Label: La Castanya – LC70 Format: Vinyl, LP, Album Country: Spain Released: Mar 2021 Genre: Rock, Folk, World, & Country Style: Indie Rock, Folk
Slow burning puzzle-box of mystery-zone Iberian guitar soli that’s been on repeat all year.
There are records that, although they are love at first listen, rarely end up leaving their sleeve. The ones which seemed to be all important and worth reaching further into your overdraft for, but somehow never quite became part of your life. Then there are others that edge unobtrusively into your world, seeming to be good but not life-changing, but that end up as an obsession that won’t leave you be. Isasa’s third record is one of those. At first it seems to be another solo guitar record, albeit one where the template is moving intriguingly away from the usual Fahey/Takoma hero worship. But there is something magical at work here. First of all we aren’t in old weird America anymore. Isasa is from Madrid, and the string traditions of Spain and the Arab world are here alongside the usual folk/blues/modern composition angles. Also there are subtle, light-touch electronics that spatialise the record, allowing the guitar to just sit. The whole record unpacks and then repacks itself little by little. It begins in knotty and slightly abrasive high- lonesome territory. As the first few short pieces progress it creeps toward a brighter more courtly mood. Then almost at the end of the first side on ‘Oceano’ all the lights come on and the record takes off. The gnarly twisted bluesy patterns are gone, replaced by beautifully arranged stepping arpeggios and languid changes that catch the warm updraft and soar. This moment Is here and gone, and the second side spirals back to where the record began with the beautiful nine-minute raga/slide piece ‘Teo’. This could be one of our most played records this year, as good at early morning as it is late at night. Very special music.. (Mint / New)