Boomkat Product Review:
Isabella Koen delivers her long-in-the-making debut album of raving body music, Trance riffs and industrial synth topographies forged with raw and brooding industrial sound design that marks her out among N. America’s most interesting new producers of electronic music. Big tip if yr into Jasss, Helena Hauff, Gesloten Cirkel, AFX...!!!
Spanning proper techno artillery, Trance riffs and noise excursions, ’Melody Depleted’ expands on the ruffcut but classy ideas put forth on her tapes and 12”s for the likes of Peder Mannerfelt Production, Börft and Jacktone over the past half decade. It serves a broad but singular showcase of her ability to generate club punishing rhythms, barely-tamed electronic noise and surprisingly sensitive ambient space probes that revel in electronic music’s capacity to evoke fine spectra of technoid feelings with a say it-without-saying-it instrumental finesse.
In an emotive arc that takes in crude, rushy rave futurism (‘Im Laughing’) thru to dark, bolshy industrial tekkers (‘The Harm That I Dream For You’) and an outstanding nine minute finale of deep distance ambient hypnagogia (‘Hypnic Jerk’), Isabella’s first album most deftly transposes a sense of pre-millenial late ‘90s techno warehouse dread into a world dealing with its own register of worries. And like the work of Jasss, Nkisi or Helena Hauff, Isabella proves highly adept at translating the most vital, if elusive, aspects of her reference points with a totally fearless, up-to-date but timeless swerve.
Big hitters like the Peder Mannerfelt-esque breakbeat techno ballistics of ‘Roll Doll’, the wide-eyed, doomy trample of ‘Organ’ and the Stingray-meets-Colin Stetson styles of ‘Take One And Two’ share space with full on EBM techno boosters in ‘Send’ and ‘Mind Tear’, while the roiling synth noise of ‘Mnesia’ and the Drexciyan organism of ‘Through The Kitchen’ diffract her vision into adjacent areas of experimentation that make for a murkily transfixing album experience rather than a collection of rave tools. It’s a dead gritty course for lovers of electronic dance music that gets direct to the feet and leaves bits between your teeth.