Isolée We Are Monster

Isolée We Are Monster
Isolée’s Rajko Müller has taken his sweet time in following up on his excellent 2000 debut, Rest. His debut, and more importantly his singles, registered him at the outset of the decade as one of the leading lights of the micro-house movement, a popular and mostly European sub-genre that bore stripped-down machine-like funkiness onto forward-thinking house music. As micro-house began to feel like a pigeonhole, its main players grew restless and began moving on. And so with artists like Luomo, Losoul, and Ricardo Villalobos all veering off toward unexpected and highly adventurous terrain, the afterlife of micro-house’s first generation has proven just as — if not more — interesting to follow as its original incarnation. Dropping this summer, We Are Monster lands squarely at the top of that heap: a ridiculously well honed album that demonstrates exuberant eclecticism without forsaking its roots as house music. Building off a crux of synth-pads, strings, and a wide arsenal of compulsive beats, Isolée has blossomed out of minimalism with subtlety and understatement. All of which makes We Are Monster the type of album you can listen to time and again without having to worry much about whatever else is going to come out this year. Chances are, it’s not going to get much better. (Playhouse)