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charlatan - Isolatarium
**Fractured/Blissful electronics and darkside techno, think Rob Hood meets Pete Swanson meets Anthony Manning meets Emeralds** The Type label cap off an excellent year with the release of this killer new album from the multi-monikered Brad Rose, delivering what amounts to easily his finest collection of material to date. 'Isolatarium' is proper man-and-his-machines music, veering headlong into the kind of fluidly abstract, knotted electronics that only comes from sequestering oneself in a hot, dry room full of wires and gadgetry for hours, or even days, on end. Our mate Miles often talks about submerging himself in an ocean of sound when he leaves the machines spooling, and that's how this feels - but rather than an ocean, it's like we're being channelled thru a simulated network of water cycles, from trickling tributaries into porous landscapes, thru swirling sinkholes to underground caverns and glassy pools. The chiming '70s nature TV themes of opener, 'Codex' harks back to those classic Irdial albums from Anthony Manning, while 'Kinetic Disruption' could almost be called ambient techno - it's got a thrumming 4/4 and spiralling synths - but it's perhaps closer to the textured noise abstractions of Container or Mika Vainio's early Sähko gear than to any incense-fumed chill-out business. 'Anti-Crash Drive' caps the side with a Pete Swanson-on-happy-pills kinda momentum, while on the flipside 'Electronic Horizon' is tugged by multiple currents, zig-zagging hi's, silty bass murk and a roiling, oily mid whose insoluble consistencies never mix, before the keening modular dissonance of 'Cruiser' and the mind-melting cascades of 'Terminal Zero' gently dissolve your atomic structure and you're holistically at one with the simulated dolphin chatter and whale gossip, understanding every word. Anyway, forget all that - if you liked albums by Terrence Dixon, Thought Broadcast, Ekoplekz, Actress or Container this year - this will rule your world.