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Isolée - Western Store

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Artist: Isolée

Album: Western Store

Label: Playhouse

Review date: Mar. 19, 2006

Few producers in dance music create tracks as immediately tactile as Rajko Müller, a.k.a. Isolée. The experience of listening to Isolée is synaesthesic: textures that feel like dusty chalk and waxy cheese, or smell like florid, overgrown forest settings. If last year’s We Are Monster magnified the multiplicity of probability central to Müller’s productions, Western Store, compiling most of his early singles, picks the flesh from the monstera deliciosa and reveals a core that’s just as luscious for being less ornate. This is German house/techno at its most variegated and virile.

Western Store revisits the queasiness of Isolée’s first album Rest. The bass on “King Off” and “Rockers” sounds like elastic bands wobbling between speaker cones, and the vocals on the “I Owe You” remix shudder in and out of phase, as though they’re spoken between episodes of ectoplasmic discharge. The whole set, compiled by Alter Ego member Jörn Elling Wuttke, gets weirder as it moves on, burrowing deeper into cavernous reverb-space, with Müller carving church melodies into stone walls. Although Western Store finishes with the Balearic bonhomie of Freeform Five’s “Beau Mot Plage” remake, that’s the red herring: Müller’s productions are strange, complex entities combining apparitional emanations with aquatic, world-warping bass.

By Jon Dale

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We Are Monster

Well Spent Youth

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