Angels in Black and White

by Isotherme

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I've always loved EPs and B-Sides, and the bands that utilized these formats. This approach allows an artist some room to stretch out and try something different---to create an entity separate from a larger work, but often more engaging. This EP has given me the freedom to experiment further with the concepts of ghost ambient and electronic sound collage, and remains tied to, yet distinct from, the Nail album which will be released in February 2015.

I wanted to finish off some of the ideas I'd been working on for Nail that didn't fit the character of that album. As well, I chose this EP as a home for the older track, Awaiting Frost, which was recorded in a rougher version in January 2014. So this EP satisfied an artistic need to stretch and also served as a "warm-up" for the Nail LP.

The title track, Angels in Black and White, is an edited version of a track on Nail. Here, I was experimenting with different textures of static and noise in the creation of rhythm. I never thought electronic handclaps would ever, ever appear on an Isotherme track, yet clap-on they do.

Awaiting Frost is an experiment in noise also, and, as stated above, was originally recorded in January 2014. I used two fundamental frenetic rhythm tracks as a foundation and added a few more tracks of siren, pulse and vibration on top. A bit of echoing electric guitar and Mellotron clarinets provide the harmony and melody. Finally, I recorded myself speaking gibberish into my iPhone, which ended up sounding (to me) like something northern European. Listen for the "Holy Haagen", a reference to the chilly atmosphere of the track as well as a damned good brand of ice cream.

Parisol is based on a melodic idea in 7/4 and 6/4 that I had played with while writing the Nail tracks. A pun on the word "parasol" and a reference to the French capital in mourning right now, it's just a short sketch, nothing too grand, but it has a simple melancholy of its own. I don't dare over-complicate it. I'm happy with it as-is.

Foie Gras is the EPs most experimental track from my perspective. I have written and recorded a few pieces of sound collage in the past, so I thought I'd stretch out with that approach here. I had the backwards echoing nylon guitar as an idea for a track called "Vespers", which didn't make the Nail album, and I also had the noisy, distorted clapping/popping track from another recent experiment. I put the two together, then added a few flanged synth pads, Mellotron and bass. There is a brief statement from a glockenspiel and a drone melody to close out the track. And don't bother trying to figure out what the argument in the background of the last half of the track is about. It sounds like it was a real heavy dispute, and I've been sworn to secrecy.

Thanks for listening!

- J.K. January 2015


released January 16, 2015

All instruments and sounds by Isotherme.
Recorded Autumn 2014.



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Isotherme New York

Experiments in electronic musical texture, ghost ambient and sound collage.

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