Charlatan: Isolatarium (Type, 2012)

Charlatan: Isolatarium

Foxy Digitalis is no more, so Brad Rose has more time to make and release awesome records, like this one. He sent me promo mp3s of this, but they don’t look or sound as cool as the slab of yellow vinyl currently spinning on my turntable. Anyway, this shows the Charlatan project moving further into beat-driven territory, except the beats seem kind of tethered in a darkened corner and sometimes they just seem to disappear, but you know they’re lurking around somewhere. There’s definitely some sounds and textures that are a bit familiar from recent releases by The North Sea (Brad’s now-discontinued noise project) but this clearly goes in a much different direction. There’s usually a pulse driving the tracks, but it’s overshadowed by all the bubbly synths and sometimes chaotic noises (like those in “Anti-Crash Device”). I tried mixing something off this album into a Crush Collision set recently and it strangely kinda worked. Really a strange and hypnotic record, I don’t have anything else to say about it other than that it’s just great to put on and zone out to, there’s something weightless but electrically charged and free-flowing about it that’s hard to put in words.