Isness is Montreal-based Catherine Debard, aka YlangYlang, and northeastern experimental stalwart Matt Robidoux - joined on the first half of their debut tape by violinist Jenifer Gelineau (Sunburned Hand of the Man). While Robidoux is in Oakland, CA at the moment and Gelineau in Holyoke, MA, the tape is drawn from a pair of spontaneous sessions, orchestrated when tours and travel brought two or three of the group together.
Recorded across 2017 and 2018, the tape has two distinct but interconnected personalities. The a-side is a series of delicate meditations recorded with the full group in summer 2017, when Debard was briefly living in Hamilton, ON, while the b-side is a more textural excursion featuring just her and Robidoux. Both are durable and complementary listening experiences, registering a surprising range of different impressions depending on mood or space.
A-side recorded live August 8, 2017
at This Ain't Hollywood in Hamilton, Ontario
B-side recorded July 24, 2018 in a room
on Fairmount Street West in Montreal, Quebec
Art/Layout by Styles Munson
"...leads you down a wispy path of bass synth, sustained violin bows, blown pan flutes, soft vocals, and delayed strings, swiped and tapped upon. The careful movements, concerned mostly with fulfilling their own course, make this tape an intriguing listen. The overall tonality feels overgrown and lush, although it’s not all that busy. You can almost smell the dampness of a deciduous forest floor fuming from these spools." -Boston Hassle
"...you may hear ghosts ringing your number in the middle of the night, you may find yourself in the middle of nowhere, standing in the headlights, you might even realize that bad dream you had yesterday is actually real events... But don't be afraid, it all ends in a tropical forest in the middle of deep meditation seance." -Microphones in the Trees
"Beauty and deconstruction coexist in their collective imaginations -- beginnings and endings blur until the sounds form a lovingly warped ouroboros. This tendency to soften boundaries, break down expectations and focus on their unique brew of magically musical obfuscation can be heard throughout the songs on their new self-titled cassette..." -This Analog Life
"A soft drone permeates [side a] over which violin, percussion, flute, what sounds like banjo, and the ocean’s roar are all interwoven across the first three tracks. The side closes with “Beach Pizza”, its clangorous strings and feedback serving as the jarring wake up call that abruptly terminates the mesmerizing hallucination it succeeds.
On the flip, we have the pair of Debard and Robidoux on their own, sprouting a growing delusion of amorphous room tones, string scrapes, samples, percussion, and other less discernible sounds. Their poetry grows ever musical as the side unfolds, abstract aural phenomena coalescing into crystalline patterns which then splinter apart such that the resulting sonics are at times mellifluous and at others certifiably strange." -Nine Chains to the Moon
"The two sides are spiritual cousins to one another but demand different listening spaces. Side A is comprised of the trio crafting melodies out of spacious drones, field recordings and voice. Side B is a collaboration between Debard and Robidoux, situating themselves in field recordings and more challenging application of their voice, found sounds and manipulated textural objects." -Tome to the Weather Machine