Ten Questions with Nicolay

Apricot Rail
Darcy James Argue
Jeri-Mae G. Astolfi
Félicia Atkinson
Atom TM
Black Jazz Consortium
Borghi and Teager
Kate Carr
Jace Clayton
Nicholas Cords
Cosmin TRG
Benjamin Damage
T. Dimuzio / Voice of Eye
Field Rotation
Stefan Goldmann
Good Luck Mr. Gorsky
Darren Harper
Chihei Hatakeyama
Jerusalem In My Heart
Marsen Jules
Philippe Lamy
Mary Lattimore
Linear Bells
Jay-Dea López
Andrew McPherson
Markus Mehr
Fabio Orsi & pimmon
Simian Mobile Disco
Colin Stetson
The Third Man
Simon Whetham

Compilations / Mixes
Art Department
Balance presents jozif
+FE Music: The Reworks
Ruede Hagelstein
Inscriptions Vol. 2
Rebel Rave 3
Your Victorian Breasts

EPs / Cassettes / Singles
Broken Chip
City of Satellites
Yann Novak
Simon Whetham

Isan: Descette

Given the time-worn creakiness of their respective sounds, electronic acts such as The Boats and Isan seem like such a natural fit for the cassette format, it's a wonder there hasn't been a whole slew of releases of that kind from the groups. Isan duo Antony Ryan and Robin Saville right that wrong (in part) with Descette, a recording of analogue cassette loop music that's surprisingly not issued on cassette but as a one-sided twelve-inch EP (sporting an attractive hand screen-printed cover, it's available in a limited edition of 200 copies).

Though Isan's tracks are customarily lovely, finely crafted miniatures, Descette takes that to a further extreme in squeezing seven pieces into a svelte seventeen-minute running time. There's no shortage of Isan magic on display, however—even a blink-and-you'll-miss-it piece like the opening “Padilion” possesses oodles of charm and the sparkle illuminating “Shack” has got Isan's fingerprints all over it. The cassette dimension of the material surfaces audibly during “Stumble” and “Insufficient Pressure Achieved,” tinkling vignettes whose plaintive warble is wrapped in blankets of hiss, and “Lombo,” whose broken tape stutters feel like they're almost drowning in it. Don't let the release's modest duration fool you into thinking of Descette as an insignificant footnote to the Isan story. In its own way, it's as integral a part of the picture as any of the group's full-lengths.

April 2013