A crop of excellent albums landed at the close of 2017. An increment is no excuse not to shine a light on these, especially with the tendency of the Christmas rush to obscure. So here we look back at one such album, Isorinne’s ‘Speechless Malison‘.
Michel Isorinne has been recently dancing between the likes of Northern Electronics and Field Records in solo form and as part of Dard Å Ranj Från Det Hebbershålska Samfundet – the production partnership which he co-helms alongside Jonas “Varg” Rönnberg – to great effect.
Strikingly, the album is bereft of titles bar the actual length of each track, allowing a wide degree of projection for the individual listener. When cutting his own path away from Rönnberg, Michel’s work is less dissonant and more focused on his knack for creating melodies that exist simultaneously in the states of hope and hopelessness. His music is incredibly immediate to climb into, while creating situations where you snap out of the real world for a short while to flick back to bittersweet past memories and reflective contemplation.
"Michel's work is less dissonant and more focused on his knack for creating melodies that exist simultaneously in the states of hope and hopelessness."
You find yourself entering a listless state and this is stated without any negative connotations whatsoever. For example, towards the end of the album, “5:59″ begins with the sound of a cassette tape being turned over. It is a real 2am lights out fumble in the dark, as if a weighty arm attempts to stave off sleep and continue living in the intoxicating semi-awake lucid dreaming state for a few minutes more. The track itself acts as a small nudge at this point in the album, rousing you from the happy disengagement you’ve been experiencing.
Prior to this “5:18″ acts as a false dawn, with its proud and resolute melody, before fading to silence and the oh-so-satisfying cassette juggling begins. “5:59″ then establishes mood, a rare moment in the album that features percussion in tandem with its a sinister Carpenter-esque eighties sci-fi slant, before the more downbeat ‘2:56’ comes in to close.
Prior to all of this you are taken down several ambient excursions. The album leads with “9:21″ and its marriage of frozen melodies, slow heartbeat drums and playground field samples. “4:05″ has an otherworldly menace, the sort that presents you with an unavoidable curiosity rather than instinctive need for flight, and listening to it is almost like peering around a corner with a sense that any second now the unknown may spring a surprise in your face. “5:45″ is like lying on a bed with the window open, listening to silence turn to light drizzle and then to a more insistent patter of rain. “5:00″ features melodies that are like ambient lights casting off underground lakes, all aqua blues and caramel browns.
As you can see, ‘Speechless Malison‘ is a deeply textural experience. Although this should be no surprise to followers of Michel Isorinne’s works to date. If your wallet can suffer a small additional amount of thinning in this post festive season, dive in. For this is arguably his finest creation to date.
Speechless Malison is out now, order a copy from Bandcamp.
Discover more about Michel Isorinne and Northern Electronics on Inverted Audio.