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Jazz pianist Matthew Bourne returns to working on solo piano pieces after his moog focussed Moogmemory and working with Franck Vigroux on reworking Kraftwerk’s Radio-Activity. Gorgeous and isolated piano works with sparse cello parts lull you into his world. For fans of Nils Frahm, Ólafur Arnalds etc.

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  • LP £15.49
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  • BAY105V / Limited edition LP + CD on The Leaf Label. Half-speed mastered audiophile pressing. Features a spot varnished sleeve, picking out the weather symbols that represent each track on the album
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  • CD £10.99
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  • BAY105CD / CD on The Leaf Label in a spot varnished sleeve, picking out the weather symbols that represent each track on the album

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Isotach by Matthew Bourne
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5 people love this record. Be the 6th!
9/10 Jamie Staff review, 16 August 2017

Isotach. A line on a map connecting points of equal wind speed on a graph... So it’s welcome back, local man -- and apparently weather-obsessed -- Matthew Bourne. That Yorkshire does have some weather, right enough. Mostly wind, lots of wind. The record also marks the return of Piano Bourne, following his ‘moogmemory’ album of antique synth rumblings.

So it’s back to the old(er) school for Matthew then, for a record that sees him reconnecting with the land and the meandering geography of his adopted home. So it makes perfect sense that a man, born amidst the ancient standing stones of Avebury, Wiltshire, would filter the vibrations of the land in the most sprawling of counties with such relish and resultantly make such effortlessly evocative music. Airedale, if not Leeds, has blessed this musician with evidently generous inspiration. Enough to urge him to sit back down at the old Joanna, in fact.

Soft, dreamy piano chords open the record with repeated notes slowly developing into something with a subtle, hymn-like quality. His cello adds nuanced backdrop to acoustic keyboard. And so it continues, with gently rising and falling notes rolling out of the piano like warm air arcing over and weaving round the Pennines. ‘Valentine’ is constructed out of simple, glacially repeated cello lines. ‘Duncan’ has the most pretty and bittersweet melody, calling to mind Harold Budd at his most chilled.

Co-conspiracist Nils Frahm is a fan -- but even the most effervescent of piano men hasn’t made music this tranquil, this conducive to clear-headed rest and meditation. Isotach is a force of pure beauty.

9/10 Laurence Customer rating (no review), 11th October 2017


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