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Onemind Presents Onemind

Isasa - Isasa

La Castanya

  • £21.58
Genre: American Primitive, Folk, Instrumental, Guitar.
Format: LP
Catalogue No.: LC70 
B/C: 8435015523855
Release Date: 12th March 2021

Isasa’s fourth LP is a guitar excursion from a skillful, humble guide. Minimal, contemplative songs, rich in atmosphere and warm in spirit.

RELATED TO: John Fahey, Jack Rose, Glenn Jones, Peter Walker, Sir Richard Bishop.

“Océano” video — 1st SINGLE out now
“Reencuentro” landing page — 2nd SINGLE out February 15th
“Carrasco, Montevideo” video from previous 3rd LP “Insilio”:

Some musicians give their name to their first album, signifying introduction. Some hold it in reserve — it took Wire 39 years to get around to calling an LP Wire. But whenever they do so, they are making a statement. For Conrado Isasa, an acoustic guitarist from Madrid, Spain, the decision to call his fourth album Isasa reflects the fact that his music’s relationship to his own identity has evolved. Isasa presents an artist whose work reflects that he knows and accepts where he comes from.

Between 1993 and 2003, he played electric guitar in the hardcore metal band Down For The Count and the post rock combo, A Room With A View. These were collective statements, communications between small groups and a select underground community. After the latter group’s demise, Isasa stepped back from recording, and for a while from guitar playing as well. He spent some time learning to play the trumpet, but was inspired to return to the guitar in 2007 after he heard Geoff Farina play a Mississippi John Hurt song for the encore of a Glorytellers gig. Then came another period of learning, during which he studied the playing of Hurt, John Fahey, Jack Rose, and Glenn Jones.

Performing as Isasa, he made three records, each of which can be heard as confrontation with an artistic challenge. Las Cosas (2015) is between the man and his acoustic guitar; what could he do with his fingers, a slide, six steel strings, and a box of wood? Los Días (2016) faces the broader issue of how to deal with the requirements of the American Primitive guitar style. Like Fahey, Rose, and Jones, Isasa sought to make an album that used a cohesive sequence of guitar and banjo instrumentals to express personal experiences. With its references to the sights, sounds, and tastes one might encounter in Madrid, it is like a poetic diary written with the distance that comes from having mastered a second language. After making that record, Isasa toured parts of the United States, and played at The Thousand Incarnations Of The Rose, a festival that gathered representatives of American Primitive guitar’s past, present, and future in Takoma Park, the town where the style’s original synthesist, John Fahey, was born. Insilio (2019) began to look beyond that style, dealing with Hindustani raga forms and adding other instrumental textures.

And now comes Isasa. The name suggests something very personal, and it’s true that it draws upon Isasa’s closest relationships. Two compositions are either named for or feature the voices of his children, but their presence helps this music to transcend the purely personal. For what could be more universally shared than the joy and love one feels for children? Others invoke concepts — absence, liberty, love, reunion. They may mean one thing to Isasa, and another thing to you, but by sharing his reactions to them, he invites you to recognize yours. Isasa isn’t just using his experiences to tell you about his life; he is using what he knows about life to help us know a little more about ours.

Track listing + Title Translation
1. Ausencia (Absence) 2. Libertad (Liberty) 3. Faro (Lighthouse) 4. Océano (Ocean) — 5. Amor (Love) 6. Lluvia (Rain) 7. Reencuentro (Reunion) —8. Fraternidad (Fraternity) 9. Teo (Teo)

“His touch on the strings echoes in the mind long after the needle’s left the record, haunting the listener like a task left unfinished, a sentiment unresolved”
Raven Sings the Blues

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