Boomkat Product Review:
It's been two and a half long years since Anthony Ryan and Robin Saville, aka ISAN, delivered their last album, the sublime "Lucky Cat". Their rarities compilation "Clockwork Menagerie" tempered the impatient with a collection of songs believed to be long lost. Meanwhile Robin and Antony were concentrating on bringing their machines out to play live performances for the benefit of all at shows like Sonar, Big Chill and Benicassim amongst others. Now it's once again time that ISAN open the gates to their secret garden with the release of their full length album, "Meet Next Life". At first glance everything seems similar, rows of soldered synthesisers hum happily, Robin and Antony walk amongst circuit boards, stroking three note chords on old chipped keyboards or offering kind words to an ageing drum computer... A closer look amongst the flowers and butterflies, reveals several new additions - a guitar, a glockenspiel and other percussion instruments have also been rescued for love and affection. These new residents help ISAN, organising the blurry outlines of dreamy landscapes, the pictures now becoming sounds. Still recognisable in typical softness and harmony, yet more dynamic and physical: a trait of their new, more frequent excursions through real landscapes to live shows. Their return sees them homesick and longing, they return to their machines and begin, once again, to dream of landscapes. The sound is an ethereal template of perfection - analogue electronics have very rarely sounded more soothing. Sublime.