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Following his celebrated 'Moogmemory' project, Matthew Bourne returns to the piano for Isotach. Once again, spontaneity is the keyword where Bourne is concerned, catching on tape that pregnant moment when a piece begins to form. Skeletal piano motifs, an aching use of space and sparin g cello arrangements are deployed to devastating effect.
Recorded in his rural North Yorkshire home, Bourne’s piano placed to overlook the moors while he works, the album title is a nod to the weather, which played a part in its creation. The recordings took place during what Bourne describes as “extreme weather” . If you listen carefully you can hear the wind and rain picked up on the microphones, the sparse instrumentation providing the calm in the eye of the storm. Isotach is Bourne’ s first full length solo piano album since 2012’s Montauk Variations The audiophile vinyl edition is half-speed mastered and pressed at Optimal in Germany.
Vinyl also includes a CD of the album. Both vinyl and CD editions feature a spot varnished sleeve, picking out the weather symbols that represent each track on the album. The title track was originally conceived for the first Piano Day in 2015. Nils Frahm had asked for a contribution, to which Bourne agreed and promptly forgot. 'Isotach ’ was written and recorded with a single microphone, the night before Piano Day. It has now been streamed over 275k times on SoundCloud . 'Candela (For Sascha Heeney)’ was released for Piano Day 2017 .
The album follows the critical success of the synth-focused works 'moogmemory' and Radioland: Radio-Activity Revisited , a visceral live audio/visual experience created to mark the 40th anniversary of Kraftwerk's seminal album, with Franck Vigroux and video artist Antoine Schmitt. Bourne’s first solo studio album, Montauk Variations (The Sunday Times’ Leftfield Album of the Year in 2012), was celebrated for its sense of stillness and serenity, marking an important musical turning point.
Barry says: Like the haunted prepared piano works of Hauschka or the paddling rolling beauty of Nils Frahm's more ambient works, Matthew Bourne takes the framework of modern classical and injects it with a spontaneity through rhythmic about-turns and fluid time-signature shifts, leading to a truly beguiling wonder. Top stuff.