The next stage of Isnaj Dui's exploration of flute-driven ambient caress is Dioptrics, the Yorkshire-based artist's 9th solo release, this time back on Fbox Records. Things are about to get a little more dissonant, which means that there may be wince-inducing moments amongst the soothing toots and taps that you'd usually associate with the instrument. If 'usual' could ever be used to desribe Isnaj Dui.
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A new CD from Isnaj Dui is always a treat, particularly for the cause of proving that the flute has a life far beyond the likes of Debussy and Jethro Tull. Katie English succeeds at this again and again, revitalising the instrument with unique techniques and modern electronic messery all gained from extensive studies of classical, electroacoustic and gamelan music.
You can definitely hear the influence of all of the above. As with the majority of Isnaj Dui’s recent output, the flute instantly begs pastoral descriptions but then things happen that you don’t expect - notes that break the loveliness, deep clunking noises, whirring electronically-altered textures. What was once a beautiful instrument becomes a foreboding series of slow throbs on tracks like ‘Ancestral Paths’, held loosely together by frail rhythmic clouds of tapped sounds colliding like neglected windchimes. Echoes of gamelan exist in these mildly dissonant phrases. ‘Flea Circus’ is a dark waltz that seems to be attempting to summon a pagan deity, while ‘Hoop Diving’ opposes with carefree ignorance.
A great textural outing here from the flute revisionist extraordinaire.
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- Dioptrics by Isnaj Dui
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