Title: Isostasy
Artist: MEDL4
Release Date: 2014 July 10
Genre: Downtempo
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Label: Dusted Wax Kingdom / BandCamp

Introduction

I found this downtempo Isostasy by way of Dusted Wax Kingdom, actually found it along with several more releases from MEDL4.  After searching around a bit, I found that MEDL4 has quite a few releases on BandCamp.  I have to give credit to the Dusted Wax Kingdom crew, they are finding artists that many of us are missing.

Downtempo Isostasy

So, just what is “isostasy”? ¬†It is “Equilibrium in the earth’s crust such that the forces tending to elevate landmasses balance the forces tending to depress landmasses.” according to Wordnik.¬†In reading this definition I take away two important points: (a) that it’s about balance or equilibrium, and (b) that it’s about the earth, or at least the land or ground of our planet.

Which makes a great concept for a downtempo release, in my book. ¬†How? ¬†First, consider that this is a concept of the earth, basically it is organic in nature. ¬†It’s a force of the world around us. ¬†And MEDL4 is the type of producer that is driven by old school rhythm and blues, blues and jazz music. ¬†All of these forms have a more organic feeling to them than the current overly electronic dance music, including some of the chill type releases.

And there is also the concept of balance.  MEDL4 has produced a recording that is to be listened to as a whole, not just individual tracks.  Each of the tracks has an internal balance to it, however each one is part of the larger overall recording.  That is where a form of equilibrium is achieved, by the balance of all of these pieces put together.

So, then, is there anything about this release that sticks out? ¬†Not individually. ¬†Sure, one might recognize a few of the samples that are used in places (like the drum loop on the opening release I know from an old Orb recording). ¬†But, having¬†any one thing really¬†stand out would defeat the purpose of this release. ¬†It’s about things being taken as a whole. ¬†It is about achieving a context for each piece where the force it exerts is counterbalanced by the other pieces in the release. ¬†In a way, you could say that this is a sixteen piece in suspension.

Conclusion

So how does it work overall? ¬†Well, it does work when considered as a whole. ¬†You can’t really single out any one¬†track as being more of a focal point than any other, so you have to listen to it as a single continuous work. ¬†However, by achieving an equilibrium of sorts, the release can feel as if it doesn’t have a direction. There is nothing really grabbing or pushing the listeners attention along with the piece. ¬†There are times where it just feels like you are suspended and don’t have a clue where you are going.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. ¬†It seems, in a way, to be more like an attempt to reach a ground between downtempo and ambient music. Keep all of the major hooks and rhythms¬†of downtempo, while allowing things to stretch out for you to explore. ¬†However, I’m torn between the direction that this release seems to go sometimes, and the times where there doesn’t seem to have a direction. ¬†But in the end it is the kind of music I would want to hear in a club or a lounge as opposed to much of the straight EDM out there these days.

MEDL4: Isostasy

Free / Donation // $5 USD (Or More)
7.5

Rating

7.5/10

Pros

  • Dusted Wax Kingdom release is Free / Donation
  • Bandcamp is $5 USD (Or More)

Posted by George De Bruin