Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Isotope / Illusion [2 on 1]
Genres: Alternative Rock, Jazz, Pop, Rock
Atomic fusion or particle acceleration?
A. Dutkiewicz | Norwood, South Australia Australia | 10/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Isotope was a band that played in similar style to Nucleus and later Soft Machine. I came across them because I absolutley loved Stomu Yamashta's East Wind band (sadly not now available on CD) - and Gary Boyle, the guitarist here, and Hugh Hopper (bass) played with that band. Boyle's sound always reminded me of Bill Connors' on Return to Forever's Hymn to the Seventh Galaxy. Soft Machine bassist Hopper plays on Isotope's second LP, Illusion, and he gets several of the writing credits at an interesting period in his development (1984 to Hoppertunity Box). Only Boyle and Nigel Morris (drums)are consistent in the band on these two albums. Morris was compared to Billy Cobham at the time for his technical excellence and speed. The other players are Brian Miller (keyboards), Jeff Clyne (bass) and Laurence Scott (keyboards).Isotope is more of a musos' band, their music is very technical and full of interesting intellectual conundrums and complex rhythms but it lacks a little in emotion. The playing is mostly fast and electric, but there are some nice acoustic moments, especially the acoustic guitar overdubs on the excellent "Spanish sun" and the guitar-piano duet "Marin county girl". With Yamashta's projects the players were really stretched to test themselves, to try and evoke new dimensions and new ideas in their music. Here the players sit a a little step back from that, as it naturally lacks much of the percussive colour of Yamashta's records from that time. The second lp is the closest you'll get to East Wind, and some of his methods rub off, with Hopper's electric fuzz bass a feature. The first lp's writing credits are with Miller on all but one track, the second lp has more interplay between the lead and bass lines of the two guitarists, with keyboards and drums providing the rhythmic drive and adding texture. Both albums are excellent English fusion: comparable with the bands I mentioned above and say Brand X, and it's purely instrumental. I'd give the first 4 stars and the second 5."
Tight 70s Prog with a Zing
Jason A. Levine | Seattle, WA USA | 11/10/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The year was 1973...Miles Davis was near the end of his controversial 'electric' period; as were some of the other legends who followed. For Isotope, a prog-rock-jazz supergroup, their only 2 releases, the self titled and their final 'Illusion' from 1974, showcased what was REALLY happening in the rock-jazz music world. Herbie Hancock gave us Headhunters and proved that Jazz could be funky...ISOTOPE gaves us these gems and proved that a couple of white guys could jive, swing and groove with the best of em (with some added electronics, of course!)"
Oh to be young and adventurous
T. D., Morse | 07/02/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Whilst a Student ads Sheffield University there was a cheap/second hand record shop of fond memory, but forgotten name. I spent happy hours flicking through the Jazz section thinking about what unknown I would spend my well earned grant cheque on (a little history there for any present U.K students). I am came across these. The combo was tight, the guitar playing brilliant, but I reslly love the drums. This is great music for playing in a fast car on an open road, and also anywhere in fact. These are the best record by the group, the third deep end went the way of most jazz-rock in the mid to late seventies, became dull and unadventurous. These two aren't. The group plays like there next meal depends upon it, are passionate on swing like a low charriot. If you're into lucky dip try this, like me you won't be disappointed."