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ISAN have been on a musical journey ever since a chance meeting brought together Robin Saville and Antony Ryan in 1996.

They prefer allowing their music to develop on its own, with their intuitive grasp of sound manipulation dictating the direction. They’re not afraid to give their compositions space to breathe, placing as much emphasis on silence as on sound. ISAN channels artists such as Kraftwerk, Neu!, Brian Eno and even the dreamy, smart-pop aesthetic of the Cocteau Twins.

Early in their career, ISAN predominantly released on 7” vinyl through a variety of mini-labels, including Earworm, Bad Jazz and the trailblazing Wurlitzer Jukebox. They also dipped their toes into longer formats when they released a CD called “Beautronics” on the Tug Boat label in 1998.

ISAN truly found a home on the Morr Music label. Their debut for Morr, “Salamander,” hit the streets in 1999, and was the third release from the fledgling Morr Music. “Salamander” is a collection of melody miniatures, expansive soundscapes tinged with warmth. “Salle d’Isan” and “Lucky Cat” followed, further demonstrating their expertise with rhythm and melody.

A collection of hard-to-find singles and compilation tracks, “Clockwork Menagerie” offers an overview of the duo’s musical obsessions, with sparse arrangements and distinct flavors.

“Meet Next Life” (2004) and, finally, “Plans Drawn in Pencil” (2006) contain more precise visions, dialing down complexity for the sake of clarity. ISAN experimented with darker tones in the latter album.


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