Ishome
Confession


4.5
superb

Review

by Kristof B. USER (6 Reviews)
October 5th, 2013 | 58 replies | 4,044 views


Release Date: 05/15/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: There is no need to worry about whether it is just a one-off affair or how Ishome is going to evolve over the next years: Confession exists here and now and provides a short wave of drowsy, contemporary electronic music.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

To describe electronic music, one quickly refers to some kind of movement the music and its producer are part of. It is only logical: a genre tag is usually rather broad, only describing the basic elements of the music. Some people tend to circumvent this limitation to invent a wealth of new fusion, micro- or sub-genres (or all of them at the same time), but this system basically collapses under its own weight as it usually ends up with almost as much genres as there are artists. Therefore, it is easier to stick to the label on which the music was released (if it is a label known for pushing a certain sound), the city the artist lives (when it lends its name to a genre) or other artists with whom the considered producer has collaborated to quickly give an impression of the sound. The repercussions of this approach are obvious: if you like a certain "brand" of music, you will probably end up following certain labels, go to specific clubs, and listen to podcasts and mixes by the figureheads of the "movement". If an artist appears somewhere in this picture, bloggers, review websites, and the audience they are aiming for, will pick him or her up and a piece like this would most likely not be written for it.

Hailing from southern Russia, which is not generally considered to be an electronic music hotspot, and without obvious label support or a well-known mentor, Mirabella Karianova (Ishome) finds herself in a kind of not-so-splendid isolation. This does not mean her debut album only exists in its own space, without clear influences or stylistic neighbors, only those musical neighbors are not exactly geographical ones, making this rather overlooked. Confession lives on the intersection of a dubstep permutation with something more ambient and open. Although garage and dubstep influences can be heard in the skippy beats and driving bass in tracks such as "Adam", "Sad Family" and the two parts of "Tetra 94", they are not the only attraction. Heavy use of pitch-shifted vocal samples and sampled instrumentation is of course nothing new to this kind of music, but still Ishome's approach seems fresh, although maybe slightly overloaded. She carefully intertwines bass, vocal snippets and short pieces of instrument recordings in a way they form something of an open landscape. A prime successful attempt of this approach is the slowly unfolding "Adam", which initially only uses one, staccato sample on top of its subtle bass and shuffling beat. Slowly however, the sample is used to build up a simple melody after which it is replaced by a saxophone sample, which is also given time to be introduced to the listener. Only after this thoughtful introduction, Ishome feels the time is right to combine the two.

This open, multi-faceted, organic feel of Confession is somewhat reminiscent of the atmosphere that made some compare Trentemøller's debut album to a forest. But the resemblance does not lie merely in the delicate, organic-sounding "less is more" approach: also technically the album borrows from minimal techno, as the steady beat in "Wildness" shows. After the aforementioned tracks, which are something of an introduction to all the stylistic bits and pieces Ishome is drawing from, the ambient/drone track "It Exists" comes up, built around an unmanipulated Gregorian chant. It is something of a conclusion to the first part of the album, in which the various ingredients Ishome wanted the use were presented. After this interlude, it becomes time for the closing two-piece consisting of "Ken Tavr" and its continuation "Earth", following a buildup similar to the one in "Adam" described earlier, but the tracks move back and forth between their different influences. It is this two-track suite Ishome uses to demonstrate what she is aiming for: watching the London-Berlin axis from a rather large distance, she can pick individual elements from its music output without feeling the pressure to adhere to a specific formula.

In that sense, it is difficult to figure out what Confession actually wants to achieve. It is definitely a short and pleasant melting pot of many ancestors, but what lies beneath its smooth-as-silk production? Would taking a step back reveal that the delicate fabric does not cover any true substance, no real, personal story of any kind? Well actually, this may be precisely the point: whatever its agenda might be, the listener has no incentive to go look for it as nothing beats just being lazily wrapped up by Ishome's beautiful productions. There is no need to worry about whether it is just a one-off affair or how Ishome is going to evolve over the next years: Confession exists here and now and provides a short wave of drowsy, contemporary electronic music.



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user ratings (29)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Typhoner
October 5th 2013



790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So yeah, this one really struck me. Maybe I'm slightly overrating it, but I feel it might be useful for marketing purposes.

The album can be streamed at
http://fuselab.bandcamp.com/album/confession

There is also a (very nice) promo mix of the album:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUIG8P8bvSQ

Digging: Inigo Kennedy - Vaudeville

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
October 5th 2013



30863 Comments


Maybe I'm slightly overrating it,


Nah, album rules. So in love with Mirabella's sound

Did you check this out from my rec? Because if so I'm proud that I might have slightly contributed to this review

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

Typhoner
October 5th 2013



790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nah, album rules. So in love with Mirabella's sound


Yeah, it's just lovely stuff.

Did you check this out from my rec?


Partially, I already saw her as a last.fm rec but didn't listen to her then, your rec pushed me to checking it out properly

Because if so I'm proud that I might have slightly contributed to this review


You like it?

MrElmo
October 5th 2013



1950 Comments


First paragraph is overlong, not to mention I can't understand why it's there tbh. other than that review is detailed and interesting, also halfway through the album and it really rules

Typhoner
October 5th 2013



790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

basically I want to explain why no one seems to know this album (I mean, one of the first google results is a rutracker link, no review at all). Maybe I need to find a better bridge from the first to second paragraph, although I tried achieving that with the last sentence of the first one

glad you're digging it!

mindleviticus
October 5th 2013



8151 Comments


I found this a while ago but never gave it a solid listen! Maybe I should!

ShitsofRain
October 5th 2013



5509 Comments


I loved Unlit so I trust in Russia this time.

Digging: Ben Sims - Fabric 73

FelixCulpa
October 5th 2013



1236 Comments


Nice review. Quite enjoying what I'm hearing from this so far.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
October 5th 2013



9967 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gotta get on this, nice job dude

Digging: Deniro Farrar - Rebirth

gosk8n
October 5th 2013



1028 Comments


awesome review this has certainly got my interest

Digging: Mumdance and Pinch - Pinch B2B Mumdance

Typhoner
October 6th 2013



790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I loved Unlit so I trust in Russia this time.


The Russian connection is really also the only similarity, though (besides being garage-y).

Otherwise, thanks for the pos'es/feedback. In case anyone has more detailed feedback, please say.

zakalwe
October 6th 2013



6416 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice one for the review, this is a listen and a half.

Typhoner
October 6th 2013



790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this is a listen and a half


and then you stop listening?

Typhoner
October 7th 2013



790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is no bump

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
October 7th 2013



9967 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great record. Love Grade, Tetra pt. 2 and It Exists the most

Typhoner
October 7th 2013



790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Glad you're digging it!

MrElmo
October 7th 2013



1950 Comments


Yeah this is really good, Tetra 94 part 1 really moves

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
October 8th 2013



6319 Comments


Fuck me this is so good. Yeah, I fall in the pitfalls described in the first para as well. Only so much stuff you can check out in a serious way though (ie. not just one quick listen).

Awesome review as usual Kristof. Personally, maybe I'd abbreviate some descriptions, but the overall feel you're trying to convey is very clear - and written in a way that's enjoyable to read.

Digging: Sully - Blue

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
October 8th 2013



6319 Comments


Also, somehow you tend to find the best female producers around. ;]

Typhoner
October 8th 2013



790 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for the feedback! Somehow I felt very confident while writing, seems that feeling was right. Maybe the detailed description of "Adam" was a bit too much, indeed.

Also, somehow you tend to find the best female producers around. ;]


Maybe there are just quite a bit these days ;-). Next time I'll review something from a guy with large mustache if you prefer that, though



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