Isnaj Dui (aka Katie English) is an artist making chamber electronic music with loops, home-made dulcimer and flutes. Fresh from her stunning recent live performance with Dollboy and having heard her work on Front & Follow’s ‘Collision/Detection’ series where she provided an outstanding contribution; I listened to this 2012 release with high expectations which were met and greatly exceeded.
‘Abstracts on Solitude’ is suffused throughout with aural “magic hour” light, English, then, a musical Terrance Malick; a composer of impressionistic beauty. ‘What Lies Inside’ puts struggling loops over dusty rusted collapsing tape heads and spectral flute harmonies; the two elements colliding, scattering and curling like wisps of mist. ‘Quarter Wave’ has a woody pulse like a tapped bowl approaching and receding. ‘Nature of Light’ is soft and verdant; simple melodies glide alongside out of phase counterparts in tonal gauze, soothing and tender. ‘Peripheral Motion’ pairs delicate plucked strings, like thumb-pianos, with a taut humming wire of sighs. ‘The Last Will Become a Darker Grey’ sounds like unseen, forlornly lowing whales, fog-bound and lost, their song a resigned threnody.
Isnaj Dui’s music is at once immediately engaging and artfully obscured. Like a seemingly thin and pretty veil, it parts onto mysterious and dimly perceived spaces: spooky, beautifully desolate, and achingly still, as if recently abandoned.
Buy ‘Abstracts On Solitude’ here.