Somehow I missed out on Isophlux’s first five years. Luckily, there’s a new retrospective to catch me up somewhat. The big guns L’usine and Lexaunculpt both contribute, the former with “Deadend,” which starts like a traditional dance tune, but morphs into deeper meditation. Lexaunculpt’s “Secondhpe” is simultaneously melodic and noisy. Atmospheric clicks and beeps weave an inspired pattern before tasty beats engage.
Some of the nicest tracks on this comp. are from artists that are new to me. “Explore” by Scenic (aka Cenik and Funckarma) is subtle melody and noisy, chompy beats. Very sweet. Protocol’s “Waiting” starts with a dose of minimalism, but after a few minutes a series of soft piano notes and electronic bass thrums lift the listener into space. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how such a simple track will hold up after repeated listens. “Quintal” by Greg Chin offers a bit more to focus on, with a discordant bassline and swirling synths. The song seems to grow into existence before my ears. Overall, this is a very strong collection. Isophlux’s reputation is apparently well-deserved.