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ARTIST
TITLE
Beautronics
FORMAT
CD

LABEL
CATALOG #
MORR 122CD MORR 122CD
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
6/25/2013

One explanation for the '90s-fascination with Casio, Korg, and other analog synthesizers is this: The first video-game generation was coming of age and were happy to hear that their dearly-loved Space Invaders soundtrack was suddenly popping up in electronic music. It takes slightly longer to explain why one record from that time -- Beautronics, the debut by UK synth-duo ISAN first released in 1998 -- has kept its appeal until today. Beautronics does not grab you immediately. You don't hum these tunes after a few listens; in fact, you might not even hum them after dozens of spins. It's not about humming -- it's about soft cushions and a cozy duvet made of sounds -- it's about aural sheets floating around like warm humidity during a hot bath. Occasionally, it's even about IDM, but in a very late-night kind of way. Antony Ryan and Robin Saville, the two English lads behind ISAN, are very open about their goals. They separate the longer tracks with short, often abstract pieces they called "tints." So it's as much about tonal color, as it is about melodies. The "tints" form an interesting contrast between ambient sounds and the more focused tunes. But even their most bass-dominated songs such as "Skeek" are not exactly four-to-the-floor. There's no more than one to the floor, while the rest is sailing somewhere above in a haze of beautiful sounds and melodies. The album's sleeve and title are straightforward about this: it's all about the human beauty in electronica. Beautronics produces sounds that radiate a warmth and naturalness that make them feel familiar upon first listen, and the 15 years since its initial release don't change a thing about this. That's why it's certain that Beautronics will win a new generation of listeners with this re-issue. Includes four previously-unreleased bonus tracks. Remastered and cut by Dubplates & Mastering.