to itself, accepting its flaws as part of its unique personality, and turning these frailties into a starting point of inter-circuitry communication, ISAN has been at the forefront of humanising technology and eliminating the dystopian men machine debate, clearing the table for a better future. This approach actually requires time in the studio as well: circuits need time to warm up, get to know each other, understand the energy flowing through the cables connecting them, figuring out what to do and what they really want. This process is not so much about giving up control, but rather to moderate a constant exchange of ideas. Having perfected this technique over the last two decades, ISAN are finally ready to share their very own approach with the rest of the world. With newly set-up channels on both Instagram and YouTube, Ryan and Saville opened the windows into their studios, offering a glimpse into how their most magical album yet came into being. There really is no lamenting to be done. Not at all.