Space Frames


"Jazz, dear followers of independent pop music, is not a competitive sport. It's a feeling -- like in Mr. Fingers' acidiferous classic, 'House Is A Feeling.' And somewhere between the melting polar caps of jazz and house, between the principles of division of labor and of sound studies driven by machine-made rhythm, the iso68 duo too arrive at an archaic modernism that is all their own -- made up of electrically-charged Hohner clavinets, radiophonic workshops with David Tudor, and a bag of fermented grass, to be smoked preferably with Augustus Pablo's excursions on the melodica. What time is it? It's pretty late, but iso68 are not about vague indietronic swirling, they're about positioning their wibbly-wobbly sound paintings quite deliberately near the places of longing of musical culture. Near Sun Ra's grand keyboard improvisations, like in the holiday song 'the great punster,' near the strange duos on the British electronic label Warp and their bunker-line studios in the sand, in the same song. iso68 create melodies that you can pick out from hundreds of music pieces, that are carried our way through the ether, that waft across the splashing waves of a lake, or that say 'hello' to us straight from a manhole cover next to the autobahn, like a ghoul. Is that a combo jamming, or is the ensemble being bolted together by a top engineer at a mixing board? I can't tell, but the incredibly long drawn-out notes send shivers down my spine, and I mistake the iso68 track 'Plano Piloto' for the main theme of an old French soundtrack by -- what's his name again? -- and that's a good sign. With iso68, the beats are always in the front, but not for a single moment you become aware of it. Or else, such as in the cooled-down ice machine crusher 'Forestrain,' they evolve into a smoldering atmosphere-roller: no escape, I assure you. Everything here is dense, at the same time diaphanous, friendly, focused and yet incomparably relaxed. Jazz! It's amazing how there are only two permanent members to iso68, but on their new and fourth album 'Space Frames,' Thomas Leboeg and Florian Zimmer put so much feeling (there it is again!) into the details of sounds that you could just as well call them a collective. A sound collective, traversing electronic space, jamming." --Julian Weber