Well, after my rave review of Isnaj Dui’s Mini CD release on Smallfish, I didn’t have to wait too long for the second full length Isnaj Dui collection from the Fbox vaults. The delightful “Patterns in Rocks” sees Katie English flexing her musical muscles on a release that is at once philosophical and deeply meditative. Once again Isnaj Dui (the aforementioned Ms English) brings her gamelan-infused sensibilities into play, this time, however, we see a broader spectrum of sounds, a much more expansive atmosphere, and dare I say it, Patterns sees the composer at a more mature stage with her overall sound.

Unlike the closely focussed, intimate sounding debut album, Patterns in Rocks capitalises on an impressive array of live performances to crystallise into a more coherent and accomplished body of work. Once again, the home made “electrodulcimer” puts in numerous appearances, alongside shimmering flutes and sketchy rhythms. “Nirily” oozes with atmospherics and a haunting, gaseous central theme that envelops and swirls, gradually opening out into plucked rhythmic strings that sweep and sway. This is followed by the ultra minimal tonal workout, “440”, and a bleepy, intriguingly titled “Plagioclase Feldspar”. “Just as the Circle Did” returns to a vaporous, layered flute refrain, peppered with a translucent, incidental electronic rhythm.

The success of this collection lies in the Isnaj Dui production technique, whereby all elements are deliberately created with a “live” feel, and live is obviously how she performs best. This a deliberate move, designed to counteract the “inorganic qualities” so prevalent in the world of laptop based music. Here, multi-tracking is a carried out on the spot, and all of the instrumentation is looped “live”, and crash-edited, giving the whole collection a feeling of spontaneity and vibrancy, and on Patterns in Rocks, it works so well.

Housed in a gorgeous paper cover festooned with tech-gnostic line art courtesy of James English , Patterns in Rocks elegantly fuses gamelan, folk, and electro-acoustic minimalism in one deft release..a worthy addition to any serious collection. BGN


About whiteline1

WHITE_LINE was set up three years ago, in order to play and promote the work of artists and musicians working under the banner of "minimalism", in all its many guises. This has led to a regular and highly successful mix slot on the Garden of Earthly Delights radio show in the UK, and guest appearances on Resonance FM (frequenzen show). We now aim to extend the remit of the mix slots by reviewing (as often as possible) material that encapsulates and crystallises the minimalist ethic, and hopefully we'll be leading artists and audiences alike towards a deeper appreciation of this and other marginalised genres. I welcome your comments, and criticisms, and would love to hear from labels and artists who would like their work showcased on the show, or reviewed here. We regret that due to time constraints, we cannot review everything that is sent to us, but will endeavour to give exceptional work an "honourable mention" at the very least, and links to quality sites that we think worthy of mentioning. I am trying to support labels and artists as much as possible by promoting their work, not least because I am a stereotypical "struggling artist" myself, but also because there are so few younger artists entering this particular scene, and there is a danger of it becoming the sole domain of a handful of forty somethings who really ought to be doing something better with their time! Having worked for most of the more reputable underground magazines in the early 90's, I was never afforded the luxury of taking time and care over reviews, as deadlines and column space were always hanging like the sword of Damocles over me. With WHITE_LINE, I have the luxury of being able to review when I have time, and I am receptive to a particular mood, and hopefully this will reflect in the quality and length of some of the reviews. If you like what you see, please link to me to encourage more traffic through the site, and cross promote whatever is happening out there. Address for promotional material: 45 Drovers Walk Spring Park, Kingsthorpe Northampton NN2 8BB UK

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