Isolée: Well Spent Youth (Pampa)

For the past 15 years, Raijko Mueller aka Isol̩e has been making and releasing records Рlike his trademark sound Рsparsely. Which explains that even though his early singles were the first few to define micro house, Raijko is still largely unknown. Following his earlier albums, Rest and We Are Monster, is Well Spent Youth, but where does the Frankfurt-born electronic musician stand in this culture of digital DJs with their ever louder boom-boom-booms?

Text: Christopher Ujine Ong

Sparse but lush, minimal yet evocative, the songs may sound dated, but Mueller’s careful patterning of rhythms and beats make them slow bloomers upon careful listen. ‘Paloma Triste’ undulates like a chillout track from an unreleased Boards of Canada x Squarepusher collaboration; ‘Thirteen Times an Hour’ holds up alongside Swayzak’s techy best; ‘Going Nowhere’ is Mueller’s exercise in controlled melodic abstraction. Mueller’s new works may be past their peak-popularity date, but the time expended on them has indeed been well spent.

LISTEN TO: ‘Paloma Triste’, ‘Going Nowhere’
IF YOU LIKE THIS YOU’LL DIG: Superpitcher, Shed, DJ Koze.
RATING: 3 1/2

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