Nikka: Isotopos

Lovethechaos, 2007

Isotopos cover

Just when I think IDM is in its death throes and everyone’s gone indie rock, dub techno, or dubstep (choice two for me, apparently), a handful of small, new labels have surfaced with glitchy beats in mind. Isotopos is an upcoming release on Spain’s Lovethechaos. It’s packaged in an aluminum tin a la Chain Reaction, but thankfully my copy hasn’t yet self-destructed.

“Uranio” starts the set with long, moody synth notes and volcanic bursts of bass. “Inorganic Agent” is similar in style, but with an underlying beat and quicker notes. “Allplus” is darker and rather more industrial. It sounds familiar, but I can’t put my finger on a source. By “Microkripto,” Nikka’s music has gotten abstract. The beat has broken down into intermittent construction site pounding. Steam engine noises pan and sputter. It’s actually my favorite track.

While there’s interesting production here, by the album’s end I can’t help feeling I’ve heard these sounds before. Nikka’s got the basics down. Now it’s time for her to develop a more distinctive style. I’m glad there’s a record label where she and other IDM hold-outs can still experiment.

3/5 stars

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